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Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Page: 144

(Question No. 794)

Senator Reynolds asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories, upon notice, on 22 November 1993:

  (1) Is the Minister aware of concerns expressed by north Queensland environmental groups that a proposed development of a marina and resort at Oyster Point, adjacent to the Hinchinbrook Channel has not been subject to proper environmental impact assessment procedures.

  (2) What steps are to be taken by the department to ensure that a full, public environmental impact assessment will be carried out.

Senator Schacht —The Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) Yes

  (2) On the basis of advice from the Attorney-General's Department it would appear that the Commonwealth does not have jurisdiction over the proposed development.

  The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has, however, reached an agreement with the Queensland Co-ordinator General's Department on the principles which will be applied to the assessment of the Port Hinchinbrook project at Oyster Point under Queensland procedures. These are as follows:

  the environmental impact assessment for the project will adequately take into account the possible impacts the project may have on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park;

  there will be full public disclosure of all information related to the proposal and its environmental impact, except where there are legitimate reasons for confidentiality;

  there will be provided opportunities for appropriate and adequate public consultation on environmental aspects of proposals before the assessment process is complete; and

  the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will make available a suitably experienced staff member to give reasonable assistance to the Queensland Government during the environmental impact process and to participate in the assessment process.