Sand mining on NSI
Photo © WPSQ
Groups concerned about the future of Stradbroke Island are alarmed that not only would an LNP government extend mining on North Stradbroke Island but also it would open up the island to quarrying.
Jeff Seeney, Parliamentary Leader of the LNP, revealed this today on 612 ABC radio.
'The significance of Mr Seeney's remarks cannot be overestimated,' says Dr Jan Aldenhoven, resident of North Stradbroke Island and member of Wildlife Queensland.
"The proposal to sell the island's sand to the construction industry was soundly rejected a few years ago by the community, environmentalists and local council. There were very strong arguments against it for many reasons. The matter was fought in the courts and the mining company lost. But now it seems it's on the table again, judging by today's comments from Mr Seeney," says Dr Aldenhoven.
"This sand belongs to the island. At the time, the mining company tried to argue the tailings sand from mineral sand mining was "waste". But all this sand is needed to rehabilitate the land after mining. It should be used to fill in the big hole left after mineral mining," says Dr Aldenhoven.
The North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Act 2011 prevents the extraction of more than 10,000 tonnes of quarry sand per year per licence. This provision effectively prevents any large-scale construction sand business but sensibly still allows for local use.
Consolidated Rutile Limited, which is now owned by Sibelco Australia, made the proposal for the large-scale quarry venture that was unanimously rejected by the local council.
This ambitious project would have seen 500,000 tonnes per year shipped to the mainland. At this rate, there was enough sand to last 100 years or more.
When the appeal in court failed and the proposal collapsed, there was widespread relief. But now it seems an LNP government could re-enliven it all over again. "Why? It would employ very few people", says Dr Aldenhoven.
North Stradbroke Island is a valuable natural treasure much-loved by Queenslanders. It seems only fair and reasonable that the public know the details of each party's policy for the island before they cast their votes.
Wildlife Queensland is seeking transparent answers on a number of environmental issues. This is but one!
For more information on Wildlife Queensland's activities, call us on +61 7 3221 0194 or send us an email.