As one of the world’s most sensitive tourism developments, Green Island Resort takes great pride in the management and
day-to-day operations of the island. The following fact sheets have been compiled to share our commitment, innovation
and dedication to the future of this world heritage environment.

We hope you enjoy learning more about our island home.

                    Fact Sheet 1            Green Island in Brief

                    Fact Sheet 2            Green Island Awards

                    Fact Sheet 3            Significant Dates

                    Fact Sheet 4            Green Island – An Island of Firsts

                    Fact Sheet 5            Ecotourism on Green Island

                    Fact Sheet 6            Green Island Resort Eco Features

                    Fact Sheet 7            Green Island Management

                    Fact Sheet 8            Green Island Tertiary Sewage Treatment Plant

                    Fact Sheet 9            Managing Chemicals on Green Island

                    Fact Sheet 10           Managing Waste on Green Island

                    Fact Sheet 11           Water Management on Green Island

                    Fact Sheet 12           Making Freshwater on Green Island - Desalination Plant

                    Fact Sheet 13           Treated Effluent Water Reuse

                    Fact Sheet 14           What Bird is That?

                    Fact Sheet 15           What Seed is That?
                                                                                                                                            Fact Sheet 1


Green Island is a very unique island.                     ISLAND FORMATION
It is one of 300 sand cays on the
Great Barrier Reef, but it is the only                    Sand cays are islands that form on top
one with a rainforest.                                    of existing reef structures - they are
                                                          basically large piles of sand, coral rubble,
LOCATION                                                  broken shells and other reef debris.

Green Island and its reef is very close                   Wave action pushes the rubble debris
to the mainland, lying only 27 km (16                     into a pile on the leeward, or calm side,
miles) from Cairns. The island sits on                    of a reef flat. If conditions are just right,
the north-western edge of the reef                        this pile of rubble grows into a small
flat. The surrounding reef is classified                  sand island.
an ‘inshore patch reef ’.
                                                          Seabird droppings help cement the
A PROTECTED AREA                                          sand together so that it will not wash
                                                          away with tides. They also provide
The Australian government recognises                      nutrients for germinating seeds that
that Green Island is a very special place                 wash onto the island. Over time, if
and has protected it in several ways:                     conditions remain ‘just right’, the island
                                                          can develop a complex ecology.
1. The island is a National Park and all
   commercial activities are regulated                    AGE
   by permits.
2. The reef and underwater habitats                       The exact age of Green Island is
   are part of the Great Barrier Reef                     unknown, but best estimates are about
   Marine Park.                                           6,000 years old.
3. Both Green Island and its reef are
   included in the Great Barrier Reef                     Scientists know that all sand cays on
   World Heritage Area, which gives                       the Great Barrier Reef formed since
   it international protection under                      the last Ice Age, about 8,000 years
   UNESCO.                                                ago, when low sea levels destroyed all
                                                          previously existing sand cays.
                                                                                                                 Green Island’s climate is tropical, with
                                                                                                                 a wet season (January to March) that
                                                                                                                 brings an average yearly rainfall of over
                                                                                                                 2 metres (86 inches).
                           GREEN ISLAND FACTS & FIGURES
                                                                                                                 Mean air temperatures vary between
  Island Size . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ha                Length . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 660 m          24°C - 31°C in summer (November –
   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (30 acres)    Width . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260 m           April) and 19°C - 23°C in winter (June
                                                                                                                 – August). Prevailing winds come from
  National Park Area . . . . 7.93 h                        Circumference . . . . . . . . . 1.6 km                the southeast and can reach speeds
  Reef Area . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,200 ha               Maximum Height . . . . . . . 4 m                      of over 35 knots. They are usually
                                                                                                                 strongest in winter.

                                                                                                          Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Green Island In Brief
                                                                                                                              Fact Sheet 1


                                           PLANT LIFE ON THE ISLAND                                WATER

                                           This island supports many diverse                       There are no natural freshwater springs
                                           plants in a very small area. In fact, there             on the island. The vegetation gets all
                                           are over 120 types of native plants.                    their water for survival from rainwater
                                                                                                   that percolates through the sand to a
                                           The coastline is ringed by short, scrubby               small freshwater lens under the island.
                                           coastal vegetation that can survive the
                                           dry harsh conditions along the beach.                   The Resort does not access this water
                                           But, step a few feet in to the centre of                ensuring the water lens and plantlife
                                           the island, and the vegetation changes                  are not disturbed.. The Resort has a
                                           abruptly to a dense, shady vine-thicket                 desalination plant.
MARINE LIFE ON THE REEF                    rainforest.
                                                                                                   BIRD LIFE ON THE ISLAND
The reef surrounding Green Island          Coconut trees are not thought to be
supports a diverse range of habitats       native to the island, but were introduced               Green Island attracts a wide range
and marine life.                           to the island in 1889 to provide food,                  of birds, including land birds, seabirds
                                           drink and shelter for fishermen and                     and migratory birds that pass through
There are two significant habitats:        stranded sailors.                                       the Great Barrier Reef on the way to
1. The seagrass beds in the shallows                                                               nesting grounds.
2. the reef that starts shallow and
   continues into the depths.                                                                      There are over 55 species of birds
                                                        PLANT TYPES                                regularly seen on Green Island. Of
Seagrass beds support a wide range of       Trees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Species         these, 13 are seabirds and 38 are shore
animals, from juvenile fish that use the                                                           and land birds. About 15 types of birds
grass for protection from predators to      Palms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Species
                                                                                                   regularly nest on the island.
large sea turtles and dugong that feed      Shrubs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Species
on the seagrass.                            Vines & Creepers . . . . . 18 Species
The reef around Green Island has over       Grasses . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Species
190 different types of hard corals and      Herbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Species
over 100 types of soft corals.

                                           In 1908 a visitor to Green Island wrote in his diary:
                                           “The vegetation then was very small, 5 to 6 feet high and you could practically
                                           look over it”.

                                           This means the large trees that you see today are just over 100 years old.

                                                                                            Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Green Island In Brief
                                                                                                        Fact Sheet 2


Green Island has received many outstanding awards.These have been received in a range of areas including environmental
sustainability, customer service and resort development.

ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA                                         2007 Winner     Environmental Protection Award
                                                                             Far North Queensland
              In recognition of ecologically sustainable
              tourism with a primary focus on experiencing   2006 Winner     Cleanest Beach
              natural areas that fosters environmental and                   Far North Queensland
              cultural understanding, appreciation and       2005 Winner     Protection of the Environment Award
              conservation.                                                  Far North Queensland

Since 2001:     Advanced Ecotourism Certification            2004 Winner     Resource Conservation & Waste
                                                                             Management Award
                                                                             Queensland & Far North Queensland

KEEP AUSTRALIA BEAUTIFUL COUNCIL &                           2004 Winner     Litter Prevention Award
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY                                              Far North Queensland Region
                                                             2003 Winner     Friendliest Beach Award
               These awards recognise the dedication                         Far North Queensland
               to the care of Green Island by the staff of
               Green Island Resort and Great Adventures,     2002 Winner     Resource Conservation & Waste
               Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service and                       Management Award
                the Cairns City Council.                                     Far North Queensland Region

                They acknowledge care for the beaches        2001 Winner     Resource Conservation & Waste
                and coastal environments, environmentally                    Management Award
                focused infrastructure and responsible day                   Queensland & Far North Queensland
                to day maintenance.
                                                             2001 Winner     Cleanest Beach
2009 Winner     “Resource Recovery” Award                                    Far North Queensland
                                                             2000 Winner     Cleanest Beach
2009 Winner     Environmental Protection, Resource                           Far North Queensland
                Recovery & Litter Prevention Awards
                Far North Queensland                         2000 Winner     Resource Conservation & Waste
                                                                             Management Award
2008 Winner     Resource Recovery                                            Far North Queensland
                Queensland & Far North Queensland

