Serious risks to waterbodies and ecosystems
There have already been numerous major environmental incidents which have cause serious damage. (See more about these incidents.) Continued mining on Stradbroke Island continues to seriously risk to Straddie’s ecosystems and water bodies.
Mining company, Sibelco, may argue that they have systems in place to ensure incidents like these would not happen now. This is wrong! Recently, in September 2011, Sibelco pleaded guilty to allowing a dam wall at its mine in the Upper Hunter (NSW) to collapse, releasing up to five million litres of sediment laden water which seriously polluted Middle Brook. (See more about Sibelco pleading guilty to polluting in NSW.)
A similar incident could happen on Stradbroke where sand mining occurs near Eighteen Mile Swamp, part of Stradbroke’s newly declared National Park and an internationally recognised wetland. The economic potential of nature based tourism in these areas would be ruined if this happened on Stradbroke. Local environment groups are not prepared to accept baseless assurances from Sibelco or the government that sand mining won’t have serious devastating long term economic and ecological impacts on Stradbroke.
Sibelco cannot be trust to protect the environment on Stradbroke Island.