The proposed operation along Maroochydore Rd has come up against opposition from locals.
The proposed operation along Maroochydore Rd has come up against opposition from locals. Che Chapman

Sand plant project 'as dangerous as a day on the beach'

THE director of the company behind the controversial proposal for a Forest Glen sand extraction site says the development is not a sand mine.

Maroochydore Sands Pty Ltd director Michael Mullins said fears over possible silica grains becoming airborne causing respiratory issues, while possibly legitimate concerns for sand mining, did not apply to simple sand extraction operations.

He said sand mining usually entailed a far more detailed process, including drying and dry screening, which often created the silica particle issue, whereas with extraction, it was essentially the same process as beach dredging, with sand dredged, pumped, wet screened and stockpiled before being sold.

"Our plant and our operation is about as dangerous as a day on the beach," he said.

The proposal drew public outcry last week as the end date for community submissions drew to a close.

Nearby residents expressed concerns over health issues, noise, traffic and environmental impacts that could be delivered by a sand extraction development at the site.

Mr Mullins said negative visual impact would be balanced with planting and trucks would not look to operate during peak-hour traffic, as he hoped the majority of work would entail only a brief roundtrip to Kunda Park and back.

Mr Mullins said he was also confident the proposal would adequately meet environmental concerns raised with the propensity for flooding in the area.

"We want to have a sustainable business so what we do, we monitor the water, we monitor the pH level in the water and make sure if it's necessary we dose the water to make sure the pH balance is right and we manage the issues," he said.

Do you still oppose the Forest Glen sand extraction site now health concerns have been addressed?

This poll ended on 03 November 2015.

Current Results

Yes. As long as it's safe it's OK.


No. Of course that's what the developers would say.


Health concerns are only part of the problem.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Previously experienced in both sand extraction and sand mine operation, Mr Mullins, a Brisbane-based lawyer and consultant said he believed the Maroochydore Sands proposal, a project with an expected 30-year extraction life, would even reduce road pollution, as truck travel time was reduced.

"We won't be heading out around peak times," he said.

He said it was world's-best practice to try to establish a site as close to the end market, in this case Kunda Park operators, as possible, to reduce travel times and therefore reduce the cost of the sand for both operators and future consumers.

The application is to be considered by Sunshine Coast Council.

Michael Mullins, director.
Michael Mullins, director.

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