Trad to meet Straddie mine staff

THE fate of mining on North Stradbroke Island will be discussed when deputy premier Jackie Trad meets with mining union members today.

It will be the second meeting in two days the government has held with union members from mining company Sibelco and from Stradbroke Ferries.

On Wednesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told 14 Sibelco staff from the Australian Workers Union she would consult workers before any date to end mining was set.

AWU Queensland branch secretary Ben Swan said the meeting gave the Premier an opportunity to hear first-hand from workers who will be affected by any decision to end mining by 2019.

“The premier listened very intently to the personal stories conveyed by our members, some of whom are fourth generation miners from the Island.

“Our members are realistic about the fact that sand mining will cease at some point in the future.

“The critical question is whether it has to be 2019 or whether a moderately extended and realistic timeframe is better suited to ensure a proper and effective economic and workforce transition,” he said.

​Today's meeting has sparked much debate across the island, which faces closure of all mines by December 31, 2019.

Under current legislation, the miner has the option of extending its lease on expiry to 2035.

But in June, Environment Minister Steven Miles said he hoped to introduce legislation this year to deny Sibelco the option to extend its Enterprise Mine mining lease.

There are only three more sittings before Parliament breaks for Christmas on December 3.

The four-year deadline to 2019 was part of an ALP election commitment made in a letter from retiring Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tim Mulherin to Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Cameron Costello, days before the January election.

Labor promised voters it would repeal LNP government amendments to the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Act made in 2013.

Cleveland MP Mark Robinson called for the premier to hold meetings with residents and staff after the January election.

He has urged residents to campaign outside today's meeting, which starts at 4pm at the Little Ship Club at Dunwich.

He said Stradbroke Island residents rejected Labor's 2019 deadline and deserved a meeting with the premier so she could explain her government's decision which would lead to job losses.

"The government needs to outline any plan they have so residents can have a say," Mr Robinson said. 

"It is outrageous the premier has not replied to my letter of early July inviting her to consult with the whole community. 

"It is disgraceful that Straddie locals who asked to attend the meeting today have been refused the right to attend by the Deputy Premier."


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