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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Hill Welcomes Hinchinbrook Decision

14 February 1997

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has welcomed the decision of the Federal Court to dismiss a challenge to his consent given to the Port Hinchinbrook resort project.

Senator Hill says the decision confirms he had exercised his Ministerial responsibilities properly.

"The Howard Government has given a firm commitment that protection of the environment will be a top priority.

"The Federal Court's decision today confirms that the Government is taking that commitment seriously.

"The decision to give consent to the Hinchinbrook development was based on the best available scientific evidence.

"Today's judgement expressly refers to the fact that all the scientific evidence was taken into account and that, in making the decision, a cautious approach consistent with the precautionary principle was adopted.

"The decision of the Court vindicates the rigorous process the Government undertook before granting consent.

"We recognise that we now have an ongoing responsibility to ensure that work on the development proceeds within, the terms of the Deed of Agreement.

"The Government will continue to meet its responsibility to manage and protect our World Heritage areas for the benefit of future generations."

Senator Hill has restated the Government's commitment to ensuring that protection of the environment remains a top priority in the assessment of development proposals.

Media contact: Matt Brown, 06 277 7640; 0419 693 515

Commonwealth of Australia