27 Feb 2013

Qld elders want Stradbroke mining inquiry

1:34 pm on 27 February 2013

Indigenous elders in Queensland want an inquiry into illegal mining on North Stradboke Island by Unimin Australia.

AAP reports the company is accused of illegally taking and selling non-mineral sand from North Stradbroke Island and a hearing is being held at Brisbane Magistrates Court.

Elder Dale Ruska claims Unimin unlawfully took and sold sand for more than 30 years, in amounts estimated to be worth about $A80 million.

Under a lease with the state government, Unimin can extract only mineral sands from its silica mines. Any other sand must be used for rehabilitation.

Mr Ruska said he has legal advice from two senior councils that there is a prima facie case for fraud and theft.

He has forwarded that advice to Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie, but no action has been taken.

The elders will attend the trial in the Brisbane Magistrates Court to call on Mr Bleijie to act.

"Our attendance is our expression of disappointment, dissatisfaction and disgust with the Queensland justice system," he said in a statement.

"He needs to direct the Department of Public Prosecutions to examine the evidence ... We want fair and equal justice."