Quarry fight goes international

By Sonia Isaacs

Peaceful Glass House protesters unfurl giant banner at company’s German HQ

PROTESTERS have taken their opposition to the Glass House Quarry expansion global, with local residents unfurling a giant banner on the German owner’s home soil.

Staging a ‘peaceful protest’, two Glass House Mountains residents, Karin and Remco Stronkhourst, travelled to Heidelberg, Germany earlier this month in a bid to bring awareness of the local campaign to the international stage.

 The couple travelled to the headquarters of global multinational HeidelbergCement who own Hanson Glasshouse Quarry, to unfurl the banner as well as attending well-known tourist spots around the town.

Heidelberg, headquarters for Hanson Glasshouse Quarry

Designed by local traditional custodian BJ Djinidjini Murphy, the massive 3 metre banner called for the Glasshouse Mountains to be saved and highlighted the local campaign’s catchcry ‘Mountain town not mining town’.

In late July, Hanson lodged a development application (DA) with Sunshine Coast Council proposing to double rock extraction to 1.2 million tonnes a year at their Glass House Mountains site. This has prompted a strong community reaction and led to the formation of a grassroots community activist group ‘Save Our Glass House Mountains’. In their inaugural newsletter, the group have stated their mission to ‘halt the quarry expansion, protect our community, and safeguard the Glass House Mountains as a natural treasure’.

The group have kicked off a series of roundtable discussions to galvanise a multi-faceted community campaign strategy and are now currently working on a series of local fundraising activities. A key area of focus is preparation towards the community submission process with organisers developing a template to help simplify the process.

Currently the timing of when the public consultation period will open is uncertain, however organisers understand it could be anytime from now until the end of the year, with a possibility it may extend into the holiday season.

Members of not for profit community group GMAN (Glasshouse Mountains Advancement Network) have also expressed their concern about the proposed DA, and will oppose the application. Secretary, John Quinn, said GMAN had its foundation some 30 years previously when an application to commence quarrying at the current site was initially opposed by the community.

“While the community lost that initial quarry fight, from there many community members decided to band together and officially form a conservation group. Hence the beginning of GMAN. We will submit our own submission in response to the Hanson Quarry Development Application and certainly encourage community members to do the same,” he said.

For more, visit the ‘Save our Glass House Mountains’ facebook page or email saveourglasshousemountains@gmail.com.

To join, or to make enquiries to GMAN, you can contact them on ghmgman@gmail.com or phone 0429 305 178.


Main image: Karin Stronkhourst peacefully protesting at Hanson’s HQ in Germany