A. A new cultural interpretive space for Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Yalingbila Bibula will tell the story of the island’s Traditional Owners and their continuous connection to the majestic humpback whales. It will also support the vision of becoming a global conservation, research and education destination for residents, visitors, researchers and students.
Yalingbila Bibula will provide a stunning new interactive cultural and environmental learning experience that will include the skeleton of a 15-metre male adult humpback whale.
A. The proposal initially was announced in 2011, as part of the original Economic Transition Strategy (ETS) for Minjerribah. During the same period that Traditional Owners, government and island stakeholders were working together to determine a new way forward for Minjerribah, a 15-metre male adult humpback whale came ashore. The skeleton has been housed by the Queensland Museum for return to the Traditional Owners and Minjerribah.
Yalingbila Bibula (whale on the hill) is one of 23 Queensland Government ETS projects and is being led by QYAC on their behalf.
A. The Queensland Government is committed to phasing out sand mining on Minjerribah – by the end of 2019 and expanding the island's existing industries to ensure a strong, sustainable economy for all who live there.
To deliver this commitment, the Queensland Government has developed the North Stradbroke Island Economic Transition Strategy. This strategy aims to:
. diversify and expand the current tourism industry
. expand education and training opportunities
. stimulate local business development and growth.
A. Redland City Council (RCC) agreed with the State Government to transfer trusteeship for a small part (approx. 1%) of the reserve to QYAC not the whole reserve. QYAC was required to demonstrate security of tenure for the establishment of an interpretive space promoting Quandamooka culture and the significance of Yalingbila to the Quandamooka People.
The change of trusteeship does not change regulation regarding the ability to build within the reserve. The Conservation Management Plan (CMP) (Converge 2008) for the reserve recommends built works that might bring an enhancement of cultural heritage values on specific sites, including at the site being investigated.
A. The site of the old tennis court and clubhouse is a predisturbed clearing that still has the concrete remnants there today. A structure located there is away from the cliff edge, will not impede the gorge walk and will not impact the ability to view the spectacular Yalingbila migration.
The site is perfectly situated for visitors and students to enhance their experience with readily available interpretive information on the Quandamooka Peoples' association with Mooloomba and information on the Yalingbila.
The CMP identifies the site for possible enhancement of cultural heritage values through built works. Also the cultural heritage studies determined the site is suitable for building and cultural heritage will not be impacted.
A. Yes, the CMP that was completed in 2008 by Converge for RCC states that:
'built works for future consideration that might bring an enhancement of cultural heritage values are suggested in three or four nominated places particularly, namely.... the vicinity of the former tennis court and hall.'
A. There are many buildings across the broader Mooloomba Headland including resorts, roads, businesses and homes. Examples of existing infrastructure in the Point Lookout Foreshore Reserve headland heritage listed area includes:
. Cylinder Beach Campground– Buildings x 7 including Toilet block and Office Building
. Cylinder Beach bottom car park and associated picnic infrastructure
. Bitumen Rd to Cylinder Beach
. Cylinder Beach top Carpark and road.
. Deadman’s Beach Carpark
. Gorge Boardwalk
. Headland Park Carpark
. Headland Park redevelopment and picnic facilities
. Headland Park Bushcare Nursery
. Surf Lifesaving Club
. Point Lookout Weather Station
. Commercial operators who operate from mobile facilities within the reserve.
A. The broader Mooloomba Headland was changed forever through European occupation and eventual establishment of the Point Lookout Township.
Significant change has occurred across the reserve over the past 100 years. The headland was significantly cleared for cattle grazing, defence force use during the second world war, used as camp grounds, with other recreational uses and wild horses also having a significant impact. More recently RCC has undertaken significant construction projects including the car park and toilet facilities.
The Mooloomba Headland, as a result of commercial enterprise and past decision making has many areas containing lights, concrete, hard surfaces, signage and noise.
A. No intrusive structures are being proposed on the Gorge Walk Precinct part of the Point Lookout Foreshore Reserve. There are currently no designs for the implementation of the interpretive space or how to best highlight the cultural significance of Yalingbila.
The project aims to develop any structure in a way that is sensitive and promotes the cultural and environmental values of the landscape. It aims to increase broader community awareness of the significance of this place for Quandamooka People and culture.
The initial project stage of community consultation is now underway. The second community consultation session is upcoming on 23rd of January at Mooloomba Headland.
A. As an ETS project for Minjerribah to transition it’s economy from mining to other sustainable avenues, Yalingbila Bibula was strategically conceptualised to reduce fluctuation in seasonal tourism economy.
Improving education opportunity in the region and encouraging people to visit in the annual Yalingbila migration sighting period of May to November, the traditional low tourism season, directly aids local business.
A. The project will focus to on the cultural and scientific aspects of the Yalingbila. There is great potential to involve universities in this facility which will provide a significant bonus to the Education sector. The world’s longest running whale migration count will continue to operate just metres from the interpretive space. We are also looking to community for ideas on how we can enhance the educational elements of Yalingbila Bibula to benefit all.
A. Yalingbila Bibula has the potential to increase tourism to the Mooloomba area in non-peak times. As an ETS project, it does not stand alone, the 23 projects are strategically planned and linked to support each other and work together. Specifically, the Queensland Government has developed a public transport study into infrastructure, services and connections on the island and to the neighbouring mainland which will assist in preparing Minjerribah.
In 2008, archaeologists from Converge Heritage and Community were engaged to undertake a survey of the Mooloomba area. Which reported that the “likelihood of Aboriginal People exploiting the landscape within the Mooloomba headland area would be low” (Converge 2008). However, once QYAC became the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Body, it became apparent that further investigation of the areas around Mooloomba needed to be undertaken.
In 2015, in conjunction with RCC, QYAC and Everick Heritage Solutions undertook a Cultural Heritage Study of areas on Minjerribah including the Point Lookout Headlands (Everick 2015). The report identified the headlands as a place of high cultural significance. Also identified, were areas of known heritage, such as the area around the Point Lookout Surf Club, where a highly significant shell midden is currently eroding out of the side of the cliff and has previously been impacted by development. One of the recommendations in the Everick report suggested that should ground disturbing activities be undertaken, that ground surface testing needs to be undertaken. Therefore, in accordance with these recommendations, a proposal was developed to undertake Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) works, a systematic sub-surface probing program and archaeological test pitting.
On the 5th of November 2018, Everick Heritage Solutions, The University of Queensland Culture and Heritage Unit and QYAC under took GPR Work to assess the presence of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Material. Cultural material such as middens, hearths and burials can easily be identified during this type of geophysical investigation. The report demonstrated that the area of the proposed Whale Interpretative Facility, was highly disturbed due to the construction of a Tennis Court, with the remains of the cement slab still visible. Dr Lowe reported that “based on the geophysical data, this report assesses the potential for the existence of shell midden, hearths and burials as low” (UQCHU 2018).
Again, in accordance with the 2015 recommendations, on the 7th of December 2018, QYAC and Everick Heritage Solutions undertook an extensive sub-surface probing program. Initial results show that there is no sub-surface shell midden or other prehistoric archaeological features in the immediate disturbed area. Testing was also undertaken in the uncleared surrounds, and again, no Aboriginal Cultural Heritage material was found. A final report on the area will be received by QYAC in the new year. It was deemed that archaeological test pitting would not be necessary, as the current evidence shows that there is a very low chance of Aboriginal Heritage being present in the area.