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North Straddie - submission into government's community feedback process

Comments on the Queensland Government's Vision for North Stradbroke Island by the Queensland Greens.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the government's Vision for North Stradbroke Island. We endorse the comprehensive submission of the Friends of Stradbroke Island and provide these supplementary brief comments.

North Stradbroke Island is unique in having a naturally occurring, genetically distinct population of koalas. Land clearing for the mines is destroying the koala's old growth forest habitat.

The ancient layered sand dunes are permanently destroyed by the mining process, with implications for the island's aquifers from Enterprise Mine's 100m-deep dredge pond.

 Mine rehabilitation can never replace the complexity of the original ancient landscape, which is why the traditional owners are opposing continued mining. Ecologists are also saying that the remaining pristine areas are essential to nurture recovery of the mine sites.

Fifty years of mining is taking its toll on the fragile sand island.

The Queensland Greens want North Stradbroke Island protected from the ravages of mineral sand mining and this popular destination and its wildlife and pristine environment safeguarded for future generations to enjoy.

The Queensland Greens believe that sand mining should urgently be stopped and the workers re-deployed to decommission and revegetate the island's three mine sites, which would generate employment for at least another 5 years.

The Queensland Greens want a ban on mining on North Stradbroke Island to protect the old growth forest, ancient sand dunes and koalas of the second largest sand island in the world.

The state government's extension of mining until 2027 on already expired mining leases at the island's largest mine, Enterprise, is precisely the date the former owners of that mine told the ASX that the mine would run out of minerals. The state government has given the miners exactly what they want and will even change state laws to enable renewal of Joh-era mining leases that expired nearly three years ago.

To renew expired mining leases on land earmarked to become national park, to a company being sued for breaching other mining lease conditions, is totally unacceptable and calls into question the environmental credibility of the state government and its relationship with the mining sector and the royalties and donations it provides.

The state government should not renew any expired mining leases and should facilitate urgent transition to eco-tourism as the predominant industry on the island to ensure continued employment of the island's residents.

 

Larissa Waters

Spokesperson and Senator-elect

Queensland Greens

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