Stop the Mission Beach heliport development


Cassowary Coast Regional Council has approved a heliport development in Mission Beach that will have devastating impacts on the already endangered Southern Cassowary.

  • The development was approved by Cassowary Coast Regional Council in January 2021
  • Council did not consider a petition from local residents 
  • The development will see an aviation facility located on Tully-Mission Beach Road on 11.16ha of land that is zoned rural. 
  • The Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning has the ability to ‘call-in’ this development if it affects State Interests
  • The endangered Southern Cassowary is, without a doubt, a matter of State Interest and this development, without a doubt will impact the Cassowary
  • The Cassowary is recognised in local, regional, State and Federal planning instruments and legislation and is protected under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act as well as the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC). 
  • Cassowary Coast Regional Council’s very own Planning Scheme refers to the preservation of Cassowary habitat because the Cassowary is recognised as an iconic symbol of the region.

We can’t count on the local council to protect the Cassowary, but we can count on people power. Please sign our petition now, calling on the Minister to call-in this application and protect the Southern Cassowary from inappropriate development.

Will you sign?


Frightened Mission Beach cassowary by Jeff Larson


To Hon Steven Miles, Minister State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning

Urgently call-in the heliport development at Mission Beach and protect endangered cassowaries 

The endangered Southern Cassowary is a matter of State Interest. The iconic bird is recognised in local, regional, State and Federal planning instruments and legislation and is protected under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act as well as the federal Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act (EPBC). 

The Far North Queensland Regional Plan refers to Mission Beach as containing areas of High Ecological Significance including essential habitat of the endangered Southern Cassowary. That same Plan states that development proponents should consider the EPBC Act prior to taking any action, but to date, the applicant for this heliport development has not done so.

Cassowary Coast Regional Council’s very own Planning Scheme refers to the preservation of Cassowary habitat because the Cassowary is recognised as an iconic symbol of the region.

Despite this, Cassowary Coast Regional Council has approved a controversial heliport development on land which includes mapped areas of High Ecological Significance. The development will have a significant impact on Mission Beach’s Cassowary population. 

  • Habitat loss is the number one threat to the survival of the endangered Southern Cassowary. 
  • The land on which this development will take place includes mapped areas of High Ecological Significance. 
  • This Development Application was not supported by any technical reports that allow us to ascertain the biodiversity value of adjacent habitat, the measures required to protect biodiversity and habitat on that site, or the demonstrated impact on biodiversity values. 
  • The Development Application contained no assessment from a qualified expert as to how the facility will impact existing nesting, breeding and roosting sites located adjacent to the development or the impact on those sites being disturbed during take-off and landing procedures. 

The noise pollution from the development is likely to have a high impact on the behaviour of cassowaries already under stress of being pushed into small habitat ranges and forced to use narrow habitat corridors.  

  • The development’s flight path is directly over a high biodiversity coastal wetland including critically endangered Littoral rainforest which connects the Wet Tropics and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Areas.
  • The impact zone of the flight path from the facility is over a wilderness area which supports five cassowaries on a permanent basis.
  • The loud noise of helicopters will place cassowaries at a higher risk of roadkill from birds taking fright and may result in cassowaries avoiding essential habitat.
  • Cassowaries are mostly solitary and communicate with low frequency booming sounds that penetrate the rainforest to let other birds know of their presence.  Helicopter noise and vibration may confuse or interrupt their ability to communicate.  

This development undoubtedly affects an environmental interest of state significance: the preservation of the endangered Southern Cassowary and its habitat in the Mission Beach area. 

The potential effects of this development on the Southern Cassowary have not been properly assessed because of the inadequate information in the Development Application material. 

And the Development Application is inconsistent with the principles of ecological sustainability that underpin the Planning Act. For this project to be consistent with those principles it would need to conserve, enhance or restore habitat necessary for the survival of the endangered Southern Cassowary. 

We’re calling on you, as Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning to use your call-in powers to re-assess the application for a heliport at Mission Beach.





