Thursday 13 December 2007

Concrete up more waterways

Following significant changes to natural creek waterways on the Northern beaches, where little and questionable community engagement occurred, some areas were concreted up and trees removed.

Local residents were horrified their neighbourhood was destroyed. Council defended the decision saying later "a letter was delivered to those resident in the affected street".

Fiona Tulip from Clifton Beach alerted me to the meeting of Cairns City Council's Planning and Environment meeting on 6th December, where some very significant changes were put through Council.

See pages 32-36 of the CC Council P&E 6_December_2007.pdf

The most significant of these is that there will not longer be 4 categories of waterways – only one. This of course has huge ramifications as it means that all creeks will be equal in terms of their low level of significance to Council and this is not what our community expects or wants.

The definitions of "riparian corridors" has also changed. Basically only vegetation that is of “significant value” under the State Government's Vegetation Management Act will be considered. All other riparian corridors can be wiped out.

The Douglas Shire should take particular note of this change in the CairnsPlan and the implications for them.

The timing of these significant decisions just before Christmas has to be very questionable. This is environmental management at it's worst.


Peter Tabulo, General Manager City Development, was asked about this change earlier this week, he refered it to Peter Boyd.

On the surface, this looks like another huge nail in the biodiversity coffin. We are looking into why Cairns City Council sees fit to reduce Riparian corridors from 50m to 10m on watercourses such as the Barron, Freshwater creek, Stony Creek etc.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it a disgrace, as well as an embarrassment, that we live in one of the most pristine and natural envoronments inAustralia, and we are one by one of the most concrete and bulldozer friendly councils you can get. 92 days till we can rid ourselves of the Byrne led vermin.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable crap Mr Moore.
The vegetation that was removed was secondary growth from a man made channel specifically designed and created to remove the run-off from Earls Hill and reduce the flooding.
This growth was preventing the design discharge by increasing the friction factor known as Manning's "n" value.
Council just cant win.
Tell the owners of stinking soggy carpets who's insurance companies say ... "no more insurance cover until Council clear the drain.
Yes Mr Moore, it's a drain.
Geeeezz ...

Anonymous said...

According to the CCC P & E Meeting Minutes the following were at the meeting.
PRESENT: Councillor A Blake
Councillor S Bonneau
Councillor K Byrne (Chairperson)
Councillor M Cochrane
Councillor D Ford
Councillor P Freebody
Councillor M Gill
Councillor P Gregory
Councillor T James
Councillor F Lindsay
Councillor J Pezzutti
Councillor K Plath
Councillor A Sheppard
P Tabulo General Manager City Development
B Gardiner A/Chief Executive Officer
J Menzies A/General Manager Corporate Services
S Clarke Manager City Assessment
L Phipps Manager Environmental Assessment
L Kirchner Manager Administration Services
G Schofield Manager Community Relations
P Boyd A/Manager Strategic Planning
G Rosse Strategic Planner
R Holmes Media & Public Relations Officer
S Shearer Minute Secretary

Mr Boyd's name is mentioned - was he there in spirit only?

Anonymous said...

Irrespective of whether its a man made drain or a natural water flow, developments should have been kept away from all areas likely to flood and yes, drains often overflow especially during the tropical wet season, get blocked etc. Council still have zero excuses. Where's the common sense here? Sadly, its not about common sense, its about pandering to developers and making every square cm count so that they can get maximum site coverage = maximum density = maximum dollars.
End of story. They win, we lose....

Anonymous said...

This is interesting, has anyone read the article on page 12 of the Northern News where Sydney based developer Sean Howard and associated companies has bought 48 hectares of land between Kewarra beach and Clifton beach going back to the highway, included in this is Kewarra Beach resort. Sean Howard also owns Double Island resort and it would appear he wishes to offer guests access to Double Island.Does this mean that Deep Creek will become a concrete channel, or worse still has draft plans been submitted to Byrne and his nodding donkeys for approval prior to March next year?

Anonymous said...

Actually Ray, the ‘drain’ (parallel to Strombus Ave) is constructed on an old natural watercourse (creek) but was modified to remove some of the run-off from Earl (not Earls) Hill. The Manning’s ‘n’ value (roughness coefficient) for the section of channel in question is only one factor considered when designing a ‘drain’. If the surface characteristics (e.g. extent of vegetative cover and impervious surfaces, soil type, slope etc) of the catchment change over time (as they have in this case) then the required capacity of the design channel to disperse a specified flow will change. No matter what the circumstances; Q will always =VA in open channel flow. The ‘secondary’ growth removed did include remnant vegetation as well as exotic species but you are quite right, this will add a friction factor for flows in the creek.

Having said all that, I still can’t understand the fuss. I would have thought the constant odour from the adjacent sewer rising main and pumping station would have been more of an issue. The impacts on the environment in the case of the Strombus Ave works are extremely minor, the beneficial outcomes for the social and economic considerations justify the consequences.

Forget not that the legislative definition of ‘environment’ incorporates ecological, social and economic aspects, the so-called triple bottom line and its impact on for future generations (not just human generations but the future biodiversity and ecological functioning of our environment). The principles of “Ecologically Sustainable Development” (ESD) are enshrined in Federal and State legislation (although government policy frequently appears to usurp the intent). I haven’t found the ESD concept given much of a role in the Cairns Plan though.

While we are on the subject of Strombus Ave, I note that when this issue hit this blogspot some months ago, some one essentially called Sno Bonneau a liar over the permits for the works (wow fancy that…Sno a liar !?!). Unfortunately that some ‘anonymous’ blogger obviously did not do their research properly and Sno was able to respond providing some relevant approval references to piously justify his previous claims. I was curious that of all the incidents of Sno allegedly lying or at least misleading his constituents, only this allegation received a rapid and emphatic response from the man. It seems that this may have been an instance, possibly the first and only, where Sno was at least factually correct otherwise why the deafening silence on all the other issues?

I see his latest contorted suggestion in the “Northern News” was that Council was able to get a significant portion of the old Education Queensland site on Poolwood Road set aside as reserve. Sorry Sno, fact is, after public comment was sought and reviewed by consultant planners, the State Dept of Natural Resources, attached the condition to the proposed reconfiguration of land in accordance with the expressed desire of the local community through the consultation process. Council are appointed trustees for the land, its designation as a recreation reserve was not an achievement of Council’s.

Here’s an easy one for you Sno, try a Google search on “meaning of fact”.

Anonymous said...

In response to SnojobforClifton,
It would seem that Mr Bonneau has one or two friends left on the beaches.
Seen this web site..... ?

Here there is an intermittent byline top right hand corner (on several of the stories) that reads “Sno Bonneau awarded WTP (We The People) rating of 9/10 for good service and effort at beaches”.

Strange really me thinks to read this when at the other end of the beaches, it is a very different story.

Many nails went into Bonneau’s coffin over 1) the lies and his actions over the loss of Upolu Road for beachgoers and residents and 2) the lies and the secret meetings to decide on beach protection options (i.e. the infamous rock wall at Clifton), however, the coffin lid is closing fast over 3) the construction of Clifton Rd ghettos.

Hopefully, Clifton residents and ratepayers have finally woken from their apathy and realized just what long term damage this man has inflicted onto our community and waterways! Roll on March 15th and good luck in Division 9 Sno!! Plenty of creeks, and unsuspecting ratepayers down there, that you can get stuck into and at the same time, maintain your developer friendships and “friends at Bluewater”

Anonymous said...

To : Northernbeacheswarrior
Well said