Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

Community invited to comment on proposed refusal of Hummock Hill Island development

Media release
21 June 2011

Environment Minister Tony Burke today announced his proposed decision to refuse a residential and tourist development in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and invited members of the public to comment on the proposed decision.

The Hummock Hill Island development proposed by East Wing Corporation is in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, south of Gladstone.

The community will have until July 20 to comment on the proposed refusal of the Hummock Hill Island development.

The proposed development would involve a bridge to the mainland, a golf course, an airstrip, two boat ramps, a desalination plant, 790 residential allotments, two hotels, a conference centre and a motel, holiday accommodation, camping grounds, a commercial centre and a retail centre.

It would also include all supporting infrastructure such as roads, power, water, waste treatment, gas and sewerage and involve clearance of more than 300 hectares of native vegetation.

"Hummock Hill Island is one of a very small number of undeveloped islands remaining in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area," Mr Burke said.

"As a large island close to the coast, Hummock Hill has remarkable natural and World Heritage values.

"It is a unique large island ecosystem which contains species of plants and animals not widely represented in the rest of the World Heritage Area.

"This is why I am proposing to refuse the development, after carefully considering the environmental assessment, expert advice and public submissions so far.

"In making the proposed decision I have determined that the potential significant impacts on matters of national significance protected under national environmental laws and the potential significant impacts on ecological communities would be unacceptable.

"As required under national environment law, I have considered the social and economic impacts of this project.

"In making my proposed decision, I considered that the likely economic and social benefits would not outweigh the serious environmental impacts.

"However, I understand that this proposal is of interest to the community and that's why I am making my proposed refusal available for further public comment."

Information on the federal decision process and the proposed decision can be found at www.environment.gov.au/epbc.