Saturday 21 June 2008

No prospect of heritage significance

The long fight to save our historic Cairns Yacht Club, perched on prime developer hungry city's waterfront land, is still not over.

Long-time campaigner, Ray Taylor of Little Mulgrave, who has been involved with the club for many years, has been asking Sate and local Council representatives to explain why and how the club was left off the official Queensland Heritage Register.

This is crucial, as it was this omission that gave the Cairns Port Authority with a complacent City Council under the leadership of Kevin Byrne, reason to not recommend supporting it's heritage listing.

  • Paul,

    As you are no doubt aware, the failure of the CYC Building to gain Heritage Listing and the way it was achieved, was, to put it mildly, not very well received by the people of Cairns.

    The then Cairns City Council, of which you were a member, passed a motion Objecting to Heritage Listing, the subject matter of which, "...acknowledged the importance of the place to the people of Cairns...", the very people the Council is supposed to represent.

    The Local Government Act-1993,
    states: "...they (councils) are democratically elected bodies---accountable to their communities for the decisions and actions they take".

    With this in mind, I would therefore be most grateful if you would, as a member of that previous Council, state clearly, why Council chose to submit an Objection knowing full well the public support this place had, and how the motion came to be carried.

    Ray Taylor

  • Dear Ray,

    Thanks for your email.

    The timeline for the Council position is this; In March 2003, the Heritage Council resolved to provisionally enter the Yacht Club into the QHR, plus a 4 metre wide strip alongside the club.

    As a response, the Cairns Port Authority, the landowners, commissioned Gordon Grimwade and Associates, and Deacons, to prepare a report to be used as a submission to the Heritage Council.

    Grimwade's report detailed that there was no evidence to suggest the place has significance at a statewide level, and therefore could not be included in the Register.
    Deacon's report highlighted that Section 23 (3) of the Act states that if there is no prospect of the cultural heritage significance of the place being conserved, then it does not satisfy the criteria for entry into the Register.

    As the whole of the Cityport Project, including the demolition of the club had been put to the Coordinator General and approved (giving the Heritage Council no grounds for resisting the application to demolish), then the requirements of the Act could not be complied with, as there was "no prospect" of the heritage significance being conserved.

    Council used these reports upon which to base it's decision on, twice; in July and September 2003.

    I hope this clarifies Council's dealings with this matter.

    Paul Gregory
    Cairns Regional Council

Surely the question of 'significance' was the responsibility of the Queensland Heritage Register, in fact, seven of the twelve person Council, that included Professor Jan Wegner, and the Queensland Heritage Council's assessor, all thought that it was of significance.

This is not to mention the subsequent 5,000 signatures petition. Whatever happened to that?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

All very well Cr Gregory, but what can the current Council do to remove its objection to heritage listing? While the building still stands the heritage of the Yacht Club is still there to be listed and saved.