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    Minister for Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Minister 'calls-in' Attunga Heights development in Noosa

    Minister for Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women
    The Honourable Desley Boyle

    Monday, December 05, 2005

    Minister 'calls-in' Attunga Heights development in Noosa

    Environment, Local Government and Planning Minister Desley Boyle has decided to call-in and assess any environmental effects of a proposed residential development at Attunga Heights in Noosa - on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

    Ms Boyle used her reserve powers under the Integrated Planning Act to "call in" a planning decision by the Noosa Shire Council on the grounds that the proposed construction, if not sited correctly, might adversely affect an environmentally sensitive wildlife corridor.

    "The proposed development also conflicts with the Noosa Shire Strategic Plan and the Noosa Hill Development Control Plan in Council's current planning scheme.

    "As I've been warning councils, their planning schemes are serious business and they should not consider them a guideline only.

    "The proposed development has caused a public outcry and my office has received many letters and postcards opposing the development," Ms Boyle said.

    A further more detailed assessment by EPA is considered appropriate to ensure the significant environmental, habitat and State wildlife corridor values are not compromised by the proposed development.

    This further assessment would also review whether the conditions attached to the approval granted by the Council would be sufficient to protect the environmental values present on the proposed development site and surrounding areas.

    On 13 October 2005, the Council approved the development application, with conditions, for 30 dwelling units and an accommodation building of 12 units. "The site forms part of a State wildlife corridor and a bioregional wildlife corridor connecting the habitat of the Noosa National Park to the wetland habitats of the Noosa River.

    "While the Noosa Shire Council conditioned the development to ensure these biodiversity values are protected - I believe it is necessary to review these conditions and the development proposal to ensure they will preserve this important wildlife corridor.

    "The site contains remnant vegetation, including two regional ecosystems designated as 'of concern' under the Vegetation Management Act (VMA). Any development on the site should maximise retention and enhancement of these regional ecosystems.

    "Part of Noosa's tremendous appeal is its environment. We must protect what makes Noosa unique to secure the area's long term economic future," Ms Boyle said.

    Ms Boyle will make a final decision in the New Year.