Sand mine plan is shock to residents

RESIDENTS fear for their water supply following a proposal by Austral Masonry to move its current sand mine from Tantitha to a site about 3km south of Bundaberg Sugar’s proposed sand mine.

The company surprised its neighbours when it announced the plan at a public meeting on Wednesday night, chaired by Bella Vista Estate resident Graeme Chaffey.

“Our main concern, with the proposal so close to that area, is that we have a water table which is very close to the surface,” Mr Chaffey said.

Water in the Moore Park Beach area is sourced from an underground water table and then treated by the Bundaberg Regional Council for drinking.

Areas from near the Tantitha mine have become pond-like with the water from the water table, rising to the top.

“What we are scared of is that the whole area is going to turn into a moonscape,” Mr Chaffey said.

Mr Chaffey said the representative from Austral Masonry told the meeting the reason the sand mine would be moved was because the current mine had almost reached exhaustion point.

The NewsMail understands Austral Masonry will take its proposal for the new sand mine to council within the next few days.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger said many of the residents’ questions were not answered at the meeting.

“The most common question was, is that going to interfere with the water supply,” he said.

Mr Messenger said the new proposal only further compounded the fears of residents who were already against Bundaberg Sugar’s proposed sand mine.

He said residents still believed allegations Bundaberg Sugar was mining more than 5000 tonnes a year with between 12 and 30 semitrailers using Gooburrum Road daily.

“The thing is, there are semis heading everywhere and no one knows where they are coming from,” Mr Messenger said.

However, in a letter to Mr Messenger late last month, Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said the matter had been reviewed and no evidence had been found to support the claims.

Bundaberg Sugar will have a meeting with residents regarding its proposed mine at the Bundaberg North State High School hall on November 14.

The NewsMail approached Austral Masonry, which was unable to comment.

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