Greens: Sprawling Resort to Suffocate Reef Island (Australia)
A massive tourism and marina development approved today by the Federal Government will put the unique environment of Great Keppel Island at risk, say the Australian Greens.
“Tourism is vital for Queensland’s economy and locals suffered when Great Keppel Island’s last resort shut down but this new resort has a far larger ecological footprint and risks destroying the natural attractions that tourists come to the reef to see,” Senator Larissa Waters, the Australian Greens Great Barrier Reef spokesperson, said.
“The enormous development will smother the island with 750 resort villas, 300 apartments, a hotel, a golf course and a 250-berth marina.
“Dredging for the 250-berth marina will destroy fringing reefs, which scientific research has found contain the highest diversity of coral in the southern Great Barrier Reef.
“The marina will also cut off beach access for the local Woppaburra people, who are devastated by this approval and can’t understand why they have not been properly consulted by the developers.
“The environmental and cultural impacts of this massive over-development are extremely worrying, especially in light of UNESCO’s concerns about Australia’s management of the Great Barrier Reef.
“UNESCO has warned the Federal Government that if the rate of development approvals in the Great Barrier Reef does not slow, the reef may be added to the World Heritage list of sites in danger.
“Despite this grave warning, Environment Minister Tony Burke is continuing to approve developments on the Great Barrier Reef, even before a strategic assessment of the reef’s carrying capacity has been completed.
“Under Tony Burke’s approval of massive coal and coal seam gas projects on the Great Barrier Reef coast, we’ve seen record levels of dredging, dumping and shipping through the reef. The Environment Minister continues to ignore the 91 per cent of Australians who think it is important to protect the Great Barrier Reef, including from dredging, as confirmed in an Essential Media poll released today,” Senator Waters said.
Press Release, March 5, 2013