GRAND DESIGN: The Kinaba information Centre needs a lot of TLC.
GRAND DESIGN: The Kinaba information Centre needs a lot of TLC. Gail Forrer

Battles were well fought

Noosa River's Kinaba Information Centre has an army of supporters.

ONE of Ron Turner's worst job experiences working in the Cooloola region as a pioneering national park ranger was dealing with the old pro-development Widgee Council, which he said was "a pain in the rear end".

One of his real laments was the establishment of the sand road track, known as the Cooloola Way, linking Rainbow Beach to Tewantin. He reckons the heyday for one of his pride and joys, the Kinaba Information Centre at the Noosa Everglades, was under Dave Batt, the national parks overseer in charge of southern Cooloola.

"Dave was real live wire, he was switched on with outdoor education and we worked very well."

The two put in the first composting toilets in Queensland National Parks at Fig Tree Point - even though they weren't approved by the health department.

"We got this new western (park) catchment, so we had this concept for a long- distance walking trail, wilderness camping; even something that might go on through to Fraser Island."

Mr Turner is delighted that the Friends of Kinaba have formed and believes their energy and commitment is indicative of Noosa's fight to preserve its local values.

"I'm personally thrilled that people are showing an interest - you've not just got the building, you've got the memory of the people who put their money up for what they believed in.

"There were people of vision, people of integrity.

"When you look around Noosa now, at the bushland that is still left, at the lack of high rise, the cycle paths and all that - you are very, very lucky. I go back to the Noosa Parks Association and give them credit...they weren't the raving radical greens that waved placards and chained themselves to trees." He said NPA stalwarts, like the late Dr Arthur Harrold and Bill Huxley, who both led the Cooloola battles, were real environmental protection role models.

"They were courteous and efficient and knew how to deal with people."