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The State Government has begun the environmental assessment process for the proposed $500 million Gold Coast International Marine Precinct development.

Coordinator-General Colin Jensen said the draft Terms of Reference for an Environmental Impact Statement ( EIS ) would allow public and advisory agency comment on the proposed expansion.

“The scale, potential effects and complexity of approvals for development of land adjacent to the existing Gold Coast Marine Precinct requires a rigorous EIS to consider the potential social, natural, economic and cultural impacts,” Mr Jensen said.

“The draft Terms of Reference have been developed in consultation with the proponent, Harbour Island Pty Ltd, and will outline the information and detail required to be provided in the EIS to satisfy both State and Commonwealth legislation.

“The proposed development is on 64 hectares of land on Shipper Drive, Coomera and could see the existing Gold Coast Marine Precinct double in size.

“The Gold Coast Marine Precinct is 15 kilometres from Surfers Paradise and sits on prime marine industrial land with direct access to the Broadwater and the Pacific Ocean.

“It is currently home to 60 marine businesses employing around 2,500 people, with manufactures and boast builders in the precinct including Maritimo and Azzura Yachts.

“Gold Coast city council has previously estimated that the ultimate full development of the precinct could yield a further 5,000 jobs,” Mr Jensen said.

Mr Jensen declared the proposed project a significant project for which an EIS is required in April this year.

A significant project declaration allows coordination of government consideration of the project, it does not equate to government support.

“International growth in the marine services industries, particularly for super yachts represents a multi billion dollar business opportunity for Queensland,” Mr Jensen said.

“There is a need to ensure the region’s boat industry can keep pace with demand,  while ensuring potential impacts on the Coomera River are minimised.

“As part of the EIS a number of studies will need to be undertaken to assess the project’s effects on flora, fauna, water resources, air quality, noise and visual amenity.

“This is the public’s chance to have their say on what the EIS should address and I encourage all those who want to do so to write in,” Mr Jensen said.

The EIS process is being managed by the Department of Tourism Regional Development and Industry on behalf of the Coordinator-General.

Written comments on the draft Terms of Reference will be accepted until the close of business on Monday the 17 November 2008.

For details on how to make a submission on the draft Terms of Reference go to www.dip.qld.gov.au or they can be viewed at the Gold Coast City Council Nerang and Evandale Administration Centres, the State Library at South Brisbane.

Media Contact – Eric Meyer – 0400 768 276