NORTH Stradbroke mining campaigner Richard Carew has challenged Opposition leader Tim Nicholls over statements he made regarding the loss of hundreds of island mine jobs.
Mr Carew, a member of Friends of Stradbroke Island, said hundreds of jobs would not be lost with the cessation of mining on the island.
Rather it would be fewer than 100, including island residents and those who lived on the mainland.
On a visit to the island earlier this month, Mr Nicholls said the state government’s $28 million North Stradbroke Island transition-from-mining package would be of little help to hundreds of miners who would lose jobs.
Mr Carew said undisputed economic advice to the Newman government when Mr Nicholls was treasurer was that after the closure of the island’s Yarraman mine, there would be about 86 direct and indirect sand mining jobs.
He said that in April, the Stradbroke Chamber of Commerce, in a submission to the Finance and Administration Committee’s inquiry into the sand mining Bills, reported that Sibelco had informed it that there were only 45 island resident sand miners.
A Sibelco spokeswoman said this week there were currently 41 Sibelco employees at NSI operations who were also island residents.
“Independent economic analysis by RPS Consultants estimated that 500 to 750 residents of the 2000 plus permanent residents are directly or indirectly supported by sand mining operations,’’ the spokeswoman said.
She said post-mining rehabilitation was under way which would be followed by years of monitoring.