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Conservation is put first

The Wide Bay Burnett Conservation Council has indicated it will campaign to have “no take” zones off Fraser Island.
The Wide Bay Burnett Conservation Council has indicated it will campaign to have “no take” zones off Fraser Island. Craig Warhurst

WIDE Bay conservation activists appear to have effectively declared war on commercial and recreational fishing interests along the Cooloola Coast, including the fishing tourism sector that forms a major part of the Coast economy.

Despite the support of Coast fishing interests in the fight against the Traveston Crossing dam proposal, the Wide Bay Burnett Conservation Council has now indicated it will campaign in the coming federal election to have “no take” zones off Fraser Island.

It has also indicated it will campaign to extend the Fraser Island World Heritage Area to the mainland, despite growing concerns over State Government management practices on the island, which senior government employees say are aimed at “boosting visitor numbers to Fraser Island” and establishing a new resort in an area where some conservationists say dingoes are subject to a campaign of extermination.

The organisation has also indicated it will campaign against any candidate opposing the Fraser Coast Biosphere plan, despite concerns about the claimed undemocratic nature of its proposed land use management regime.

The campaign threats are contained in an “Environmental Election Score Card” for the election, in which the important conservation group says it will assess candidates according to whether they support “adequate protected areas” within the Fraser Island and Great Sandy Marine Park area.

It also asks candidates to state how their policies will “enhance, support, finance and manage (the) proposed extension (of the Fraser Island World Heritage area)” and, on the Biosphere, how their policies will “enhance, support, finance and manage this International Biosphere which underpins the regional economy and is complementary to the World Heritage extension”.

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