On 22 August 2017, an exclusive whale watching permit was granted to the Quandamooka people with the aim of increasing Indigenous tourism, related business opportunities and to complement other whale-related tourism ventures on North Stradbroke Island.
Granting of the permit is a milestone marking completion of the first project under the North Stradbroke Island Economic Transition Strategy.
It gives Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) the opportunity to establish a whale watching venture that will be enhanced by their knowledge and cultural connection to whales and North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah)'s natural environment.
Once started, the venture is expected to increase tourism to the island and create opportunities for supporting business. This initiative provides long-term sustainable employment opportunities for Quandamooka people. It also complements development of a world-class whale interpretive facility at Point Lookout—another North Stradbroke Island Economic Transition Strategy project.
Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing (NPSR)
Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation
Expected economic benefits
- Growth of the island’s tourism industry
- Expand the island’s attractions to enhance visitor experience and appeal of the island as a tourist destination
- Generate greater spending and employment opportunities
- Boost economic activity in the tourism low season (May–November) when the whales are visiting.
Expected social benefits
- Broaden the visitor market by attracting a new demographic of visitors
- Increase employment opportunities for Indigenous people on the island
- Opportunities for Quandamooka people to economically prosper from cultural knowledge and practices.
Expected cultural and environmental benefits
- Promote, exchange and share knowledge about Quandamooka culture and connection to whales and the environment
- Increase knowledge about humpback whales and marine conservation
- Establish a new business venture that is in keeping with Quandamooka native title holders’ wishes.
Project achievements to date
- NPSR and QYAC discussions
- QYAC submitted permit application
- NPSR considered the application in accordance with relevant legislation and policies and on 22 August 2017 issued a Commercial Activity Agreement allowing the Quandamooka people to commence a whale-watching venture.