SAND MINING TO END BY 2019 – PREMIER PALASZCZUK
In January this year the Labor party promised that if elected it would “immediately repeal the disgraceful North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Act Amendment Act 2013“. The promise is now overdue. Significantly, a number of Ministers have publicly confirmed that the Newman amendments will be repealed and the recent State Budget provided funding to ensure that sand mining ends in 2019 in line with the promise.
But now, for the first time, Premier Palaszczuk has personally publicly confirmed her government’s intention to end sand mining in 2019. Click on this link The Friendly Bay Islander to read the full question and answer extract from the latest edition of the Moreton Bay publication. These are quotes from the Premier:
“The Labor party has had a long-standing commitment to transition North Stradbroke island away from sand mining, with an end to mining operations by 2019. We held this commitment in Government, the commitment never wavered in Opposition, and we will deliver on our commitment now that we are back in Government“; and
“In our view, North Straddie is not just a workplace, it’s an environmental wonder. We must make the tough decisions now in order to protect the island for generations to come. We are willing to make these tough decisions because we need to confront the stark reality that the longer sand mining continues on North Straddie the more damage it will do to the environment over the long term.“
Of course, to enhance environmental protection, an end date well before 2019 was called for.That outcome would have occurred had the Bligh Government declined to renew key expired mining leases. A 2015 end date for mineral sand mining may still have occurred had that Government not extinguished appeal rights of opponents to renewal when it used special legislation to renew long expired leases. Had it renewed the expired mining leases under existing laws, that would have been subject to Supreme Court review. Before the Bligh Government legislated the renewal of expired mining leases in 2011, Friends of Stradbroke Island (FOSI) and others had strong legal advice that opponents to lease extensions had good prospects of overturning renewal of these expired leases in the Supreme Court had the usual process been followed.
However, the repeal of the Newman amendments will at least restore the July 2011 restricted mine path (NSI 2) of 337 hectares. This will save many square kilometres of ancient sand dunes, aboriginal cultural heritage and habitat of threatened animals and plants from being destroyed. That will be worth celebrating.
Click here and go to April 2015 newsletter of Friends of Stradbroke Island (FOSI) for comment on the connection between island sand mining issues and the January 31 State election result and also for links to numerous media articles and current affairs television programs about the sand mining and native title rights issues.
Because the mining company has, since the election, cleared an area for mining outside the boundaries of NSI 2, we hope the repeal occurs very soon to prevent further damage beyond the July 2011 permitted area.
STATE ELECTION CAMPAIGN AGAINST SAND MINING AND THE NEWMAN AMENDMENTS TO NORTH STRADBROKE LEGISLATION
CASH FOR LEGISLATION?
CLICK AT END OF THIS SENTENCE TO GO TO THE 2015 ELECTION FLYER, AND USE YOUR CURSOR OVER THE FLYER TO GO TO THE SOURCES - Ashgrove election flyer with hyperlinks to sources
Pre-2012 State election posts on Home page:-
Premier Campbell Newman (LNP)
LNP leader supports Stradbroke Island sand mining. In contrast, Campbell Newman’s father stopped sand mining on Fraser Island 35 years ago. Kevin Newman was the Federal Environment Minister in 1976 and stopped sandmining on Fraser Island just six weeks after receiving the Fraser Island Inquiry Report which found that sand mining causes major environmental harm.
Campbell Newman broke his pre-2012 election promises to restore rights on Stradbroke and not give Sibelco anything more. Read and listen to what Newman said – the transcripts
Former Premier Anna Bligh (ALP)
In 2010 then Premier Bligh said that sand mining should never have begun on Stradbroke but in April 2011 her government used special new legislation to renew expired mining leases that allow many more years of destruction.
The Bligh government adopted as policy the mining companies own plan for ‘staged’ National Parks on Stradbroke.
In July 2011 the Bligh government went even further and approved a dramatic expansion of the Enterprise open cut sandmine path.
Hypocrisy: Former Premier Anna Bligh in the Brisbane Times: “The truth is that sand mining should never have been allowed to begin on North Stradbroke Island. It was a mistake. The leases were issued during an era when it was easier to get a mining lease than it was to get a driving licence. It was the “rip it up and ship it out” era that saw the diggers begin to dig at our island’s heart”.
Open cut sandmining causes major permanent irreversible damage to the natural environment that is impossible to repair or rehabilitate. Read more.
Sandmining threatens frog
The Wallum Sedge frog (litoria olongburensis) is one of several ‘vulnerable’ species, threatened by sandmining. Queensland State Government policy increases the risk of pollution from sandmining entering the wetland habitat of nationally recognised endangered species that live in the
Sand-mining threats to the habitat of the endangered Wallum Sedge frog are acknowledged by both the Queensland government, and Federal government. Both governments have a joint Wallum Sedge frog recovery plan which lists sandmining as a threat.
See more photos and information about the 18 Mile Swamp wetland.
Queensland government Stradbroke policy a sham
Island environment groups totally oppose continued destructive sand mining
Despite the ‘spin’, the former Bligh government policy did not stop sand mining. It did the opposite. It used special legislation to allow continued destructive sand mining of essential habitat, including of vulnerable frog species and the habitat of the unique island koala, now officially recognised as ‘vulnerable’. The former government did declare 50% of the Island national park, but that was ALP policy in 1990 and since then, it allowed much of the new ‘national park’ to be damaged by sand mining. The declaration of national park also essentially mirrored the mining company’s own ‘plan’ for national park – a plan which does not interfere with mining.
More sand mining further threatens the island’s ecosystems, fragile water bodies and the island’s economic future. The former Bligh government buckled to a giant overseas sand mining company and to its party’s power brokers. The LNP government under Premier Newman supports this policy of environmental destruction, despite the Federal government’s Fraser Island Inquiry concluding in 1976 that sand mining Queensland’s fragile sand islands causes, in the words of our then Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, “major permanent and irreversible damage” (for further information about the Fraser Island Inquiry go to ” In 1976 Fraser Island sand mining was stopped in just six weeks by Campbell Newman’s own father” ).
The Queensland government’s policy would be a joke if it weren’t so serious. Side stepping the expired lease laws applying elsewhere in Queensland with special new laws in 2011 was a Bjelke Petersen style tactic. The government cynically legislated around the Mineral Resources Act, because applying it to the expired mining leases may have ended mineral sand mining by 2013.
The sand mining company complained about the special legislation because it didn’t get everything it wanted, but it benefited greatly – the renewal of expired leases from between 9 and 14 more years locked in further sand mining on Stradbroke to enable Sibelco to cash in on record high prices for mineral sands. Why special favours to this company which cannot be trusted ? The Court of Appeal found in 2010 that it unlawfully removed and sold large quantities of Straddie sand for landscaping and building purposes.It is before the courts on unresolved criminal charges for its unlawful activities. Yet before those charges were even heard, this company was rewarded with special legislation extending expired mining leases !
Straddie is the backyard of so many people of South East Queensland. The majority of the community opposes destructive sand mining tearing up the remaining ecosystems in this special place.