2008 Winner     Cleanest Beach
                Far North Queensland

2007 Winner     Tourism Queensland’s Friendliest Beach
                Queensland & Far North Queensland

                                                                                    Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Awards
                                                                                                          Fact Sheet 2


AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE                                           (TTNQ) TOURISM AWARDS

                  Highlighting the professionalism and the     2004 Finalist   Ecotourism
                  high quality of service offered on a daily
                  basis and commitment to environmetally       2003 Finalist   Luxury Accommodation
                  responsible operation.
                                                               2000 Winner     Best Luxury Accommodation
2008 Winner        Best Environmental Practice
                                                               1999 Winner     Industry Training Private Sector
2002 Winner        “Hall of Fame”
                                                               1999 Finalist   Deluxe Accommodation
2001 Winner        Best Restaurant in Accommodation

2000 Winner        Best Hotel/Resort Accommodation             QUEENSLAND TOURISM AWARDS
                   5 Star and Above
                                                               2000 Winner     Deluxe Accommodation
1999 Winner        Best Hotel/Resort Accommodation
                   100 Rooms or less                           1995 Winner     Qld Tourism Development Project

1994 Winner        Best Redeveloped Hotel/Resort

                                                               BRITISH AIRWAYS TOURISM FOR TOMORROW
                (AHA) NATIONAL AWARDS FOR
                                                               1999 Highly Commended Long Haul Special Category
2009 Finalist     Best Environmental Practice

2007 Finalist     Best Environmental Practice

2000 Winner       Superior Accommodation

1999 Finalist     Best Hotel/Resort under 100 rooms

                                                                                      Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Awards
                                                                                                          Fact Sheet 3

There has been a lot of activity on Green Island! Throughout history, Green Island has been used for many purposes.
This overview allows us a quick glimpse back in time.

Pre-1770 Local Aboriginal tribes (Gungandji & Mandingalbay)     1942   The first hotel, Coral Cay Hotel, was constructed
         used Green Island and its reef for fishing, hunting,          by Hayles.
         and manhood initiation ceremonies.                     1946   Jetty was reconstructed after being destroyed by
1770     Captain Cook first marked Green Island on                     cyclone.
         the navigational charts and named it after the         1954   World’s first underwater observatory opened.
         astronomer onboard, Charles Green.
                                                                1958   Island camping permits no longer issued.
1857     A bech-de-mer (sea cucumber) smoking station
                                                                1960   Present jetty constructed.
         was established on Green Island. It was operated
         by a fisherman called JSV Mein, and operated for       1961   Great Barrier Reef Theatre constructed.
         several decades before closing down.                   1963   Redeveloped hotel, the Green Island Reef Resort,
1863     A ship called the ‘Antagonist’ shipwrecked on                 opens.
         Green Island reef while carrying horses to India       1964   Crocodile Farm opens – the first ever on an island.
         (14 May 1863).                                                Renamed Marineland Melanesia in 1972
1889     » Coconuts were planted to provide shelter,            1970   » Queen Elizabeth II visits Green Island on
               food and drink for shipwrecked sailors.                        her 44th birthday – as part of her tour that
         » Grass hut accommodation was constructed                            followed in Captain Cook’s footsteps.
               for fishing and hunting parties                         » Sandbag retaining wall built near jetty to
1890     The first organised pleasure cruises to Green Island                 protect resort land from erosion.
         commenced on a local coaster called ‘Zeus’.            1974   Green Island Reef declared a Marine National Park
1906     » Green Island was declared a Recreational                    by the Queensland Government.
               Reserve under the Cairns Council.                1978   Seaplane access to Green Island permitted.
         » The first public jetty was constructed.              1981   Green Island Reef zoned a Marine National Park ‘B’
1924     Hayles commenced fortnightly passenger service                with a Buffer Zone under the Great Barrier Reef
         from Cairns to Green Island.                                  Marine Park Act (extending 500m out from edge
1930     Kitty & Noel Monkman, pioneers in underwater                  of reef).
         photography and videography, moved to Green            1982   Daily fast catamaran service from Cairns
         Island. During WW II they acted as volunteer air              commenced by Hayles Pty Ltd.
         observers.                                             1988   Dreamworld Corporation purchased Green Island
1931     The replacement jetty was constructed by Cairns               Reef Resort and ferry services from Hayles Pty Ltd
         Town Council.                                                 and renamed the company Great Adventures.
1932     Cairns Town Council was granted a license to           1989   Green Island Reef Resort closed due to disrepair.
         remove coral from the Green Island reef flat to        1991   Daikyo Pty Ltd purchased the resort and ferry
         make lime for mainland cane fields (operated until            service on Green Island from Dreamworld
         1945).                                                        Corporation
1934     Green Island declared a Fauna Sanctuary                1992   Redevelopment of Green Island Resort and day
1936     Management control of Green Island changed from               facilities commenced.
         Cairns Town Council to the Queensland State.           1993   Redeveloped day facilities opened to the public.
1937     » Green Island was declared a National Park.           1994   The Green Island Resort luxury accommodation
         » World’s first glass bottom boat launched                    opened.
         » Research facility built (now Dept. of Primary
                                                                2001   Green Island Resort desalination plant operational
               Industry Research Laboratory).
                                                                       – producing over 55,000 litres of freshwater daily.
         » Hayles was granted the first 20-year lease to
               develop a hotel with tourism activities.         2005   Quicksilver Connections acquires Great Adventures
                                                                       and Green Island Resort from Daikyo Pty Ltd.
1939     First groyne was built to protect the foreshore.

                                                                             Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Significant Dates
                                                                                                                       Fact Sheet 4


Green Island has an amazing history! Even though Green Island is a very small island, it has played an important role
in the history of Tropical North Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef region.

A DIVERSE PAST                                                                               WORLD’S FIRST GLASS BOTTOM
                                                                                             BOAT (1937)
Before European discovery, local
Gungandji aboriginal people used the                                                         The first glass bottom boat was
island for manhood initiations.                                                              launched at Green Island in 1937 by
                                                                                             the Hayles company. It was a simple
In 1770 Captain James Cook sailed                                                            small wooden dinghy with glass floats
past Green Island onboard the HMS                                                            overhanging the sides.
Endeavour and marked its location on                    Tourists on the beach, circa 1912
his charts. He named the island after                                                        This boat was quite the novelty – it
the chief observer and astronomer-in-        FIRST ISLAND TOURIST                            was the first time that visitors could
charge on his ship, Mr Charles Green.        DESTINATION IN THE GREAT                        view the reef without getting wet.
                                             BARRIER REEF (1880s)
Since then, many different groups have                                                       By 1948 a more modern version of
relied on Green Island:                      Tourism on the Great Barrier Reef               the glass bottom boat was introduced
» Fishermen used it as a beche-              started right here, on Green Island.            – it had glass panels inserted into the
     de-mer (sea cucumber) smoking                                                           floorboards, so people could look
     station                                 By 1889 there were several Fijian               straight down on top of the reef
» Shipwrecked sailors used it as a           style grass huts on the island that             without hanging over the sides.
     safe haven                              were hired out for fishing expeditions.
» Local town folk and tourists used          Green Island’s reputation grew and
     it as a tropical holiday destination.   by 1890 the vessel Zeus was running
                                             regular pleasure cruises between the
There are many ‘firsts’ here on Green        mainland and Green Island.
                                             By 1924 a local company, called Hayles
                                             (now Great Adventures), started a
                                             fortnightly passenger ferry service
                                             from Cairns. Later, in 1937, the Cairns
                                             Town Council granted Hayles the first                     The first motorised, glass-bottomed,
                                             tourism facilities lease to build small                 steel-hulled glass bottom boat (1954)
                                             scale accommodation on the island.

                                                                         Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Green Island - An Island of Firsts
                                                                                                                   Fact Sheet 4


THE WORLD’S FIRST                                                                       AUSTRALIA’S FIRST ISLAND
UNDERWATER OBSERVATORY                                                                  TERTIARY SEWAGE TREATMENT
(1954)                                                                                  PLANT (1993)

The    world’s     first   underwater                                                   When the old resort was acquired by
observatory was the vision of two local                                                 Daikyo in 1990, a multi-million dollar
men - Vince Vlasoff and Lloyd Grigg.                                                    redevelopment was carried out. This
Construction started in June 1953 and                                                   included the construction of a state-
took over a year to complete.                                                           of-the-art tertiary sewage treatment
                                                       The Great Barrier Reef Theatre
They used an old Navy dive chamber
for the main chamber and the 22                                                         This system was the ‘first of its kind’
                                          WORLD’S FIRST ISLAND MOVIE
portholes (with 2.7 cm, or 11/8 inch,                                                   used on any island in Australia and has
                                          THEATRE (1961)
thick glass) were recycled from a                                                       won many environmental awards.
decommissioned WWII submarine.
                                          Noel & Kitty Monkman were among
                                                                                        It was designed to process large
                                          the first photographers to venture
The chamber walls are 1 cm (3/8 inch)                                                   amounts of waste without impacting
                                          underwater in the 1930s. They spent
steel plate reinforced with 24 cm (10                                                   on the surrounding coral reef. Rather
                                          years videoing the underwater wonders
inch) steel girders, and are encased                                                    than using toxic chemicals, it operates
                                          of the Great Barrier Reef.
inside and out with (12.5 cm (5 inches)                                                 using a biological system with sand
ferro-concrete. The entire structure                                                    filters and UV radiation.
                                          In 1961 they opened the world’s first
was designed to withstand up to 96,000
                                          movie theatre on an island - the Green
lbs of pressure and is held in place by
                                          Island Great Barrier Reef Theatre. It
steel pins and sea anchors driven into
                                          featured their wonderful videos, and
the reef.
                                          remained in use until the early 1990s.
Getting the structure to Green Island
                                          A stone monument to the Monkmans
was a challenge - it took over 18
                                          for their contribution to reef awareness
hours, travelling at 1 knot, to tow the
                                          and the conservation of Green Island is
observatory the 27 km from Cairns.
                                          located on the island near the research
                                          station.                                                              Sewage Treatment Plant

 Observatory under construction

  Length . . . . .    7.5 m (25 ft
  Width . . . . . .   2.4 m (8 foot)
  Height. . . . . .   2.1m (7 feet)
  Weight: . . . . .   70 tonnes

                                                                     Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Green Island - An Island of Firsts
                                                                                                                 Fact Sheet 5


Green Island Resort is dedicated to caring for the island while delivering the best and most enjoyable ecotourism
experience for visitors. Ecotourism is defined as a tourism experience that takes place surrounded by nature, has
negligible impacts on the environment, and provides opportunities to appreciate and learn about the natural area.


The major concern of operating a resort     Green Island Resort is recognised for
in a fragile natural environment is how     providing quality accommodation in a
to protect it from impacts. ‘Ecotourism’    wilderness setting. Many awards have
or ‘Sustainable Tourism’ becomes the        been won since the resort opened
primary focus of all operations.            in 1994 (please refer to Awards Fact
Green Island Resort understands that
keeping the island healthy and beautiful    ACHIEVING ECOTOURISM
is very important to visitors as well as    EXCELLENCE
business. The philosophy behind the
development was to achieve a delicate       The resort adopts a range of strategies
balance between maintaining customer        for delivering the best possible nature-
satisfaction, catering to a wide range      based experience for all visitors and
of visitors, and maintaining a healthy      guests. These include:
                                            »   A Company Environmental Policy
Green Island Resort strives to maintain         that clearly outlines dedication to
this balance at all times. To do so, a          running an eco-friendly operation.
‘precautionary principle’ is adopted – if   »   Professional Island Naturalists who
any activity or action poses any real or        provide a range of fun educational
potential threat to the environment, it         activities.
will not be allowed.                        »   Quality interpretive materials
                                                that promote awareness and
ECOTOURISM ACCREDITATION                        understanding of the unique Green
                                                Island natural system. Information
Since 2001, Green Island Resort                 sheets and brochures are available,     »    Educational packages for schools,
has been given the highest level of             as well as a reference book library.         study programs and special interest
Ecotourism Certification from the           »   The commitment to using                      groups that explore the complex
Australian Ecotourism Association               biodegradable items wherever                 interactions between nature and
Certification Program, an internationally       possible, such as cornstarch paper           tourism and highlight the unique
recognised program that acknowledges            goods, paper and fabric shopping             natural features on the island.
tourist operations that achieve high            bags.                                   »    Strict Maintenance Programs and
levels of care for the environment.         »   Environmentally aware staff who              Standards to continuously maintain
                                                are keen to share the responsibility         and upgrade resort buildings and
                                                of protecting this fragile reef and          facilities.
                                                rainforest environment, and eager
                                                to share this information with

                                                                          Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Ecotourism on Green Island
                                                                                                                        Fact Sheet 5


MANAGEMENT PLAN                            THROUGHOUT TIME                                        We believe that…

An environmental Management Plan           Since the first organised pleasure cruises             to increase awareness, and
has been specifically developed for        to Green Island in 1890, the lure of its               protect the environment for
the Resort. It identifies all potential    unique combination of natural beauty,                  future generations is an essential
environmental risks associated with        cultural and historical values and close               part of our daily operations and
operating on the island and outlines       proximity to the mainland has made it                  overall philosophy.
a series of strategies to minimise         a popular tourist destination for over
operational impacts and reduce the         a century.                                             We strive to make significant
severity of unavoidable impacts. It also                                                          contributions towards
sets guidelines for properly responding    The number of tourists visiting the                    environmental awareness by
to situations and incidents. These, in     island has increased dramatically over                 encouraging everyone to get
turn, are developed into procedures        the past several decades, and today                    involved. Judging by the condition
for all daily operations.                  it is considered a high-use tourism                    of Green Island Resort, the
                                           destination.                                           feedback from our guests, and
THE GREEN ISLAND RESORT                                                                           the many local, state, national
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITTEE                    Protecting the island’s natural beauty,                and international awards Green
                                           biodiversity      and    environmental                 Island Resort has received, we are
Managers of the resort departments         processes are essential to its ongoing                 achieving our goal of providing a
form the environmental committee,          health, especially as numbers of tourists              special ecotourism product.
along with the Environmental Manager,      increase.
Marine Biologist and island National
Parks Ranger.                                       VISITOR NUMBERS
They work together to achieve several       1957. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28,000
goals:                                      1960. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48,000
» raise environmental awareness
                                            1965. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75,000
    amongst both staff and visitors
» review existing standards and             1970. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97,000
    determine ways to improve               1975. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130,000
» research new and innovative               1990. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281,000
    methods                                 1995. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 284,184
» discuss issues facing the resort and
                                            2004. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385,211
    the island
» highlight new research that may
    affect the resort’s operation.

                                                                                 Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Ecotourism on Green Island
                                                                                                                  Fact Sheet 6


Prior to 1992, tourist facilities on Green Island were basic. Redevelopment of the resort and island facilities created a
world-class environmentally sustainable resort.

THE RESORT                                                    KEY BUILDING FEATURES

Green Island Resort is very exclusive with only 46 suites     Building Size and Positions
and up to 100 houseguests. The luxurious suites are large,    Buildings were positioned around existing trees. Only
varying from 56 - 66 square metres, each with individual      diseased, non-native trees were removed. In order to
balconies.                                                    achieve this in the most aesthetic manner, the rooms were
                                                              designed as small modules (250 sq metres or less) and
The underlying concern with the design of the resort was      placed at angles to one another. This arrangement also
to ensure that there would not be any negative impacts on     limited shading impacts.
any of the island’s fragile environments.

