Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy surveys 74 sites on North Stradbroke Island, school found with elevated radiation levels

SANDY: North Stradbroke Island sand mining operations ceased last year.
SANDY: North Stradbroke Island sand mining operations ceased last year.

ACCESS to an area at the Stradbroke Early Learning Centre was restricted last week after slightly elevated levels of radiation were detected.

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy has been conducting investigations on North Stradbroke Island to assess potential impacts of historic mining activities on the land. This will help inform future land use planning and to facilitate the economic and community transition from sand mining on the island.

A DNRME spokesperson said from the 74 sites surveyed this month, the Dunwich school was the only site where further investigation and remediation was needed due to the current land use and applicable guidelines.

"One small area was excavated from beneath one of the buildings and adjacent area with the material safely transported in secure and covered containers and stored at an offsite facility in accordance with regulatory requirements," she said.

"Over the weekend, work was done to safely remove the relevant sand and soil, and was replaced with clean fill".

The centre regained full access to their grounds last Sunday following a final assessment by the Queensland Health Radiation Health Unit.

Mineral sands containing small amounts of uranium and thorium are naturally occurring on North Stradbroke Island and 70 years of historic minerals sand mining and minerals processing has led to contamination associated with minerals sands concentrates and tailings at a number of sites across the Island.