The survival of endangered and vulnerable flora and fauna such as the Emu Mountain She-oak and the wallum on the Sunshine Coast Airport site has just become even more tenuous with exemptions under the Vegetation Management Act 1999.
It seems the only law now standing between endangered vegetation and the bulldozers is the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC) Act. However, it is looking like the new Federal Government is going to hand those powers back to the States effectively meaning there could be zero protection for our precious threatened species on the airport site. SCEC is currently looking into this further. We will also continue to engage in the consultation process as well as scrutinising the EIS due out early next year (at this stage)
Sunshine Coast Daily article and related statement from Minister Seeney
Queensland Airports Strategy Takes OffThe Newman Government has released a new Economic Directions statement, Economic Directions Statement – Queensland Airports 2013-2023, to drive airport expansion and employment across Queensland.Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the new Economic Directions statement aims to build on 40 of the state’s leading airports which have strategic significance for economic growth.“The Newman Government will assist Queensland’s airports to build on their areas of competitive advantage and attract new investment,” Mr Seeney said.“The government will make a significant contribution to support the proposed $418.6 million Sunshine Coast airport expansion project as a tangible demonstration of what the strategy means to Queensland’s strategic airports.“The government is in the process of handing over three parcels of land needed by the Sunshine Coast Regional Council for this project.“They will be converted to freehold title, at no cost to the Sunshine Coast Regional Council.“This is a very significant contribution towards this key economic development project on the Sunshine Coast.“The Queensland Government’s contribution should assist the Council’s effort to raise the necessary capital for the expansion project, which is currently undergoing assessment by the Coordinator-General.”
The airport expansion project could create up to 5,000 direct jobs and when operational, could result in as many as 3,400 indirect jobs in the region.
Mr Seeney said the Newman Government was fully committed to doing everything it could to help the Sunshine Coast airport position itself to take advantage of new market opportunities.
“That is why we have amended the State Planning Regulation to exclude infrastructure on airports, and ancillary works from any development assessment referral under the Vegetation Management Act,” he said.
“This move will not only assist the Sunshine Coast airport, but will benefit all other Queensland airports facing vegetation management issues.
“Our approach is all about reconciling what’s best for the Queensland economy, and above all, thinking long-term.”
Economic Directions Statement – Queensland Airports 2013-2023 is available to download from: www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/airports
[ENDS] 16 October 2013
Media Contact: John Wiseman – 0409 791 281 or Elizabeth Spry – 0418 928 744