Sunday 21 September 2008

Last drinks

I was there. I watched them run out of beer. I was sad. I talked to over a hundred people. I danced. I cuddled Councillor Forsyth at no extra charge. I sang Auld Lang Syne. I took some lovely photos. I stayed till 1:28am. I didn't trip over a bulldozer on the way out.

I'll share with you my photo essay this evening.


Anonymous said...

The Cairns Regional Council should be commended for its vote on 11 September 2008 in relation to the Cairns Yacht Club. It is the first step in righting an injustice and what can only be described as shameful actions on behalf of the former Council, Port Authority and the State Government.

I was stunned when I came across Council documentation that confirmed the CYC had met cultural heritage significance criteria, was provisionally listed but was then, as the result of objections, taken off the list because of boundary uncertainties. The main objector was the Port Authority and others, Cairns City Council, Advance Cairns, Hilton Hotel and Tourism Tropical North Qld. It should be remembered that Advance Cairns shareholding is 50% Port Authority and 50% Council.

That the CYC was removed from the list because of boundary problems is unbelievable considering the following Qld Heritage Act definition for “place” and “Defining Boundaries” guiding principles
1 Place means a defined or readily identifiable area of land, whether or not held under 2 or more titles or owners.
2 Place includes—
(a) any feature on land mentioned in item 1; and
(b) any part of the immediate surrounds of a feature mentioned in paragraph (a) that may be required for its conservation.

Guiding principle for determining boundaries –
A heritage boundary is determined by the cultural heritage significance of the place and such immediate surrounds as are required for its conservation.
When deciding what should be included within a heritage boundary, the ultimate test will be “does this boundary protect what is culturally significant about this place?”
Several sub-principles underlie the guiding principle:
• The cultural heritage significance of a place is embodied in its fabric;
• All elements of the place that contribute to its cultural heritage significance should be included within the heritage boundary;
• Views to and from the place may be of cultural significance and should be considered when determining the heritage boundary; and
• The immediate surrounds of a place may be important to its conservation

Heritage boundaries should be decided taking into account the guiding principle and its sub-principles. The significance of a place and its conservation are the justification for its boundary and the sum of elements that make up the context of a place (the physical remains, the setting, and views to and from a place) should all be taken into consideration when determining a heritage boundary.

Given the above it is absolute nonsense to suggest that it wasn’t possible to define a satisfactory heritage boundary for the Cairns Yacht Club. [pages 70-85]

The following extract of council minutes in a closed session preceded the above.
10 JULY 2003

IN THE QUEENSLAND HERITAGE REGISTER....................................................5
Deborah Wellington: 8/24/3-01:# 623806

Deborah Wellington: 8/24/3-01:# 623806
That Council note the provisional entry of the Cairns Yacht Club into the
Queensland Heritage Register.
That Council lodge an objection with the Queensland Heritage Council that
supports the Cairns Port Authority’s position in relation to the removal of the site from the register.

What I found disturbing was Council’s letter on the 11 July 2003 to the Queensland Heritage Council which stated, “Council acknowledges that there is evidence to suggest the place has local significance to the Cairns community, however there is no evidence
to suggest the place is of Statewide significance.” The Council like the Port Authority was actively involved in the Draft Wet Tropical Coast Regional Coastal Management Plan (WTCRCMP) and would have known that the Cairns Yacht Club had been designated “an area of state significance (cultural heritage).” At that time former Mayor K Byrne was a member of the Regional Consultative Group following on from Councillor Bonneau. It is not unreasonable to conclude that Council misled the Queensland Heritage Council. (see also Planning, Development and Community Services Committee minutes of the 10 Sept 2002 and Ordinary minutes of 24 April 2003)

The actions of the Port Authority continued a pattern of behaviour. A Certificate of Immunity was obtained effectively preventing anyone from making a further application to list the CYC on the Qld Heritage Register until August 2009. The Port Authority also contravened Section 285 (4) of the Transport and Infrastructure Act 1994 by failing to address the cultural heritage values of the CYC in their 2006 Cityport Local Area Plan. “Valuable features”(which includes “cultural heritage”) is a core matter of Land Use Plans.

How can any reasonable person reach any conclusion other than there was a concerted effort on the part of the former Council, Port Authority and State government to ensure the CYC was never afforded cultural heritage protection? Entities not only working against the community, the very people they were supposed to represent in a fair and balanced way but also flouting their own policies and laws.

If ever there was an issue which deserved the support of the community, this is it. It is a matter of principle, ethics, fairness and most of all justice for the people who have refused to give up and with little resources, have continued to fight to protect what little heritage remains in this city. Is the price of “cultural heritage” a boardwalk and another hotel?

Anonymous said...

Like I said before, Ex Mayor Razor Byrne and Councillor Bonnueau were in the premeditated extermination of the yacht club since 2002.

bring on a CMC inquiry I say!!!! If ever there needed to be a proper and full investigation of elected officials, not working in the interest of the general public, it is this on, and the means and routes they took to subvert a cultural heritage listing is criminal in its intent!

Anonymous said...

"Father forgive them; for they know not what they do" From the Bible, Luke 23 (King James Version)..........or do they the bastards?! As long as my arse points to the ground, I will never vote Labor again. Sadly the first time I ever did was in the last State elections, and then only because a family friend was running. This decision of mine to vote labor went against my better judgment, and has now turned around to bite me. I am sickned by the fact that my vote was one that helped cause this destruction. I agree with Jan from Kewarra, this fight will not stop at the demolition/removal of the Yachtie, a CMC inquiry is quite justified, I for one will be pushing very very hard for it, the evidence for keeping the Yacht Club in situ is overwhelming, this practice of making people pay for what they do is commonly called PAYBACK, and I am all for it. Kerry Riella Stratford.