Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson says Straddie is feeling effects of failed mining transition despite state government dishing out $1.75 million on worker assistance

OODGEROO MP Mark Robinson says a Straddie exodus caused by the state government's failure to help the island transition away from sand mining has landed a blow to local businesses.

BUZZ: Businesses on North Stradbroke Island are feeling the pinch of a failed sand mining transition.

BUZZ: Businesses on North Stradbroke Island are feeling the pinch of a failed sand mining transition.

It comes despite government data revealing $1.75 million has been spent on the North Stradbroke Island Workers Assistance Scheme, which was introduced to help retrenched Sibelco mine staff.

Mr Robinson said the program had gone some way to helping displaced workers but would never replace all the island's lost jobs, some of which were highly specialised and held by locals.

Assistance provided through the scheme - revealed in 2016 - includes a $2000 job search payment, mortgage or rent assistance for workers still living on the island and income supplementations.

Employment Minister Di Farmer said assistance had been offered to 174 workers, 43 of which were still employed by Sibelco.

Of the 96 workers who had accessed support, 53 were employed, 10 had started their own business and 17 had retired or semi-retired.

Just one person was unemployed, while seven had gone onto further training at university or tafe, and eight were on a career break.

FALLEN EMPIRE: Sand mining was the backbone of North Stradbroke Island, according to Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson. Photo: supplied

FALLEN EMPIRE: Sand mining was the backbone of North Stradbroke Island, according to Oodgeroo MP Mark Robinson. Photo: supplied

But Mr Robinson said the government's early closure of the mine had not given the island's economy enough time to transition.

"The mine had long been the backbone of the island," Mr Robinson said. "It supported the economy and the greater Straddie community in so many ways.

"Despite Kate Jones promising hundreds of island eco-tourism jobs and Jackie Trad indicating there would also be hundreds of construction positions coming up for tradies, the numbers of placements locally are still nowhere to be seen.

"As a result of Labor's continued mismanagement, several workers have already left the island to seek employment elsewhere and this has had a huge impact on businesses and morale."

Ms Farmer said up to $5 million was still available under the scheme until June 30 next year.

"It is anticipated that the current budget allocation will cover future support needed to assist affected workers," she said.

Mr Robinson said Labor had broken the island and was struggling to fix it.

" ... Together with ongoing secrecy and a lack of transparency, things are in a bit of a mess," he said.

Read more local news here.