Claims light rail on Fraser Island would stop 4WD damage
A TRAIN network is the solution to environmental damage caused to the inland tracks by four-wheel drives, Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO) president John Sinclair claims.
A study by FIDO estimated about one tonne of sand was displaced with each vehicle that travels on the island - causing the soft tracks connecting the east and west side to become like "canyons".
Mr Sinclair said the solution was to build a light rail track on the island, similar to what was there during the island's logging days.
"When it rains it just washes those tracks down," he said.
Mr Sinclair said FIDO was trying to find ways for tourists to see the World Heritage listed island other than by car.
"We're looking at funding a feasibility study for a light rail on Fraser Island," he said.
Between the early 1900s and 1930s, rail was used to extract timber from the island.
Mr Sinclair said rail would be a tourism opportunity to see Fraser Island in a more intimate and comfortable way.
"It'll have a much less impact on the landscape and it will be a much more attractive option for visitors to Fraser Island," he said.
Mr Sinclair said there should be more vehicle-free beach on the eastern side of the island.
"The area we'd like to see vehicle-free is between Hook Point and Dilli Village (on the southern end)," he said.
Mr Sinclair said closing that section was appealing due to the alternative route along Hook Point Inland Rd, which cars use to travel from Inskip Point on a high tide when the beach is impassable.
Wide Bay Burnett 4X4 club secretary Mark Neney said the club was environmentally-conscious and participated in the Fraser Island clean-up most years, and tour buses had more of an impact than cars.
This year the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service has issued 32,738 vehicle permits for the island.
A Queensland Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman said no study had been done into the impacts of vehicles on the island in the past ten years.
She said the island's tracks would continue to be maintained and there were no plans to restrict more sections of the island to vehicles.