Letter to Readers: Clearing up confusion over sand project
WE have made a concerted effort to engage with the community in the past few weeks, to ensure an accurate understanding of the Maroochydore Sands project and its impacts. However, there is still confusion around a number of issues.
We appreciate the community has questions about the proposal and wanted to take the opportunity to set the record straight.
We are planning to develop a small wet-screening and wash plant on a site off Maroochydore Rd, where sand will be extracted and supplied to the nearby construction industry for use in building products.
This is a low-key development in an area that was cleared for farming in the 1960s.
The visual impact of this project will be small.
The cattle that are grazing there now will stay there and people driving past will hardly notice anything has changed once the vegetation screening is in place.
We asked two respected health experts to assess the proposal and give their views because of community concerns about the safety of the proposal.
Children's health world expert Professor Peter Sly and top thoracic physician Dr Maurice Heiner both declared the project safe, recognising sand will not be mechanically dried, dry-screened or crushed.
Environmental experts have identified small areas of higher-value habitat on the site and those areas will not be impacted by the proposed development.
There have been concerns raised about the acid sulphate soils on the site. These issues are not unusual in coastal areas of Australia and managing them is a top priority for us.
The plan, developed by our consultants, includes avoiding areas where potential acid sulphate soils are concentrated.
Questions have also been asked about flooding. But hydrology reports, which were lodged as part of our development application, show the project will have no adverse impacts on the surrounding residential properties in terms of flooding.
I would encourage anyone who has concerns about the project to go to our project website, http://www.maroochydoresands.com, to find out more.