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North Stradbroke Island’s campgrounds returned to Indigenous owners

North Stradbroke Island’s campgrounds returned to Indigenous owners
December 27, 2017

The Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) has taken over the ownership of North Stradbroke Island's Adder Rock campsite from the Redlands Shire Council.

QYAC, which currently manages the campsite near Point Lookout, as well as the Island's other campsites for the past five years, has been able to buy out Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) with a $7 million investment.

It is a timely move in the wake of a changing economic climate on the island, following the Queensland Government's recent ban on sand mining on the Island.

The $70 million industry, which propped up the local economy, will close in 2019, taking with it dozens of employees based on the island.

QYAC Chief Executive Cameron Costello said he and other traditional owners were keen to expand the business to fill the gap in the local economy.

Costello told the ABC “being able to go to a campground where you're actually welcomed in the first instance, when you pick up the phone, by an actual traditional owner, it's an unusual experience and one that people are really gravitating to.”

Costello said the camping business hired mostly local Indigenous people - many of whom were Quandamooka descendants - as housekeepers, groundskeepers and rangers.

He added “being able to care for country and host visitors, it's really significant.

"Where we were previously excluded from economic opportunities and excluded from caring for country - now we're empowered to invite people onto country."

The QYAC has already built permanent glamping cabins at the Adder Rock campground and is expanding the luxury camping set-up, where guests can stay in luxury tipi-style-tents for up to $350 a night in peak periods.

IBA Chairman Eddie Fry said the Quandamooka takeover was a good investment and a success story.

Fry commented “as we got closer and closer to exiting the investment, it was very clear that the Quandamooka people had become very efficient at what they were doing.

"There's a very real chance of the Quandamooka people … getting a very nice return on their investment."

The QYAC also plans to expand two of its campgrounds as part of a Queensland Government strategy to transition the island away from sand mining and into a majority tourist economy. 

Images: Adder Rock campsite (top) and glamping at Adder Rock (below).

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5th September 2015 - NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND SHOULD REVERT TO TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS NAME 

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4th July 2011 - NATIVE TITLE WIN FOR NORTH STRADBROKE’S TRADITIONAL OWNERS

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However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

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