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9 March 2009 - Mega Development Threatens Endangered Ella Bay Marine Turtles      

Mega Development Threatens Endangered Ella Bay Marine Turtles

Monday 9 March 2009

The Cairns and Far North Environment Centre (CAFNEC) and the Humane Society International (HSI) Australia join together to call for Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to fully protect endangered marine turtle species by striking out the Ella Bay Integrated Resort development proposal, planned for the Great Barrier Reef coast north of Innisfail.

Acting on independent information provided by Bramston Beach local Mr Russell Constable in mid February, CAFNEC joined the Environmental Defenders Office North Queensland Inc. (EDO NQ) to write to Minister Garrett requesting he urgently reconsider the relevant controlling provisions applying to the Ella Bay Integrated Resort proposal under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Specifically, the Minister is urged to include listed migratory species and the marine environment as matters for further assessment. The Minister has provided for a public comment period which closes this Wednesday 11 March 2009.

HSI Australia has long campaigned for better protection of marine turtle species and believes that coastal developments are a key threat to their nesting success and long term survival. HSI calls for the Minister to thoroughly consider these impacts in reevaluating the Ella Bay proposal, and that the proposal not be permitted to proceed in such an ecologically sensitive habitat.

CAFNEC has petitioned all levels of government to join the community in buying back the land subject to the development proposal at Ella Bay for low impact nature-based recreational and cultural use, as the adverse environmental impacts of this large scale urbanised resort and residential development will be significant and unavoidable if it is allowed to proceed.

Any form of urbanisation within the unique and relatively undisturbed Ella Bay area will prove disastrous for a wide range of endangered and vulnerable species including listed migratory and marine species, and the southern Cassowary.

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