GOVERNMENT & DEVELOPER PARTNERSHIPS                                                                       Raised Off the Ground
                                                                                                          All units were elevated
To best achieve the minimal-impact objectives, the resort                                                 on precast concrete
developers formed strong partnerships with various                                                        piles, 900mm above
governmental bodies. All parties shared the philosophy that                                               ground level, to minimise
tourism on the island had to be carefully balanced with                                                   disturbance on tree roots
the need to protect the environment and promote Great                                                     close to the buildings,
Barrier Reef World Heritage values. The resulting Green                                                   natural soil moisture
Island Resort has set the standard for many other small                                                   levels    and     wildlife
island resorts.                                                                                           movement.

                                                              No gutters and steep roofs let rain
A Code of Environmental Practice for construction provided    fall naturally. Raised buildings minimise
strict guidelines for all contractors and workers to comply   ground and wildlife impacts.
with. This included:
                                                              Building Height
»   No large cranes or trucks on the island - they were       Even visual impacts were considered. The buildings had to
    unable to manoeuvre without causing damage.               be tucked into the natural trees and below tree canopy
»   All equipment was checked for feral animals, pests,       height (7 - 8 metres) so as not to be visible from sea.
    non-native plants and seeds. Equipment was washed
    down before unloading to prevent weed and disease         Building Materials
    contamination.                                            All building are rendered masonry blocks, roof eaves are
»   Work boots used on the island were left on the island     constructed from local hard woods, interior wood finishes
    – workers had to change shoes when they left.             are Tasmanian Oak, external wood finishes are Spotted
»   Concrete mixing was conducted off-Island to avoid         Gum, and tiles are Australian and Italian made.
    contamination. All slabs were pre-fabricated on the
    mainland and brought to the island.

                                                                  Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Green Island Resort Eco Features
                                                                                                              Fact Sheet 6


Colour                                                        Hidden Services (pipes & wiring)
Limitations were set on the colour that the buildings         Water and fuel pipes and electrical wires are slung
could be painted. Colour schemes were designed to be          underneath the raised building slabs and boardwalks. This
compatible with the surrounding environment.                  not only hides the unsightly pipes from sight, but also allows
                                                              prompt and easy access for repairs.
Gutters and steep roofs
Rainwater is vital to the survival of the rainforest plants   LANDSCAPING
on the island. Buildings have several features designed to
maximise the amount of rainfall that falls onto the island.   Plant Selection
For example, gutters and other rain catchment devices         Over 6,000 individual plants (of 60 different native species)
are prohibited. Steep roofs help channel the rain to the      were used in landscaping and re-vegetation on the Resort
ground.                                                       lease area.

                                                              Strict landscaping guidelines ensured that no non-native or
                                                              pest plants were introduced. All plants were native to Green
                                                              Island (endemic) and propagated from seeds collected from
                                                              plants on the island.

                                                              Exotic plants (those not found locally) were strictly regulated.
                                                              Only selected exotic plants could be used, and only in pots
                                                              – never planted directly into the garden beds.

                                                              Pest and Weed Control
                                                              Unlike many construction sites, there was no pre-treatment
                                                              of the soil with pesticides. Instead, the Green Island Weed
                                                              Eradication Program consists of careful monitoring and
Swimming Pools                                                hand removal of all weeds and pest plants.
The depths of the swimming pools are limited to 2.2 metres
so they do not interfere with the water table beneath the

Raised Boardwalks
Buildings are linked with timber
boardwalks to eliminate problems
with compaction and erosion. These
boardwalks also allow animals to move
freely along the forest floor and do not
interfere with tree root systems.

As with the resort buildings, boardwalks
were built around existing trees. The gaps
between the boards allow rainwater to
fall freely to the ground to replenish the
freshwater lens beneath the island.

                                                                 Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Green Island Resort Eco Features
                                                                                                                 Fact Sheet 7


Management of Green Island is very complex. Many different agencies share jurisdiction over Green Island. Although a
large portion of it is National Park, there are diverse tourism and research interests on the island as well.
Even though the island is only very small (12 hectares) it has one of the most complicated management systems of any
of the Great Barrier Reef islands, having state, federal and local laws governing various aspects.

WORLD HERITAGE AREA                        advice on management related                 It sets out limits on numbers of
The entire Great Barrier Reef, including   issues by the Green Island and Reef          moorings, size of vessels and numbers
Green Island, was listed as a World        Advisory Committee (GIRAC). The              of tourists allowed to visit the island.
Heritage Area in 1981.                     GIRAC consists of all major island
MOST OF THE ISLAND IS                                                                             MANY LEVELS OF
NATIONAL PARK (QUEENSLAND)                 THE OCEAN AND REEF                                      PROTECTION
                                           SURROUNDING GREEN ISLAND
More than half of the island, including                                                    The Great Barrier Reef Marine
the rainforest and beaches, is National    All the waters and reef surrounding              Park Act & Regulations 1975
Park, managed by the Queensland            Green Island are part of the Great             » Sets out the overall
Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS),         Barrier Reef Marine Park. However,                management system for the
which is part of the Environmental         even management of these areas are
Protection Agency. A full time National    complicated.The Marine Park system is
Parks Ranger resides on the island.        divided into two sections:                     » Sets out reef-wide laws of the
The Green Island Recreational Area         »   Queensland Marine Park – the
Management Plan sets direction                 waters and beaches between                             Zoning Plans
for island management to ensure it             low and high tide marks are                »    Divides the GBR into zones
is conducted in a coordinated and              managed by the Queensland state            »    Sets out what activities are
complementary manner.                          government (Queensland Parks &
                                                                                               allowed within each zone.
                                               Wildlife Service).
SOME OF THE ISLAND IS ALSO A               »   Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
‘RECREATIONAL AREA’                            – the waters and reefs below                        Plans of Management
                                               the low tide mark are managed              »    Only applies to the Cairns,
The Green Island Recreational Area             jointly by the commonwealth                     Whitsunday and Hinchinbrook
extends over the majority of the island,       government (the Great Barrier                   Island areas.
including the National Park, public            Marine Park Authority, GBRMPA)             »    Divides individual reefs into
esplanade, jetty, navigation channel and       and Queensland state government
mooring area. Areas leased by Green                                                            fine scale zones.
Island Resort, Department of Primary                                                      »    Sets limits on the amount of
Industries and Marineland Melanesia        Green Island also falls under another               people and activities that can
are excluded.                              management regime called the Cairns                 take place at each reef.
                                           Area Plan of Management (CAPOM).               »    Sets limits on the number of
The Green Island Recreational     Area     Under this Plan, Green Island is                    vessels that can visit each reef.
was declared in March 1990.        It is   categorised as a ‘Sensitive Location’ with
managed by the Recreational       Area     high conservation, cultural, heritage and
Management Board, which is        given    scientific values.

                                                                            Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Green Island Management
                                                                                                                                  Fact Sheet 7



All reefs within the Great Barrier Reef
Marine Park have been zoned under
the GBR Zoning Plans. Green Island’s
surrounding reefs are classified as
Marine National Park, or ‘Green Zone’.
Additionally, a large area away from
tourist activity, is classified as a Scientific
Research Zone.

A Green Zone is a ‘no-take’ area which
means that removing things such as
shells and activities such as fishing are
illegal, but the area can be used for
low impact activities including diving,
snorkelling and boating.
                                                    Map Courtesy Environmental Protection Authority

Green Zones are important for
protecting the biodiversity and                   LIMITS TO ISLAND DEVELOPMENT                         LIMITS TO COMMERCIAL
ecological systems that sustain the               : THE CAIRNS PLAN                                    ACTIVITIES : PERMITS
Great Barrier Reef ecosystem.
                                                  Development on the island for                        All commercial activities           require
THE PUBLIC BEACH AREA                             recreational or tourist purposes is                  permits to operate.
                                                  controlled by the Islands District
The area near Beach Hire (technically             Plan within the Cairns City Council’s                Commercial activities on the island,
called the ‘Esplanade’) is a public beach         ‘Cairns Plan’ (January 2005). The Plan               such as photography and nature walks,
area that is managed by the local                 provides guidelines and criteria for                 require permits from QPWS, while
Cairns City Council (CCC). However,               refurbishments and developments of                   commercial activities on the reef, such
the QPWS National Parks Ranger has                tourism related development on the                   as scuba diving, require permits from
the authority to manage all day-to-day            island, including lease areas.                       the GBRMPA.

