Sand Mining On North Stradbroke Island To Substantially End By 2019

Sand Mining On North Stradbroke Island To Substantially End By 2019

Queensland Minister for Environment Steven Miles

Bill To Phase Out Sand Mining On North Stradbroke Passed In Parliament

Victor P Taffa

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 (Thursday).

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.” Dr. Miles said.

“The debate is over. Sand mining was always going to end on North Stradbroke Island.”

“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.”

“It is a place of incredible conservation value and special habitats including mangroves, wetlands, endangered heathlands, old growth forests, freshwater lakes and woodlands.”

“These habitats are home to threatened animal and plant species including orchids, as well as a genetically distinct population of the koala.”

“We widely consulted on the draft Bill and are pleased to have achieved support to protect the environment and unlock positive economic change for the island.” Dr. Miles said.

Dr. Miles said the Queensland Government continued to engage in positive discussions with the Quandamooka people, traditional owners of North Stradbroke Island, about future use of their native title land.

“The passage of the Bill is a great boost for the Quandamooka people’s vision for the future of the island as Australia’s most sustainable island community and as a global ecotourism destination.” Dr. Miles said.

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) Chief Executive Officer Cameron Costello, said the Bill represented restoration of justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“To have the voice of Indigenous communities restored on National Sorry Day is very significant.” Mr. Costello said.

“The passing of the Bill sends a clear message to the nation that native title agreements are to be respected and honoured.”

“The current Queensland Government has restored integrity and faith in the native title system, and in our view honoured the legacy of Eddie Mabo.”

“Our vision is for Minjerribah to be a global eco-cultural tourism destination, and we now look forward to getting on with business.” Mr. Costello said.