Saturday 6 September 2008

It's Armageddon say developers

Peter Garrett’s decision to finally intervene on the False Cape disaster, is scaring the crap out of property developers.

And so it should.

The Property Council, in reacting to the suspension of works on False Cape, across Trinity harbour at Cairns, say that the Federal Environment Minister's decision will hurt.

"This unprecedented suspension has the potential to seriously undermine the property industry’s confidence in the development assessment process," the Property Council said yesterday.

Garrett has ordered the developer to carry out an environmental audit of the site after learning of a possible threat of sediment run-off into the Great Barrier Reef.

"Developers will live in fear after this decision," the Property Council said on their website yesterday.

It's about time that developers who tear apart land, start to realise that they cannot undertake their work without the public asking loud questions. They should expect more public scrutiny following the False Cape suspension.

Over the last month, CairnsBlog has exposed another unfolding development disaster at the top of Foley Road, Palm Cove. The Combined Beaches Residents association approached me and described a development that was almost impossible to believe, in the wake of False Cape. "Mike, you'd better come up and have a look at this," they said.

Last week Terry Spackman and I, along with an extensive camera crew and make up department, went for a 'citizen's inspection'. Boy, were we confronted with something out of this world.

"It's a total disaster site, just sitting there waiting to happen," said Terry Spackman. "I've been on the False Cape site many times over the last few years, and Foley Road is as bad as that," Spackman says.

On Friday morning, I alerted Cairns Regional Councillors about the situation, upon the release of video we'd filmed. Councillor Paul Gregory,

"Thanks Mike, I will have a look, probably later today," Paul Gregory told me.

However, Council's Planning and Environment manager, Peter Tabulo said on Friday that a recent audit exposed a majority of building sites failed to meet the minimum industry standard to ensure control. How on earth can we swallow Tabulo’s statements. This is the same guy that gave Glencorp permission to build Clifton Views apartment complex within 5 meters of Deadman’s creek.

We have a long way to go in this fight to manage our local environment, so development can occur under strict guidelines and sustainable housing can be built. Why on earth Phil Hartwig, the Foley Road developer, didn't build houses around in in the native surrounding bush, instead of clearing an entire hillslop, is beyond comprehension.

They simply can't see the hills for the trees. So they knock em down.

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