Tuesday 7 October 2008

Councillor calls for formal report of Foley Road

Following my three reports and a number of video filmed over the last month at the Foley Road, Palm Cove development site, Councillor Julia Leu has now ordered an urgent report.

"This morning I received an email about sediment plume at Palm Cove and possible connection to Foley Road," Councillor Julia Leu told CairnsBlog.

"At 7.54am yesterday, I requested a full report about this situation from Council staff as a matter of urgency."

I have to record that a big part of the problem in this development, like False Cape, is the Council officials themselves. They are not policing developments and ensuring controls are being adhered to. This Foley Road mess has been going on for months. The drive from Council's plush planning offices in Spence Street is a mere 20 minutes to Palm Cove. Why don't they get off their arses, put some waist-high fishing waterproof trousers on, and march on up Hartwig's hill.

The debacle unfolding at the top of Foley Road, mirrors that of False Cape. It wasn't until the Federal Minister got involved that there was a resolution. However, to date the State Government haven't done a thing about False Cape, following the directive and intervention from the Federal Environment Minister.

Mark Buttrose, who led the campaign for the cessation of work at False Cape, believes that the Cairns Regional Council is still in denial. "This excavation at Foley Road is a major breach, it is on a huge scale and so potentially damaging," he says.

"I challenge the Council to produce the Erosion Sediment Control Plan for this development. Does it exist?" Mark Buttrose asks.

A strong advocate for proper hill slope protection, Buttrose says that every development must have a Erosion plan. "They need to produce this and satisfy the community why such standards are clearly not being upheld at this massive excavation [at Palm Cove]."

"This is False Cape all over again," he says. "Same thing, but now they don't have [Kevin] Byrne to hide behind."

Meanwhile, the Combined Beaches Community Association, who have been corresponding with the EPA for months over this development, have today written to State member for Cook, Jason O’Brien. They have requested a full investigation into the sediment run off into the creek system at Foley Road. O'Brien has been asked to get the EPA to investigate this development, maybe he might wake them up?

In a footnote to this story, a week ago a local Clifton resident was caught red-handed by the developer Phil Hartwig at the bottom of his property taking photos.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" Hartwig bellowed. "I'm recording the mess on this land. Do you know the damage you're doing?"

The resident was told to mind his own business. "Don't you mind, I'll look after this. Why don't you leave," Phil Hartwig said in an aggressive tone.

I strongly encourage any concerned resident to go for a drive, and have a look. Foley Road is on the left hand side of the Captain Cook highway heading north. Park your car at the top, near the new sub-division on the right, and walk up the hill. You'll be shocked at the sight. Don't be to perturbed if Hartwig has his red and white plastic 'safety' tape across the road, as it's public road up to the newly constructed bridge culvert around the corner. There you will get a bird's eye view of the total devastation going on.

You would think, that in the wake of the False Cape decision to halt works for a year and stabilise the site before the wet season, Council would be all over rogue developers like Phil Hartwig. When are they going to take some action?


Al said...

What does it take to wake up our political leaders? Is EVERYONE asleep at the wheel? It's the 21st Century, the environment is now the paramount world-wide issue bar none!! Yet, here we have these cowboys vandalising our magnificent natural environment in a way which would do credit to the worst of the Joh years. For God's sake, get off your backsides and show some leadership. Deal with this issue!!!

KitchenSlut said...

Oh dear indeed!

The kitchen Slut had a run in with Mr Rob Reilly when he was invited to the kangaroo court of the infamous rates feedback sessions following written submissions a few years ago.

It came obvious dureing proceedings, as per my submission, that the discussion info provided to the community by council officials from Rob Reilly's staff was substantially incorrect and biased. Reilly's responses under questioning from Cr Gill were just dumbly pathetic and unacceptable.

The veracity of my submission was admitted privately after by then CEO David Farmer. A subsequent formal complaint re the Council info provided to the community and councillors by Rob reilly was, of course, then refused by Farmer in a written reply.

It was just a discussion paper apparently .... so 'lies' were acceptable was the story .....

Anonymous said...

Just to let people know, following the email from the Combined Beaches Association, I have asked the Environment Minister to get his Department to investigate this matter and take the appropriate action.

Anonymous said...

Jason, you might want to ask the Minister for Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation instead, as your Government no longer has a Minister for Environment!

williamtell said...

wonder how the development handled the nice little showers we just had l had 27mm for the day at clifton enough to cause some decent erosion

Anonymous said...

Will, not sure about Foley Road today, but I did go slip sliding away along the Argentea latest boardwalk destruction and the sediment trap for the latest Resort earthworks hadn't contained the sediment. The tributary that flows into Delaney's Creek, down where the croc was caught not so long ago and runs under the first boardwalk/cycle path was full of muddy water. Unfortunately didn't have a camera with me, otherwise I would have taken a snap of the creek and also the workmens dunny tucked away amongst the melaleucas and mangroves.