A ten-mile extension to the east-west arterial will need to undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment before it can be built.
The proposed motorway from Hirst Road to Frank Sound Road, site of the future Ironwood development, traverses a highly bio-diverse mangrove wetlands habitat that’s home to several species protected under the National Conservation Law.
In a memo to the council, planning ministry Chief Officer Alan Jones said the corridor was gazetted in 2005, and that the NRA has never before undertaken an environmental impact assessment for a public road.
“What took place in the past shouldn’t be considered as justification for continuing a practice if the practice is obviously not in the interest of good decision-making,” said DOE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie.
The council voted unanimously to require the EIA.
Now, the proponent has 28 days to initiate the assessment, or withdraw the plans.