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    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Bligh Government gets it right on Straddie – where is the LNP?

    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Bligh Government gets it right on Straddie – where is the LNP?

    Environment Minister Vicky Darling said mining company Sibelco had nothing to do with determining which areas of North Stradbroke Island to protect and has called on the LNP to come clean on where they stand on phase out of sand mining.

    Ms Darling said the Bligh Government had struck the right balance between protecting the island’s biodiversity and ensuring a sustainable economic transition away from sand mining.

    “The immediate closure of this industry would have come at the expense of jobs for North Stradbroke Islanders.

    “We are more interested in the long-term sustainability of the island than bowing to particular interest groups.

    “It is simply laughable to think that Sibelco has had any involvement in our plans to determine which areas to protect.

    “Sibelco have been quite public about their objection for our plans to phase out mining on North Stradbroke Island.

    “Chief Executive Officer Campbell Jones was on the record in December stating ‘...Sibelco is very disappointed with the decision [to end sand mining by 2019] and will continue to lobby for the legislation to be rescinded’.*

    “Sibelco wanted to mine for a lot longer and continue heavy mineral mining until at least 2027 – we’ve cut it out by 2019.

    “They also wanted to mine areas that had never been mined – we put a stop to that.

    “Sibelco has full responsibility for rehabilitating all areas of the island currently under mining lease that now have an overlay of national park.

    “The disturbed areas must be rehabilitated to a natural state at Sibelco’s own expense and in accordance with the environmental authority, as would occur with any other mining lease.

    “The Queensland Government holds a multi-million dollar security bond to ensure this occurs to a standard acceptable to the Department of Environment and Resource Management.”

    “Cleveland LNP candidate Mark Robinson was on the record this morning claiming that Campbell Newman is an environmentalist, has plans to protect North Stradbroke Island, but won’t say when sand mining will stop.

    “Quite frankly I would like to see their plans – and I call on Campbell Newman to clearly state his intentions for the protection of Straddie.

    "The worst kept secret is that the LNP will trash the environmental protection we've put in place on the island - they would let the mining company have their way and mine wherever they want for however long they want.

    “The LNP would turn back the clock and allow sand mining to continue indefinitely.

    “Only Labor will end mining sooner and make Straddie a National Park for all Queenslanders to own and enjoy.”

    “All we have heard from Campbell Newman and the LNP are plans to vandalise our environment – they want sand mining to continue, landfills to overflow and plan to rip away reef protection and tree clearing laws.

    “Their plan to remove our protected green zones in marine parks and trash our landmark wild rivers legislation speaks volumes about how much they value our most pristine areas.

    “We get only one chance to protect our special islands, rivers and ecosystems for future generations – a government led by Campbell Newman would destroy Queensland’s precious environmental heritage.”

    *The Sand Times, Issue 13, December 2011

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