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Friends of the Earth , Maryborough ,  Queensland ,Australia ..       |   FRASER,ISLAND IN CRISIS   |   LINKS   |   Contact Us
Friends of the Earth , Maryborough ,  Queensland ,Australia ..     
FoE Australia is part of Friends of the Earth international, one of the largest federations of organizations committed to the preservation,restoration and rational use of the enviroment.  FoEA comprises 12 member groups throughout Australia.  FoEA campaigns locally, nationally and internationally as part of FoEI.  All member groups are united in their belief in an environmentally sustainable and socially equitable world where social justice and environmental issues cannot be separated.
                             FRASER ISLAND

FoE Maryborough was established in January 1991 during the campaign to stop logging on Fraser Island .
Fraser Island is a magnificent sand island, unlike any other island in the world. It is 130 kilometers long and 30 kilometers at its widest, approximately 300 kilometers nth. of Brisbane , on the South East coast of Queensland Australia
The largest and most ancient sand dunes on earth sweep high above the sea with mysterious lakes deep amongst them.
On one side fresh water creeks flow across 120 kilometers of crisp white beaches framed by rainbow coloured cliffs and the deep blue of the Pacific ocean.  On the other side, a multitude of smaller islands with surrounding sea grass beds and mangrove covered beaches that support an abundance of life. This includes Humpback Whales, Dugongs, Dolphins and a spectacular variety of bird life. Primitive rainforests grow on this island, the only rainforests growing on pure sand in the world, drawing their nourishment from the decaying matter of forests of old.
The native  people who lived on this island for 30000 years called it K'GARI which in their language meant paradise.
It was the timber industry that finally deposed the native peoples of K'GARI . From a population in the 1830's estimated to be over 2000 to only a dozen in 1896. Paradise became known as Fraser Island. For over a hundred years they raped this unique place seeing only wealth in the by products of these ancient forests.
The late 80's and early 90's were a tumultuous time for environment groups and the environment in general in Australia. It was a time of heightened awareness of the natural world and a new found concern by a lot of people.
The Queensland government ,seeing the concern conservationists had over the continued logging of old growth rainforests on Fraser Island instigated the" Fitzgerald Inquiry into logging on Fraser Island" in January 1990. The agenda of the inquiry was to investigate through submissions from individuals and organizations, with an interest in the area, the impact of logging and general management of the Great Sandy Region, of which the Island was a part.
Most of the mainstream Conservation groups were involved in the inquiry. A request for a moratorium on logging during the process was knocked back by the Gov. and consequently direct actions on the Island were seen by some conservationists as the only answer.
The non violent direct actions to stop logging on Fraser Island had been very successful in 1990, although not supported by the conservation groups involved in the inquiry.
Beginning on the Easter weekend and reaching a peak when all logging was stopped, with the help of tripods and blockading roads, for a number of weeks.This was achieved through the dedication of a small band of hard core conservationists, with the support of many more part time activists.
It was during this time that Friends of the Earth Australia became involved in the campaign and a branch was started in Maryborough, the biggest town closest to the island.
Eventually due to the actions of the blockaders on the island and the groups involved in the Fitzgerald Inquiry all logging on Fraser Island ceased at the end of 1991 and was declared a World Heritage Area soon after.
FoE Maryborough has continued to work towards the ecologically sustainable use of Fraser Island .
The biggest impact 10 years on is the number of tourists using and abusing the Island.
Fraser Island is a continuing campaign for FoE Maryborough and any support would be greatly appreciated.