Update: 18 August 2017

** The closing date for the design competition has been extended until Wednesday 30 August 2017.  

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A new traveller stop and information centre is being planned at Lakeland. Locals are being invited to submit their design ideas for the facility in a competition that offers $1000 prize to the winning entry.

Located 80kms south of Cooktown at the junction of the Mulligan Highway and the Peninsula Development Road, Lakeland is the ‘Gateway to the Cape’ and an ideal spot for travellers to stop on their way to the ‘Tip of Australia’. The new facility is intended to offer travellers a place to have a break, take photographs and view the educational interactive displays, taking time to understand a little more about the beauty and specialness of Cape York Peninsula.

Project Manager Waratah Nicholls said the competition is an exciting opportunity to find out what unique ideas Cape York Peninsula residents may have and what they would like to see built at this important place.

“We are looking for something that is innovative and unique while reflecting the Cape York landscape. Two lucky people will have the amazing opportunity to have their design ideas become a reality,” she said.

The competition is open to all Cape York Peninsula residents and Far North Queensland tertiary students with a prize of $1,000 for the winning design for the Gateway to the Cape building and $500 for the winning design of a recycled art sculpture, with a people’s choice awards in both categories. After the competition closes on 15 August there will be an exhibition of competition entries.

“We encourage anyone and everyone to put in an entry, from school children to the elderly. Entry is free,” she said.

“We envision an attraction where all travellers and tourists passing by will want to stop, relax and enjoy the facility. The displays will be engaging, the building an innovative purposefully designed shelter, and the public art sculpture, which will be created from recycled materials like old farm machinery, or satellite dishes, will grab everyone’s attention. There will also be picnic tables, seating and other sculptures.”

South Cape York Catchment’s Jason Carroll said the displays and sculptures will portray a message of thoughtful travelling and caring for our environment.

“Visitor numbers to Cape York are skyrocketing and this facility will better prepare travellers for their journey. It will help them to understand more about our environment, the plants, the wildlife, the geology as well as the damaging effects that humans can have, such as spreading weeds and not disposing of rubbish properly. There will be practical information on how they can minimise impact on our environment,” he said.

The Gateway to the Cape Steering Committee is looking for a draftsperson or engineer who would be willing to be on the selection committee to advise on the viability of any designs submitted.   

Thoughtful Travelling Cape York is an alliance of Cape York organisations working together to reduce the damaging environmental impacts caused by people travelling on Cape York. Impacts caused by litter, illegal dumping, spreading weeds, unplanned fire and illegal access can all create longer-term problems for the environment and those that manage it.

For more information contact Waratah; waratahnicholls@gmail.com. Entry forms can be downloaded from Events at http://www.capeyorknrm.com.au/news/event/2017/2818 

About Thoughtful Travelling Cape York

The key organisations currently involved in Thoughtful Travelling Cape York include: Cape York Natural Resource Management, South Cape York Catchments, Tangaroa Blue, Cook Shire Council, Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Inc, Weipa and Western Cape Tourism, Lama Lama Rangers, Yuku Baja Muliku Land Trust, Landcare, Tourism Cape York, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance, Wenlock Catchment Management Group, Protect Cape York and Regional and Remote Newspapers.

Thoughtful Travelling Cape York is an initiative of “The Combating Litter & Illegal Dumping Creatively on Cape York Project which is supported by the Queensland Government's Litter and Illegal Dumping Community and Industry Partnerships Program in partnership with Cape York NRM and UMI Arts.