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HUMMOCK HILL ISLAND
RESIDENTIAL & TOURISM DEVELOPMENT OR A NATIONAL PARK?


Hummock Hill Island is the only substantial undeveloped island located within the southern area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park WorldHummock Hill Island from Tannum Sands’[photo M. McCabe] Heritage Area (GBRWHA) south of Shoalwater Bay. The island is 30 km’s south east of Gladstone and in the southern waters of the Rodds Bay Dugong Protection Area. East Wing Corporation Pty Ltd proposed to construct a $950 million tourism and residential development on Hummock Hill Island, but this has now been withdrawn. Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announced his proposal to refuse the approval of the development and called for public comment on his proposed decision.  CCC made a submission supporting Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke’s announced intention in June 2011 to refuse the approval of the development. (Read our submission)  

What is proposed in the project development?
Hummock Hill for National Park!


Background
The proponent of the proposed tourism and residential development on Hummock Hill Island, East Wing Corporation Pty Ltd, submitted an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the development in November 2007.  Public comment was received until February 2008, after which a Supplementary EIS was produced to respond to public and government agency submissions.  Please refer to further information regarding decision processes, action and public comment at the end of this webpage.  Further history on EIS process can be found at  http://www.hummockhill.com.au/approvals-process.htm

CCC opposes the current proposed tourism and residential development and would like to see the high environmental values of the Island protected as a National Park.

Location of Hummock Hill Island

Hummock Hill IslandHummock Hill Island development

Why is Hummock Hill Island so important?
•    13th largest of 552 continental islands in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) with an area of 3071 hectares.
•    Currently undeveloped with high natural values and beauty; 
•    Marine waters surrounding the Island include the Rodds Bay Dugong Protection Area, Colosseum Fish Habitat Area and the GBRWHA.
•    A Wetland of National Importance – Colosseum Inlet and the waters surrounding the Island
•    High floristic diversity and uniqueness of the Island:
o    13 Regional Ecosystems;
o    Silver-leaf Ironbark and Blue Gum community on granitic hills (12.12.12 and 12.12.8) that are believed to be endemic to HHI, ‘of concern’ status in Queensland and geologically quite rare;
o    Blue Gum woodland (12.3.3) and a Poplar box (12.3.10) woodland on alluvial plains share an ‘endangered’ conservation status in Queensland; and
o    190 hectares of EPBC Listed Littoral Rainforest & Coastal Vine Thicket (beach rainforest) on coastal dunes, one of the largest examples of this ecosystem
•    6 Threatened, endangered or vulnerable species utilise habitat on the Island and/or surrounding waters and are listed under national legislation (EPBC Act):
o    Water Mouse or False Water Rat – Vulnerable
o    Black Breasted Button Quail - Vulnerable
o    Grey-headed Flying-fox - Vulnerable
o    Green Turtle - Vulnerable
o    Loggerhead Turtle - Endangered
o    Flatback Turtle – Vulnerable
•    Migratory species occur within the vicinity or are known to utilise the habitats of the Island:
o    Eastern Curlew – Hummock Hill Island area, Rodds Bay, Rodds Peninsula and Colosseum Inlet are located on the Flyway of this migratory bird and sightings occurred in these areas. 
o    Dugong – inhabit the seagrass feeding grounds in the waters surrounding the Island. Dugong are listed as Vulnerable at the international level under the IUCN Red list of Threatened species.
o    Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin – highly likely to occur around Hummock Hill as there is a resident population of approximately 70 individuals in the Gladstone Harbour region and only some 250 individuals living in 3 geographically separate populations in the GBRWHA between Shoalwater and Gladstone.
•    1 Threatened Ecological Community (190 hectares) is located on the Island and is listed under national legislation (EPBC Act):
o    Littoral Rainforest and Coastal Vine Thickets of Eastern Australia – Critically endangered
•    Vistas & views not imposed by development in the GBRWHA.
•    Located within the largely undisturbed portion of the Port Curtis Island – Rodds Bay Dugong Protection Area (DPA).  The Northern half of the DPA (Port Curtis Boyne River to the Narrows) is currently subject to intensive dredging, marine vessel movement, industrial construction and port activities.  There is emerging evidence that this section may no longer be clearly providing secure protection for dugong, other marine mammals and sea turtles.
•    The value of the little disturbed coastal and estuarine communities in the Hummock Hill precinct which feature undisturbed mangrove, sea grasses, including the rich estuarine life of the deep Colosseum Inlet and the shallows of 7 Mile Creek and Rodds Bay.

What is proposed in the project development?

•    The development proposal includes a bridge to the mainland, an 18 hole golf course, an airstrip, two boat ramps, a desalination plant, 790 residential allotments, two hotels, a conference centre and a motel, holiday accommodation, camping grounds, a commercial centre and a retail centre.
•    All supporting infrastructure such as roads, power, water, waste treatment, gas and sewerage.
•    Special lease area of 1,163 hectares with a proposed development area footprint of 518 hectares (for all that listed above).
•    Short term tourist accommodation for up to 2800 tourists
•    700 permanent residences housing approximately 1200 people.
•    Clearance of more than 300 hectares of native remnant vegetation (regional ecosystems) for the development footprint.

Hummock Hill for National Park!

CCC holds the view that Hummock Hill Island is precious, unique and of high environmental value in its current natural state and any development for commercial residential or tourism ventures would irrevocably change and destroy these values and uniqueness.  The terrestrial ecosystems, landscapes & species, and marine environs, water & species need to be protected for conservation purposes first and foremost.

CCC proposes that the best way to achieve this protection is for Hummock Hill Island to become a National Park with monitored and limited tourism numbers for camping and walking purposes only.  CCC believes that National Park status/classification and management is the best environmental, social and economic outcome for Hummock Hill Island and the regional community; management and classification of the Island as a National Park would support the objectives and values of the GBRWHA, Rodds Bay Dugong Protection Area, Colosseum Fish habitat Area and the nationally significant wetland of Colosseum Inlet/waters surrounding Hummock Hill Island, whilst offering nature-based low-impact Park visitor tourism for locals and tourists to enjoy for future generations to come.

It is worthy of noting that the Department of Environment & Resource Management (DERM) advised the then Department of Infrastructure and Planning via their comments on the supplementary EIS, that the potential value of the Island as a national park has been recognised for many years because of its endemic and endangered regional ecosystems and biodiversity.

We encourage our members and friends to support the campaign to classify Hummock Hill Island as a National Park.  Individuals or groups can get involved by writing a short email or letter to their local Federal and State Members of Parliament.