In March 2008, the proponent submitted an amendment to the original development application to Gympie Regional Council.
This was in response to a declaration made in September 2007 by the Planning and Environment Court.
The amendment included minor modifications to the layout of the site. The basic intent and scope of the development remained unaffected.
As part of the normal application processes, several referral agencies including Gympie Regional Council, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Natural Resources and Water, the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, and the Department of Main Roads issued an information request on June 24, 2008.
A response to the information request was prepared and submitted to Gympie Regional Council in June 2009.
The response then was made available publicly. Interested community members were invited to view and comment on the plan.
All comments received were considered by the proponent and Gympie Regional Council before the application received approval.
On 10 February 2010, Gympie Regional Council and State Government agencies including the Department of Environment and Resource Management; Fisheries; Maritime Safety Queensland; and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, approved the impact assessable components of the development application for the proposed Fraser Straits Marina, subject to special conditions.
Although the formal scope of Council's approval role was limited to what is determined by Queensland law, Council was provided with detailed information about the entire development including those aspects of particular interest to Council in its local role.
The assessment completed by the key State Government agencies included detailed consideration of all the environmental issues associated with the whole of the proposed development.
This led to comprehensive conditions of approval through which the State Government is confident that potential impacts can be properly minimised and managed.
In considering the application, the Department of Environment and Resource Management and Fisheries determined they would grant a 'part approval' of the small section of reclamation and kiosk at the western end of the proposed development.
This has precipitated a refinement in the layout of this small area. While the refinement has introduced some limitations on the intended development function of this area, it has resulted in benefits including:
- A reduced footprint effect on mangrove and intertidal area
- Reconstruction of the existing, deteriorating rock walls
- Less disturbance in and near the dolphin viewing area
- Reduced construction period in this area.
The latest plans for the development, including the refined western reclamation and kiosk layout, are available on the 'Proposed Marina' page of this website.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS?
The proposed Fraser Straits Marina has now been through the Federal Government's approvals process where issues controlled by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) were examined. Federal Government approval from SEWPAC was required as the proposed development was determined to be a 'controlled action' to be assessed by Preliminary Documentation.
The draft Preliminary Documentation was prepared and placed on public display in 2010 for public comment. All submissions received during this period were collated and information needed to address them was gathered. A report detailing the comments and their responses was included within the Final Preliminary Documentation for the proposed Fraser Straits Marina.
The Final Preliminary Documentation for the proposed Fraser Straits Marina was submitted to the Federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPAC) in May 2013 for assessment and placed on public display from 13 May 2013 until 7 June 2013.
On Monday 5 August 2013, following the public display and assessment of the Final Preliminary Documentation, the Federal Minister announced that the project has been approved with conditions. The conditions set by the Minister, along with the conditions already in place from the State Government approval process, will ensure that potential impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Fraser Straits Marina are effectively mitigated.
In accordance with the SEWPAC approval conditions, the proponent will now develop Environmental Management Plans (EMPs), an Operational Management Plan, a Marina Rehabilitation Plan, and an Offsets Plan. The proponent will also now commence work on the requirements of the other conditions of SEWPAC and State approvals.