Fraser Island Natural Integrity Alliance (FINIA) was formed after a 2-day workshop on Fraser Island’s weeds and pests facilitated by the Burnett Mary Regional Group for NRM in December 2005. Participants included the State Government, Fraser Island Defenders Organisation, National Parks Association of Queensland (represented by the late George Haddock), the Cooperative Research Centre for Weed Management, Hervey Bay City Council, Sandy Cape Lighthouse Conservation Association and the Traditional Owners of Fraser Island, the Butchulla people.
During the workshop, it became clear that issues relating to land tenure were affecting the ability to address natural resource management issues in the World Heritage Area and that greater collaboration was needed. At the end of the workshop, the participants formed the Fraser Island Natural Integrity Alliance (FINIA) to address issues that were threatening the future sustainability of Fraser Island’s natural environment.
Although the Alliance’s initial focus was weeds and pests – with a full time Weeds and Pest Management Officer employed the University of the Sunshine Coast for a period of 3 years to develop and deliver the Landscape Weed Management Plan for Fraser Island (2008-11), it has expanded its activities to include vegetation, sediment, marine turtle and even dingo scat monitoring and broader community engagement through demonstration gardens (using plants endemic to Fraser Island).
FINIA has grown (and continues to expand) attracting several new partners, all committed to maintaining and improving the Island’s natural integrity. The Alliance is also supported by Queensland & Parks and Wildlife Service (by a 0.3FTE).
FINIA is a means to bring stakeholders together to implement common goals with respect to often differing organisational objectives, in a proactive and respectful manner.