Sand mining on Stradbroke Island, offshore from Brisbane, will be phased out by 2027, under a new plan announced by the Queensland state government on June 20. Most of the island will become national park and development of ecotourism will be the main industry.
“After 50 years of mining, 80% of the island will eventually be converted to national park, with 50% of it to be declared within the next 18 months”, the June 21 Courier-Mail reported. “The existing 30 mining leases will be phased out by 2027, with the government closing the door on any future lease renewal applications from today.”
“But one lease — at the giant Enterprise mine — will be renewed because its application was lodged before yesterday's policy announcement.
“The new plan will give formal native title recognition over much of the island to the Quandamooka people from 2011, involving access to important parts of the island, some land transfer and joint management of national park areas of the island.”
Friends of Stradbroke Island president Sue Ellen Carew welcomed the government's announcement, but said the Enterprise mine should also be closed. “If this lease is renewed, it means the public, the environmental movement and the Indigenous community have been conned”, she said.
Stradbroke Island Management Organisation spokesperson Jackie Cooper said having 80% of the island proposed as national park was a huge step forward.
“But as yet, the details are not clear”, she told the June 22 Courier-Mail. “This is all about the indigenous population. It's incredibly significant that on the doorstep of Brisbane we will have a large national park, jointly managed by the indigenous community that lives on their land. I can't think of a more positive form of reconciliation.”