Protest stops sand mining

July 2, 1997

Protest stops sand mining

By Bernard Wunsch

NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND — A five-week protest camp outside the Gordon sand mine operated by Consolidated Rutile Limited has ended with conservationists claiming victory after keeping the mine closed.

The protest, organised by the Stradbroke Island Action Coalition (SIAC), which involves a broad range of environmental groups, mobilised more than 200 people. Particularly important was the involvement of local indigenous people from the Quandamooka Land Council.

North Stradbroke is the last of the fragile sand islands surrounding Moreton Bay to suffer sand mining operations. The protest highlighted the lack of monitoring and inspection of mines by the Queensland government.

The Department of Minerals and Energy failed on several occasions to take action on major damage to lakes, and also a large diesel spill in swamp land.

Spokesperson for SIAC Andy Morrison said, "The mine's closure is a clear admission by the company that they do not understand the hydrology of the island and should not be mining there at all.

"The company has gone part of the way by closing the Gordon mine. But the only way to completely prevent further irreparable damage to the high conservation values of North Stradbroke Island is for the company to permanently close both its operating mines and to cancel future leases."

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