Brisbane Region Environment Council


7th August

SEQ Rivers and Bays to be gutted by Sand Mining

The State Government through the Extractives Industry Unit of DME is planning to gut most rivers and creeks in SEQ including Pine Rivers, Bremer R, Logan R, Upper Brisbane R, Bribie Is and Moreton Bay.

Conservationists point to maps contained in the recently released Regional Framework for Growth Management as evidence of the plans.

"The Department has no appreciation of the vital environmental values of sand and gravel deposits. These include fish habitat, water quality, water storage to maintain base-flow and aquifer recharge. The flow of material and water coming from these areas is vital to marine and coastal systems. The government appears to have no mechanism to reserve some of these deposits for natural purposes". said Michael Petter Coordinator of the Brisbane Region Environment Council

The industry and the department are trying to make an ambit claim and lock up all the reserves before the public finds out.

"The DEH, DME and DNR need to collaborate to produce an Extractive Environmental Protection Policy and other legislative amendments to deal with environmental allocations before permits are granted and to regulate the environmental impacts and rehabilitation afterwards."

Even with all these areas being mined the Department admits that

" It is clear that known resources of natural coarse sand will not be adequate for continued future supply.....However, even the current bank of approved hard rock resources will be exhausted within 20 to 30 years......" Coarse Sand Resources of the Brisbane Region DME Oct 1997

"We need to be looking very hard at demand reduction, full cost pricing and alternatives to these materials before we run out and damage our bays and catchments too much." he concluded