Straddie locals divided over sand mining decision


There’s more disquiet over the State Government’s decision to phase out sand mining on North Stradbroke Island in three years. Redland Bay residents say tourism will then be the island’s only major industry and it may not be enough.

Keira Wallace reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Locals are divided some support the decision others fear North Straddie may end up a ghost town.

The government says it’ll provide North Stradbroke with $20 million over five years to help boost tourism.

Redland City’s Mayor says it’s not nearly enough.

Karen Williams, Redland City Mayor: “We need to add at least another zero to that we’re looking at 200 million.”

She says the government needs to act now to get the tourism ball rolling.

Karen Williams, Redland City Mayor: “Getting action on the ground now is critical. Investment, capital, infrastructure and support from the local community is very important.”

David Groom owns the Straddie Flyer.

He says stopping sand mining will have a direct impact on his business.

David Groom, Straddie Flyer Owner: “It will have an impact on our bottom line. We indirectly will be impacted by the fact if the sand miners move their family from the island for work, that is the time we’ll be impacted really hard.”

He’s proposed a plan to set up a passenger ferry terminal collecting visitors from Southbank and taking them directly to the island.

Aunty Joan Hendrik, a 4th generation elder of the Junobin people, lives on North Stradbroke.

Joan Hendriks, Elder: “I care for country, more thought should be given into what it’s doing to the environment and when we quote facts and figures of the money being poured into the community, the truth sets us all free and we need to look more closely to it.”

For locals, the decision to phase out sand mining on North Stradbroke Island has been controversial.

Local government and island residents say 20 million over 5 years is simply not enough to sustain its economy.

Keira Wallace, QUT News.