Cronulla Sand Dunes, Kurnell Peninsula - History - Sand Mining

Sand Mining

In 1933 the Sutherland Shire Council asked the Government to set aside the 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) between Cronulla Golf Club and Kurnell as a reserve. In April 1937, Haymarket Land and Building Co. offered Sutherland Shire Council 720 acres (2.9 km2) of land near the entrance to Kurnell for 8 pounds per acre. Most of the councillors wanted to declare the site a National Park. They wanted it to be titled "the Birthplace of Australian History and Gateway to Captain Cooks Landing Place." The dunes at Towra Point were to be included in this park. The Council was evenly split, but Joe Monro, the Council's President, argued that because the site "was nothing but sand it was completely useless". He decided to vote against the purchase. The sandhills were doomed from that point. The Government couldn't see any reason to establish another National Reserve so near to Captain Cooks Landing Place Reserve.

In the 1930s the Holt family began its sand mining operations to supply the expanding Sydney building market and continued until 1990 with an estimate of over 70 million tonnes of sand being removed. The sand has been valued for many decades by the Sydney building industry, mainly because of its high crushed shell content and lack of organic matter. The site has now been reduced to a few remnant dunes and deep water-filled pits which are now being filled with demolition waste from Sydney's building sites. Removal of the sand has significantly weakened the peninsula's capacity to resist storms. Ocean waves pounding against the reduced Kurnell dune system have threatened to break through into Botany Bay, especially during the storms of May and June 1974 and August, 1998.

Read more about this topic:  Cronulla Sand Dunes, Kurnell Peninsula, History

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Famous quotes containing the words mining and/or sand:

    Any relation to the land, the habit of tilling it, or mining it, or even hunting on it, generates the feeling of patriotism. He who keeps shop on it, or he who merely uses it as a support to his desk and ledger, or to his manufactory, values it less.
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    Change begets change. Nothing propagates so fast. If a man habituated to a narrow circle of cares and pleasures, out of which he seldom travels, step beyond it, though for never so brief a space, his departure from the monotonous scene on which he has been an actor of importance would seem to be the signal for instant confusion.... The mine which Time has slowly dug beneath familiar objects is sprung in an instant; and what was rock before, becomes but sand and dust.
    Charles Dickens (1812–1870)