At the midnight hour on Wednesday 25th May, the Labor Government pushed the vote through the Queensland Parliament on Labor’s Straddie mining shut down Bill to close Enterprise mine in 2019. The Labor Government Bill got up by one vote, that of the Member for Cook, Billy Gordon.
Without the agreement of local residents - including workers, Union, Sibelco, small businesses and the majority of Quandamooka Traditional Owners - Labor fulfilled its election promise - not the promise to island residents to ‘protect jobs, jobs, jobs’, but their back-room promise to the The Greens political party of inner city Brisbane, to prematurely close the sand-mind and turn Straddie into 80% national park.
For the last 6 years, the majority of residents have said that they wanted a carefully planned and timely transition away from mining to a diverse and tourism-centred economy. Residents have said that they want governments to perform that transition in a way that reduces the impact on jobs and families, and to do so in a way that respects the rights of the Quandamooka people.
Attention has now turned to the State Government’s Economic Transition package of $20 million, and how best to allocate it to generate new jobs. At this time the funding is too little and poorly focussed. Without a major additional injection of funds, taking on projects like the $50 million Dunwich Harbour Redevelopment, Mark’s concern is that this Labor Government will leave behind a struggling environment on Straddie after 2019.