Government announces Fraser Island package
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Conservation organisation representatives have generally welcomed the Queensland government's decision to end logging and sand mining on Fraser Island by December 31, while outlaying $38 million on a development and compensation package for the local region.
Premier Wayne Goss announced the deal on September 17, including an end to all satinay, brushbox and blackbutt logging by the end of the year.
More than 100 jobs will be created to employ displaced timber workers, with special adjustment packages of up to $35,000 being offered.
Goss said the state and federal governments would move quickly to nominate the world's largest sand island for World Heritage listing by October 1.
"The $38 million is a lot for the taxpayers of Queensland and Australia to pay, but we believe Fraser Island and its preservation for future generations is worth every penny", Goss said.
Australian Workers Union Maryborough representative Laurie Walker said timber workers had cautiously accepted the government's compensation package, and were happy to know finally about their employment future.
About $8 million will go toward boosting tourism infrastructure in the Great Sandy Region of central coast Queensland, which is expected to help increase the number of long-term jobs in the area.