THE JETTY                                                                               FACTS & FIGURES

                                                    »    Visitors allowed on island per day. . . . . . . 2240
The Jetty is owned, operated and
                                                    »    Total visitors per year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Over 300,000
managed by the Cairns Port Authority
(CPA).                                              Leaseholders
                                                    » Green Island Resort
                                                    » Department of Primary Industry Research Station
                                                    » Marineland Melanesia Crocodile Farm

                                                                                           Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Green Island Management
                                                                                                                        Fact Sheet 8


Green Island’s state-of-the-art tertiary level sewage treatment plant (STP) is an example of Best Practice Environmental
Management. This sewage treatment plant has served as the prototype for many other small island resorts in the Great
Barrier Reef and around the world.

A FIRST OF ITS KIND                                                  CONSTRUCTION

Green Island’s Tertiary Sewage Treatment Plant was the first         The sewage plant was designed by GHD Consultants,
of its kind to be built on an island!                                constructed jointly with Thiess Contractors, and is currently
                                                                     managed by Green Island Resort. Construction of the STP
Prior to the resort’s redevelopment in the early 1990s, there        and surrounding infrastructure took several years. It was
was very little, if any, treatment given to sewage waste. Most       completed in November 1992 and cost several million
of it was released directly off the reef. At this time, scientists   dollars.
had not yet realised the detrimental effect sewage had on
the marine environment.                                              The STP processes wastewater from all resort guest rooms,
                                                                     staff accommodation, day-use facility toilets and showers,
With this new facility, no raw sewage is released. The only          and pools. It also takes wastewater from the other facilities
thing that is pumped out to sea is treated effluent water            on the island, including Marineland Melanesia (crocodile
that meets strict quality standards.                                 farm), the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service Ranger
                                                                     station, and the Department of Primary Industry research
Today, this STP is still considered one of the best island-          station.
based systems in use. In 2007 the STP was upgraded and
a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) was introduced                 STANDARDS, BEST PRACTICES AND MANAGEMENT
allowing a more efficient operation.
                                                                     The plant must consistently meets stringent environmental
                                                                     standards established by a variety of government agencies.
                                                                     Green Island Resort holds several permits and authorities
                                                                     that set out strict water quality standards. These are closely
                                                                     monitored to ensure the protection of both the marine
                                                                     and island environments.

                                                                               TREATED EFFLUENT WATER RE-USE

                                                                        Recycled water is used in the following areas:
                                                                        »      Resort’s toilet system
                                                                        »      Air conditioning cooling towers

                                                                        »      Emergency fire fighting reserve
View of the Sewage Treatment Plant
                                                                        »      Garden irrigation system.

                                                                            Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Tertiary Sewage Treatment Plant
                                                                                                                  Fact Sheet 8


THE PROCESS                                                    number of benefits including a reduced Carbon footprint
                                                               (approximately 8 tonnes of CO2) and further improvement
The STP processes around 30 million litres of wastewater       to the quality of the discharge effluent. The discharge water
annually.                                                      exceeds not only national standards, but also international
                                                               guidelines for discharge water quality. The system upgrade
The system is a biological process, with the wastewater        also reduced the use of chemicals in the process.
flowing through a series of settling tanks and disinfectant
systems (including sand filters and UV radiation).             RECYCLING TREATED EFFLUENT WATER

It takes about 6 hours to go through the entire system.        One of the most innovative features about this STP is the
All solid waste and sludge is barged off the island back to    ability to recycle the treated effluent water in areas of the
the mainland. Only very small quantities of treated effluent   resort that do not require potable (drinkable) water.
water are discharged into the ocean via a deep water pipe
located a long way off the edge of the reef. Annual surveys    The treated effluent water is very clean – although it is
of the area show that there are no impacts to the marine       not considered drinkable water, it is bacteria free, clear and
environment.                                                   odourless. By doing this, freshwater usage is minimised,
                                                               and the amount of treated effluent water released into the
Since the STP upgrade (2007) there have been a                 ocean is reduced.

                                         Large                   Aeration Tank
                                        Particle                   Chemical
                                         Filter                     Dosing

                                                                    Sludge                               Sand
                                                                   Thickener                             Filter

                                       Barged off
                                         Island                      Sludge                              UV
                                                                  Storage Tank                       Disinfection

                                                                   Barged off                       Effluent Water
                                                                     Island                          Storage Tank

                                                                                              Treated               Marine
                                                                                              Effluent              Outfall

                                                                   Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Tertiary Sewage Treatment Plant
                                                                                                              Fact Sheet 9


Green Island Resort limits the use of chemicals. Green Island is a very fragile sand cay ecosystem that can be harmed
by harsh chemicals. The Resort has a strict Chemical Management system that regulates what types of chemicals can
be used, how much can be used, how they are stored and how they are disposed

                                                               Proper storage of chemicals is very important so there
Proper chemical management starts at the purchasing level      are no accidental spills into the environment. All chemicals
- only approved chemicals can be purchased and used on         are stored in specially designed areas that are properly
the island. All efforts are made to choose non-toxic and       sealed to contain any leaks and prevent environmental
environmentally friendly chemicals and cleaning products.      contamination.
A lot of time goes into investigating the most up-to-date
and innovative products and alternative non-chemical           SPILLS ARE CAREFULLY CLEANED UP
                                                               Chemical spills are never washed away. A strict set of
OTHER RESTRICTIONS ON CHEMICAL CHOICES                         procedures requires that any spills, no matter how small,
                                                               must be physically contained (isolated), either swept up or
Not only do we look after the environment, but we also         soaked up with special absorbent pads. The chemicals and
have to watch out for what goes into the Sewage Treatment      clean-up materials must then be stored in special containers
Plant (STP).                                                   and transported to the mainland for proper disposal.

Since STP is a biological system, harsh chemicals can affect   A fully equipped Spill Response Kit is always on-site, and staff
the biological balance, which can result in plant failure.     undergo regular training in chemical use, spill prevention
Therefore, only certain chemicals can enter the STP system.    and spill clean up.
Only chemicals that the STP can handle are allowed to be
used on the island and in the resort.

                                                                 Our strict chemical purchasing procedure states…
In addition to limiting the types of chemical allowed on the
island, the amounts of chemicals used are restricted:            »   What types of chemicals can be used and
» Bulk quantities are kept on the mainland, with only                purchased
     limited amounts sent to the island                          »   Steps taken to get approval for a new chemical
» A detailed register of chemical usage is maintained and
     reviewed regularly                                          »   Guidelines for chemical usage.
» Minimum concentrations are determined – super
     strong solutions are avoided.
» Special quantity-adjusted chemical dispensers are used.

                                                               Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Managing Chemicals on Green Island
                                                                                                          Fact Sheet 9


                                                          KNOWING ABOUT THE CHEMICALS

                                                          Chemical manufacturers must produce information sheets,
                                                          called Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), for all chemicals.
                                                          These sheets outline the use, storage, clean up and first aid
                                                          requirements specific to each chemical.

                                                          These MSDS sheets are kept on location and available to
                                                          all employees.
                                                          » The Chief Engineer holds a complete register of all
                                                               MSDS for all chemicals on the island.
                                                          » Department Managers hold a register of MSDS for all
                                                               chemicals used in their department.
                                                          » All new chemicals are added when they are
                                                          » Contractors working on the island must provide
                                                               relevant MSDS sheets to the Chief Engineer for
                                                               approval before use.

                                                          Employees who use chemicals as part of their daily duties are
                                                          required to read and understand the information on these
                                                          sheets before they are allowed to handle any chemicals.

