|Local Koala, photographed by Lee Curtis|
Friends of Stradbroke Island disagrees with Bill Giles’ assertions in his letter in Easter SIN. It is a matter of hard fact, science and just common-sense that sand mining is causing serious, permanent environmental damage to the island. Tourism is and will remain the mainstay of the Stradbroke economy.
It doesn’t make any sense to continue sand mining when it is damaging future business prospects and employment. For people with talent and vision, there are many opportunities in nature-based recreation, tourism, education and health and this will create employment for other people who wish to live and work on the island.
This long term approach triumphed in the 70’s and 80’s when sand mining was stopped everywhere else on the populated East Coast of Australia. These communities have generally flourished. Sand mining on North Stradbroke Island is out of step and has been for decades.
Preserving the natural beauty of the island is the only sensible approach.
Obviously tourism and over development can be destructive too if not controlled and local environment groups have always played a role in minimizing the impacts. FOSI works to build an ethos of caring for the environment. If people show concern for nature then the future can be protected. We just can’t look the other way while sand mining keeps eating away at the Island’s environmental assets.
Friends of Stradbroke Island believes that whether you look at this from an economic perspective or an environmental perspective, you come up with the same answer – sand mining should end. Enough damage has been done. Future prosperity depends upon it ending soon.
It is also worth remembering the words of Quandamooka leader Darren Burns’ in the last issue of SIN:
“… sand mining is a very destructive industry. As well as destroying the ecology it is slowly pitting people on the Island against one another. There is a sophisticated campaign going on from the mining company to tell everyone that mining is OK. But it’s not”.