Queensland Govt to support Sibelco sand mine workers

The Queensland Government is providing up to $5 million to support North Stradbroke Island Sibelco workers affected by the phase out of sand mining.

Earlier this year the state parliament passed a bill to end sand mining on the island in 2019. This came after the Bligh Government declared 80 per cent of the island a national park in 2011, creating several hurdles for Sibelco’s sand mining operations.

Queensland employment minister Grace Grace said the Workers Assistance Scheme will help workers transition into new jobs, particularly as the local economy shifts from sand mining to eco-tourism.

“Our $5 million assistance scheme will help workers to move on to new employment and training opportunities in sustainable tourism, local business and education and training,” she said.

“It’s a well-rounded package which has been developed with input from workers, unions, Sibelco and the community”.

The scheme will provide financial assistance for job searches, training and housing assistance, as well as a commuting subsidy for workers.

It will also provide funds to employers who provide permanent employment for six months or more.

Assistance under the scheme will be available until May 2021.