Vale Dr John Sinclair

Submitted: Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 19:44
ThreadID: 137767 Views:1426 Replies:4 FollowUps:6
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Dr Sinclair passed away today. He was a passionate conservationist who was instrumental in stopping sand mining on Fraser Island then getting it listed as a World Heritage site. I was privileged to accompany him on a two day tour of some little known features of the island in the early 70s. Let his memory live on.
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 22:43

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 22:43
Growing up in Hervey Bay back then we knew him and other members of FIDO (Fraser island defenders organisation) well. We loved them, Maryborough and bjielke Peterson hated them. Mum worked on the local paper in the 70’s and ran many pieces about John. R.I.P.
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Reply By: Pushy - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2019 at 12:59

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2019 at 12:59
Yes sad day. Only saw him being interviewed on the tv over the last weekend.
I can still remember the island was still being mined on my first couple of trips to the island.
Was absolutely persecuted by the State Gov for many years but fortunately for us now stuck to his guns.
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Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, Feb 05, 2019 at 14:35

Tuesday, Feb 05, 2019 at 14:35
Nice newspaper Article here;

Dr John Sinclair

His struggles have left an amazing legacy.

Vale
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903

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Reply By: Phil G - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 at 20:07

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 at 20:07
I still have his book - purchased in 1980 when my wife and I spent our honeymoon in a Land Rover on Fraser Island.
Thankyou for posting this.
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Follow Up By: Mikee5 - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 at 20:11

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 at 20:11
Fraser Island was a very different place then. I won't go back now, preferring to remember it as it was. We once camped north of Happy Valley in about 1978ish and saw only one vehicle in two days.
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 at 20:24

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 at 20:24
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Follow Up By: Phil G - Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 at 20:30

Wednesday, Feb 06, 2019 at 20:30
Yeah it has certainly changed - we went back there for the first time a few years ago. The beach side was loaded with backpackers in 80series hooning about. But we went inland again and spent some nice time at Central Station, Lake MacKenzie etc, so was still a nice trip. Glad we went back.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Feb 07, 2019 at 15:59

Thursday, Feb 07, 2019 at 15:59
.
A sad day indeed. John Sinclair "saved" Fraser Island... for a time.

When logging ceased in 1991 John's son Keith praised him and said that he had won.
John said "No, now we need to stop it from being loved to death."

And I am afraid that is what happened. It is steadily being ruined by excessive tourism.... nearly half-a-million visitors per year. The inland tracks are scoured out and defecation has befouled the beach camping zones to the point of health hazard. Free-camping areas should be moved off the foredunes to the back-shore and provided with permanent latrines.

Being at our 'doorstep' we have visited a number of times but Roz refuses to return now. Our earliest visit together was in 1984 but Roz first visited in 1968 with a bushwalking group, the year before the vehicle barge facility commenced. They were transported over by fishing boat and did not see another soul in the 14 days. Can you imagine what it was like then? There would have been logging activity but they did not see it.
There needs to be restriction on visitor numbers as there is on Lord Howe Island. Left uncontrolled and the world-class attraction will not be worth visiting.

Vale John Sinclair indeed. But before long it will be "Vale Fraser Island".


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: RobynR4 - Friday, Feb 08, 2019 at 22:51

Friday, Feb 08, 2019 at 22:51
I am like a few of you who have sworn to love Fraser from a distance now.
My dad grew up on Fraser, the son of one of those timber cutters. He was about 7 months older than John Sinclair so I've very much grown up with John's story.
From memory (I no longer have dad to remind me of facts) Dad lived at Central Station from 1938-44. They had a school house (that's now the Ranger Station) but no teacher (yep-the Dept Education strikes again!) so my grandmother had to move with dad to live in Maryborough to allow him to go to school.
Dad never returned until 1979. Apparently it was pretty untamed still.
I visited in 1983 with my parents and camped at Central Station, learning about the untamed life there 4 decades before, and watching the dingoes slink around at a safe distance.
I took my (future) husband there in 1989 as a day trip and began to see tiny differences.
When we returned in 2000 we stayed at Kingfisher Bay for 5 days and were educated by the rangers re staying safe with the dingoes, what to do when you encountered one etc etc.
The changes re the dingoes shocked me and I decided to stay away. I wish they would limit the visitors and slow the decline that you've described.
I will go and dig out John's book one more time and love Fraser from afar.

Thank you for posting this news.
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Follow Up By: rumpig - Saturday, Feb 09, 2019 at 08:33

Saturday, Feb 09, 2019 at 08:33
Pick your time of the year to visit the island and crowds aren't necessarily an issue....we were there in July 2 years ago, the island was pretty dead then, I think the no campfires thing keeps many away at that time of year. Granted the place will still be busier then it was in the 70's and early 80's, but 40 - 50 years later the population of our country and ease of access to many places like Fraser has changed dramatically also, so you've gotta expect changes to occur. Some things have changed for the better... there's no camping at Lake Makenzie anymore, which keeps that surrounding lake area cleaner then the mess I witnessed there back in the early 90's.... and some for the worse IMO......you no longer camp at the old Central Station camp area, now it's a dark damp camp area under the trees a kilometre down the track, instead of the nice open green grass camp area it used to be. We loved camping at the old Central Station camp area, would go to Lake Birrabean and our small group be the only ones there, yet Lake Mackenzie was packed in like a refugee camp and the place a mess. There's been heaps of other changes occur there over time, but if you know where to go and when you can still avoid the crowds and especially the drunken backpackers that are getting worse there IMO.
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