'Stop being at each other's throats': Unity plan for Deepwater
A CAMPAIGN to unite a community divided over the Deepwater National Park road plan has begun.
A proposal to upgrade the four-wheel-drive track to connect Baffle Creek and Agnes Water has angered many, while others are calling loudly for it to go ahead.
Suni Symons is trying to bring both sides of the argument together to try and find a solution that works for as many people as possible.
Mr Symons lives in Baffle Creek. On June 28, he posted on Facebook that he was resigning from his "position as a lobbyist for the yes campaign".
Mr Symons told The Observer it was important to find some common ground.
"I think it is achievable," he said.
One of the major arguments against any upgrade to the road is the environmental impact it would have on the area.
However, those for the upgrade say a connection is important for a range of reasons, including access for emergency services.
Alternative options to an upgrade put forward have included a new road, separate to the national park.
However, Gladstone Regional Council deputy mayor Chris Trevor has previously said without state or federal government funding it would be too expensive for the council to do on its own.
Mr Symons said he thought both options could be done, which he said would satisfy both parties.
The unification campaigner claimed since he launched the campaign, the vitriol between the two sides had dropped a lot.
"I think there's a wish on both sides for this to be over," he said.
"To me this is an opportunity for us to find some common ground, work together and really stop being at each other's throats."
Another part of Mr Symons' idea is to give Aboriginal culture more prominence and value within the national park and the region.
"1770 having the history of Captain Cook landing is obviously very significant but in some ways I think we've forgotten another part of the story and that is the indigenous history," he said.
"I'm proposing that we make a big deal of that and rename Flat Rock, Middle Rock and Wreck Rock with names that have an indigenous kind of history.
"It will balance up the narrative between the Captain Cook story with the Aboriginal story and give us a wider sense of the culture down there."
For information on Mr Symons' campaign, search Make Deepwater Sacred Again on Facebook.