Thursday 4 September 2008

False Cape work to stop

Environment Minister, Peter Garrett has suspended approval of the Reef Cove Resort development at Queensland’s False Cape and has ordered the developer to carry out an environmental audit of the site.

It is the first time a federal environment minister has suspended a project’s approval or directed an environmental audit under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

“Following a preliminary investigation by my department, I’ve decided to suspend approval of the False Cape project for a 12-month period because I am concerned about the threat of sediment run-off into the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area,” Garrett said.
“This suspension means there can be no construction at the site until I’m satisfied that the developer has completed the appropriate remediation work and can complete construction in a responsible manner and in full compliance with the approval conditions, without impacting on the marine environment."
“If I am not satisfied by the end of this suspension period that appropriate remediation measures have been implemented in accordance with the outcomes of the compliance audit I have the option under the EPBC Act of suspending the approval for a further period, or revoking it altogether."

Garrett goes on to say that if revoked, any proposal for a new development at the site may need to undergo a new assessment process under the EPBC Act. This would be likely to require a new public assessment.

Mr Garrett said the directed environmental audit would provide important information that the Federal Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts could include in its ongoing investigation.

He says that his department will work with the Cairns Regional Council to address the immediate concerns at the site and to make the site stable before the coming wet season.

Mark Buttrose of Save Our Slopes, along with environmental photographer Steven Nowakowski, both whom where in a surveillance helicopter recording images in June, when their craft crashed, can feel vindicated by their years of campaigning against the damage to the False Cape site.

"We'll see what happens over the next 12 months," Mark Buttrose says. "It was worth keeping up the pressure, they finally listened to us."

Terry Spackman, who I filmed at False Cape days before the March Council election, showed the enormous damage to the site, sediment run-off and erosion, said it was an excellent decision. "This is the best result we could have asked for," Terry said.
"We've got False Cape being acted on. Now we need to get them to listen to us all about saving the Yacht Club," Mark Buttrose says.


Anonymous said...

The best side-effect of this decision will be finally the collapse of environmental accomplices, CEC Group.

These people (along with Tom "Liquor and Gambling" Hedley) have vandalized large areas of Cairns in order to accumulate personal wealth.

Sometimes cutting down all the poppies is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Peter Garrett's recent decision to stop a sub-division in Mission Beach cassowary habitat was another recent use of the Minister's EPBC powers to protect FNQs environment.

Here's a reliable story from the Cairns Post (no irony intended).

Garrett deserves congratulations for both these decisions (Mission Beach and False Cape).

The Federal Environment Department was a sad and tethered beast under Howard. Garrett seems keen to bring it back to life. Good on him.

Springtime in Canberra.

Anonymous said...

I guess the bloke above has no personal wealth that has been accumulated without any cost to anybody else. Nor perhaps can he comprehend that CEC and Hedley's are responsible for employing directly and indirectly many breadwinners from many families. If you live in Cairns, then there's a fair chance you have benefitted from one or other of these organisations. They have been responsible for the construction of a great deal of local infrastructure over the years. Their committment to the local region can't be questioned. In the aftermath of cyclone Larry it was CEC that provided resources to help council in the cleanup operation. Some highly opinionated people around these parts have very narrow vision and only short memories.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous above. I don't have a short memory and don't have any respect but my own for what other people think of my vision.

However, your own narrow minded approach that we should support any local business regardless is dangerous and needs to be challenged?

The implication that these businesses should be supported because if they fail the local economy will suffer is pathetic. There may be some short term pain and fallout yes, in that circumstance. However if the basics are sound (?) and the economics of any project, then the viability of any economic development agent (ie CEC, Hedley) are simply transient.

The extent of change is massively misunderstood. Go back and look at the companies which have been wrongly defended as essential to our well being which have subsequently disappeared with no regrets.

Such is the creative destruction of capitalism which has delivered what we have and is now being embraced in China and India.

Perosnally, maybe through bias, I have a favourable view of Roy Lavis at CEC as an individual, but can't say the same for TW Hedley where I have never met anybody in town privately prepared to label the man as anything other than a 'dead arsehole'.

Although whenever anyone uses the excuse of charity to support a commercial operation perhaps we should remember that the mafia loved their children too?

Anonymous said...

P.S Anonymous! i wasnt stupid enough to trust my personal wealth to anything associated with CEC or Hedley. Property and associated 'manufactured yield' structures were the obvious bubbles!

If you bought into the Hedley pub float then guess what? Tom screwed you!! And whats more you were STUPID!

More if needed?

Anonymous said...

What kind of environmental vandal would target halting construction when the site and its immediate surroundings were most vulnerable. Reef Cove should never have started but that horse has well and truly bolted. The waters' always dirty out there anyway - the dredge spoil gets dropped just around the corner. Efforts of those with any kind of environmental agenda would best be focussed in getting changes implemented in the fnqroc that reflect core values. Then give the CRC the teeth and the resources to enforce those changes. This would bash those rich scum developers back into the middle ages. (Actually, I reckon Insurance Companies, Petrol Companies and Banks are doing a better job of fleecing the community - but hey what do I know!)