Friday 20 June 2008

Nimbys at Stoney Creek

There's more than mis-guided children who want to live in the tranquil Stoney Creek, on the outskirts of Cairns.

The area has been identified as a location for a Department of Communities Youth Intervention Centre. Basically, this is where some off the rail kids will be sent, to be managed and guided by some social counselling experts.

If I'd been along to one of these facilities when I was young, maybe I wouldn't have to take all my frustrations out by writing this Blog.

Now, I dunno if you've been to Stoney Creek. It always get flooded around the height of the wet season. It's also a nice spot for a Sunday picnic. However, further up the road are some rather nice spacious properties, set amongst thick new generation forest. It's certainly a picture out of some happy family movie.

It was bound to be a shitfight, when you propose to put two extremes of society alongside each other. Would be like Val and Kevin going on a blind date to see the latest Arnie flick, called "I'll Bean Bag." Wait for it, you'll get it.

If I lived in pitcueesqe Stoney Creek, I'd have no problem with them becoming neighbours. They're welcome to build their new facility in Yorkeys. We've got plenty of old sugar cane fields lying around, hardly even usual for anything nowadays.

Now, be aware, I haven't put my suggestion before the Yorkeys Knob Residents' Association, and frankly, I don't know what they would say. Maurice and Wayne would probably be okay about it, but then hardly anything fazes these lads that are a local institution. Then there's Jasse on the Knob. She has a huge dog. Bigger than her I think. I don't Jasse would want a rowdly mob of wayward kids moving into Yorkeys. Pam-I-did-over-Toma-Bigelow, who has two rowdy kids of her own, wouldn't mind a bit. Of that I'm sure.

Recently the locals crowned resident copper Anthony Kirkman and radio queen Pat Morrish, King and Queen of the Knob. I'm sure they would both endorse a bunch of ratbags living on the edge of our community. I mean, Anthony has a job whereby he doesn't sleep anyway, and Pat will soon be retiring and I'm sure she'll happily bake muffins and drop them down.

Also, I think Janine would welcome having a youth facility in Yorkeys. Any opportunity for some new young male talent in the neighbourhood, would be happy.

However the Stoney locals were rightly pissed off when they were barred from the "public consultation" meeting last night. This behaviour harks back to the days of the last Council. Submissions were asked for and only after that was done, the 'rules' were changed. It was announced that only those that sent in a submission, would be allowed along to the community meeting. How very dare they (appols to Catherine Tate).

The angry mobsters at Stoney Creek voted to have no confidence in their MP Steve Wettenhall. Hear, hear!

Come on Steve, you have two initials after your name, that we gave you. MP = Member of Parliament. You're not a lawyer anymore. You're here to listen and consult with the people. All the people, regardless of their opinion. Now it may have not been your idea to exclude some, however you should have vetoed that stupid decision if it was some official sitting in a plus government office. The locals would have respected you for it, regardless of the outcome of the meeting.

Sadly, this reminds me of our lovely Sno Bonneau, who famously hates attending community meetings. My neighbour Janine and I are about to take delivery of the first shipment of "Where Are You Sno?" t-shirts. They were produced by child-labour we sourced in a back alley in Vietnam. They were a bargin, as they only cot .20 cents each, including freight. We are such an entrepreneurial couple. You can order one from at $29.99.

By the way, I've learnt that this Stoney Creek Youth facility will be an 'adventure based learning centre'. Gosh, I think I might book myself in there for a weekend away.


Anonymous said...

There has already been a dramatic increase in the amount of graffiti in Lake Placid over the last couple of months, couple that with this new center (which looks like it is one step away from a detention centre) and I think my nice quite suburb is about to goto hell in a hand basket... Perhaps we should blow up the causeway across the barron and keep them in Stoney Creek? (Just kidding.. they would use the main bridge to cross the river anyway :-)

Anonymous said...

Count me in for a "where are you Sno t-shirt". I would wear it with pride! For starters most residents in Clifton Beach would gladly wear it also after his 15 year reign of poor community representation as summarised by the current Mayor at the Clifton meeting on 10th May 2008 (yet another meeting he missed, total lack of community consultation over the sea rock wall and his underhanded tactics in giving the northern end of Upolu Esplanade to to a developer so they could have private access to the beachfront, the lies he told to poor Jack Cowan, who now has a row of two storey townhouses abutting his toilet, they are so close. And lets not forget Clifton Road Glencorp developments that remain as testimony to his complete abject disdain of residents and the surrounding envirnoment.

I hope you have a ready of supply of said t-shirts!

Anonymous said...

The the importance and validity of submissions needs a good airing as far as the last Council goes and this one too for that matter.

Submissions are a way for residents to have a say (good or bad) about a particular issue. However, it seems that submissions are not always considered on a level playing field as it was in this case.

In this case, residents were only invited to a meeting if they had put in a submission. How wrong is that?

How many residents knew enough about the issue to put in a submission in the first place or even how many residents knew enough about the issue to put in an informed submission. If not too bad, they missed out.

How many residents knew about the submission process and even how to go about putting in a valid submission (the key word here is valid)? Apparently, valid submissions are those that are written by residents who would be potentially affected and those that write their submissions based on town planning guidelines such as amenity, character, traffic, parking, inappropriate land use, noise, privacy, scale etc. If not too bad, they missed out.

Most issues requiring submssions are publicly advertised. However, these advertisements can appear any day of the week in the local paper, so if you do not buy the paper or only buy it on Thursdays for the TV guide, then too bad you miss out!

Are you connected enough in your community to have a resident's assocation or other forms of communication for you to hear the news? If not, too bad you miss out!

Do you happen to live near the site or drive past the proposed site to see the little white signs that appear. If not too bad, you miss out?

If you do see the sign, do you understand what it is telling you? The words "Material Change of Use" anywhere on the sign, should send all residents into a submission writing spin immediately. If you do not understand the sign, too bad you miss out?

And finally just how many submissions is enough to get the message through to Council.

It appears that 52 valid submissions was enough to overturn a proposal to build a two storey dual occupancy development in an area of Queenslander homes at Freshwater, but 105 submissions to stop the Vision Group from downgrading a level of assessement in a Conservation area on the hillslopes abutting the Wet Tropics, was not enough last week. This developer can at any time in the future build more houses in this designated Conservation area, and there is nought any of us now can do about it, thanks to those 6 Councillors who favoured the Vision Group and Mr Hedley. Those Councillors were Bonneau (of course), Blake, Gregory, Cooper, Lansky and Cochrane.

Go figure...........