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

    Attunga Heights to go ahead but with wildlife corridor widened

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

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Attunga Heights to go ahead but with wildlife corridor widened

    Planning Minister Desley Boyle, who is also Environment Minister, will allow the AttungaHeights development at Noosa to go ahead but with some changes including a widened wildlife corridor.

    Ms Boyle used her reserve powers under the Integrated Planning Act to “call in” the development in December last year.

    This followed about 2000 letters and postcards from people - including Member for Noosa Cate Molloy and Noosa councillor Vivien Griffen - concerned about the impact the development could have on the surrounding environment.

    “I have reassessed this development and considered expert advice from both the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Local Government and Planning.

    “I have approved the AttungaHeights development to go ahead – but with a major change.

    “In the approved plans there was only a 28 metre wildlife corridor linking the NoosaNational Park to the NoosaRiver and LakeWeyba.

    “I have widened this corridor to 50 metres.

    “EPA advice shows that 50m is an appropriate width and will allow for wildlife movement as well as retaining important habitat.

    “To create this wider corridor the developer will have to re-jig the development somewhat – and he has agreed to do so.

    “Two buildings from the upper western slope have been removed entirely from the development and another two buildings will be relocated outside of the wildlife corridor.

    “This will reduce the development’s footprint on the site and minimise its visual impact,” Ms Boyle said.

    Ms Boyle has written to the Natural Resources Minister requesting that a road reserve running alongside the development site be closed and designated as a wildlife corridor.

    In approving this development application Ms Boyle has also reinforced 125 conditions placed on the development by the council.

    This includes a 25m buffer from the creek and having a covenant placed over the site setting out how it will be managed and maintained, including ongoing weed removal.

    “I know there will be some people who will not be happy that any development on this site is allowed to occur.

    “However, the best advice shows that with this wildlife corridor in place, the development will have a minimal impact on the surrounding environment.

    “This is a good example that there can be a balance between development and growth in a burgeoning shire and protecting the environment.

    “The buildings have been designed in a pole-home style to fit within the existing contours of the land and varying roof heights will minimise their bulk.

    “My reassessment has ensured a better outcome for the environment,” Ms Boyle said.

    Ends

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