OPINION: Deepwater fight is road to nowhere
SUNI Symons is trying to bring the warring parties together over the Deepwater National Park track future.
It is an admirable move by the Baffle Creek resident as this issue runs the risk of disintegrating into a slanging match between locals, environmentalists and the Gladstone Regional Council.
There will be many who will say bringing all the parties together has been tried before - but there's too much at stake to not try again.
The park is one of our many "hidden secrets".
At a time when there is a big push to establish a more prominent tourism industry in this region, these sort of areas are going to come into play.
Unlike many other regions around Queensland where the bulldozers barged in, we have the opportunity to get in first here and do it right ... for everyone involved.
There's a lot of vested interests in this area and a confrontational fight isn't going to help anyone.
A similar situation came about in the Daintree Rainforest where dirt roads were coating the surrounding rainforest with dust.
A bitumen road was seen as a far better option by many, apart from banning all cars, to protect the trees.
This illustrates how wide and varied opinions can be.
Suni's idea to have a greater Aboriginal culture presence at Deepwater is a good first step.
It's a great chance to learn from our local Indigenous community about how important this area is in the scheme of things.
Getting in touch with the land is the first thing we must do, in many situations, before we start making wholesale changes.
This learning would go a long way to coming up with a suitable solution.
We have this beautiful area, there will be more and more people who want to go there and, inevitably, there will be tourism operators and developers who want a part of it.
Let's get the right solution now on this road that will pave the way for a sustainable future for everyone and everything involved.