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Ella Bay

A Hell of a Bay to Give Away

Ella Bay is a unique area of great ecological significance and scenic value.

This special coastal spot, along with all the wonderful wildlife and plants found there, is seriously threatened by a proposed large-scale urban and tourism development which would include 860 units and 540 permanent residences of low and medium-density.

The site is completely surrounded by World Heritage-listed national park and the Great Barrier Reef, and is critical Cassowary habitat. The best use for this land would be low impact recreational and cultural use, not another concrete jungle.

The State government recently approved this $1.4 billion development, as did Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.

Aerial view of proposed development

Find out why we think this development shouldn’t go ahead.

Read Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke’s statement on the Ella Bay approval.

View the Federal EPBC approval and conditions.

Find out more about the proposed development on the developer’s website.

Find out more about Ella Bay at Ella Bay Forever.



What’s the problem?

The 450-hectare former cattle station is proposed to be transformed into a $1.4bn integrated golf course, residential and tourist development. This site is completely surrounded by the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef, and is adjacent to nationally endangered littoral rainforest protected under federal legislation.

Queensland database searches identified 36 state-listed threatened plant species and 13 state-listed threatened animal species as likely to occur in Ella Bay development area and access road, including two federally listed endangered species the southern cassowary and the common mist frog.

Ella Bay_Cartoon

The development would result in as many as 5,000 people visiting and living on the site, with a high risk of degrading the unique natural and cultural values of the area. The influx would result in a huge increase in traffic on a very narrow coastal road through a regularly cyclone-affected section of the Wet Tropics, and is likely to result in increased Cassowary strikes and ongoing access issues.

The surrounding lowland rainforest is critical Cassowary habitat, which is particularly valuable in a landscape already fragmented by urban development and agricultural land, and is regularly impacted by cyclonic events. Restoring this site would help to improve connectivity and provide a valuable Cassowary refuge.

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