Sand mining on North Stradbroke Island is to substantially cease by 2019, with the Queensland Parliament voting in favour of the phase-out to allow the creation of new, sustainable jobs.
The North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2015 to end sand mining was passed in the Queensland Parliament early today.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said it was a good result for the environment and would ultimately open up new and exciting opportunities for the island community, leading to positive economic outcomes.
“Today marks the start of a new chapter for North Stradbroke Island. The debate is over. Sand mining was always going to end on North Stradbroke Island,” Dr Miles said.
“The community, the business sector, traditional owners and new investors, supported by the Palaszczuk Government, can now move forward to transition North Stradbroke Island away from sand mining to new exciting, sustainable jobs of the future.
“Straddie, as we all know it, has the potential to be one of the state’s greatest tourism assets, so it was important we opened up the island to all Queenslanders.”
Queensland Resources Council chief exectuive Michael Roche said the Queensland Parliament has “delivered a trifecta of pain” for the resources industry.
“In a mere five weeks the parliament has backed the Palaszczuk Government’s ill-conceived Chain of Responsibility law which has sent shockwaves through industry and it has created open slather for objections in the courts to mining projects, even allowing people or entities in foreign countries to object to a Queensland mining project,” Mr Roche said.
“To cap it off, the parliament has backed the government’s bill to close sand mining operations with the loss of up to 153 full time jobs in Sibelco’s mineral sands business.
“There will also be a severe flow-on effect with hundreds more contractors and businesses that rely on the Sibelco mine on the island also greatly impacted.
“Premature closure of the mine and an inadequate economic transition strategy will be a sure recipe for a social and economic disaster for the Stradbroke Island community.”