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Oyster Point, Queensland

Oyster Point lies at the mouth of Stoney Creek, about one kilometre south of Cardwell in northern Australia. The location provides excellent boating access to the shallow, warm waters of the Hinchinbrook Channel, numerous reefs and many islands including Hinchinbrook Island and Goold Island.

The point was the location for one of the countries most important conservation battles. The developer Keith Williams controversially built a 1500-bed resort and 250-berth marina called Port Hinchinbrook that now includes the construction of two breakwaters into the channel. The project gained approval from the local Shire of Cardwell. Support from the Queensland Government, led by Rob Borbidge at the time, was forthcoming. Local public support was reported as being high due to economic benefits of having a large resort nearby.

Environmental groups were concerned the development was a threat to Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics world heritage areas and that local dugong population would be threated. Activists in groups of up to 300 attempted to block the destruction of mangrove habitats that existed on the point prior to development by trespassing onto the 240-hectare site and placing themselves at risk. They took the federal environment minister Senator Robert Hill to the High Court. The development was finally approved, this despite numerous protests and government reports on the suitability for this area becoming a boat harbour concluding the location was not suitable for marina construction.

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