The eastern curlew would have been put at risk by a major River Heads development.
The eastern curlew would have been put at risk by a major River Heads development.

At-risk bird stood in way of multi-million dollar build

A CRITICALLY endangered bird, living in an environment of "immense ecological significance", has been thrown a government lifeline.

Members of the Mary River Catchment Coordinating Committee welcomed federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley's decision to knock back the Turtle Cove development at River Heads.

Committee chairman, Ian Mackay, said the decision would protect the eastern curlew's habitat.

"We share the minister's concern that the development would have presented 'an unacceptable risk' to important roosting habitat for the critically endangered eastern curlew as well as the Great Sandy Strait," Mr Mackay said.

"We were disappointed to see that the development proposal was able to progress as far as it had but are relieved that the minister has used her environmental authority to rule it out."

"Great Sandy Strait … is an area of immense ecological significance," he said.

"As well as the area's international recognition as a Ramsar site, it is critical as a roosting and foraging ground for a number of migratory shorebirds and hosts many species of fish, crustaceans, oysters, turtles, dugongs and dolphins."

A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Mayor George Seymour also welcomed the decision to quash the retirement home development, likening it to the Traveston Dam knock-back.


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