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The Hon Peter Garrett MP
Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts

Great Keppel Resort proposal to undergo rigorous environmental assessment

Media release
5 July 2010

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Environment Protection Minister Peter Garrett today said a proposal for a tourist resort and facilities on Great Keppel Island must undergo a thorough assessment under the national environment law-the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

"This second proposal from GKI Resort has the potential to significantly impact on several nationally protected matters, including the world and national heritage values of the island and its surrounds, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, nationally threatened and migratory species, and Commonwealth marine areas," Mr Garrett said.

"Because of those potential significant impacts, I am requiring the company's plans to undergo a rigorous environmental assessment through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), before deciding whether the project can proceed.

"The assessment and approval process spelt out under the national environment law is stringent and thorough and includes a requirement for expert scientific advice.

"Importantly, the process is also open and transparent, providing the public with an opportunity to have a say in this process, in particular to comment on both the EIS guidelines and the draft EIS that GKI Resort will be required to publish.

"The EIS process will take some time, and once it's completed, I will then be in a position to carefully consider all of the facts including the assessment material, the advice of my department, and the public comments provided through the process before deciding if the proposal's environmental impacts can be managed sufficiently to allow it to go ahead," Mr Garrett said.

This is the second proposal from GKI Resort for a resort development on Great Keppel Island. The Minister found that the first proposal, which had greater impacts than the current proposal, was 'clearly unacceptable' under national environment law because it would have unacceptable and permanent impacts on the island's world and national heritage values.

Commonwealth of Australia