Mayor urges public consultation

Could Fraser Island become K’gari?
Could Fraser Island become K’gari?

FRASER Coast Mayor Mick Kruger yesterday urged the State Government to take the public consultation route if it was earnest about renaming Fraser Island.

The State Government confirmed at the weekend it was considering a proposal for dual-naming of the iconic island.

The local Butchulla people want the internationally renowned island’s traditional name K’gari restored. K’gari means paradise.

“If the State Government is serious, they should go out to public consultation and ask the whole community what they want, not just the Aboriginal population,” Mr Kruger said.

“Reconciliation is about the whole community.”

Mr Kruger indicated he was not against a dual name, suggesting a name like Fraser-Island-K’gari could work.

He was reluctant, however, to have the words Fraser and Island usurped, saying the amalgamated regional council had been named after the island.

“It is also World Heritage listed as Fraser Island, and Fraser Island is part of the Great Sandy biosphere.

“I can’t support the changing of the name because it would affect the whole tourism industry here.

“People internationally and interstate recognise Hervey Bay because of Fraser Island. Changing the name would be detrimental to this region.”

Mr Kruger, who was targeted by a host of radio stations across the country to discuss the proposal yesterday, believes the name change from Uluru to Ayers Rock is a prime example why not to make the change.

“People ask me where is Uluru? I say Ayers Rock. Then they know where they’re going. It’s still known as Ayers Rock.”

The island is named after Eliza Fraser, who was shipwrecked there in 1836 and claimed she was held by the Butchulla people.

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