AUSTRALIA’S resource industry employer group, AMMA, strongly encourages Queensland MPs to today vote down proposed legislation that would prematurely end sand mining on North Stradbroke Island in 2019.

“All eyes will be on the Palaszczuk Government today and whether they are truly about ‘delivering jobs now and jobs for the future’, or whether that is just empty rhetoric,” says AMMA executive director Scott Barklamb.

“The transition away from sand mining will impact on the livelihood of hundreds of the island’s best paid employees, both sand miners and those that indirectly rely on the industry.

“The government’s plan to end sand mining in 2019 is highly premature and its failure to undertake a proper regulatory impact statement does not instil a great deal of confidence.

“Any timetable for ending sand mining on North Stradbroke must be supported by a thorough regulatory impact statement and a realistic economic transition plan that supports the island’s residents and community.”

Earlier this month, a Queensland Parliamentary Committee concluded that closing the mine in 2019, instead of the current legislated closure date of 2035, would cripple the island’s economy and community.

Further, Deloitte Access Economics has calculated that ending sand mining on North Stradbroke Island in 2019 (opposed to 2035) would cost the regional economy up to $1 billion.

“A 2019 closure to sand mining risks massively and unnecessarily harming the island’s economic and community well-being,” Mr Barklamb continues.

“This includes significant job losses for the local Indigenous community, which will also lose considerable revenue under an Indigenous Land Use Agreement when sand mining exports from the island come to an end.

“The sand mining employees that can transition to become waiters, baristas or take up other hospitality jobs are going to face a wait before tourism develops to replace mining, and their pay will fall considerably, if they are lucky enough to find a job.

“This is a $1 billion decision that the community of North Stradbroke Island cannot afford for their parliamentary representatives to get wrong.

“AMMA urges state MPs from all sides to today vote down these bills and instead commit to gradually wind-down sand mining over a more sensible timeframe – preferably 2035 but certainly no earlier than 2027.”

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