TODAY - 2021 - HINCHINBROOK ISLAND is LEASE-FREE
In October 2018, two days after the publication of Expressions of Interest (EOI) for a 60 year massed walking lease over the Thorsborne Trail, Margaret Thorsborne died. Hinchinbrook Island protectors arose from everywhere. They needed no organising. People flocked to Cardwell in grief and outrage. The government tried to pick us off one at a time. They failed.
To satisfy the proposed new lessee, a black-shoe-brigader from the south, the state government terminated the existing Cape Richards Lease - after 2O years of protesting that termination was impossible. Then they realised how bad a mistake Kate Jones had made … hence the statement below made without fanfare - and now they have undertaken rehabilitation of the old lease.
Some markers along the way:
1994: KEITH WILLIAMS applied to renew the old Tekin lease at Cardwell. His argumentative handwriting was all over departmental documents:
1994-1999 We took action, we went to court, we went to the Australian Senate, and we were assaulted:
1998: the postcard appeal to Premier Beattie – Keith Williams’ “Port Hinchinbrook” threatening both Hinchinbrook Island and Passage.
1999 We were threatened – Hopgood-Ganim (for Keith Williams) to Margaret Moorhouse
1991 - 1999:- Margaret Thorsborne made loving input into the 1991 draft of the first Hinchinbrook Island National Park Management Plan (HINPMP); finalised 1999.
1999: The HINPMP was finalised and “signed off”. After our many complaints that the Plan had been withheld to assist Keith Williams sell his acid blocks on the promise of easy commercial access to Hinchinbrook Island (buy your house block, office and commercial berth on “Port Hinchinbrook”), the first HINPMP was released to the public – not, however, by the Minister of the day, but by Jeremy Tager, Coordinator of North Queensland Conservation Council (NQCC). He’d found a bundle of HINPMP copies in a brown paper parcel that had mysteriously arrived, unaddressed, in the NQCC office.
THE NEXT PHASE IN THE HINCHINBROOK CAMPAIGN:
ASH has made the Queens’s Commonwealth Canopy listing its priority submission to the Queensland government for the coming November ERT meetings in Brisbane. As part of this project the Hinchinbrook Island National Park Management Plan (HINPMP) must be re-drafted, reflecting the intentions of the 1999 HINPMP. The present (2016) plan is a travesty of national park management planning.