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27 February 2009
Environment Minister Peter Garrett has determined a proposed development at Catherine Hill Bay can go ahead under national environment law.
The proposal by Rose Group to build around 750 dwellings over two sites was first approved by the NSW government and has also been assessed for any impacts on matters of national environmental significance.
"As Federal Environment Minister, my authority relates specifically to the protection of matters of national environmental significance - in this case the particular concerns were the black-eyed Susan shrub and the leafless tongue orchid," Minister Garrett said.
"The NSW government is responsible for a range of environmental matters and has assessed and approved the proposal under state law. After a thorough and open process, I am certain there will be no significant impact on the species I am responsible for.
"The black-eyed Susan and the leafless tongue orchid are both listed as vulnerable at the Commonwealth level. This approval comes with strict conditions and extensive offsets ensuring the impacts on the two plant species are acceptable, including:
"In making my decision I have taken into account the formal assessment documentation, the many public submissions and the expert scientific advice of my department.
"I can assure you that I have not taken this decision lightly and I understand the concerns of those who were opposed to this proposal," Minister Garrett said.
Mr Garrett said another development proposal for the area was still open for public consultation until March 18.