391 signatures
  • Mary Logan
    signed 2021-02-22 08:36:05 +1100
  • Vicki Renner
    signed 2021-02-22 08:29:22 +1100
  • Suzanne Rahaley
    signed 2021-02-22 08:27:58 +1100
  • John McCrossin
    signed 2021-02-22 08:15:58 +1100
  • Cameron Beard
    signed 2021-02-22 08:12:51 +1100
  • Frizzo Jeneve
    signed 2021-02-22 07:32:13 +1100
  • Dee Dean
    signed 2021-02-22 06:27:56 +1100
    There is a bigger picture here, not only about protecting the cassowaries. We are one of only a few places in the world where the rainforest meet the reef, the bio diversity, & eco system within that space needs to be protected. Mission Beach is surrounded are world heritage rainforest, by having a helicopter business within this space is ludicrous. We have an airport at Tully, Mundoo near Innisfail & Dunk Island has an air strip. This business wants it as a training ground, for agriculture pilots Which within its self can do massive harm to our eco system if those chemicals seep into our waters systems which that property has creeks near b emergency helicopter’s which on the odd occasion have landed in near by spaces when needed. If this goes ahead it will fly over residential areas & this will disrupt their peace & quite which we all move here for & not to mention decrease there value of land & housing. I am not against his business idea, though Mission Beach has to much to lose with having it built here & not utilizing other airports nearby . I am against this for all of my reasons above & many more. Our eco system & world heritage area needs to be protected.
  • Myles McKenna
    signed 2021-02-22 04:32:04 +1100
    As a veterinary scientist I am strongly against the proposed helipad development due to the profoundly negative impact it would have on the Southern Cassowary population.
  • Brian McGowan
    signed 2021-02-22 03:41:45 +1100
    We have designated air fields North and South, also a landing strip on Dunk Island all with existing facilities. The emergency helicopters from Townsville and Cairns are readily available with the ability to land in a number of areas if and where required. No need to build another facility and create another landing zone for search and or rescue. There has been no failure of existing emergency services for transport or evacuations air. No community profit in duplicating a service. It will only make business easier for the company making application in this case, no improvement for the community.

    We already have availability for local helicopter joy flights taking off and landing from existing facilities without disrupting existing residents or the environment. There is adequate facilities in the Cassowary Coast. Maybe better for this company to invest in existing infrastructure to improve its usability for the improvement of what already exists.
  • Shellie Boyd
    signed 2021-02-22 03:12:20 +1100
    This needs to stop. Do you want to scare

    All the wildlife. Have you really considered what this will really do to the wildlife and the noise what that’s going to do for the residents. Mission beach dose not need or want this.
  • Fiona Harper
    signed 2021-02-21 23:15:41 +1100
  • Wendy Field
    signed 2021-02-21 23:08:08 +1100
  • Maree Muller
    signed 2021-02-21 23:05:52 +1100
  • Luca Bellesi
    signed 2021-02-21 23:03:36 +1100
  • Lyndsey Hatchwell
    signed 2021-02-21 21:50:52 +1100
  • Friedrich Nath
    signed 2021-02-21 21:46:51 +1100
  • Rebecca O'Bryan
    signed 2021-02-21 21:34:43 +1100
  • Dorothy Reeman
    signed 2021-02-21 20:52:40 +1100
  • Penelope Irvine
    signed 2021-02-21 19:41:45 +1100
  • Sue Pearson
    signed 2021-02-21 19:24:24 +1100
    This is totally the wrong location for this Heliport development and there are existing sites within the shire such as Mundoo and Tully already under the Council control and operating designated air service facilities.
  • Allie Ramage
    signed 2021-02-21 19:24:16 +1100
  • cheryl Lewis
    signed 2021-02-21 19:10:55 +1100
  • Melanie Hough
    signed 2021-02-21 19:07:14 +1100
  • Siniša Kulenovic
    signed 2021-02-21 18:36:28 +1100
  • Donna Parker
    signed 2021-02-21 18:30:46 +1100
  • Nikki Capp
    signed 2021-02-21 17:49:41 +1100
  • Donna Constable
    signed 2021-02-21 17:48:57 +1100
  • Dale Robertson
    signed 2021-02-21 17:18:23 +1100
  • Ann Cains
    signed 2021-02-21 16:39:36 +1100
    No need for helicopter facility next to a housing estate and a wildlife corridor.
  • Jennifer Petterson
    signed 2021-02-21 16:11:42 +1100
    Helicopters can land anywhere. Cassowaries can’t live just anywhere. Use common sense and relocate the heliport elsewhere