In the development of the new state Plan, the importance of the fully covered remnant vegetation block connecting the World Heritage area to a large coastal lowland reserve was recognised and removed from the urban footprint.
which stated there is enough housing for sale to cater for the next 100 years.
The 40 lot subdivision on Lot 66 was configured to maximise the number of lots regardless of the steep terrain, wetland or of the gazetted cassowary corridor (right top) dominating the entire block. The configuration would have destroyed the integrity of the currently relatively robust habitat corridor.
The cassowary had been listed as endangered by both state and federal governments and the cassowary corridor had been identified in the Cardwell Shire Council Planning Scheme prior to the listing and sale of the property.
It is a legal requirement under the EPBC Act to inform the federal government of any action that is likely to have an impact on a matter of national environment significance i e endangered species.
The clearing was bought to the attention of the federal government and the development was refered for assessment 26 March 2008.
The unprecedented escalation in development applications placed extra pressure on the already endangered cassowary population. Conservationists heightened their call for all levels of governments to exercise existing legistlation and increase protection of the essential cassowary habitat at Mission Beach. The Mayor of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council supports the protection of key lots at Mission Beach and has stated buyback may be the best option for Lot 66.
On the 21July 2008 the then federal environment minister Peter Garrett made a landmark decision and found the development 'Clearly Unnacceptable', the first time for a minister to use the EPBC Act to veto a development since the Howard government amended the act in 2007.
Linkages, prepared for Terrain NRM, lists Habitat Linkage 6 as a primary linkage that “…. is considered the most significant linkage within the Wongaling area" and that its "...security rests entirely on achieving appropriate levels of protection for the very significant linkage habitat represented by Lot 66 SP164474"
In recognition of the minister's decision, the habitat linkage is now known as 'Garrett Corridor'
On the 24th August 2009 a second development proposal, scaled back to 26 lots, was referred to be assessed under the federal EPBC Act.
Awareness of the threat to cassowary habitat at Mission Beach, and the call for buyback of Lot 66, attracted the attention of Rainforest Rescue who visited Mission Beach with high profile wildlife campaigner Bob Irwin in Nov 2009. Rainforest Rescue started fundraising with a Mission Beach Cassowaries appeal.
On Friday 15th July 2011the second Lot 66 development application referred for assessment under the EPBC Act was withdrawn.
placed into National Park or equivalent, in perpetuity protection.
A campaign is to be launched shortly to raise funds for the buyback of Lot 66