Beautiful one day. Does international mining giant Sibelco know something about the future of North Stradbroke Island that it isn’t revealing? Earlier this year the Bligh government announced it had given Sibelco eight years to shut down its sand-mining operation to make way for a national park on the world’s second largest sand island, near Brisbane. Yet Sibelco is spending big money promoting a new benefit fund for the island community until 2050.

In a press release, the Australian CEO Campbell Jones spoke of wanting to help build a “strong future” for Straddie. “There is an incredible amount of infrastructure and facilities on Straddie that have been built with sand mining sponsorships — like the local golf course, the Allsports Club and the University of Queensland Marine Research Station to name just a few,” said Jones. “While we’re still fighting the Bligh government’s decision, we also want to provide greater support to the community for as long as we’re able to continue sand mining.” Sibelco wants to keep the mine open until 2027, rather than 2019. “Generous to a fault or confident of a reversal by an NLP government after the next state election?” asks our island insider.

Government clean up Orica spill. The NSW government is on the front foot over the Orica poison spill in Newcastle ahead of an inquiry report to be handed down on Friday. Today’s Daily Telegraph story — which suggests the company “made a major mistake” in not immediately informing government — was a government drop to lay the blame for the crisis at the foot of the government rather than the minister, according to our mole. “Wait for rest of the drip feed later this week,” they say. “Word is The Sydney Morning Herald are filthy as they’ve been running hard on the yarn since is broke.”

Conflict of interest at Aunty. There’s a bit feeling around the ABC on the broadcaster’s new conflict-of-interest policy. The union tells us news executive Alan Sunderland will address Melbourne staff at the Southbank headquarters later this week. We’d love to hear from staff concerned — drop us a line or tip us anonymously.

Development authority in trouble. There is trouble in the camp at The Regional Development Authority on the Sunshine Coast. We’ve heard all sorts of accusations flying around. So what’s the story?

Car crash ahead. “Overheard in CBD coffee shop, new chair of Motor Accidents Authority lawyer “Ray” says heads to roll as he meets with high-profile barrister to discuss strategy to increase lawyers profits,” writes a coffee fan. When we rang the Motor Accidents Authority, we were told that no one called Ray worked there. Hmmm …

Don’t sing along to the Lion King. We liked this from the 3AW Rumour File this morning: “Caller Can You Feel The Love Tonight says at a packed cinema in Frankston on Saturday night they stopped a 3D screening of the Lion King to eject a woman for swearing during the movie. He says the woman was singing along with the movie and reacted after being told to be quiet.”

Peter Fray

Ending soon: Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%