Posted by: Colin Battersby | July 31, 2010

Greens want immediate end to Straddie mining


THE Greens have moved sand mining on North Stradbroke Island onto the federal election agenda, with a plan to place responsibility for exporting minerals into the federal minister’s hands.

Greens Senate candidate Larissa Waters visited the island on Monday and said they wanted federal authority to revoke export licences for rutile, ilmenite and zircon and stop mining immediately, instead of the State Government’s plan to phase it out over the next 17 years.

Ms Waters said the mining employees should be “redeployed to decommission and revegetate the island’s three mine sites, which is estimated to take at least five years”.

She said the State Government’s phase out plan was “giving the miners exactly what they want”, and that an immediate stop was necessary to protect old growth forest, ancient sand dunes and koalas.

But mining company Unimin’s spokesman, Paul Smith, said an immediate shut down would “cripple the Stradbroke Island community”.Unimin has also questioned the State’s plan for the island, saying it is “simply not realistic to expect this level of economic activity to be replaced by tourism in the short to medium term”.

The contrast between The Greens’ calls for immediate mining cessation and State Labor’s 17 year phase out comes amid speculation the Labor announcement was aimed at securing Green preferences.

Last month, Premier Anna Bligh announced 50 per cent of the island would become national park by the end of 2011, with an end to mining and 80 per cent of the island becoming national park by 2027.

Federal Liberal MP Andrew Laming is surveying island residents on the issue and said he “had concerns about the way the decision was made”, while Labor candidate Jenny Peters said she supported the staged approach and hoped all levels of government and business would work together to build a future for the island that doen’t include mining.

via Greens want immediate end to Straddie mining – Local News – News – General – Bayside Bulletin / The Redland Times.

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