Strategy offers new future for Straddie
The Palaszczuk Government has today announced more than $28 million as part of a transition package to assist North Stradbroke Island to become an eco-tourism hub with a revitalised diverse economy.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said the package would drive change for the island’s economic base and support workers during their transition when sandmining ends in 2019.
“Straddie is a cultural and environmental jewel on Brisbane’s doorstep and as sand mining ends in 2019, this is a real opportunity for the island to have a new and exciting future.
“Our strong economic strategy will guide the community through the transition from sand mining to sustainable tourism, local business and education and training.
“This strategy will generate real opportunities for positive economic outcomes for North Stradbroke Island and its community.
“In addition to more than $23.87 million for the Economic Transition strategy, we will invest $5 million to assist workers affected by the sand mining closure to find new employment opportunities.
“This strategy has been developed after consultation with many stakeholders, including the local Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Redland City Council, Straddie Chamber of Commerce and representatives of the sand mining workforce,” Ms Trad said.
Potential actions include:
- a whale watching platform at Point Lookout
- improved cultural and locational interpretational signage
- small business mentoring and support
- creating an education and training precinct;
- a masterplan for Dunwich;
- marketing campaigns to increase awareness of North Stradbroke Island and increase local, interstate and international visitors
- grow and promote the Quandamooka Festival
- conducting a feasibility study to establish the viability of a Brisbane to Dunwich ferry service
“The actions will showcase North Stradbroke Island as a unique experience which will in turn produce wins for local business through priorities such as infrastructure improvements, and position the region as one that provides valuable educational experiences.
“Importantly, we can achieve economic development while we protect the island’s natural environment and cultural heritage and the community’s aspirations,” Ms Trad said
Treasurer and Minister for Employment Curtis Pitt said the $5 million Workers Assistance Scheme, developed in consultation with workers and stakeholders, would provide practical support to help affected workers find alternative employment and training opportunities.
“Workers impacted by the phasing out of sand and mineral mining on North Stradbroke will be eligible to access tailored support and assistance.
“Case managers will help to identify their individual needs in areas including job search support, training employment and relocation assistance.
“Workers may also be eligible to receive housing assistance and income supplementation under the scheme.
“The workers assistance package is an integral part of the Palaszczuk Government’s broader commitment to assist North Stradbroke in the transition process,” Mr Pitt said.
Minister for the Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and The Great Barrier Reef Dr Steven Miles said this was the first step towards a new chapter for North Stradbroke Island, to unlock the island for Queenslanders to enjoy the unique natural and cultural values of this special place and launch new opportunities for the island, its community and economy.
“‘Straddie’ or ‘Minjerribah’ as it is called by the traditional owners, is the second largest sand island in the world, with more than 20,000 years of indigenous history, right on Brisbane’s doorstep. It occupies a special place in the hearts of many Queenslanders.
“Straddie has the potential to be a world class tourism destination just like Fraser Island. It is inconceivable now that we would allow sand mining on Fraser. Sand mining came to an end there in the 1970s and now it is one of our greatest tourism assets,” Dr Miles said.
Sand mining will end on Straddie in 2019, in line with one of the government’s election commitments.
The strategy is available for public submissions until 5 February 2016