Green light for Queensland’s biggest ever tourism project

Published Tuesday, 20 November, 2012 at 12:07 PM


Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Jeff Seeney

The Honourable Campbell Newman

Queensland’s biggest-ever tourism development - a $1.4 billion integrated tourism and residential community at Ella Bay, near Innisfail in far north Queensland - has been given the green light to proceed.

The Coordinator General has granted approval for the project and sent his report to the Federal Minister for Environment Tony Burke for his consideration.

The project proposes the creation of three resort precincts, four residential precincts, a retail village, an 18-hole golf course and a cassowary research and education centre on the site of a 450 hectare cattle property.

Premier Campbell Newman today welcomed the approval of the project and its potential to generate hundreds of jobs and bolster the local and State economy.

“A project of this magnitude, catering for tourists as well as permanent residents, will be a wonderful economic boost for the community, both locally and further afield,” Mr Newman said.

“This approval emphasises our commitment to tourism as part of a four pillar economy.

“Over a 15-year construction period, the developer expects to employ a peak workforce of just over 400 in year eight and, once completed, create more than 800 full-time operational jobs, as well as 240 part-time peak-season jobs.

“The development is likely to generate $256 million per annum in expenditure by visitors staying in the region, and $50 million in State Government taxes and duties.

“This is a good example of how a proponent and the State have balanced social and environmental concerns with the need for economic growth.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the tourist development would comprise 860 units and villas and the residential component 540 permanent residences.

“The proponent, Satori Ella Bay Pty Ltd, has committed to provide and fund all necessary infrastructure for the development at no cost to local or State agencies.

“Satori is also giving 62.8ha of land from the Ella Bay site to the State for National Park, as well as having bought 63.6ha of land to also be designated National Park. 

“This includes strategic land parcels that have been identified as key linkages or habitats for cassowary.”

“The developer has also proposed sustainability measures which include the project being totally water self-sufficient through rainwater capture and recycling, the use of renewable energy resources, with all power to be generated on-site, a number of environmental protection and management programs, and ‘green’ transport options on-site.”

Hinchinbrook MP Andrew Cripps said the Ella Bay development would provide a significant boost to the region’s economy, in particular the construction and tourism industries, which was still struggling to overcome the impacts of Cyclone Yasi.

"The opportunities for tradespeople and contractors should be significant given the scale of this project and I hope other businesses can enjoy benefits in the future from the Ella Bay development, which will add a new dimension to the local economy" Mr Cripps said.

"This development has been a long time coming and I'm pleased to see it get the attention it deserved under the Newman Government, which is committed to sustainable economic growth and private enterprise going ahead in North Queensland."

The EIS process for Ella Bay began in 2005 – seven years ago. The current Coordinator-General brought it to a conclusion over the last seven months.

The Coordinator-General’s approval is subject to 38 conditions and Satori gaining all statutory State approvals, Commonwealth approval and meeting its commitments listed in the report.

The Coordinator-General’s assessment was based on the proponent’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing key issues relating to the cassowary population, water quality and road access, including a 4 kilometre upgrade of the existing Ella Bay Road and a new 880 metre road that will bypass Flying Fish Point.

Mr Seeney said the Coordinator General was satisfied the conditions he’d imposed and the proponent’s commitments would  mitigate impacts relating to water quality, an important issue as the development is adjacent to the Wet Tropics Queensland World Heritage Area and close to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The Coordinator-General’s report can be viewed at -

[ENDS] 20 November 2012

Media Contacts: Premier’s Office - 3224 4500

                              Deputy Premier’s Office – John Wiseman 0409 791 281

                              Minister Cripps’ Office – Jane Paterson 0417 281 754