Local author nominated for Queensland Literary Award


Mark Murray


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Local author Bill Wilkie at Mossman Gorge. IMAGE: Supplied.

MOSSMAN author Bill Wilkie has been nominated for a Queensland Literary Award for his outstanding book The Daintree Blockade.

It documents the campaign to stop bulldozing of the road through the Cape Tribulation National Park in the early 1980s, regarded as one of the most significant environmental protests in Queensland’s history.

Wilkie’s debut effort is now in the running for the Queensland Premier’s Award for a work of state significance.

“To receive this type of recognition is really flattering,” he told Newsport.

“People have warmed to the book in the Douglas Shire and in Cape Tribulation and this nomination is a great boost.”

Wilkie spent eight years on the book that judges are calling a ‘riveting narrative’ and ‘captivating’ photo essay of the protests.

“It was a lot of hard work,” Wilkie said.

“I wrote the book in between work and having kids, so a lot of it was done at nights and on weekends. To win or not it’s just great to be on this list with some very prestigious authors.”

The State Library of Queensland manages the state literary awards, which recognise outstanding Australian writers. Wilkie says the Daintree protests are a huge part of Far North Queensland’s history.

‘Whatever side of the debate people may have been on, I hope that all north Queenslanders can embrace both the story and the book as part of our heritage,” he said.

“Something significant happened in the rainforest at Cape Tribulation just over 30 years ago, and this nomination confirms that.”

The awards will be held in Brisbane on October 4.

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