Sand mine rejected: How it happened

A DEFIANT community has proved too powerful for a controversial sand mine proposal at Forest Glen.

Sunshine Coast councillors had the difficult task of determining whether to approve or refuse a 105ha sand mine alongside Maroochydore Rd, near Eudlo Creek and a local school and the community was out to send a message to councillors yesterday.

More than 200 people opposed to the proposal gathered outside Nambour's council chambers before yesterday's meeting while just under 200 people filed in to what was a crammed ordinary meeting.

Placards waved, kids chanted and debate raged.

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Division 7 councillor Ted Hungerford outlined his argument for going against officers' advice and refusing the proposal, making strong arguments about the environmental risks associated with regular flooding on the site if a sand mine was to be developed.

He found favour with a number of colleagues.

Councillors Jason O'Pray, Jenny McKay, Christian Dickson, Peter Cox, Rick Baberowski and John Connolly all sided with Cr Hungerford, supporting his alternate motion to refuse the development application.

PACKED: The gallery looks on as sand mine opponents attend the Nambour council chambers for the debate and vote yesterday.
PACKED: The gallery looks on as sand mine opponents attend the Nambour council chambers for the debate and vote yesterday. Warren Lynam

Tensions ran high as councillors Greg Rogerson, Steve Robinson and Tim Dwyer made the case for approval.

Mayor Mark Jamieson told the gallery they risked a worse outcome on the site if the matter went to court on appeal and the community lost.

Cr Cox's support of Cr Hungerford was a significant moment in yesterday's meeting. It gave the case against five votes, requiring only one more to reject the proposal and the opponents were buoyed by it.

Crs Connolly and Baberowski sealed the fate of the proposal, Cr Connolly simply unable to support the plans given the impacts the increased traffic from the sand mine would have if approved.

Topics:  maroochydore sands planning and development sand mine state government stop the maroochy sand mine sunshine coast sunshine coast council

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