Straddie elders join growing calls for island investigation

 

Dozens of North Stradbroke Island's traditional owners are demanding an investigation into alleged secrecy and the management of the island, claiming their concerns were ignored for a decade.

But the island's body corporate, Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, has vigorously denied any wrongdoing.

Twenty-one Quandamooka families, which form the Original Sovereign People Recognised Elders of Yuli-Burri-Ba group, have slammed what they claim is a lack of transparency and consultation about the management of North Stradbroke Island.

Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island.
Point Lookout on North Stradbroke Island.

The extraordinary intervention of the traditional owners comes after The Courier Mail's investigation into threats of violence by a QYAC ranger against homeowners and unexplained land clearing on the island in August.

The 21 families' concerns stem from a lack of prosperity as the island shifts its economy from sand mining to tourism.

They claim QYAC failed to consult some traditional owners or provide them with details about its plan for the island.

The group also wants island planning changes and the alleged "secrecy" surrounding an Indigenous Land Use Agreement to be investigated.

They have called for Labor and the LNP to halt the implementation of the island's Economic Transition Strategy - the blueprint for growth on the island - while an inquiry is held into its implementation.

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation CEO Cameron Costello. Picture: Liam Kidston
Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation CEO Cameron Costello. Picture: Liam Kidston

But QYAC CEO Cameron Costello dismissed their concerns about island management and said there was no evidence the group represented a large majority of island residents.

"We will continue without hesitation to drive forward the Quandamooka people's positive aspirations as they have outlined through our extensive consultations for land use and their Strategic Plan," he said.

"QYAC proudly stands as the representative body of the Quandamooka people with over 800 members, making it one of the largest membership based organisations in Australia."

Mr Costello said there was "no evidence to the negative claims about QYAC's accountability or governance".

"QYAC operates in a highly regulated environment under the Native Title Act regime and is highly regulated under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act," he said.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Straddie elders join growing calls for island investigation


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