North Stradbroke Island
NASA World Wind Landsat montage
|Area||275.2 km2 (106.26 sq mi)|
|Length||38 km (23.6 mi)|
|Width||11 km (6.8 mi)|
|Local Government Area||Redland City|
North Stradbroke Island is an Australian island in the state of Queensland, 30 km southeast of the capital Brisbane. Before 1896 the island was part of the Stradbroke Island. In that year a storm separated it from South Stradbroke Island, forming the Jumpinpin Channel. It is known colloquially as Straddie.
The island is about 38 km long and 11 km wide. North Stradbroke Island is the second largest sand island in the world. North Stradbroke, South Stradbroke and Moreton Island act as a barrier to Moreton Bay.
The permanent population the island is around 2000 but the number of people on the island swells significantly during the holiday season. The island is only accessible by vehicular or passenger ferries leaving from Cleveland.
There are three townships on the island. Dunwich is the largest and has most of the island's services including a school, medical centre, local museum and university marine research station. Point Lookout (referred to locally as 'the point') is on the surf side of the island and is the major tourist destination in the holiday season. The third is Amity Point which is much smaller and a popular fishing spot on the island. Flinders Beach is a small settlement of mostly holiday houses located on the main beach between Amity and Point Lookout.
Five main Beaches provide great fishing, surfing and water activities on North Stradbroke Island. These are Main Beach (32 km long, good for surfing), Cylinder Beach (protected swimming beach with smaller swell), Home Beach (a popular swimming beach), Frenchmans Beach/Deadmans Beach (rock pools but no lifesaving service) and Flinders Beach (on the western non-surf side of the Island, offers good swimming and popular with campers).
The native name for the island is Minjerribah but in 1827 Captain Henry John Rous, who had the title of Viscount Dunwich, commander of HMS Rainbow the first British ship of war to enter Moreton Bay, named the island after his father the Earl of Stradbroke, the town after his title, the entrance channel after himself and even gave his boat a guernsey with the naming of Rainbow Beach. However three shipwrecked sailors, Thomas Pamphlett, John Finnegan and Richard Parsons, spent time on Stradbroke Island after they were washed ashore in 1823. The local Aboriginal people supplied them with food and shelter and even gave them a canoe to help them on their way. Before these three, Matthew Flinders called in at Stradbroke Island for fresh water and also mapped a large section of Moreton Bay. Flinders was impressed by the Stradbroke Aborigines' health and hospitality. Well known local historian, Thomas Welsby, records an Aboriginal oral tradition that there was an even earlier contact with European shipwreck survivors who walked into one of the Aboriginal camps after their ship was wrecked on the ocean side of Stradbroke Island. This tradition states that one of the men's name was Juan and the other's was Woonunga. In 1890 a member of the Campbell family, one of Stradbroke's oldest mixed blood families, told Welsby that the remains of the ship were still visible in the 18 Mile Swamp and that the remains were of English oak. This story gives rise to a local legend that the remains of a Spanish or Portuguese shipwreck known as the Stradbroke Island Galleon exist somewhere in the 18 Mile Swamp.
North Stradbroke Island's most famous local was Oodgeroo Noonuccal, formerly known as Kath Walker, the Aboriginal poet and native-rights campaigner. She was one of the prime-movers of the movement that lead to the 1997 landmark agreement between the local government council and the aboriginal people of the area claiming rights over the island and parts of Moreton Bay.
Indigenous inhabitants 
The indigenous Quandamooka people are made up of the Noonuccal, Goenpul and Ngugi tribes. Quandamooka is the Aboriginal name for Moreton Bay; however North Stradbroke Island is also inhabited by the Quandamooka people. This group was traditionally nomadic, moving between a number of semi-permanent settlements and living off the land. In July 2011, the Quandamooka people of North Stradbroke Island won a 16-year-long historic battle to have their Native Title claim recognised. The Federal Court determinations outline native title rights and interest over land and waters on and around North Stradbroke Island. According to the Redland City Council, the Quandamooka People's native title consent determinations cover the majority of North Stradbroke Island, Peel Island, Goat Island, Bird Island, Stingaree Island, Crab Island and the water surrounding Moreton Bay.
Sand mining 
In 1949, Australian Consolidated Industries (ACI) commenced sand mining operations on North Stradbroke Island. Consolidated Rutile Limited (CRL) overtook these sand mining operations in 1966. In 1998, Iluka Resources Limited acquired majority interest in CRL. Australian minerals mining company Unimin Australia Limited acquired majority interest in 2009, and the company changed its name to Sibelco Australia in 2011.
Mining moved into the interior of the island in the late 1960s and increased in scale and size. As an alternative, development of the island for seaside residential use was mooted and in 1970 a bridge from the mainland via Russell Island was under serious consideration by the Queensland government. The Queensland Government also proposed a large scale redevelopment of the island in the mid 1980's which would have seen the population of the island increase tenfold. This proposal was never followed through when the incumbent government lost office. There are several accounts from sand mining employees of unusual artifacts being found during dredging operations.
In 1991, the Australian Government and sand mining companies ACI and CRL attempted to reach an agreement on surrender of some or parts of mining lease tenements to form a national park. Half of North Stradbroke Island was to become a national park in return for a guarantee that mining could continue for the life of several mines in high-grade areas 1. The agreement was never signed by either of the mining companies nor the Government and has not been progressed to this day. Sibelco Australia operates three sand mining sites on the island - Enterprise, Yarraman and Vance. Mineral sands and silica sands at Vance mine, near Dunwich, are currently being mined from the surface. Rutile, zircon and ilmenite are dredged from the Yarraman Mine on the north of the island and the Enterprise Mine on the south of the island. Enterprise is the largest mine on the island and accounted for 60% of the island's production in 2011. In 2009, 500,000 tonnes of minerals were being produced by mining about 50 million tonnes of sand. Sibelco Australia produces 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes of sand annually (approximately one per cent of North Stradbroke Island's total sand). The minerals extracted are used mainly in glass production, but also in digital tablets such as iPads, paints, plastics, metals, cosmetics and biotechnological devices (such as prosthesis), both for domestic and international markets. A 2010 KPMG assessment found 95% of revenue from NSI sand mining stays in the Australian community.
In 2008, CRL received the Queensland Premier's Environment Protection Agency Sustainability Award for Resources industries for its rehabilitation processes. The award is given to a company that demonstrates leadership in environmental practices and commitment to progressive rehabilitation and long-term sustainability.
Economic modeling undertaken by Synergies Economic Consulting in 2010 indicates there are very strong linkages between sand mining and the rest of the NSI economy. The report found these linkages were significantly stronger than for other industries, such as tourism. The economic analysis revealed that current sand mining operations on NSI create up to 44% of total economic activity. Sand mining accounts for 14% direct employment on NSI and 30% when including indirect employment (around 650 people in total). The mine's indigenous population - the Quandamooka people - make up 15% of all mine employees. Sand mining on NSI supports almost $100 million in wages and income for small businesses. According to Synergies Economic Consulting, approximately 40% of children in childcare and schools on NSI come from mining families.
According to the Stradbroke Island Management Organisation (an environmental watch-dog organisation) two-thirds of the island is covered by mining leases. In late 2009, CSR, which became a subsidiary of Unimin Australia, itself a subsidiary of Sibelco, after being purchased from Iluka Resources, was charged with illegal sand mining after it was alleged to have sold sand extracted from the island, to the building industry for the production of glass without the correct permit. The matter is currently before the Queensland Supreme Court and a decision is still pending. In another legal matter, the High Court ruled against Sibelco in June 2011 over a bid to sell sand to construction companies. Sibelco had lodged the appeal against the Redland City Council's 2008 decision to deny the sand mining company's application to sell 500,000 tonnes of sand to construction companies over the next 100 years.
In 2010, the State Government announced that sand mining on the island would be phased out by 2027. The announcement caused concern amongst residents as the island's economy is underpinned by sand mining. Plans to decommission mining were changed once again, when on 22 March 2011 the Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced that the Enterprise Mine will now be forced to shut in 2019, eight years earlier than previously agreed. Yarraman would close in 2015 and Vance in 2025. The decision increased local concerns for the Island's economy. In January 2012, state opposition LNP leader Campbell Newman announced that if elected his party would allow sand mining on NSI to proceed up until 2027 as originally agreed upon.
According to Sibelco Australia, an independent poll in 2011 found 84% of Queenslanders support sand mining continuing to 2027 and do not want an early shut down of mining on NSI. A report released by Synergies Economic Consulting in 2010 predicts the early closure of sand mining on North Stradbroke Island would prompt a rise in the price of ferry transport services, electricity services and fuel for residents. It states total employment on the island would drop by 30%.
Under the State Government's Stradbroke Island Sustainability and Protection Act 2011, 80% of the island will become national park by 2026. The national park will be jointly managed by the Quandamooka people under the Indigenous Land Use Agreement. The State Government is planning to develop tourism opportunities by creating new walking tracks, camping grounds and recreational facilities. However, economic modeling undertaken by Synergies Economic Consulting states the growth in labour demand from tourism expansion is not expected to be rapid. This is because of an overall weakness in domestic tourism across Australia at present.
Community fund 
In 2011, Sibelco announced the formation of a new community fund with the profits of sand mining. According to the fund, it "is the largest community investment ever made in the history of the Bay Islands". The fund is administered by an Advisory Board, constituted by two members from each of the island's townships and an executive chairperson.
See also 
- Bribie Island
- List of islands of Australia
- North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum
- Point Lookout Lighthouse, Australia
- "About North Stradbroke Island". Centre for Marine Studies. University of Queensland. Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- Divisional Boundaries 2011. Redland City Council. Retrieved on 21 February 2012.
- Horton, Helen (1983). Islands of Moreton Bay. Spring Hill, Queensland: Boolarong Publications. pp. 28—30. ISBN 0-908175-67-1.
- Early Moreton Bay, Thomas Welsby, Outridge (1907)
- Local Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved on 17 February 2012.
- Quandamooka People. Queensland South Native Title Services. Retrieved on 17 February 2012.
- Quandamooka: Native title and North Stradbroke Island. Redland City Council. Retrieved on 17 February 2012.
- Sustainable Stradbroke. Sibelco Australia. Retrieved on 16 February 2012.
- Queensland Government. (2011). "North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Bill". Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- Kym Agius (23 March 2011). "Sandmining to end earlier on Straddie". Brisbane Times (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 24 March 2011.
- Greg Stolz (15 August 2009). "North Stradbroke Island eaten away by sand mining". The Courier Mail. Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 27 August 2009.
- Synergies Economic Consulting. (2010). "Impacts on North Stradbroke Island from ceasing sand mining". Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- KPMG. (2011). "Independent reassurance report to the directors of Sibelco Australia Limited." Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- (15 April 2011). Rebuilding Stradbroke Island after sand mining. 7.30 Queensland. Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- Queensland Government Environmental Protection Agency. (2008). Environmental Protection Agency Sustainability Awards. Access online on 22/02/2012
- Steve Gray (20 January 2010). Company in court over alleged sand theft. The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved on 17 February 2012.
- Greg Stolz (4 December 2009). "Unimin charged with illegal sand mining on North Stradbroke". The Courier-Mail (Queensland Newspapers). Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- Moore, Tony. (June 11, 2011). "Straddie sand-mining blow". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Media. Accessed 16 February 2012.
- "National park to cover 80pc of Stradbroke". ABC News Online (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 20 June 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2010.
- Paul Smith (17 August 2010). "Sand mining industry slams island park plan". Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 18 August 2010.
- Sandmining on Stradbroke to stop in 2025, Australian Geographic, 25 March 2011.
- Kerr, J. (20 Jan, 2012). 'Cleveland's MP defends leader's Straddie policy'. The Redland Times. Retrieved on 20 February 2012.
- Sibelco. (2011). Straddie Stories website. Accessed on 21 February 2012.
- Queensland Government. (2011). North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Act 2011. Access online on 21 February 2012
- Department of Environment and Resource Management. (2011). North Stradbroke Island: Draft Economic Transition Strategy. Accessed online on 21 February 2012.
- Tourism Forecasting Committee. (2011). Forecast 2011 Issue 1: Regional Forecasts Table. Accessed online on 22/02/2012
- Welcome to the Straddie Community Fund. Sibelco. Retrieved on 16 February 2012.
- About the Fund. Sibelco. Retrieved on 16 February 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: North Stradbroke Island|
- North Stradbroke Island's Official Website
- North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Bay, Australia. Shore and Beach, 2006, 74:2 38-39
- The Stradbroke Island Galleon
- Commonwealth of Australia Senate Committee Hansard Report 1998 Further statements on the environmental issues by the people of North Stradbroke
- Straddie Community Fund