WATCH: Lazarus pledges to fight sand mine for the masses
MORE than 100 residents braved the cold at Diddillibah to make clear their concerns with a proposed 100-hectare sand mine at Forest Glen will not go away.
The Stop the Maroochy Sand Mine group packed the Diddillibah Hall as they look to mobilise and fine tune their campaign ahead of the proposal's expected presentation before the Sunshine Coast Council expected to be in July or August.
Pressure on councillors was the order of the day as they strive to convince the councillors they must listen to the community's wishes and vote against an approval, after the State Government failed to enforce any strict conditions sizeable enough to provide the community peace of mind.
"We need to bombard Sunshine Coast Council with as much concern (as possible)," Les Brammah said.
"To my way, it doesn't comply."
A number of presentations were given to the masses gathered on key points including concerns about impacts on amenity, health and safety, traffic and environmental concerns.
Sharon Grant's impassioned speech about the risks of acid sulphate soils in such close proximity to critical waterways was met with strong applause, as were all speakers.
"This has the potential for an environmental disaster," she warned.
Wayne Knibb said he feared for the impacts on the Coast's economy of any approval of a development like this, given its prominence for those driving to the Coast from the Bruce Hwy.
"It's anti-business," Mr Knibb said, fearful the visual impacts of a sand mine at the site would drive tourism dollars elsewhere.
Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus pleged his support to fight however he could to help the community cause, prepared to push the case for Federal intervention via an Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act referral if need be.
Sen Lazarus told the crowd gathered that "people power works" as he committed to supporting those opposed to the development.
LNP candidate for Fairfax Ted O'Brien said he would also speak with Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt tomorrow about the issues raised and the community's concerns.
Member for Buderim Steve Dickson pledged $500 towards a fighting fund should legal action be required to settle the issue, his declaration already leading to another pledge of $500 by Daniel Bryar, as the group looked to rally its resources, preparing for a potentially lengthy battle.
Divisional Councillor Ted Hungerford urged the community to continue to make their views known to his fellow councillors, vowing to make as a strong a case as he possibly could for refusal of the development when the application comes before the council.
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The proponents, Maroochydore Sands Pty Ltd, through director Michael Mullins, have repeatedly stated there were no significant health risks posed by the proposal, despite conflicting medical opinions on that aspect.
Mr Mullins said the wet process would eliminate risks of airborne silica dust issues.
The matter is expected to come before the council in July or August, after the State Government's referral agency (SARA) handed down its conditions for any approval the council may give.
Those conditions were roundly criticised by the community, who feel their fears had not been adequately addressed, despite Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's previous assurances.
RESIDENTS will be a little clearer on what sort of Federal support they may get from at least one Senate candidate in their quest to stop a sand mine proposal at Forest Glen.
Opponents of a Maroochydore Sands Pty Ltd proposal for a 100ha sand extraction plant are meeting at Diddillibah Hall at 7pm tonight, joined by Queensland Senator Glenn Lazarus.
Members of the Stop the Maroochy Sand Mine action group which has gathered about 3000 Facebook members organised the meeting as they begin to finetune their campaign with the proposal reaching critical stages.
The development application is set to come before the Sunshine Coast Council in July or August at the ordinary meeting.
Many residents will be pushing their divisional councillor to vote against approval of the development, amid fears over potential health and environmental effects of the proposal.
Those concerns have been debated by a number of experts over the past months as the community waited to see what conditions would be applied by the State Government to any future approval.
For more information about tonight's meeting check out our live Twitter feed for rolling coverage below: