Thursday 14 February 2008

False promises, dirty pictures

There's some dirty tricks going on at False Cape these days.

Works have being stopped on the site following financial backer, MFS freezing funding of the project. Recently there has been at least three serious accidents, and one death as a result of poor managment and lack of understanding about this land. The area is unstable and the steep terrain on this wet tropics land that is not suited for such high density development.

Here's a video taken last week at False Cape.
  • Click on the screen capture on the right.
    [Win Media File 5 mb]

It shows substancial sediment run off from the front gate of the False Cape development, into the shoreline. This was filmed during relatively light rain.

The original Cairns City Council approval stated that work on the site should not be carried out during the wet season.
Read the full Negotiated Decision Notice for Operational Works (November 2006)

Subsequent to this agreement, a decision was granted to over-ride the Wet Season clause, so work can proceed. The Byrne City Council in it’s wisdom bowed to the developers request to have this condition removed.
This is why there is now substantial run off into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Today the Cairns City Council have suggested they will consider legal action after being alerted to the sediment run off, yet they were complicit to this by granting the waver.
So why of a sudden are they reacting and threatening legal action? Well, to save some face in this ecologigical disaster that they have contributed to of course.
To suggest, as some pro-Council supporters have over recent months, that Council have little control over developers and that recource should be directed at State Government, well this correspondance will put that idea to rest.

The question has to be asked is what will stop sediment continuing to be discharged from this site into the Great Barrier Reef? How long should this be allowed to happened before Cairns Council should act and use the $650,000 bond to start to rehabilitate the False Cape site?
CairnsBlog is of the understanding that the Federal Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH) will be inspecting the site next week.

We have also learn't that this is a clear breach of the EPBC permit that was issued by the Commonwealth and that the Commonwealth are well within their powers to revoke the approval.

The health of the Great Barrier Reef to the tourism industry, which is the single largest earner for Cairns, should not be underestimated.

You may wish to avail yourself of some addtional background reading. I've linked the Conservation Agreement that was signed in July 2005 by the Reef Cove developer, Starline Australia Holdings.
It is likely that this entire development could be called in.
The photographs below display the land at East Trinity that has been scoured and all but ruined. Little policing has occured and everyone involved in allowing this to go ahead should be ashamed at the damage that has occured.

A final bit of awkward irony in this unfolding disaster at False Cape, the developer's media spokesperson is Andrew Griffiths, the same person who is strategically involved in the Mayor's election campaign (not Plath's or Freebody's though!).


Anonymous said...

Thank goodness we have proactive, independant locals who take the time (unlike the CCC & EPA)to alert us when developers, such as these are grossly negligent. It does makes you wonder why the prevention of these types of incidents aren't given a higher priority by the CCC & EPA. Surely they both should be monitoring sites like this on a regular basis?
Although our Mayor once told me that the red run off in our creeks adjacent to developments was natural & had been occuring for years. Apparently all you need do is fly over the rivers & creeks during the wet to see that this is a natural occurrence & happens every time we get heavy rain. It comes off the cane fields you see.
Impossible to say the same for False Cape though, hey Kev?

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across this blog regarding sediment runoff and wanted to introduce you to a company, Streamside Systems, specializing in a non-invasive approach to removing sediment. The passive collector's are placed in the stream bed and collect sediment as it transports downstream. These can be put in place during construction projects collecting sediment before it can cause damage. If excess sediment has already occurred the Sand Wand technology can be used to remove it in wadeable depths of water. If you know of any area's this may help please feel free to contact us at

Anonymous said...

The passive collector's also come with their own possessive apostrophe completely free.

Are they also available in a range of exciting colours?