                                                          WELL TRAINED STAFF

                                                          All resort staff undergo special chemical awareness training
                                                          as part of their new staff induction training. Further, chemical
                                                          specific training, is conducted on the job. During this training,
CHEMICAL AUDITS                                           staff are issued with an approved list of chemicals permitted
                                                          on the island. All new employees are informed of the MSDS
Chemical Audits are conducted at least once a year. The   locations, and encouraged to review them regularly and
resulting Chemical Audit Reports present the findings     keep up-to-date with the information.
and lists recommendations for chemical use and storage

These audits assess:
» What chemicals are being used
» If there are any old or inappropriate chemicals in
» The chemical consumption rates
» Condition of storage facilities
» Spill kit inventory
» Staff training levels
» Other safeguards.

                                                          Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Managing Chemicals on Green Island
                                                                                                             Fact Sheet 10


Keeping Green Island waste free is a top priority. Minimising litter, reducing waste and promoting recycling are key
elements of both the Green Island Resort Waste Management Plan and Environmental Policy.

THE PROBLEM WITH WASTE                    WASTE MANAGEMENT GOALS                              WHAT IS WASTE?
Poor waste management can result          The underlying goals of waste                Waste can be...
in many harmful impacts on the            management are to reduce, re-use,            » Solid
environment. These include:               recycle and ensure safe disposal.            » Liquid
                                                                                       » Gas
»   Unsightly visual aesthetics           Reduce                                       » A combination of the above.
»   Animal entanglement, injury and       » Minimize the amount of solid
    illness                                  waste produced.                           Waste is anything that is left
»   Pest animal attraction                » Buy products in bulk where                 over. This can include unwanted
»   Toxic land or water contamination        possible.                                 by-products        from    industrial,
    & health issues.                      » Buy minimally packaged goods and           commercial, domestic or other
                                             choose reusable products over             activities. It can be waste whether
TAKING CARE OF SOLID WASTE                   disposable ones.                          or not it is of value.
                                          » Minimise use of plastic bags – offer
Common waste disposal techniques             paper or fabric alternatives.
used on the mainland (such as dumping,    » Minimise use of disposable items
incineration, composting) cannot be          (plastic utensils and cups) –
used on Green Island due to its fragile      promote biodegradable options
natural environment.                         such as cornstarch products.
                                                                                       The resort recycles as much as
                                          » Conduct daily litter clean-up.
                                                                                       possible, including:
»   The soil is too thin to dig a
                                                                                       » Paper
    dumping pit                           Reuse
                                                                                       » Cardboard
»   Incineration would result in          To reuse materials wherever possible
                                                                                       » Glass and plastic
    potentially toxic smoke and air       throughout the operation.
                                                                                       » Cooking oils
    pollution that would affect the       » Reuse packaging where possible.
                                                                                       » Aluminium
    local wildlife                        » Refill small bottles from large bulk
                                                                                       » Oil filters
»   Composting runs the risk of soil          containers.
                                                                                       » Corks
    contamination and introduced
                                                                                       » Bathroom bottles
    exotic plants from discarded
                                                                                       » Old uniforms
    seeds. It can also be unsightly and
                                                                                       » Slippers.
    odorous, which on a small island
    can be a problem.

In fact, disposal of any solid waste on
Green Island is prohibited. All waste
must be taken back to the mainland
for disposal.                             Recycling Station

                                                                  Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Managing Waste on Green Island
                                                                                                            Fact Sheet 10


Recycle                                  BEING RECOGNISED FOR OUR EFFORTS
To increase participation in, and
commitment to, recycling programs.       Green Island Resort has been repeatedly recognised for its contribution to
» Place recycling bins in accessible     maintaining good waste practices and keeping Green Island beautiful and litter
   areas.                                free.
» Separate       recyclables  before
   transporting to mainland for          Such awards (listed below) include the Environmental Protection Agency
   disposal.                             Clean Beach Challenge Awards Program recognising community pride and
» Encourage visitor and employee         environmental responsibility.
                                          2008        »   Resource Recovery, Queensland & Far North Queensland
Safe Disposal                                         »   Cleanest Beach, Far North Queensland
To ensure the proper disposal of          2007        »   Friendliest Beach Award, Queensland & Far North
all solid waste, hazardous or not, to                     Queensland
prevent environmental contamination.                  »   Environmental Protection Award, Far North Queensland
» Follow all best practices and
                                          2006        »   Cleanest Beach Award, Far North Queensland
     legislative   requirements    for
     disposal of waste.                   2005        »   Protection of the Environment Award, Far North
» Cover all containers to prevent                         Queensland
     animal interference.                 2004        »   Resource Conservation & Waste Management Awards,
» Provide special cigarette butt bins                     Queensland and Far North Queensland
     to reduce spillage and windblown                 »   Litter Prevention Award, Far North Queensland
     litter.                              2003        »   Friendliest Beach Award, Far North Queensland
» Never dispose in the ocean, on          2002        »   Resource Conservation & Waste Management Award, Far
     the ground or down drains.                           North Queensland
» Review current restrictions and
                                          2001        »   Resource Conservation & Waste Management Awards,
     advice notices regularly.
                                                          Queensland and Far North Queensland
                                                      »   Cleanest Beach Award, Far North Queensland
                                          2000        »   Cleanest Beach Award, Far North Queensland
                                                      »   Resource Conservation & Waste Management Award, Far
                                                          North Queensland.

Specially designed cigarette
ashtrays for beach conditions

                                                                 Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Managing Waste on Green Island
                                                                                                                Fact Sheet 11


Natural freshwater on Green Island is very limited. Since there are no natural springs or lakes on the island and all the
vegetation relies on rainfall for survival, the resort must provide its own water. Strict water restrictions prevent the
resort from catching any rainwater or tapping into the underground freshwater lens.

WATER USAGE & CONSERVATION                were delivered to the resort every
FEATURES                                  week. That was the equivalent of over
                                          six average backyard swimming pools
Tourists use a lot of water. Showering    being delivered every week.
and bathing uses up the greatest
quantities of fresh water. To reduce      In 2001, Green Island Resort installed
water usage, a series of water            a desalination plant that removes
conservation features are installed       salt from seawater and produces
throughout the resort. These include:     freshwater.
» Tap aerators
» Spring loaded automatic turn-off        The desalination plant meets water
    taps                                  demand by producing 60,000L of
» Low-flow showerheads                    water daily (see Desalination Plant Fact
» Dual/low flush toilets                  Sheet). Barge water is now only used
» Reused treated effluent water into      to supplement potable water storages.
    toilets and irrigation system
                                                                                         Spring loaded taps turn off automatically
» Signs to encourage guests to reuse      NON-POTABLE WATER (NOT FOR
    room towels before laundering         DRINKING)
» Information cards in guest rooms
    highlighting the resort’s water       The freshwater produced by the                          THERE ARE TWO
    conservation efforts                  desalination plant is used strictly for                TYPES OF WATER…
» Low water laundry machines (only        potable water.
    fully loaded laundry machines are
    put through cycles)                   Non-potable water, for toilet flushing,         Potable Water
» Special water meters to detect          garden irrigation, cooling towers and           Suitable for drinking and cooking
    leaks in the system.                  fire fighting reserves, is recycled treated     by humans. Complies with
                                          effluent water from the resort’s tertiary       relevant drinking water guidelines.
Implementation of these water saving      sewage treatment plant. Reusing
initiatives significantly reduced water   effluent water not only allows for the          Non-Potable Water
consumption. Calculations showed          beneficial reuse of a waste product, but        Not suitable for human
that visitor usage was reduced from       is also cost effective.                         consumption (i.e. sewage effluent).
over 74 litres per person per day to                                                      Can be used for other purposes
less than 65 litres.                      WATER MANAGEMENT TRAINING                       such as fighting fires,

                                          All resort staff share the responsibility
                                          of conserving water on the island. Upon
                                                                                          toilets and irrigation.
                                          employment, staff attend Induction
Prior to 2001, all potable water was      training which discusses water issues
barged to the resort from Cairns. To      and conservation steps to be take
keep up with demand two barges, each      while living and working on the island.
carrying 130 kilolitre (kL) of water,

                                                                                 Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Water Management
                                                                                                                      Fact Sheet 12

MAKING FRESHWATER - Desalination Plant

Since there are no natural springs or rivers on Green Island, freshwater is very limited. All natural freshwater on the
island comes from rainfall. Demand for freshwater by the island’s plants is very high - without the water, the rainforest
would die. To prevent any conflicts with the natural environment, Green Island Resort produces its own water.

