Residents ropeable over proposal
“WE just don’t want them doing it — go somewhere else.”
This was the overwhelming message from residents who will be affected by the Bundaberg Sugar Gooburrum sand mine application now before Bundaberg Regional Council.
Red-faced and panting a little following a talk with one of the experts, Bella Vista resident Graeme Chaffey criticised the one-on-one format of the consultation.
“They need to have an open forum discussion,” Mr Chaffey said.
People filtered through the doors of North Bundaberg State High School hall on Saturday to look at boards displaying the latest information and talk with experts about the proposed sand mine expansion.
The boards painted a picture of a 250,000 tonne per year application to take sand from three different sites on the company’s land.
Residents John and Gwen Marsden, who live on Currawong Road, were devastated to learn of the proposal a couple of weeks ago.
The couple said their dreams of living a quiet lifestyle would be shattered if the mine went ahead.
Mr Marsden also wanted to know what would happen with their bore water, and wanted the council to take money from the company in trust so if anything happened to the water table, residents could be compensated.
But Bundaberg Sugar general manager of administration Rod Young said he would not support the idea of a trust.
“We will commit to not extracting below the water table,” he said.
Mr Young also gave assurances 90 per cent of truck traffic would be directed onto Fairymead Road.
He said up to 10ha of sand could be taken from one of the sites, or all three, at any point in time.
Another Bella Vista resident, Susanne McLeod, raised her concerns about sand dust and associated health effects.
“I don’t want to die of silicosis,” she said.
But Mr Young said the company was not manufacturing or processing the sand on-site.
“We’re not doing any of those things which may cause the release of the silica dust,” he said.