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

New suspension placed on Reef Cove

Media release
PG 329/09
2 September 2009

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Environment Minister Peter Garrett has suspended approval of the Reef Cove Resort development at Queensland’s False Cape for another 12 months.

The project’s approval was first suspended in September last year over concerns that the developer’s failure to maintain the site posed a threat to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The site was left unmanaged after the developer closed it down due to financial difficulties.

“Under the national environment law, I can suspend approval for another 12 months if I am not satisfied that appropriate measures have been put in place to protect the nearby world heritage area,” Mr Garrett said.

“The company has failed to fix up the erosion and sediment problems at the site, so a suspension will remain on the development’s approval.

“This means that building cannot resume at the site until I am satisfied that proper measures will be taken to protect the world heritage area.

“If the site is sold to a new developer, the suspension will still apply and any new developer will need to satisfy me that the world heritage area can be protected.

“If a new development is proposed for that site, it will need to be considered as a fresh proposal under national environment law and undergo a public assessment.”

The Reef Cove development is the only project to have its approval suspended under the national environment law—the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Commonwealth of Australia