As a child in the early 70s, I found poetry anthology My People by Kath Walker in my school library. First publishing in 1964 she was Australia’s first published Aboriginal poet.
Mining has been a part of the Minjerriba history since 1949. The sand mining industry on Stradbroke Island began with shovels and trucks on Main Beach. This developed over time to large-scale dredging operations and up until 2019 mineral leases covered approximately 60% of the Island. Lines in the Sand A History of Mineral Sandmining on Queensland’s Barrier Islands states that in 1997 the then mine owner CRL commissioned a new mine at the Ibis-Alpha ore-body.
“The new mine became a focal point for the anti-mining campaign and Brisbane-based conservation groups, including the QCC and the Greens, formed the Stradbroke Island Action Coalition (SIAC) which also included the QLC, now strongly opposed to mining. The SIAC organised a number of protests on the Island to highlight their concern including a public rally, held in August 1996,98followed by a blockade of the road to the new mine site which caused delays in the commissioning of the mine” (Sweett, p66).
The author goes onto say that the blockade continued for over a month, but ended after disagreements within QLC and lack of support from SIMO and community.
Figure 1. 1997 Around 60 people gathered at Dunwich March 26 to protest against sand mining. Image retrieved from FOSI Facebook Page.