Our local Council will shortly make a decision about two proposed subdivisions on Barnwell Road ‐ one of 179 lots and the other containing 47 lots. Collectively these constitute a 226‐lot Myola ‘suburb’ which dwarfs all land subdivisions in the Kuranda region – in the middle of a cassowary corridor. The larger of these proposals is on the contentious KUR‐World site and the developer’s intentions remain ambiguous.
At last month’s Council meeting councillors agreed to a 2‐month extension for applicants to provide previously requested information. There are innumerable grounds on which both state & local development applications can & should be refused.
kuranda range road
Perhaps the headline story of The Cairns Post on 01 July (“Far North resort idea KUR‐unched”) is a prelude ‐ the article suggests that the Department of Transport & Main Roads doesn’t support the KUR‐World submission due to increased traffic on Kuranda Range Road. The FNQ Regional Plan 2009‐31 acknowledges that “proposed urban development at Myola could not be accommodated by the existing Kuranda Range Road and the cost of upgrading the Kuranda Range Road between Cairns and the northern Tablelands is unaffordable . . .”. The same conditions apply to the proposed subdivisions.
At last month’s Council meeting an agreed update of the planning scheme’s Environmental Significance overlay was postponed until 2020‐21. Delaying environmental protection of ecologically sensitive areas may lead to increased development and further environmental degradation. Australia is experiencing substantial decline of habitat, flora & fauna ‐ we now lead the world in mammal extinctions. With 34 threatened species of flora & fauna on the KUR‐World site, the proposed Myola ‘suburb’ continues the pattern of destructive development.
According to various national & state guidelines, creeks adjacent to developments in environmentally sensitive areas require protection in the form of a buffer of native vegetation on both sides. The larger subdivision application indicates creek buffers which fall short of minimum recommendations and should alone be grounds for refusing the application.
These proposals were submitted under the now superseded Planning Scheme (2005‐16) which was based on a proposed urban expansion in the Myola Valley and associated upgrade to the Kuranda Range road – both of which didn’t proceed. A revised Planning Scheme was delayed due to Council de‐amalgamation (2012‐14) and the so‐called Myola Plan was redundant at the time of the subdivision applications. The current Planning Scheme (from 01 July 2016) stresses the importance of maintaining the scale of Rural Villages such as Myola ‐ "any growth within rural villages is limited and is proportionate to their current scale”. The Barnwell Road properties are located within a long‐established Rural Zone ‐ clearly, the proposed subdivisions are incompatible with current policies. Let’s not allow the short‐sighted aims of property developers to make a mockery of our community‐based systems of infrastructure management and planning controls.
Email or ring Cameron Dick, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure & Planning (07 3719 7200 / [email protected]) and request that he call‐in these development applications immediately ‐ click here for more details.