Wednesday 24 September 2008

There are still options

The State Member for Cairns Desley Boyle, still privately acknowledges the fight to retain the Yacht club building on the existing site is not over.

"I know many people will be devastated if the building goes," she said in a private meeting just two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, a boasting Cairns Port Authority chairman Clive Skarott said the situation was "win, win, win" for everyone. Well, it's simply not. The community have been disenfranchised. They have not been involved in this move at all. Maybe he was referring to a win to the Port Authority, a win for Labor, and a win for some developer that will lease out the new high rise.

Skorott is simply keen to get the old shack off the land. However, the community have spoken loud and clear for nearly five years, and they're not letting the Port Authority and the State Government get away with this un-noticed. Skorott also laughably said that the proposed new JCU location is a waterfront location, as it will sit alongside a creek at Smithfield. What an insult.

Furthermore, the State Labor Government and the Cairns Port Authority have not declared why this land where the old building site, is so important for them to retain. Why won't they allow an historical buildiong, of great significance to the local and Queensland community, to remain in situ. They have not explained this openly. They owe this to us all.

CairnsBlog can reveal today that State Member for Cairns Desley Boyle is still open to re-Master Planning the entire area, to integrate community interface with Trinity Inlet.

City architect Mark Buttrose is looking into the plan where Advance Cairns, the Mayor, Eve Stafford and the Premier would agree to better public integration of the City Port redevelopment that would provide more interface.

"Look at significant cities around the world that have done this," Mark Buttrose said. "Like Rome, London, even Wellington's waterfront, they are a magnificent combination of the restored old and new."

Buttrose, who has been involved in many significant public infrastructure re-developments around Cairns, says that public interface and community access to the Trinity Inlet area is vital. "What is proposed is not acceptable, it can be done a lot better, with better long-term outcomes for the entire community."

However Mayor Val Schier says that the option that never ever got off the ground was to let the Yacht Club members move to their new premises, then put the land up for sale with a covenant that the old Aquatic Club building must be upgraded and incorporated into any re-development that took place on the site.

"That way, some economic potential is realised to assist in future City Port development and an adaptive use is made of the old building," Val Schier told CairnsBlog. "In Singapore there are old wharf buildings being retained with new, multi-story buildings rising behind them. Not the ideal, but certainly a compromise which allows the old and the new to co-exist and for visitors and residents to get that important glimpse into the past which helps us to understand who we are and where we've come from."

"I am sure there would have been development interest in this option," Mayor Val Schier said today.

It is important to understand that the old building was provisionally hertitage listed because it did satisfy the cultural heritage significance criteria. It was knocked out on the basis of boundary uncertainties - a complete nonsense but nevertheless what happened as the result of objections. [SEE Council’s archived minutes ]. It is appalling that our own Council was party to this.

This Saturday at 2pm, the Opposition Heritage Minister, David Gibson, will lead the charge at a Rally at ANZAC Park, opposit the Yacht Club building.


Anonymous said...

The CYC building will be moved to the JCU Campus.

The ultimate insult and the act of a desperate government who have lost all credibility because of their actions in this whole sordid affair and I say sordid because that’s the only description that suffices. The CYC met all the cultural heritage significance criteria and was provisionally listed but was knocked out by objection on the basis of boundary uncertainties. A complete and utter nonsense.

That was just the first step in the process to ensure that the CYC would never be given Queensland Heritage List status. What completed the process? A Certificate of Immunity preventing the CYC from being listed via a new application until 2009 during which time the CYC lease would have expired. There was no intention to renew the lease and it had nothing to do with rental or other problems. If the CYC building remained and was listed on the Qld Heritage List it would have been an enormous impediment to any future development plans. That’s what this is all about. Development on strategic port land is “exempt development” if it is consistent with a land use plan and involves the reconfiguration of a lot. If the CYC was a registered Qld Heritage property the Queensland Heritage Council would be a concurrence agency for any development application and therefore a huge impediment.

The Hilton Hotel and Tourism Tropical North Qld were both objectors to the listing of the CYC so that should tell you something. It is equally devastating that our former Council was a party to this entire process.

The State government it seems have no regard for their own policies or laws particularly the following:

• Queensland Heritage Act 1992
The object of this Act is to provide for the conservation of
Queensland’s cultural heritage for the benefit of the
community and future generations
• Coastal Protection and Management Act 1995
The main objects of this Act are to—
provide for the protection, conservation, rehabilitation
and management of the coast, including its resources
and biological diversity
[ the CYC is a coastal cultural heritage resource ]

The “Burra Charter” principles adopted by the Qld Heritage Council make it absolutely clear that location and setting are integral to the cultural heritage values of a place.
There is no other location for the CYC building other than where it now sits. It is not negotiable.

This is Cairns Watershed, something the state government is still unable to grasp. The fundamental right of a community to determine what has value and importance to them and the fundamental right to protect for present and future generations their own cultural history and heritage.

To Steve Wettenhall the only political games perpetrated are those of your government and its entity the Port Authority under the directorship of two shareholding ministers. You have lost all credibility. How dare you claim that community objections are politically motivated. What happened to the right of the community, the people, to expect that those who represent them at both the local and state level will always act in their best interests and in an open and transparent way? Public interest is not exclusively “economic” interest.

Al said...

Political games are they Steve Wettenhall? Such dimissive comments are insulting to most. Yes, there are people out there who will delight at your discomfort over this, but for most; it's about the Yacht Club. We just want it to remain where it is!! Listen to your constituency, this is an issue that has galvanised local people more than anything else in recent years.
Signed Tom Asquith (one who voted for you).