FRESHWATER FOR THE RESORT                    THE DESALINATION PROCESS                        sewage outfall pipe used by the tertiary
                                                                                             treatment plant.
Prior to 2001, Green Island Resort           The desalination process starts in the
barged all its potable freshwater from       ocean and goes through several steps.
the mainland. As costs for this service      » Seawater is taken from the ocean
increased, the resort considered                via a pipe that extends off the
alternative options and chose to install        jetty.
a desalination plant. This plant now         » It travels along the jetty, through
supplies water to all the operations on         the resort (in water pipes that are
Green Island, including public facilities,      suspended under the boardwalks
Marineland Melanesia, the DPI research          and buildings) and into a settlement
station and the National Parks ranger           tank.                                          The water pipe runs under the jetty
station.                                     » From the settlement tank it is                  to the resort.
                                                pumped through two sand filters
REVERSE-OSMOSIS                                 and two progressively finer rope-            QUALITY AND SAFETY
DESALINATION PLANT                              wound carbon filters.
                                             » Before the water leaves the plant,            The potable water produced is tested
The system uses reverse osmosis                 it is chlorine dosed to provide              regularly and must meet stringent
spiral wound membranes. The process             residual disinfection.                       standards, including World Health
uses pressure to force salt or brackish      » It is then further disinfected with           Organisation guidelines. The plant
water through membranes where                   UV (ultraviolet) light.                      must comply with strict environmental
only the clean water passes, leaving                                                         standards and is regularly monitored
behind the salt and other natural            The only waste product generated in             and quality tested.
impurities. Most other reverse osmosis       the process is hyper-saline brine. This
desalination plants use a disc tube          brine contains rejected salts and other
module configuration or hollow fibre         natural impurities. The brine water is
membrane module configuration.               discharged into the same deep-water

                                                               DESALINATION PLANT FACTS & FIGURES
                                                 Freshwater made each day . . . . . . . . . . . . . About 60,000 litres
                                                 Freshwater produced per hour . . . . . . . . . 3,300 litres
                                                 Seawater processed per hour . . . . . . . . . . Approx. 10.3m3
                                                 Salinity of seawater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32,000 ppm (parts per million)
                                                 Salinity of produced freshwater . . . . . . . . . 290 ppm (parts per million)
                                                 Rejected brine per hour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Approx. 5.3 m3
                                                 Salinity of rejected brine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45,600 ppm (parts per million)

 Inside the Desalination Plant

                                                                   Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Making Freshwater - Desalination Plant
                                                                                                             Fact Sheet 13

Air Conditioning Cooling Towers
Green Island has very strict water management to reduce water wastage. Since freshwater is very limited on Green
Island, water conservation and recycling is very important.

AN INNOVATIVE IDEA                         »   It is circulated through a tank where
                                               an Oxidation Reduction Potential
Green Island Resort identified areas           Controller (ORP) continuously
within the resort’s operation that could       measures the milli-volt reading.
utilise recycled water from the Tertiary       This process assures that the
Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). The air          chlorine levels are set properly
conditioning cooling towers is one of          to effectively kill bacteria, but not
those areas.                                   cause any harm.The chlorine levels
                                               are kept to between 0.8 and 1.0
In the early 1990s, this was an                ppm.
innovative idea. There were no other
existing systems that operated in          IN THE COOLING TOWERS
this manner. In fact, guidelines for
this sort of operation were only just      »   The treated effluent water is
being developed. To reuse treated              further treated in the AT512
effluent water, strict quality standards       Controller system with Biocide
(ANZECC Guidelines and Australian              P109 and Corrostop 105. The             One of the Air Conditioning Cooling Towers
Standard AS3666.1 to 3666.3) must              Biocide is a second defence against
be met.                                        any bacteria and algae in the
                                               water and will prevent build up
                                               of algal and bacterial slimes within    MONITORING
                                               the cooling tanks. Corrostop is a
                                               corrosion and scale inhibitor.          »   Engineering staff conduct daily
                                           »   At a certain pre-set level, the             monitoring of the equipment and
                                               water in the cooling tower is bled          chemicals in both the STP and the
                                               off and returned to the sewage              cooling towers.
                                               treatment plant for re-treatment        »   A backup emergency system
                                               and disposal.                               detects problems and can stop
                                                                                           incoming treated effluent water to
                                           DISPOSAL                                        the cooling towers and trigger a
    Tertiary Sewage Treatment Plant
                                                                                           switch to potable water.
                                           »   When the water is drained from
PRE-TREATMENT                                  the cooling towers, it is pumped
                                               back to the Sewage Treatment
Treated effluent water is pumped from          Plant.
the STP to the cooling towers.             »   Levels of residual chlorine, Biocide
                                               and Corrostop are very low and
»      Before it reaches the towers, it        do not cause any problems within
       is dosed with pool-chlorine (a          the sewage treatment plant. In
       sodium hypochlorite solution).          fact, tests show that no chlorine
                                               remains in the final effluent water.

                                                                                Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Water Management
                                                                                       Fact Sheet 13

Air Conditioning Cooling Towers



           CHLORINE                                                   SEWAGE
                             COOLING TOWER
          MIXING TANK                                            TREATMANT PLANT

                    ORP         Biocide P109
      Doser                                                         AT 512 Controller
                               Corrostop 105

        PRE TREATMENT       COOLING TOWER                              DISPOSAL

                                     Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : Making Freshwater - Desalination Plant
                                                                                                                    Fact Sheet 14

About 15 types of birds nest on Green Island regularly. Over 50 other types visit the island throughout the year.

           EMERALD DOVE                                RUDDY TURNSTONE                                BUFF BANDED RAIL

These birds are commonly seen foraging         These small shorebirds migrate every         These birds are ground dwelling and
among the forest floor looking for food.       year between the Artic Circle and the        nesting birds. It was feared that they had
                                               Great Barrier Reef (many thousands of        disappeared off Green Island several
Their wings look iridescent emerald            kilometres). They arrive on Green Island     years ago due to rat predation. However,
green. However, although they look             about September, and leave mid-March.        with rat eradication, populations are now
green, they are actually grey. The green                                                    booming.
that you see is the result of sunlight         Their name comes from their habit of
reflecting off very small holes in the         using their beaks to flip over rocks and     Adults are well camouflaged, but chicks
feathers – a similar effect as light passing   shells as they look for worms, sand fleas,   are small black balls of fluff. They forage
through a prism.                               and small crabs to eat.                      in the ground litter, using their feet to stir
                                                                                            up leaves in pursuit of insects and small

      TORRES STRAIT PIGEON                                   SILVEREYE                                        OSPREY
      (also Pied Imperial Pigeon)
These large doves are migratory birds,         Silvereyes are small gregarious birds.       Ospreys catch fish with their talons, not
spending winter (April – August) in Papua      Their tiny cup-shaped nests are made         their beaks. Their feet have sharp spicules
New Guinea, and summers (September             from grasses and coconut fibres that are     to help grip slippery fish. Strongly
to March) in the Great Barrier Reef.They       held together with cobweb strands.           muscled legs allow them to carry fish up
come to Green Island to nest and feed                                                       to 2 kg, which is more than the bird itself
on tropical fruits.                            They start breeding when they are very       weighs.
                                               young, and if they are successful with
Over 3000 birds nest on the island every       their first mates, they remain with that     Mating pairs of osprey stay together for
year. Their nests are poorly constructed       mate for life.                               life. The pair on Green Island has been
piles of twigs. Both males and females                                                      here for many, many years.
produce ‘milk’ in their digestive crop that
they use to feed the very young chicks.
Although nearly impossible to see in
the foliage, their soulful coos are heard
throughout the day.

