Posted by: Colin Battersby | July 17, 2010

KILLING STRADDIE WITH KINDNESS | Independent Freelance Media


-By John Corlett

A major North Stradbroke Island sand mining company recently said eco-tourism may not be capable of bringing in the bucks to support the economic future of the island.

UNIMIN mining spokesperson, Paul Smith, said the government’s plan to phase out sand mining by 2027 will destroy the islands economic future as mining provided a “base load” for the local economy.

He said sand mining was linked to more than 600 jobs in South East Queensland and mining families account for one in five residents on the island.

Mr Smith said without miners industries such as child care, schools and supply chain companies would no longer be viable.

“We were (sic) interested to see if their was any fact behind the claims being made by anti-mining groups that tourism ventures could substantially replace sand mining on the island,” he said.

Eco Tourism Australia CEO, Kim Cheatham, said for a destination to become a popular for eco-tourism it must build a positive environmental status.

“Any activity that is perceived to be negative to the environment is going to impact negatively on a place having an eco-tourism reputation,” she said.

Ms Cheatham said people who look for an eco-tourism experience may see mining as detrimental to the environment and this will influence their decision to visit the destination.

She said although there were areas in Australia where eco-tourism and mining co-existed, such as Kakadu, the locations were larger and it was possible to keep the industries separated.

Several attempts were made to contact the environmental preservation lobby group for the Island, Stradbroke Island Management Organisation (SIMO), but they declined to comment.

“It would be a case of expediency was (sic) Stradbroke Island Management Organisation to engage in your suggested interview at this point in time,” a spokesperson said.

via KILLING STRADDIE WITH KINDNESS | Independent Freelance Media.


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