John Sinclair has been awarded an Order of Australia for his distinguished service to conservation and the environment.
John Sinclair has been awarded an Order of Australia for his distinguished service to conservation and the environment.

John honoured as FIDO keeps up island guard

FRASER Island, with its sandy cliffs and secluded forest, is the drawcard of our region - but it mightn't have been the paradise it is today without the tireless work of John Sinclair.

On Sunday, Mr Sinclair was awarded an Order of Australia for his distinguished service to conservation and the environment.

In the 1970s Fraser Island was the site of sand mining and logging, which Mr Sinclair believed would destroy the beautiful site.

"The fight for Fraser Island began in 1971 when there was a proposal to expand the number of mining leases enormously," he said.

"That's when FIDO (Fraser Island Defenders Organisation) was formed."

A campaign began to save the island by stopping the increase in mining leases.

"It was a campaign that went to the High Court twice during the 1970s and eventually, on 31st December 1976, all sand mining on Fraser Island ceased."

The work Mr Sinclair began 43 years ago is continuing with FIDO.

"No conservation battle is ever won because what you save now may not be saved in another 10 years time unless you keep doing it," he said.

Mr Sinclair's passion for sustainable tourism is netting results with work to begin on a new hiking track from Lake Garawongera to Arch Cliffs.

"When that happens Fraser Island will have the best and longest long distance walking track in Eastern Australia," he said.



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