                                                                                       Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : What Bird Is That?
                                                                                                                         Fact Sheet 14


      PIED OYSTERCATCHER                                  CRESTED TERNS                                      NODDY TERN

These shorebirds are very distinctive –       There are two types of Crested Terns              The name ‘Noddy” comes from the word
they have very long, straight bright orange   – the Greater Crested and the Lesser              “noodle”, meaning “fool”. Apparently,
beaks.They use these beaks to probe the       Crested. Greater Crested are larger and           early explorers thought that these birds
sand and mud for shells (mostly clams).       have lemon-yellow beaks, while Lesser             were stupid because they did not readily
They break shells by either hammering         Crested have orange beaks. Both types             fly away. Another possible derivation
them or prying the shells open by             fly over the water with beaks pointing            of the name comes from their habit of
stabbing their beaks into the openings.       down, looking for food. They plunge               nodding their heads during courtship.
These birds are always seen in mating         straight into the water to catch fish, which      Noddies are “skimmers” that fly low over
pairs. They mate for life.                    are caught and swallowed headfirst.               the ocean surface, making shallow dip-
                                                                                                dives to pick up small fish. They are often
                                                                                                seen flying right through wave crests.

               SUNBIRD                                     FRIGATE BIRD                                       REEF HERON

Male Sunbirds are easily distinguished        These ‘pirates of the sky’ chase and harass       Reef herons come in two colours –
from the females by their brilliant           other seabirds to steal their food. These         white and grey, but never pied (both
iridescent purple/black colour. These         birds can tell whether another bird is            colours on one bird). Although they look
birds make small hanging basket nests         carrying food by the calls that they bird         different, they are the same species. It is
with dried leaves and grasses that are        makes. If the seabird has food, then the          a lot like humans having either blue or
woven together with cobwebs. To get           frigates swoop down and scare the birds           brown eyes.
the cobwebs, they hover in front of           into regurgitating the food. As the food
spider webs and extract a single thread       falls, the frigates swoop down and grab it        These birds are ambush hunters, able to
at a time with their bills. The nests have    before it falls into the water.                   stand still at the water’s edge for long
a small hole in the side to enter. A little   They are also called “Rainbrother” by             periods of time waiting in one place
hood over the ‘door’ keeps the rain           native aboriginals - it is believed that if you   for prey (crabs, fish, squid) to come to
out. Sunbirds have one of the fasted          see frigates flying over land, a rainstorm        them. They use their beaks to stab the
reproduction cycles - eggs hatch within       is on the way.                                    prey, then they toss the food into the air
10 days and the chicks are able to fly                                                          and swallow it (fish are always swallowed
away within another 10 days. There are                                                          head first to avoid choking on spiky
usually only two eggs per nest.                                                                 fins).

                                                                                           Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : What Bird Is That?
                                                                                                             Fact Sheet 15

There are over 120 types of plants growing on Green Island.The forest in the centre of the island is classified a tropical
rainforest. Green Island is the only coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef with a rainforest.

               SHE OAK                            GUETTARDA SPECIOSA                               CHEESEFRUIT
           (also Casuarina)                                                                        (also Morinda)
                                            The fleshy outer coating seals in water
These trees may look like pine trees, and   for the seeds. The inner fibrous layer    This egg-shaped fruit is used throughout
may even be called ‘Australian Pines’,      provides a protective layer around the    the Pacific for medicinal remedies. The
but they are not pine trees.The hanging     seed, and small airspaces allows the      fleshy fruit is edible - if you can tolerate
green structures are not needles –          seeds to float for long periods of time   the rotten cheese smell and taste! It
they are modified branches. The leaves      in the ocean. These seeds can drift for   is extremely high in Vitamin C, and is
are very small and form a small ‘crown’     over 50 days before landing on shore      considered a ‘miracle’ cure for a range
around each segment. Seeds explode          and germinating.                          of ailments.
out of prickly pods and are
carried great distances by
the wind.

   CANNONBALL MANGROVE                        LOOKING GLASS MANGROVE                                 PANDANUS
    (also Monkey Puzzle Seed)                                                                   (also False Pineapple)
                                            These fruits look like small-keeled
These seeds belong to mangrove              boats. The keel helps them to float       This plant is one of the most useful
trees that live along riverbanks on         down rivers, where the parent trees       tropical plants. Leaves provide fibres
the mainland. The seeds can float for       are found, and into the ocean. The        for making string and rope and
many weeks and can actually start to        keels also act as an anchor when the      shredded leaves are used for weaving
germinate while adrift. When the thick      seeds get washed ashore. An air pocket    baskets. The trunks are tied together
exterior rind dries, it starts to crack,    between the shell and the inner seed      to make rafts. The seed clusters form
then suddenly explodes – shooting out       serves as floatation for the fruit.       large bunches that look
multiple segments of the seed inside.                                                 like pineapples. Fruits of
These segments fit together to form                                                   some types of pandanus
a three- dimensional puzzle, but once                                                 are edible – but must be
separated they are nearly impossible                                                  cooked a special way.
to fit back together again.

                                                                                Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : What Seed Is That?
                                                                                                                 Fact Sheet 15


            BEAUTY LEAF                               BEACH ALMOND                                INDIAN ALMOND
          (also Calophyllum)
                                            Fresh fruit are covered in a purple flesh   Seeds are twice as large as Beach
The round seeds are about the size of
                                            that produces a strong permanent dye.       Almonds. They are edible and taste like
a golf ball. They are not edible, but the
                                            Inside, there are small edible seeds that   almond nuts. One handful
green oil they produce is used for lamp
                                            taste like almond nuts. They are very       of these nuts has as much
burning oil, soap-making and medicine.
                                            rich in protein and thiamine.               protein as a dozen eggs.

             COCONUT                                    SEA LETTUCE                                   BOX FRUIT
                                                   (also Cardwell Cabbage)                     (also Beach Barringtonia)
Coconuts are the best-known and the
                                            These small fruits are found on a
largest tropical fruit - they can be as
                                            common shoreline bush. They turn            This is the second largest fruit found in
large as footballs.Their thick outer husk
                                            from green to bright white as they          the Great Barrier Reef (the coconut is
allows them to float for many months
                                            ripen. The juice of the fruit is rubbed     the largest). They have a thick fibrous
as they drift in the ocean. This is how
                                            onto insect bites to relieve the itch and   layer that helps them float for up to 2
they are dispersed.
                                            on cuts and burns to hasten healing.        years in the ocean. This fruit has been
Research shows that they can:
» float for up to 214 days before                                                       used for generations by native peoples
     sinking                                                                            as fishing floats. The seeds inside are
» still germinate after floating 110                                                    grated and used as fish poison.
     days at sea
» travel 5000 km before getting
     washed ashore.
The husk fibres are used in many
products, including doormats, ropes,
and mattress filling. The hard inner                     SEA HEARSE
shells are used as bowls and utensils.      Hard, black seeds are located inside a
The name Coconut derives from the           white fleshy fruit. When the fruit fall
Portuguese word ‘coco’ meaning ape,         from the tree, the fleshy outer layer
because the early Portuguese sailors        provides an individual water supply for
thought the three holes at the end of       each seed. The seeds are very oily, and      Acknowledgement to illustrations from
the husk shell looked like an ape’s face.   in some the Pacific islands these seeds      “Fruits of the Australian Tropical Rainforest”
                                            are used as a substitute for candles.        by Wendy Cooper and William T Cooper.

                                                                                  Green Island Resort Fact Sheets : What Seed Is That?

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