Council should not support sands mine

Tracey Anton, Toongabbie


WELLINGTON Shire Council is currently conducting a publicity campaign ‘The Middle of Everywhere’ to support Gippsland tourism.

While this is an excellent idea, it is totally hypocritical when it also supports mining in Gippsland, which is one of the biggest threats to the viability of our tourism assets.

I understand this is a short-term campaign post Gippsland bushfires and COVID impacts, but long term Wellington Shire Council, as a government organisation along with other peak tourism bodies who receive taxpayer funding, should be ensuring the longevity of our existing assets.

Currently, our precious communities are being undermined by the opening up of our rural areas to mining covering decades.

The impacts do not stop at an invisible line on a map.

Tourism roads will be realigned and truck movements increased, vistas will be eroded, dust will blow over large areas and waterways will be polluted flowing downstream.

Accommodation places will suffer, reviews will be negative and visitation will be impacted.

Each Gippsland locality has flow-on benefits from tourism all the way to east Gippsland, so it needs to be protected at all costs.

Our local Gippsland councils need to grow their voice, particularly Wellington, to protect our tourism assets.

With Wellington supporting the Kalbar mineral sands project they are saying, on behalf of the community, that they are happy for 80 trucks a day carting radioactive sands for up to 15 years all through Stratford, Sale and all the other small towns depending on end port chosen.

I ask Wellington Shire Council what are its objectives and vision for protecting and promoting tourism in the near future in consideration of the state government advancing mining in our region.