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South East Queensland Regional Environment Coordination Network

c/- BREC, PO Box 479, Morningside QLD 4170; Ph: (07) 3901 5577; Fax: (07) 3899 1953
Incorporating Brisbane Region Environment Council (BREC), BREC Traditional Owners Group,
Sunshine Coast Environment Council (SCEC), Gecko - Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council, Toowoomba Region Environment Council (TREC) and the Wildlife Preservation Society Qld (WPSQ)


MEDIA RELEASE

19 December 2005


Conservationists and Traditional Owners Oppose sand mining expansion in Moreton Bay and call for demand management and full cost pricing to slow mining impacts

The four coastal environment councils in (SEQ, BREC, SCEC, Gecko & WBBCC) have joined with spokespeople from the Kabi Kabi. Koenpal, Ngugi and Butchella Traditional Owners to oppose the expansion of sand mining in the Moreton Bay Marine Park. The call was in response to the current propsals for the Spitfire channel expansion, the Airport expansion and future expansion permits for construction sand from the Moreton Bay Marine Park.

"The Bay is very important to us both spiritually, economically and culturally and I am totally opposed to the Eastern Part of Moreton Bay being mined for even more sand" said Uncle Cliff Campbell a Ngugi Elder.

"Our stories tell how the sand moves up this coast and we know that Bribie Island and areas to the North will be threatened by this mining and we are opposed to it" said Alex Davidson Kabi-Kabi Chairperson of the Ngalunda Aboriginal Corporation.

"Restricting the mining to depth of 10m in the sand deposits doesn't protect our cultural heritage. Removing up to 60 million tonnes of sand won't help the Bay," said Shane Coghill President Koenpal (Dandrabin) Association Inc.

"I am completely opposed to this increase in mining in Moreton Bay because I believe it will be no good for either Moreton Bay or for my country on Fraser Island" said Maree Wilkinson Spokesperson for the Butchella People.

"For years we have argued that demand for sand, gravel and other materials cannot be ecologically sustained at the current growth rates. We need a way to control the growth in demand for these materials and to find sustainable alternatives for some uses "said Michael Petter Co-ordinator for the Brisbane Region Environment Council (BREC).

"Sand and gravel reserves play an important role in natural systems both on land and at sea. They form aquifers, they act as natural filters, and they provide habitat for animals and plants. One way to control demand and protect these natural assets is to charge the full cost of the sand and gravel extracted including its known impacts on natural systems and ecological services" said Scott Alderson Campaigner for the Sunshine Cost Environment Council (SCEC).

"Another way to control growth is through strong planning which protects enough of these resources to maintain their natural functions as well as provide a modest amount of these materials for our use" said Sheila Davis Campaign Co-ordinator for Gecko the Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council.

"The environment councils and the Traditional Owners are calling for urgent talks with the Premier, the Minister for Natural Resources and the Minister for the Environment. We need to resolve this issue because it is setting a very bad precedent for marine protection in areas such as Wide Bay" said Roger Curry Co-ordinator Wide bay Burnett Conservation Council (WBBCC).


For more information:
Michael Petter, Co-ordinator SEQRECN and BREC
(07) 3901-5577
Sheila Davis, Campaign Coordinator, Gecko — Gold Coast & Hinterland Environment Council — 0423-305-478
Scott Alderson, Campaigner, SCEC — 0407-290-029
or Roger Curry, Co-ordinator, Wide Bay Burnett Conservation Council— 07 41233361



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