Write to Planning Minister to stop Myola mega subdivision!

Act today to stop the proposed Myola mega subdivision near Kuranda! This would damage the unique and environmentally fragile Myola valley.

Please email Hon. Cameron Dick, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning (statedevelopment@ministerial.qld.gov.au).

Ask him to enact the use of his ‘call-in’ powers regarding the adjoining subdivision applications to Mareeba Shire Council by Reever & Ocean (RAL180002) and the Eastons (RAL180001).

In addition to concerns about the impact of these subdivisions on our area's wildlife and cultural values - plus congestion on the Kuranda Range Road, you might like to mention some of the following points:

  • Those two applications were lodged at the very last minute under the old and very outdated MSC2004 planning scheme which also doesn't comply with the FNQ 2031 Regional Plan.

 

  • The land in question lies in the environmentally sensitive Myola valley, a narrow section between the North and South part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. The community has tried to save that area from the negative impacts of various developments for years now- including KUR-World which was planned on the Reever & Ocean property

 

  • State interests, such as regulated vegetation, do not appear to have been taken into consideration properly. Many new lots border critically endangered Kuranda tree frog (Litoria myola) habitat, yet the by Council requested ecological assessment reports have not been supplied.

 

  • It appears with the latest change of the RAL 180002 application, the counting of lots has changed. It is no longer 12 lots into 191, but 10 lots into 48 and 8 balance lots. This looks as if this new counting method is to avoid the number 50 as it triggers State referral.

 

  • There has been an inconsistency in regards to the extensions of time to supply requested information. The initial extension of more than one year was decided under delegated authority, despite that a full Council is required to deal with subdivision applications of ten lots and more. The second, much shorter extension was recently granted by full Council, in a Council meeting.

Thank you for acting to protect this special area!

 

Background information compiled by KUR-Alert president Steven Nowakowski:

History:

  1. The Application was made on a superseded planning scheme (2004). The Myola Plan under this scheme was conditional on the Kuranda Range upgrade as per the feasibility study (attached).
  2. The Kuranda Range upgrade never occurred, therefore a Structure Plan was never drafted nor Gazetted.
  3. Upon the Mareeba and Tablelands Council amalgamation and then de-amalgamation the Mareeba Planning Scheme was advertised for amendments (amended) in 2007 with over 200+ submission from residents urging the discarding of the Myola Plan.
  4. The amendments to the 2007 Planning Scheme were never Gazetted and therefore never enacted.
  5. It was revealed the Mayor at the time had significant land holdings in Myola and did not abstain from the vote.
  6. In 1998 a new palm tree was discovered with only 90 trees left in the wild and is now listed on the IUCN Red List. All of the palms are within the Myola Precinct.
  7. In 2007 a new frog species was discovered, the Kuranda tree-frog (Litoria myola) with approx. 50% of the known population within the Myola precinct and discovered by Dr. Conrad Hoskins. It is now listed on the IUCN Red List. Based on past performance we have no confidence in the proponent’s interest or ability in protecting this species. There has already been an instance where silt from a failed dam destroyed breeding waterholes with silt and the company responded poorly.
  8. In 2009 the new FNQ Regional Plan 2009-2031 was released which quotes, “Myola is not considered for urban development in the life of this regional plan”’. Hence the use of Cardno’s non-urban residential zoning for their 239 residential alotments down to 4,000m2 and their lack of addressing major environmental benchmarks set down in the 2031 Regional Plan.
  9. Through public consultation the new Mareeba Planning Scheme (2016) erased all mention of the old Myola Plan once and for all.
  10. Reever and Ocean purchased the old ‘Barnwell’ property in 2014 and then in 2017 applied under the 13 year old 2004 superseded planning scheme to subdivide into 239 blocks. This subdivision application was lodged over the same land currently covered by an EIS report to the Coordinator General for a separate integrated tourism development.

Anomalies:

  • The Applicant (filed on the last day of the expiry date after hours – 5:02pm) came close to the 12 month expiry date on the 18th January at 5:02pm by email to submit the Development Application and this itself warrants a legal challenge regardless of when the Application Fee was paid.
  • The merit of what is proposed in the Myola Code mentions reference to a Structure Code. The Structure Code is absent. It can be compared to the future Residential Zone Code which specifically requires The Structure Code. This is prudent when trying to Masterplan an area.
  • The overall application omits many requirements for an assessment under the Myola Zone Code. These are matters such as:
    • Scenic value along ridge lines.

    • Does not provide an upgrade to the Kuranda Range Road.

    • Does not provide for a range of lifestyle choices and housing types.

    • Does not provide for future urban development.

    • Precinct C Area requires an average lot size of 8,000m2.

    • Accessible and convenient public open space should be provided for the recreation and well-being of the community.

  • The Lelia’s Way subdivision falls within the Myola Precinct A. There is a requirement for reticulated water and sewerage. This is not being proposed by the proponent.
  • A Town Centre which would provide for services and facilities is not being met and cannot be met with this application. In fact, a Town Centre can never be accommodated under subsequent Planning Schemes (after 2004). (refer attached).
  • The Myola Zone Code (Part 4, Division 21), states any proposed earthworks greater than 50m3 are subject to Impact Assessement. Considering the amount of earthworks required surely this is an Impact Assessable development- but is not being assessed as one.