Queensland Premier Anna Bligh feels that North Stradbroke Island off Brisbane will do better as a tourism spot than as a mine. The Queensland Government will be halting the salt mining on the Island by 2027.
According to Ms. Bligh half the island will be converted into a national park within the next 18 months. The mining leases will not be renewed as they expire.
80% of the island will be part of the national park which the local community has been pushing for. Paul Smith, spokesman for Unimin, a sand mining company said that he is surprised by the announcement.
The Stradbroke Island Management Organisation Preisdent Jackie Cooper said that the mining ban is being pursued since the 1960s. According to Ms. Cooper the nature and cultural tourisms will provide much bigger returns than mining in the long term.
As the 50 year old mining industry wraps up hundreds of jobs will be lost. However Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones said that green jobs fromn the park will outnumber the mining positions on North Stradbroke Island.