Sand mining extension could bring legal challenge 

LEGAL representatives for the Quandamooka people have threatened court action over state government plans to extend mining leases on North Stradbroke Island.

A Bill, amending the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Act to allow the lease extensions, is expected to have its second reading in parliament next week.

Queensland South Native Title Services principal legal officer Tim Wishart, representing the Quandamooka, asked Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps not to renew leases.

In an October 30 letter to Mr Cripps, Mr Wishart said the Bill breached federal court rulings and Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

"It is our view the passage of the Bill and the grant of any renewal of the mining leases based on the exercise of a power created by the Bill would breach the Orders of Justice Dowsett and the ILUA," the letter said.

Quandamooka Yool-ooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation chief executive, Cameron Costello, said extending any mining lease named in the land use agreements was a breach of native title.

Cleveland MP Mark Robinson said Crown Law advice was that the Bill amendments would not affect the land use agreements.

He said the mining leases were not exclusive aboriginal land and native title did not exist on leases that were freehold.

He said native title existed on state land set aside for national park and aboriginal land under the native title Act.

"The state spent 18 months and a considerable amount of money in ensuring it does not infringe on the ILUA or the Native Title claim as a whole," Mr Robinson said.

"Under the proposal in the Bill, the mining lease holder can lodge an application to renew the lease no earlier than 12 months before it expires.

"The Enterprise Mine leases affected by the Bill expire on December 31, 2019.

"The mining lease will remain current until the application is decided."

Mr Robinson said he had detailed records of all communications and meetings with the Quandamooka about the amendments in the Bill dating back over the past 18 months.

He said he was "looking forward to continuing to work with QYAC and all the Quandamooka families to both implement the ILUA and extend sandmining as we promised".

A committee, set up to take submissions on the amendment Bill, will file a report before Mr Cripps can re-introduce the legislation for its second reading expected at the next parliamentary sitting on November 19.