Sand mining blockade predicted
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — Queensland conservationists have warned of a Franklin Dam-style campaign against the Goss Labor government's decision to approve mineral sand mining in the Byfield national park region north of Rockhampton.
The government's go-ahead, announced on August 9, breaks a specific election promise.
Environment minister Pat Comben gave a pre-election written undertaking that the area, home to an estimated one-third of Australia's plant and animal species, would not be mined.
Spokesperson for Central Queensland conservation groups Craig Hardy declared: "There will be no sand mining. This will be bigger than Tasmania's Franklin row when it comes to blockades.
"The 200 people who live in the township of Byfield are incensed. You will have the whole town arrested along with other conservationists who will flock there to protest." n