An artist’s interpretation of design. Image: Cox Architecture
  • A world-class whale exhibit is set to commence construction this month at North Stradbroke Island
  • The Quandamooka Truth Embassy has established a permanent protest camp at the site
  • If it goes a head, the project is set to be completed by the year's end

The 15-metre long skeleton of a humpback whale will be the feature of a new exhibit on North Stradbroke Island if plans go ahead. A group of people called the Quandamooka Truth Embassy, however, have set up a permanent protest camp at the proposed site of construction.

If the project is completed, the exhibit will be called ‘Yalingbila Bilula’ meaning ‘Whale on a Hill’. Visitors will have an interactive experience, hearing the songs and sounds of passing whales.

The exhibit is to be located at the site where a whale was beached ten years ago. This whale’s skeleton is the only one intact in the southern hemisphere. The spot is popular for whale-watching and an internationally important site for whale research.

The site is to be used as a research centre as well as a tourist attraction.

Whale-Shelter-internal
An artist’s interpretation of the shelter’s design. Image – Cox Architecture.

The project comes as a part of the strategy for sustainable tourism on the island launched by Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) and the Queensland state government.

QYAC have previously made the statement: “Importantly, Yalingbila Bibula will give visitors, students and locals a greater understanding and appreciation of humpback whales, their sacred place in Quandamooka culture, the history of whaling in Australia and Mooloomba’s role in the ongoing battle against whaling in Antarctic waters.”

“Construction of the landmark Yalingbila Bibula exhibit and research pod that will share Quandamooka stories, values and history with visitors and residents at Mulumba (Point Lookout) is set to commence in February 2021.”

According to the Queensland government, the project will be culturally sensitive and have a minimal environmental impact. The structure has been designed to lie below the tree line and is built into the landscape.

Quandamooka Truth Embassy Protest
Quandamooka Truth Embassy Protest – Images: Twitter

A member of the Quandamooka Truth Embassy, who is currently camped at the site in protest, made a statement on Twitter under the handle @IndigenousX.

She explained; “Formed by Quandamooka people, the Quandamooka Truth Embassy was established to tell the truths of what is occurring on our country.”

“For three years we’ve protested and petitioned in masses to protect our sacred headland, to oppose the whale interpretive centre due to be built on this site … however we’ve been constantly ignored and disregarded by the State Government and QYAC.”

Construction is set to commence this month.

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