27 June 2008 

The State Government has begun the environmental assessment process for a proposed $650 million motor racing, tourism and technology complex at Gilberton, near Ormeau.

Coordinator-General Colin Jensen said the draft Terms of Reference for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would be released tomorrow to allow public and advisory agency comment on the Integrated Motorsport, Educational, Technology and Tourism (i-METT) precinct.

“The scale, potential effects and complexity of approvals for the planned precinct in farmland around Gilberton requires a rigorous EIS to consider the potential social, natural, economic and cultural impacts,” Mr Jensen said.

“Given those potential impacts i-METT Queensland Group must prepare a detailed EIS outlining the area’s existing state, the project’s proposed effect on it and what they will do to minimise any negative effects.

“The project would require between 400-600 hectares of predominantly sugar cane farms to be developed into an integrated facility featuring a  6.5 km long international standard race track, hotel and theme park.

“A television and technology facility, educational institution and museum are proposed, and the plans also include open space, parks, walkways and water features.”

Mr Jensen declared the planned development a significant project in February this year to ensure thorough consideration of the proposal and its impacts.

A significant project declaration allows coordination of government consideration of the project. It does not equate to government support for a project.

“About 2000 construction jobs would be created over five years and up to 5000 people would be employed in a fully operational precinct. It could also boost the economy through benefits to tourism, services and a skilled workforce,” Mr Jensen said.

“However the land currently acts as a buffer zone between Brisbane and the Gold Coast urban areas. This type of development is not currently compatible with existing planning regimes for that area .

“As part of the EIS, the proponent will be required to tackle the issues raised in a land-use and infrastructure study of the area being conducted by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, the Gold Coast City Council and Logan City Council.”

Further community and government consultation will occur after i-METT Queensland Group has lodged the EIS.

Following consultation the Coordinator-General will consider the EIS, all submissions on it and other information as necessary to compile a report. His report can state that a development application for the project can be approved, approved with conditions or refused.

Public submissions on the draft Terms of Reference can be lodged with the Coordinator-General until July 28, 2008.

For more information on the EIS process and the project’s draft Terms of Reference visit www.dip.qld.gov.au

Media contact: Chris Bishop – 07 3405 3438