Lines in the sand: mineral sand mining on Queensland's barrier islands

Sweett, Colin (2008). Lines in the sand: mineral sand mining on Queensland's barrier islands Honours Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Sweett, Colin
Thesis Title Lines in the sand: mineral sand mining on Queensland's barrier islands
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2008-05-30
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Open Access Status Other
Supervisor Peter Spearritt
Total pages 96
Language eng
Subjects 2103 Historical Studies
160605 Environmental Politics
210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Formatted abstract
Sandmining began in Australia in the 1930s at Bryon Bay in New South Wales. In these early days mining was done by hand as the rich black seams were shovelled onto old army trucks to be taken for processing. The industry has progressed to become a multi-billion dollar enterprise with operations along the east and west coasts of Australia. The rich and easily-accessible mineral seams along Australia’s beaches are a thing of the past; today miners obtain minerals from high dune areas such as Stradbroke Island where mineral concentrations are as low as a few percent. Early mining operations went unquestioned as they provided employment and helped the war effort. The 1970s saw the rise of concern for the environment and sandmining became a prime target for conservation groups. The conflicts between mining and conservation interests form a part of the history of most sand islands along the Queensland coast. This thesis explores three major sand islands – Fraser, Moreton and Stradbroke Islands – and the land use conflicts of sandmining on each of the islands. Today, both Fraser and Moreton enjoy full protection, while mining continues on Stradbroke. A number of factors contributed to the continuation of sandmining on Stradbroke Island. These include the early development of the Island resulting in a substantial residential population depended on the mine for employment; strong support and lack of regulation by the Queensland Government of the sandmining industry; the inability of the Stradbroke Island Management Organisation (SIMO) to mount an effective campaign against the mining operations, and local community division especially within the indigenous community which has undermined the campaign against sandmining.

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Created: Mon, 29 Nov 2010, 09:10:00 EST by Colin Sweett on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry