Posted by Jim on March 23, 2011
I am not a resident of the Kin Kin district. I live in Noosa. Indeed, I am the Greens candidate for Noosa in the next State election, which might be sooner rather than next year. Even though Kin Kin is outside my electorate, I would like you to know that we will continue to assist the community in its campaign against the expansion of the quarry at Shepperson’s Lane.
The proposition that there should be any large quarry in this district is contrary to the interests of all those who live in Kin Kin and those of us for whom it is a valuable part of our geography and environment. The Premier when she had responsibility for planning refused a permit for a very large resort on the grounds that it would destroy the village and rural amenity of the district. That a large industrial quarry should be contemplated, close to the centre of Kin Kin with 40 tonne trucks terrifying every other motorist on the small country roads that link Kin Kin to the rest of the Sunshine Coast, the Cooloola and the Bruce Highway, has even less merit.
I have encountered a quarry truck while driving in the opposite direction on the Range Road so I know first hand the reality of the danger they pose to every other motorist: there is absolutely no margin for error. And that represents a serious danger to every other road user and especially to a bus full of Kin Kin’s children. To my mind this indicates that the quarry can never satisfy the haulage requirements for quarries let alone the moral issues of protecting children and preserving the peaceful environment of Kin Kin.
The roads already have maintenance requirements. If you want to see what these heavy vehicles do to the rural roads in our region, travel along the Eumundi-Kenilworth Road or Moy Pocket Road. I use Eumundi-Kenilworth Road often and each time I do, the road is chopped up further. So, the danger represented by encountering large quarry trucks will be exacerbated by the poor condition of roads damaged by equipment they were never designed for, creating further dangerous conditions, even if you are fortunate enough not to encounter one of those haulage trucks bearing down on you.
I used the word, “moral”. I did not introduce it lightly. What strikes me about how government and operators approach coalmining, coal seam gas extraction and quarrying is the degree to which they will ride roughshod over communities and individuals. It is unacceptable, anti-social and damaging behaviour: it is unethical.
Jim McDonald, Comment on In Kin Kin, 23 March 2011
Posted by Jim on October 29, 2010
Wide Bay Greens spokesperson, Jim McDonald, was interviewed this week on Noosa Community Radio about a number of issues in the Wide Bay Sunshine Coast regions.
He referred to the Greens’ fishing policy which addresses the sustainability of the Australian commercial fishing industry and recreational fishing. He has expressed concerns previously about the media’s uncritical reporting of continual industry and political misrepresentation of the Greens’ policy. For example, the Noosa Journal recently failed to publish a rebuttal by Jim to a letter to the editor alleging that the Greens planned to ban all fishing. He pulls no punches in this interview .
Jim also talked about the implications of a lack of vision for the Mary Valley within the other political parties. It is an urgent issue as a matter of the national interest that needs to be addressed as part of a national food security strategy. None presently exists. The future of the Mary Valley is an issue that he addressed during the election campaign and he has recently raised the issue again in response to comments on the Mary Valley by Nicklin MP, Peter Wellington. This interview can be heard here .
During the election campaign, Jim was very active in supporting the Aldershot community against the open-cut coalmine Northern Energy Corporation proposes to be dug within a few kilometres of the town. He has continued his support for the community since being appointed the spokesperson for the Federal electorate of Wide Bay. This interview discusses several aspects of the development of coalmining in the region from Wolvi to Aldershot, along the Mary River at Munna Creek, Tiaro and Aldershot and in the Rainbow Beach – Tin Can Bay hinterland. Listen to the interview here .
He was also asked to comment on the Moy Pocket Quarry’s plans to become a central depot for explosives in the region. The Greens made a submission to Gympie Council opposing the project. This was reported on this website in August. The interview is recorded on the Noosa Community website here
Jim McDonald, Greens Spokesperson, Wide Bay Federal Electorate, 29 October 2010
Posted by Jim on August 26, 2010
Keep up to date on issues in the Wide Bay electorate and the corresponding State electorates, especially Maryborough, Gympie and Noosa here.
We’ll be back shortly. I’m the spokesperson for the Greens in Wide Bay and will soon have posts up on
- Kin Kin quarry
Jim McDonald Greens spokesperson, Wide Bay electorate, 26 August 2010
Posted by Jim on August 2, 2010
Proposals to allow the expansion of the Kin Kin quarry raise issues about its suitability in the Kin Kin district. The following are comments made by the former Minister for Infrastructure and now Premier about the Titanium tourist project, which are relevant to the quarry:
“I need to be satisfied the proposed size and location is consistent with the intent of the SEQ Regional Plan.
“The site includes good quality agricultural land and areas of significant biodiversity value – the very areas the SEQ Regional Plan was established to protect.
“The Regional Plan is our safeguard to ensure growth in SEQ is managed in a sensible fashion. It protects more than 80 per cent of the region from urban development while providing for better land use, environmental protection, improved connections between homes and infrastructure and sustainable use of resources such as water and energy.”
“Ms Bligh said her decision followed a rigorous assessment process by the State Government and Noosa Shire Council. The development application has been the subject of deliberation by numerous agencies since it was lodged in November 2005….”
[Noosa Shire Council] refused the application, citing reasons including that the application was in conflict with their own planning scheme….
[Ministerial Media Statement, 18 April 2007]
Ms Bligh said in Parliament last year:
“No wonder the expert planning advice I received as part of the call-in said that ‘the proposed development would introduce inappropriate levels of development’ and that ‘the site has significant biodiversity values’ and ‘there is no overriding public interest to justify the conversion of this land to non-rural development’.”
As State departments dither on the quarry, why are not the same principles being applied by the the Council and State Government on this issue?
Posted by Jim on July 31, 2010
Noosa’s best chance of representation by a candidate who understands the community is the Greens’ candidate for Wide Bay, Jim McDonald.
Jim has been a resident of Noosa for 15 years and has been involved in the community during that time. He stood for Council in 2004 and has been involved in various community activities since becoming a resident. He has been president of Noosa Chorale, a lecturer in negotiation for Noosa U3A and for a time on the U3A Committee, a volunteer speaker for the Australian Heart Foundation. Early this year, he ensured that the Sunshine Beach community became aware of Council proposals to change Sunshine Beach village. His article in the Noosa News led to a large turnout of residents at a Council briefing session letting the Council know the community position, which had been neglected in consultation processes. Jim is also a member of Noosa Arts theatre and edited an online theatre newsletter and bulletin for the Sunshine Coast.
Jim McDonald on the campaign trail
As the Greens candidate for Wide Bay Jim has thrown his support behind the Kin Kin community’s concerns about the expansion of the Kin Kin quarry and PAGE, which is trying to protect beautiful hills habitat in the Noosa hinterland from Powerlink’s proposed high voltage transmission lines through Eerwah Vale. The Greens also support Noosa’s de-amalgamation from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and informed the Friends of Noosa about that a couple of months ago. Neither the Labor candidate nor the sitting member understands our concerns about the negative effects of amalgamation on the Noosa community. Once part of a viable and solvent Shire Noosa residents have inherited rising rates in a debt-ridden regional council. We support a Council which unites the common interests of the Noosa Hinterland and the hinterland towns as well as Noosa and the Eastern Beaches.
His was one of the few voices that raised concerns about the inclusion of Noosa in the Wide Bay electorate before the 2007 election. Many Noosa people are not aware that the administrative centre for the electorate remains in Maryborough. That’s further away than the Brisbane CBD. The area covered by the old Noosa Shire demographically, economically and regionally has more in common with the Sunshine Coast than the rural communities and towns of Wide Bay.
Despite half the voters in Wide Bay being located in Noosa, the Labor and Nationals campaigns are being run out of Maryborough. Noosa perspectives are neglected. The Greens candidate understands the Noosa community while having responded for some months to community issues throughout the electorate as he campaigned throughout Wide Bay. The Greens campaign is being run out of Noosa.
On 21 August Vote 1 Jim McDonald, Greens Candidate for Wide Bay and Noosa
Posted by Jim on July 29, 2010
The Wide Bay Greens candidate, Jim McDonald, said he is perplexed as to how Councillors and the Sunshine Coast Council can allow a mega quarry to gear up in Kin Kin. The Council has approved a large quarry developed for concrete aggregate at the end of Shepparson’s lane alongside the Noosa Trail Network.
“The roads into Kin Kin village are basically country lanes. The main route from Pomona is not even wide enough for line marking and includes three single lane bridges. There is a requirement for quarry approvals to cover provisions for haulage. That has clearly not happened in Kin Kin.
“The road system is too small for quarry trucks and highway entry is on one of the worst black spots on the Bruce Highway near Pomona. Sunshine Coast Council seems to have broken its own rules. The heavy haulage traffic that the expansion of the quarry will bring will endanger the lives of everyone who travels on Kin Kin district’s roads. That’s a dereliction of duty in ensuring due care in managing the roads.
“Were Mayor Bob Abbott and local Councillor Lew Brennan asleep on the job? The proposal for a large quarry has been on the table for a couple of years.
“A large tourist project had been dumped by Anna Bligh when she was the Minister for Infrastructure because Kin Kin didn’t have the infrastructure. It would never have brought the heavy trucks that the quarry will bring, yet the Titanium project was rejected.
“Now the Council and the State Government are paying pass the parcel, while residents are rightly fearful and annoyed by the intransigence of the Council and the failures of the Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Environment and Resource Management.
“Inappropriate coalmining and quarrying in the Wide Bay electorate represent a major threat to residents’ lifestyle, regional infrastructure, and the environment. They undermine the efforts of the Noosa and the Great Sandy Biospheres to inject a sustainable approach to conservation and resource utilisation.
“In the Kin Kin case, this breach of principle is nothing short of a crazy indifference to the community.”
Jim McDonald media release, 29 July 2010
Posted by Jim on July 18, 2010
What is it about mining and quarrying that brings out the worst in corporations and in all levels of government and the best in communities? Community groups in the Mary Valley, Aldershot and Kin Kin are great examples in the Wide Bay electorate of community resilience and wonderful skills quickly learned and applied.
Kin Kin Community Group briefing Saturday, 17 July 2010. Photo, Jim McDonald
The Kin Kin Community Group has been fighting approvals given to a small quarry by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the State Government to expand into a very large quarry.
Last week, as if to thumb its nose at the community and the legal case before the court, a large section of the quarry was blasted by the operators.
Premier Anna Bligh had refused an application for a large tourist complex when she was Infrastructure Minister because the infrastructure did not support such a large enterprise near the small village of Kin Kin.
The same narrow winding roads, which are not even wide enough for line marking and have single lane bridges, and will carry large quarry trucks if the quarry is allowed to go ahead, were not adequate for a large commercial tourist operation.
It has to be asked, what role has the Divisional Councillor and the Mayor played in the promotion of the Quarry expansion where up to 40 trucks a day will thunder down Kin Kin’s roads?
The Greens have already backed the community and yesterday the Greens candidate for Wide Bay, Jim McDonald, the Greens candidate for Groom, Frida Forsberg, Michael Kane from the Queensland Greens Management Committee, and the Wide Bay Campaign Manager, Bob Borsellino, were briefed on developments in Kin Kin.
Members of Kin Kin Community Group and Greens representatives on site in Kin Kin
Jim McDonald promised his ongoing support for the community group in fighting the quarry and The Greens are planning additional political support for the campaign against the mega quarry.
While campaigns such as Kin Kin’s fight against the expansion of the quarry bring out the best in communities, it also brings out nasty elements. Someone supporting the quarry has systematically destroyed community signs against the quarry:
One of the signs destroyed by vandals supporting quarry. Photo, Jim McDonald
Similar dirty tricks are played out in Aldershot, where community notices and noticeboards against the Colton Coal Mine are regularly destroyed and damaged by night vandals.
Posted by Jim on June 30, 2010
In 2007, Anna Bligh, then Minister for Infrastructure refused an application for the development of a $400 million tourism development in the village of Kin Kin. Not only did she say that the project was in conflict with the SEQ regional plan, which allows for smaller tourism businesses such as farm stays and Bed and Breakfast establishments, but she also pointed out, “The region just doesn’t have the infrastrucure to support a development of this size.”
The Kin Kin district doesn’t have the infrastructure for up to 40 trucks a day carrying up to 42 tonnes of rock on the roads either. Kin Kin is notorious for the narrow winding roads that lead to the town. Roads in and out of Kin Kin will become a death trap.
Today I visited this quiet little corner and saw Sunshine Coast Regional Council surveyors marking out the road leading from the quarry to the Kin Kin – Wolvi Road for an upgrade. There is nothing in the Main Roads budget for improving the roads. And, this is despite the Council and Kin Kin residents about to face each other in court.
Wahpunga Creek flows off a ridge, past the quarry, and eventually into Kin Kin Creek, which in turn flows into the Noosa River. The Department of Environment doesn’t call this a stream!
Wahpunga Creek: Qld Dep't of Environment & Resource Management says this is not a creek! Photo Jim McDonald
When it rains, it is quite clear from the next photograph that the stream suffers from quarry run-off. This flows eventually through to Kin Kin Creek and Noosa River. This case is an example of tricksy, bureaucratic nonsense emanating from Departments whose function is to protect the environment, but whose arbitrary decisions are ultimately harmful to residents and the environment. This is what the quarry did to the Wahpunga Creek after rain:
Wahpunga Creek downstream from quarry after rain; clear surface water flowing from neighbour's property Photo Maree Glasby
By the way, the road being surveyed, Sheppersons Lane, is part of the Noosa Trail Network!
There are some complicated issues about the legality of the quarry, which has been a small part-time quarry for years. But, the central issue is that accessibility issues have the seeds of tragedy in them if this small quarry is upscaled. Meanwhile, the lessee forges ahead.
Drilling proceeds for expanding Kin Kin Quarry, 30 June 2010 Photo Jim McDonald
The Greens support the Kin Kin community, which has been working hard to prevent their roads being overrun by large trucks that have no place in their small hamlet. Your Wide Bay candidate, Jim McDonald, called on the LNP Opposition spokesperson on the environment, the Hon Glen Elmes, to get moving on the issue. This needs real action to prevent a disastrous result for Kin Kin and district residents.
Jim McDonald, Greens Candidate, Wide Bay, 30 June 2010