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Green & Ecotourism Issue from Down Under

I like this divisive issue from Australia, because it encapsulates a lot of what is problematic and difficult about spreading the word of ‘ecotourism’, ‘green issues’, ‘environmentalism’, ‘conservation’ and whatever other terminology you’re having yourself.

When I say “I like”, I presume you know what I mean.

Greens slam Coast skywalk push (from and copywrite goldcoast.com.au) :

” GREEN group Gecko has written to Premier Anna Bligh and Gold Coast City Council heavyweights protesting against a Hinterland tourism project — before they’ve even seen it.

Slamming the idea of a skywalk at Purling Brook Falls as ‘yet another mass tourism’ project proposed for the Springbrook area, Gecko president Rose Adams wrote that the region should be protected from, and not enjoyed directly by, tourists.

Purling Brook Falls, Australia

Purling Brook Falls, Australia

 

“It is essential to guard the World Heritage values of this tiny plateau, especially when confronted by the unknown impacts of climate change,” wrote Ms Adams.

“We would argue that it is a place to provide genuine ecotourism, that is, tourism harnessed for conservation, rather than a mass tourist attraction such as a skywalk.”

The skywalk was one of several suggestions submitted in a tourism project wishlist for the Coast by Tourism Minister Desley Boyle and has not even been formally proposed.

But Gecko has requested instead an ‘eco centre’ at Nerang with ‘a world-class environmental science education and interpretive centre’.

Ms Adams said Gecko would not support any large attraction or visitor centre at Springbrook itself, as the area was already overrun and its roads did not support large coaches.

Local councillor Bob La Castra said he was not surprised by Gecko’s pre-emptive strike.

“They basically want to put a barbed-wire fence around anything that’s green and look at it but not tread on it,” he said.

Springbrook Chamber of Commerce president Wayne Randall said Gecko should wait to see any proposal before shooting it down. Businesses in the area were ‘going backwards’ and desperately needed a new attraction to lure visitors, he said.

Gold Coast Combined Chamber of Commerce president Bob Janssen said Gecko had tipped the scales too far in favour of conservation and that ‘balance’ was needed. “

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But more interesting are some of the comments submitted to the site by readers, including …

” What else would they say & do. They will oppose anything that is not tree hugging. I have had a total gutfull of the ‘high & mighty greens. “

” Fear mongers and environmental pains in the rear. “

” Well done Gecko!!! Springbrook is very fragile, beautiful and worth preserving at all costs.It is a wonderful place to visit to get away from the over development of the Coast. It is one of the finest assets the Coast has and should be left for those that need a little peace and serenity. “

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Ah yes, this kind of stuff is at the very heart of the fight for world tourism. More than that, it is the heart and soul of the argument for where the world goes in terms of global development. We could waste our time and energy talking about CFL bulbs, but this is about world domination. This is about education. This is about the survival of all animals and landscapes. This is about the basic human instinct to dominate, destroy.

Do we continue to move forward beating our chests ever harder, or do we cop on, begin to leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photographs and kill nothing but time ?

Learn a little about Springbrook National Park in Australia here.

Learn a little about Gecko here.

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