VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma
RESIDENTS fighting alongside Sunshine Coast Council against a controversial sand mine proposal at Forest Glen are facing a dilemma.
They're concerned that a recent proposal by the State Government to have the site in question determined as a state-significant Key Resource Area could see them reveal their hand too early.
Submissions are being called for by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines on the KRA proposal at the moment, as part of revisions to be made to an amended State Planning Policy, with the submission period to close on February 10 next year.
Eudlo Creek Neighbours Inc spokesman Mike Perritt said they were concerned that participation in the submission process would reveal the arguments the community would be relying upon in its upcoming Planning and Environment Court action.
The proponents of the proposed 105-hectare, 30-year sand mine, Maroochydore Sands Pty Ltd, are appealing the council's rejection of the proposal in October this year, with the Planning and Environment Court action set to begin in a matter of weeks.
Mr Perritt said a recent community information session in Maroochydore about the KRA proposal had failed to shed light on whether any submissions made to the KRA proposal would become publicly available ahead of the legal proceedings, a concern for the group.
He said it was their opinion that the timing of both the proposal and the KRA and the uncertainty around submissions was not allowing the community to respond in a "proper and diligent manner" to the State Government.
Should the Forest Glen sand mine be approved?
This poll ended on 17 December 2016.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Meanwhile Buderim MP Steve Dickson met with Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham last week, where he said he argued the KRA proposal should be set aside at least until the legal proceedings are finished, arguing it blurred the separation of powers if the State Government was seen to be influencing legal actions involving the community and the council and the KRA proposal should be set aside for two years at least.
"I'm calling on the minister (Dr Lynham) to... with the stroke of a biro, to stop this process from happening," Mr Dickson said.
A Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning spokeswoman said "the Queensland Government is committed to genuine consultation in relation to the Key Resource Area criteria and will respond accordingly to the submissions received during the public consultation process".