New Hummock Hill Island resort under fire

THE Gladstone Conservation Council has slammed the approval of a $950 million integrated resort on the World Heritage-listed Hummock Hill Island.

Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck announced the Pacificus Tourism development approval yesterday.

The project proponents say it will create 700 full-time jobs, injecting at least $95 million into the region's tourism industry.

It will include a hotel, hundreds of holiday homes and apartments, a caravan park and several different tourism precincts.

Project Manager John Kelly said it would also ensure 90% of the island's land would be declared a conservation area and rehabilitated from grazing land.

"The large-scale rehabilitation and conservation process is proposed to include a ranger program with the island's traditional owners, providing permanent, indigenous employment opportunities to protect the island's natural environment," Mr Kelly said.

But GCC president Jan Arens said the project was "effectively prostituting a World Heritage property to make a buck".

Mr Arens described changes to limit the proposal's environment impact, since it was first mooted in 2005, as "rubbish".

"It still constitutes bulldozing regionally significant remnant vegetation to establish houses on what is an essentially uninhabited World Heritage Island," he said.

It is understood the entire development will take up to 15 years to complete in several construction stages.

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