Alliance to Save Hinchinbrook vs Qld Environmental Protection Agency - Breakwater Judicial Review - Judgment - 6 April 2006

Supreme Court


6 April 2006


Jones J



















Port Hinchinbrook Breakwater Walls Court Case

Decision: The Application to the Courts by the Alliance to Save Hinchinbrook (ASH) for a judicial review of the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a permit to construct breakwater walls within the State's Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and Hinchinbrook Channel has been unsuccessful.

The Judge's conclusion noted that the Operation Manager had accepted that there would be adverse impacts associated with the breakwaters as identified by public submissions and that the amenity of area had been diminished by the visually intrusive facilities of the Port Hinchinbrook development.

Hinchinbrook Action Group does not consider that it is relevant or appropriate to allow further loss of amenity because existing facilities and infrastructure are visually intrusive.  It's the old death by a thousand lashes dilemma and sends the message that if development has compromised values in an area, its ok to continue to degrade values.  


Download and read the full 16 page judgment - pdf


However, although the construction of breakwaters walls have received approvals from the Queensland EPA, approvals under the Commonwealth environment legislation, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act, (EPBC Act) have not been granted.

The Commonwealth has not yet designated the level of assessment required for breakwaters under the EPBC Act .  The proposal cannot proceed until the assessment process has been completed and the Minister for the Environment and Heritage has decided whether or not to grant approval. IF approvals are granted, construction may be subject to legally enforceable conditions for the protection of the relevant matters of national environmental significance.


What Can You Do?

When the level of assessment is announced there may be an opportunity for the public to make submissions. We will advise you when and if that happens.



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