Dunwich local Richard Hopkins spoke at the Eric Deeral Indigenous Youth Parliament. The youth parliament was facilitated by the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program.
Mark was inspired by the speeches of Indigenous Youth Leaders from all over Queensland. Richard's speech highlighted the concerns of Quandamooka Youth for their future in the light of lost jobs and opportunities.
"Thank you Mr Speaker
Today I would like to bring to your attention the closure of the sand mines on North Stradbroke Island. This will have a massive impact on the economy, real-estate and self-sustainability of the island.
As an alternative to sand mining we need to come up with a way to not just fix the physical environmental scares but also repair the cultural differences we have in our community.
One such alternative is the Indigenous land and sea rangers. Along with a focus on the conservation and protection of the heritage of our land. Other benefits include the employment of a people who have a cultural connection to the land that has remained for over 6000 years.
The Government has proposed that tourism would be a viable alternative, but the lack of infrastructure and the seasonal nature of the industry means that there will be a long lead up to the establishment of a mature fully functioning economy."