The Finance and Administration Committee has tabled its report on the two North Stradbroke Island Bills.
The Committee supports the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability and other Acts Amendment Bill 2015, and the cessation of mining by 2019.
The Committee rejected the Katter Party Bill which sought to extend mining to 2014.
Non-government members of the Committee wanted to extend mining to 2035.
NPAQ welcomes the Committee’s outcome and encourages the government to proceed with the Bill without delay. This will grant certainty to residents and visitors, protect the island’s environment and cultural assets, and lay the foundations for a sustainable future.
Sand mining on NSI is naturally coming to a close. Two of the island’s three mines have ceased operations – Yarraman ran out of minerals and Vance, a silica mine, was closed as it was uneconomical to continue. Jobs have already diminished.
With ongoing repetition of re-negotiations of ‘dates of compromise’, the natural environment, and indigenous culture and heritage on which its sustainable long term future is most likely to be based, continues to erode.
Considering the environmental damage that will occur within four more years of mining, and that many other environmental organisations and individuals are calling for immediate cessation of mining, NPAQ has been very generous in supporting the Bill proposed by the government – in recognition of a four year transition period for the mining community on NSI.
The government has a responsibility to protect and preserve what remains of NSI’s remarkable natural environment and stem the tide of irreversible damage. The public debate and discussion about mining, Aboriginal land rights and the environment on NSI has lasted many, many years. It is now time to finalise.
Access the Committee’s report here.