Stop Skyrail in National Park, 1994. Photo by Rosita Henry

Copyright © Rosita Henry

Chapman was the developer of the Skyrail project. Photo by Rosita Henry, 1994

Copyright © Rosita Henry

The local media ran a strong anti-protest campaign during the Skyrail debate. Michael Sourial.  'Protesters, credible or farcical?', Cairns Post, 5 August 1994. Collection of Rosita Henry

Collection of Rosita Henry

During 1993 and 1994 the Cairns to Kuranda Skyrail became a hot political issue in North Queensland.

The caves on the east side of Mount Etna before the limestone mine, north of Rockhampton, 1965. Slide by Warwick Willmott. Collection of the Centre for the Government of Queensland.

Copyright © Warwick Willmott and the Centre for the Government of Queensland, 2010

Mount Etna, 1979. Slide by John Boult. Collection of the Centre for the Government of Queensland.

Copyright ©John Boult and the Centre for the Government of Queensland

Before Mount Etna was mined, from the 1930s to the 1962, G.M.Pilkington & Co quarried lime on Limestone Ridge, producing burnt lime which was used in processing sugar. The quarry where stone was hewn by hand, four kilns, ore shutes, compressor housing, sheds and tram tracks remain as evidence of an operation which in 1939 employed 26 men. The kilns were wood burning, lit at night, when dense smoke filled the valley, undisturbed by environmental concerns. A picturesque ruin remains of this pioneer industry. Pilkington’s Quarry, 2009.  Kilns are at the base of the structure.

Collection of Carol Gistitin

Mount Etna, 22 km north of Rockhampton, is a cavernous pyramid-shaped hill in a belt of limestone, which attracts bats and, since the mid-twentieth century, speleologists and limestone miners.

North of the Iwasaki Resort is the Byfield area. Of high environmental value it was sought by conservationists as a national park. In October 1987 Premier Bjelke-Petersen proposed to make it an environmental park under the management of the Iwasaki Sangyo Corporation. The Capricorn Conservation Council, and the National Party’s State Conference strongly opposed a proposal clearly in conflict with the view that national parks belong to the people. When Bjelke-Petersen left the Conference early, it enshrined the national park and called for a register of foreign land holdings.

Collection of Carol Gistitin

A bomb exploded at the Iwasaki resort at Yeppoon on 29 November 1980. It ripped a large crater in an unfinished block of holiday units, causing damage estimated at $1 million.

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