The Hinchinbrook Channel Inquiry

The Hinchinbrook Channel Inquiry

September 1999

© Commonwealth of Australia 1999
ISBN 0 642 71016 3

View the report as a single document - (PDF 1717KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

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Membership of the Committee (PDF 41KB)

Terms of Reference

Abbreviations (PDF 32KB)
Recommendations (PDF 25KB)
Chair's Foreword (PDF 27KB)
Chapter 1 - Overview (PDF 50KB)

Conduct of the inquiry
Overview of submissions
Controversial character of the Port Hinchinbrook development
Overview of issues

Chapter 2 - Description of Port Hinchinbrook (PDF 84KB)

Brief description of Port Hinchinbrook
History of the development
  Tekin development 1980s
  Cardwell Properties development proposal 1993-4
  May 1994: the Queensland government’s Environmental Review Report
  September 1994: the Deed of Agreement
  November 1994: Senator Faulkner’s proclamations halt work
  1996: reconsideration by the new Commonwealth government

Chapter 3 - Discussion of Port Hinchinbrook approval processes (PDF 186KB)

The Tekin period
The Queensland government’s 1994 approval
The Deed of Agreement
Senator Faulkner’s proclamations
Senator Hill’s 1996 consent
  The Friends of Hinchinbrook Federal Court challenge
Changes to the development
  Size of the development site
  Application to rezone parts of ‘the Land’ to Special Facilities
  Claimed change from ‘integrated resort’ to ‘real-estate development’
  How to handle changes to development proposals?
  Where a development needs a number of permits
Conclusions on Port Hinchinbrook approval processes

Chapter 4 - Environmental impacts of Port Hinchinbrook (PDF 208KB)

Impacts of acid sulfate soil
  The Acid Sulfate Management Plan
  Evidence on acid leachate
  Evidence on environmental harm from acid leachate
Impacts on seagrass and dugongs
  Impacts on seagrass
  Impacts on dugongs
Impacts on other species
Aesthetic impacts on the wilderness area
Impacts of increased tourism
Conclusions on environmental impacts of Port Hinchinbrook

Chapter 5 - Other issues (PDF 223KB)

Social and economic effects of Port Hinchinbrook on Cardwell
  Infrastructure needs of the development
  Economic viability of the development
Other environmental issues for the Hinchinbrook Region
  Cane farming
  Dungeness marina proposal
The role of science in this type of debate
  Claimed intimidation of scientists
Some general questions
  How to ensure independent environmental assessment
  The right balance between environment and development
  Local interests versus national interests
  The Regional Coastal Management Plan
  The Hinchinbrook Island National Park Management Plan
  World Heritage management of the Great Barrier Reef

Chapter 6 - Conclusions (PDF 27KB)

Unsatisfactory environmental assessment procedures at Port Hinchinbrook
Need for upfront environmental impact assessment
Need for transparent rules for public input
Need for regional planning

Figures (PDF 16KB)
Appendix 1 - Submissions (PDF 49KB)
Appendix 2 - Witnesses at hearings (PDF 29KB)
Appendix 3 - Documents tabled at hearings (PDF 31KB)
Appendix 4 - Further information (PDF 272KB)
Appendix 5 - Letter of agreement 1993 (PDF 13KB)
Appendix 6 - Acid sulfate soils (PDF 18KB)
Bibliography & References (PDF 23KB)
ALP Senators' Minority Report (PDF 23KB)
Government Senators' Report (PDF 66KB)

For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Environment, Communications and the Arts
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3526
Fax: +61 2 6277 5818