By Diet Simon
You probably thought that the huge Kin Kin quarry soon to start operating is a worry only for the people up there in the hinterland hills, not for us down here by the sea. Think again.
You first heard Robert Glen, an anti quarry campaigner, then Dr Seonaid Melville, Chair of the Noosa Biosphere Community Environment Sector board, addressing a public meeting last Thursday. Two hundred people packed the Pomona Hall to capacity. Pomona faces huge losses, as you’ll hear.
The Kin Kin quarry dispute was my main story on What’s Going On? on Tuesday 23 February. It also contained
- criticism from the Save the Mary River group over plans to suck the river dry for Brisbane water consumers;
- and how the Noosa Heads branch of Rotary is pitching in to an international campaign to eradicate polio from the four countries where it is still a huge problem. The crippling disease can jump countries;
- theatre notes on upcoming rehearsals for One Act Plays in Noosa.
You’ll hear a lot of opinion, which will be mine and that of the other people talking, not necessarily that of Noosa Community Radio.
The most immediate worry of the people in several villages from Kin Kin to Tewantin, who’ll be impacted by the quarry expansion, are monster trucks with trailers running every six to nine minutes. Steve Hilditch told the meeting what a disaster that would be for Pomona.
Many of you have probably driven on the spectacularly beautiful but very narrow, hilly and winding Range Road between Kin Kin and Pomona, so you’ll be able to relate to fears that frequent quarry truck traffic on it would become a death trap for residents in general, and school children in particular. Gary Martin, Chairman of the Kin Kin Community Association:
The residents likely to be impacted have taken the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Australia’s fourth-largest, to court. They’re challenging the legality of three different licenses that have been given to operate the quarry. Allan Packer explained how the litigation began with a directional hearing on the 12th of February in the Planning and Environment Court in Maroochydore.
Six days in court could cost the plaintiffs anything up to 50 thousand dollars. But even if they win in court, their fight will only just begin, Gary Martin pointed out.
Gary went on to argue how the quarry would wreck the hinterland lifestyle that attracted people to the pristine area.
Citing the campaign that stopped the Traveston Dam on the Mary River as an example, the federal member for Wide Bay, Warren Truss, urged the quarry opponents to look for help outside the area, Australia-wide.
The campaign manager, Robert Glen, appealed for help of all kinds:
If you want to pitch in, these are the numbers I’ve been given for contact: Jo at Kin Kin Community Group Inc. 5485 4251, Robert Glen, Campaign Manager, email@example.com, 5485 4520, Robyn Jones (activated Kin Kin resident) 5485 4326, Steve Hilditch (Pomona Inc.) at 0419 028 950, Jody (horse rider protest) at 5485 4112.
Steve Hilditch accused Council of leaving the hinterland people in the lurch.
Michael Donovan has had a long career as chief executive of various enterprises. He’s now chairman of Tourism Noosa and chairman of Noosa Biosphere Limited, which is totally owned by council. He suggested that ultimately the protesters might have to make a deal with the quarry operators, and as a professional mediator he was willing to facilitate that.
State and federal MPs for the area, Dave Gibson for Gympie in the Queensland parliament and Warren Truss, pledged their help. First, David.
A sentiment was expressed to the Pomona crowd that I wholeheartedly share and many of you probably will, too.
In the Kin Kin quarry story, we’ve heard that Main Roads, a department of the Queensland government is dragging its feet, or perhaps, not even willing to budge, on yet another life and death issue for our people. The Bligh gang have ripped the guts out of the Mary Valley and now it looks like they’ll get their way with Mary River water, after all, by sucking it out and pumping it to Brisbane through the northern connector pipeline. Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett, who’s on the skids over the house insulation and solar programmes, has just approved the pipeline. David Kreutz, secretary of the Save the Mary River Coordinating Group, gave us their response to that.
Who remembers polio, that crippling and potentially fatal disease that mainly affects children under five years of age? There’s probably a whole generation in this country, as in most prosperous ones, who have no knowledge, let alone experience of it. Routine oral vaccination has wiped it out in our societies. But four countries still have it, and Rotary International is helping to try to eradicate it. Jesse Loxton of the Rotary Club of Noosa Heads Daybreak explained how they’re pitching in.
As a GP, Jesse Loxton has been in India himself and seen some of this happen on the ground.
Auditions are coming soon for the One Act Plays season at Noosa Arts Theatre and rehearsals are in full swing for a play about sex, Synda Turnbull reported.
Catch the next What’s Going On? on Tuesday 2 March at 11 am. You can email us to Markrzz@bigpond.com, or phone 5447 2233 to leave a message.
Pictures by Brigitte Simon-Enderl