Have your say on Aquis

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The public has been invited to comment on an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed $8 billion Aquis Resort at Yorkey’s Knob near Cairns. Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the Coordinator General’s release of the proponent’s EIS for public feedback was an important step in the environmental assessment of this proposed development.

“The State Government is committed to growing the tourism pillar of the Queensland economy, and the rigorous assessments and consultation undertaken by the independent Coordinator General are critical in ensuring proposed projects respect the environment,” Mr Seeney said.

“The Coordinator-General has determined that Aquis’ EIS adequately addresses matters outlined in the Terms of Reference and he has now made it available for public comment. “The Terms of Reference for the EIS required the proponent provide a comprehensive impact assessment on surface and groundwater quality, marine water quality impacts on the Great Barrier Reef, flooding and storm tide inundation, social and economic concerns, and local infrastructure. “I thank everyone who commented on the draft Terms of Reference in October 2013 and now invite them and other interested parties to comment on the EIS, another vital step in the assessment process.

“The proposed development site,about 13 kilometres from Cairns, covers 343 hectares of land, most of which is currently used for growing sugar cane.” The Aquis development proposal includes 7,500 hotel rooms, a convention and exhibition centre, entertainment facilities including theatres, gaming facilities, an artificial lake, a lagoon, golf course and sports centre.

Following this public consultation phase, the Coordinator-General will thoroughly evaluate the EIS submissions and prepare an evaluation report that addresses all the potential impacts of the project.

The Coordinator-General is conducting a single assessment on behalf of the State and Federal governments with consultation set to occur from 21 June until 5 August 2014.

For the first time people can use the innovative consultation tool Citizen Space to comment on the EIS, online at https://haveyoursay.dsdip.qld.gov.au/coordinatorgeneral/aquis-eis To view the EIS or for more information, visit www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/aquis

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