Government ministers and pro-sandmining lobby groups have developed a large list of simplistic statements to dismiss community concerns over the impact sandming on the environment. Key propaganda messages used by spokespeople for the government and mining industry include:
- the concept ecosystems can be ‘regenerated’ or rehabilited after sand mining. The use of the word ‘regenerate’, or rehabilitated implies that an ecosystem will eventually return to its original state after sand mining has finished, that what has been destroyed can be replaced though human intervention and ingenuity. This has the effect of deceiving the public into believing nothing will be lost and the damage can be repaired. This view has no scientific basis, all the past research and experts opinion says the opposite, that areas subjected to open cut sandmining can only ever be revegetated, the original ecosystems can never be regenerated. Find out more.
- the concept that ‘management plans’ are in place that must be followed hence trust us we know what we are doing. No management plan can every be written to restore degraded areas to what they were. No management plan can ever undo the damage to wetlands (the habitat of many endangered species) once it occurs. Additionally it is very hard to ‘trust’ the Government and mining companies give the long history of past environmental disasters cased by sandmining on North Stradbroke Island.
Pin-pointing the use of mining industry propaganda
“Sibelco has full responsibility for rehabilitating all areas of the island currently under mining lease that now have an overlay of national park. The disturbed areas must be rehabilitated to a natural state at Sibelco’s own expense and in accordance with the environmental authority, as would occur with any other mining lease. The Queensland Government holds a multi-million dollar security bond to ensure this occurs to a standard acceptable to the Department of Environment and Resource Management.”
However when publically confronted with the facts by the media, the minister later publically admitted areas cannot be rehabilitated after sandmining.