Fraser Island Defenders Organisation

Item

Title

Fraser Island Defenders Organisation

Website Frontpage

Description

FIDO has a proud history of more than a quarter of a century of campaigning achievements to protect one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. FIDO’s aim has always been “to ensure the wisest use of the natural resources of Fraser Island”.

National Interest

FIDO believes that Fraser Island is unique in the world, being not only the largest sand island in the world but also the world’s greatest coastal sandmass. Despite frequent assertions by parochial politicians, FIDO has never diminished the size or the significance of this outstandingly attractive and very appealing sub-tropical island paradise.
Campaigns

FIDO is best known for its successful campaigns to stop the devastating environmental impact of sandmining and the destructive logging of Fraser Island’s magnificent forests, but the organization has actively addressed all aspects of management of Fraser Island. FIDO wants Fraser Island to be a well managed National Park with controlled tourism and other compatible uses. Its aim is “the wisest use of the natural resources of Fraser Island”.

Managed/contributed to the following campaigns

Type of group

Organisation

Primary environmental focus

Conservation & Protection

Geographic sphere or activity

Local

Primary location

Fraser Island

Known address

PO Box 909 Toowong Qld 4066

Website link/s

Founding Year

1971

History of group

FIDO has a proud history of more than a quarter of a century of campaigning achievements to protect one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. FIDO’s aim has always been “to ensure the wisest use of the natural resources of Fraser Island”.

FIDO was formed in January, 1971, by voluntary conservationists from Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Bundaberg to oppose sandmining applications by the American Dillingham company and Murphyores on Fraser Island. Murphyores and Queensland Titanium Mines had obtained very extensive mining leases in the early 1960s without any protest, before the voluntary conservation movement had become organised, but there was widespread public opposition to proposals to extend leases and start mining on Fraser Island.

Dr. Len Webb almost immediately suggested that the Fraser Island Defence Committee change its name to “… Organization” to produce the acronym and motto “FIDO, the Watchdog of Fraser Island”. This name inspired leading cartoonist, Stewart MacRae, to present FIDO with its famous bulldog logo. As FIDO grew so did the recognition of Fraser Island’s outstanding natural values. FIDO also became recognised internationally as the protector of one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.

FIDO prepared the very first management strategy for Fraser Island in 1975. This was revised and developed further in 1978, 1987, 1990 and 1991. FIDO’s watchdog role now focuses on the management of the Great Sandy Region. Compatible land-uses of well managed and controlled tourism, education and scientific research for the island have been encouraged. FIDO has actively opposed incompatible land uses including sandmining, logging operations, and urban land development. As Fraser Island attracts an increasing visitor numbers (over 300,000 annually) better management becomes more essential.

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