Can you imagine it – Noosa National Park’s majestic squiggly gums have been replaced by holiday high rise.
The noise of cars winding their way through Ti Tree, Alexandria Bay and Hell’s Gates have replaced the serenity of bird calls and crashing waves, the fresh salt air scent is tinged with petrol fumes.
Fortunately, there were people who imagined another future, and they are the subject of a Noosa Parks Association DVD, Keeping Noosa Natural: Community Conservation in Action, launched at Embiggen bookstore on Wednesday night.
The documentary starts in the 1960s when Noosa National Park development was a hairbreadth away from becoming reality.
In David and Goliath style battles, Noosa Parks Association, created in 1962, took on the pro-development lobby. The fierce battles were strategic and bloody but the Noosa Parks Association victory ultimately left us with a place where humans, flora and fauna from around the planet harmoniously co-exist.
The powerful narrative is told quietly through magnificent aerial shots of Noosa Heads and portraits of the men and women who imagined and fought for the future.
“They were visionaries,” Noosa Parks Association president Ian Seels said.
Mr Seels introduced the DVD explaining that there are two arms to the Noosa Parks Association. One is the group that educates and promotes flora and fauna activities and the political arm. He said Noosa’s National Park status typified the association’s tenacity, doggedness and sheer bloody-mindedness that fuelled their anti-development fights.
“They didn’t back down,” he said.
Today, after 47 years, Noosa Parks is still alive and well and tackling current issues such as the proposed regional plan and the Biosphere governance model.
Mr Seels acknowledged the association’s founder Dr Arthur Harrold and said the DVD was dedicated to him. At $14.95, it is available at the Interpretative Centre at Noosa National Park entrance, the Hastings Street Information Centre and selected bookstores.