By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — The last tree was felled on Fraser Island after more than a century of logging which had threatened to decimate the unique sand island's rainforest cover. After the government acted on Fitzgerald inquiry recommendations into the future of Fraser in May this year, the decision to declare the island World Heritage will go ahead.
Work will continue on the island over the Christmas period to remove the last of the felled timber.
Rainforest Conservation Society president Dr Aila Keto welcomed the end of logging, saying it reflected a change in community perceptions.
"Now the original world-class forests will be able to re-establish given time and World Heritage protection", Dr Keto said.
Logging had been unsustainable and there would have been a progressive decline in employment, she said.
The future of the timber industry lay in plantation stock, not native trees, Dr Keto said.
Fraser Island Defenders Organisation president Terry Hampson paid tribute to the role of John Sinclair in the long struggle to save the island over several decades. n