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Monday, 8 February 2010
Page: 699

Dear Mrs Irwin

Thank you for your letter of 17 September 2009 concerning the submission of a petition regarding the Traveston Crossing Dam.

The Australian Government’s responsibilities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), in relation to proposals, such as the Traveston Crossing Dam, focus on the protection of certain defined matters of national environmental significance. These matters include world and national heritage properties, wetlands of international importance, nationally threatened species and ecological communities, migratory species, nuclear actions, Commonwealth marine areas and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

As you may be aware, on 2 December 2009 I rejected the Traveston Crossing Dam on the basis of unacceptable impacts on listed threatened species and communities. My decision was based primarily on science and it is clear to me that the proposal cannot go ahead without unacceptable impacts on nationally protected matters.

In particular, the proposal would have serious and irreversible adverse effects on listed threatened species including the Australian Lungfish, Mary River Turtle and Mary River Cod.

In making my decision I also carefully considered the independent expert reviews commissioned by my department focusing on the hydrological and faunal impacts of the proposal, including at the estuary.

Additional information on my final decision on the proposal and the decision making process under the EPBC Act can be located on the department’s website at:

www.environment.gov.au/epbc/notices/assessments/2006/3150/traveston-dam-the-federal-process.html.

Thank you for writing on this matter.

from the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Mr Garrett