A government proposal to build luxury cabins in the Great Sandy national park poses a threat to its pristine natural beauty and Aboriginal cultural heritage, locals say.

The Queensland government plans to construct “eco-tourism” accommodation in locations along the Cooloola Great Walk, which runs from Noosa North Shore through Cooloola to Rainbow Beach.

The Guardian says the project has left locals anxious that the accommodation will devastate parts of the 102km coastal route, which winds through massive sand hills, rainforests and wetlands.

“We could call it ego-tourism,” said Greg Wood, convener of Protect Our Parks and Rainbow Beach resident.

“We’re going into the last refuges of nature … that have been protected from commercial private development … and we’re going to monetise them as well.”

Ten cabins are proposed to be built in a forest overlooking Poona Lake, which has “substantial ecological and recreational values,” according to a March 2021 government report.

Wood said the development was “unacceptable” as it would create “disturbance in a very sensitive and unique landscape”.

“This proposal is imposing the venal needs of an elite class on to nature and making it yield to their demands,” he said.

The government said it has consulted with local traditional owners and the Kabi Kabi people on the proposal.

However, Diane Djaki Widjung, keeper of records for the Sovereign Kabi tribe, said many Kabi Kabi people oppose development in the area and see it as “disrespectful”.

Read the full story here.

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