by Matthew Purcell
WHAT a quandary. Tourism and Events Queensland are pushing for National Parks such as Girraween to be "opened up”.
But do we want to see major development at a place so pristine? Isn't that what makes places like Girraween, Sundown, Boonoo Boonoo such special places to visit?
They remain largely untouched -- primitive.
But the Granite Belt sustains itself in large part on the back of tourism. It could be a new dawn for the region if we see new developments.
Imagine a luxurious retreat welcoming you to the swimming holes at Boonoo Boonoo. More jobs, more tourists, more dollars.
Tourism and Events Queensland chairman Brett Godfrey recently said we should be "taking advantage” of our resources.
That comment is right to be met with caution. It could be argued that we already capitalise on our national parks. After all, there's accommodation practically on Girraween's doorstep now.
Mr Godfrey is appealing to the State Government.
The people of the Granite Belt, traditional owners of the land, potentially impacted businesses... they should be the first consulted.
Mr Godfrey should appeal to those groups before he runs to government ministers.
Let the communities that treasure these places be the ones to have the biggest say in their future.