Sunday 21 June 2009

Don’t go down to the woods today

Four years ago the Combined Beaches Community Association questioned the need for boardwalks at the beach side development, Argentea, and for several good reasons.
Argentea is positioned between Clifton Beach and Palm Cove.
They showed that the boardwalks were built too close to Delaney’s Creek, especially in one section, with no barriers between the creek and walkways.
The boardwalks were too wide, up to 4 mt in places, and mostly made of wood, that will require ongoing maintenance. Who would this responsibility rest with? Probably the Council, and us as ratepayers, or would the developer, Argentea, pick up this bill?
The boardwalks were positioned to be built right beside the creek, and riparian vegetation has been removed to facilitate construction.
The boardwalks connect to two wooden bridges over Delaney’s Creek, less than 100m apart. The need for two bridges and disturbance of the waterway and mangrove vegetation twice is objectionable and unnecessary. One section of boardwalk has been put through a protected wetland.
Fiona Tulip, president CBCA, says that mixing pedestrian traffic next to crocodile habitat, is of serious concern.

"This has been realized publicly now by Argentea and local authorities," Fiona Tulip says. "They have had to install signs on the boardwalks, on the banks of Delaney’s creek."

The Interpretative sign says that Argentea hosts a variety of habitats for native flora and fauna, and lists, kangaroo; Agile wallaby; birds; butterflies; frogs; Fruit bats; and flying foxes.

"They forgot one of the oldest living species on this planet – crocodiles," Fiona says. "Obviously, didn’t want to frighten the tourists away and potential home buyers from this location. It was only last year that a dog was taken by a resident crocodile and pulled into the lagoon."
Luckily, the rather large breed of dog managed to escape with just a few deep lacerations. Headlines in the Cairns Post the next day read 'Pet escapes Croc’s jaws.' That particular crocodile was captured and relocated. Now less than 12 months later, other reptiles, have made this creek system and beach lagoon their home.
"A resident told me this morning that last week she saw a parent dangling his toddler into the water of the same lagoon, to get the sand of the little girl’s feet," Tulip told CairnsBlog.
"Clearly, more signage about the dangers of this area need to warn visitors, as the current resident croc is at least 2 mt and has been sighted in this lagoon many times. He is just waiting for his next meal."


Lillian at Yorkeys said...

1 for Nature, 0 to Argentea. One way to keep those tourist numbers down, eh?
Seriously - yet another prime stuff-up from the CRC's Evil Planning Dept, no?

Sno's Sole Supporter said...

If anyone is really interested in the facts, you would know that plans for a boardwalk thru this area, as well as many of the other amenities, were approved by Tom Pyne's council as part of the original Japanese developer's plan. This project area is extremely well-designed, as were areas like Paradise Palms and Forest Gardens. Sadly Paradise Palms has been mostly destroyed by greedy Aussie developers (Tom Hedley and associates), and Argentea is well on it's way to getting trashed by Leigh Ratcliffe's shopping mall project.

As for the crocs, they're part of the habitat and anyone that doesn't take care in the tropics deserves to share in the result.

Fiona Tulip said...

Re Sno Sole Supporter's comments

The fact remains that the current boardwalk linking Clifton Beach and Palm Cove was put through by the current developer (Thakral)right through the middle of a mangrove wetland and riparian corridor and significant damage has been done to this area of Delaney's creek, in an area that is also designated as an erosion prone area. The approvals were given for these specific designs and layout under Kevin Byrne's and Sno Bonneau's reign. I was in the Council meeting when they were approved.

The actions of this developer and council's approval of this type of destruction of significant and fragile areas in the 21st Century, does not speak well for our future beach preservation.

The boardwalk could just as easily have gone along the outer edge of the riparian corridor instead of just metres from the creek as it currently is and you would have had an equally pleasing result.

Only one boardwalk crossing of the Creek is/was warranted, not two! That is just being too greedy and the impact devastating for the area. These boardwalks are 4m wide traversing the Creek and less than 100m apart.

Locals are not against boardwalks, but their location must be sensitive to the area and minimal in their design in fragile areas. This has not occurred at this site.

In this particular instance, locals believe that the boardwalk should not have been allowed to go through a significant melaleucca wetland, with two bridge crossings with significant vegetation clearing in an area that is already sufferering moderate to heavy beach erosion (Cairns Beaches Erosion Management Plans).