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.

‘Youth’ has plagued Queensland, and in particular the State capital Brisbane, for at least a century.

At the start of the twentieth century, many workers in Rockhampton laboured more than 56 hours a week, earned low pay and suffered poor conditions. Horses, as assets, were more highly valued by employers than easily replaced employees. Few unions existed in Rockhampton other than those for skilled tradesmen. Several unions for labourers and the semi-skilled had formed in the 1880s, but defeat in the great strikes of the early 1890s, economic Depression and prolonged drought crushed unionism throughout eastern Australia.

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

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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