Friday 25 September 2009

Go to Georgia, Paul

Ninemsn reports the Scream Machine rollercoaster ride in Georgia, is now submerged after torential downpours and flooding over the last week.

The 32m ride, once the tallest in the world, has been engulfed in 6 meter floods and left in ruin. This theme park has all the hallmarks of the ill-fated Freebody Water Park plan, that Cairns Regional Council doesn't want a bar of on the proposed site, right in the middle of the Barron River.

No wonder his backers and the company behind the slide equipment are pulling out of the crazy hair-brained idea to invest millions in a business that will be literally washed away. Do you think he would have built his toy shop at this site?


Jonkey said...

More falsehoods to promote your own agenda, Moore? Where exactly in Nine's coverage does it say the Scream Machine has been "left in ruin"? It doesn't. It states that the floods have caused millions of dollars worth of damage, but not specifically to the Scream Machine.

You've produced a very hastily-crafted, ill-considered and obviously desperate comparison to suit your own inexplicable ends.

Oliver of Redlynch said...

Heaven forbid I should defend Michael, but if somebody was to personally berate me in the way that Freebody has, then I don't think I would be as constrained with my responses! The irony in this last article is obvious.

This blog has never actually been against the waterpark pursay (and neither for that matter has the council), simply the inappropriate location. Freebody was offered different sites apparently, but since they are NOT on cheap land, they are more expensive and thus bring the viability of this plan into question. He would need other backers/partners, and his share of the project (and profits) would thus be less.

Personally I think the council should have passed his plan in the full knowledge that it would have been knocked back by State. That way they would have deflected the local critics - but that would have been underhand and dishonest - something THIS council are trying not to be. Its unfortunate that the media has such a right wing agenda.

nocturnal congress said...

So if the Council does approve it and the Park is carried out to sea in a massive 1979 like flood, causing damage to other businesses along the way, will Freebody carry the bill for damages? If there are still loans to pay out on the venture, will Freebody carry that debt? Or will he scream for the taxpayer to bail him out?
We can guess.

H. Achequ said...

nocturnal congress you must already know the answer. The same way that the developers/residents expect the Qld Govt/Cairns ratepayer to fork out to dredge their canal development at Half Moon Bay. The same way the taxpayer has to bail out stupid developments such as False Cape. The same way we the ratepayers are forced to pay for sea walls to protect rich people's homes on the Northern Beaches due to crap development projects. He's a KB fanboy. That's how they operate.

Veritas said...

Any development proposal in the Barron River Delta that needs the protection of levee banks to stop it from inundation should not be approved.
Look at New Orleans for example. A city surrounded by levee banks that failed under the pounding of flood waters. The consequences were hundred drowned and endless destruction.
Is that what we want to create in Cairns where there are so many alternative sites?
It is the cumulative effect of one off approvals that will destroy the integrity of the town plan.
I think it is incumbent upon Council to uphold its planning strategy for the Barron River Delta and say no to inappropriate development.

Factman said...

Veritas ...

We are talking about a water slide and pool park, not a metropolis like New Orleans.

If the 100 year ARI event occurs during our lifetime, then I can assure you that some of Yorkeys, all of Trinity Park, Holloways, Machans, the city, hospital and the airport will also be underwater.
Look at

Hey, why not stop the development of a kids, adults and tourist attraction and thereby stop the enjoyment of thousands, just because it may flood every 100 years.

What about the other 99 years, 355 days?

Get some perspective please.

Clifton Ratbags Rule! said...

You people are all pathetic. Where were all the comments on this thing when the comment period was open? You know how many of our intelligent, politically-active citizenry wrote objections to this proposal? TWO. That's right. TWO. One from an adjacent property owner, and one I believe and American migrant to Cairns.

If you wankers are really interested in protecting our community you'll stop hiding in your homes reading some blog and actually do something productive.

Jude Johnston said...

Clifton Ratbag, Many people active in the community also sit and read this Blog, as do you.
While in some instances the
quantity of objections is a factor,(eg the 400 submissions re the Telstra Pole at Clifton Beach) in something such as this proposal, the content of the objections lodged carries more weight with Council Officers. For the rest of us, as it was to the Council Planners, the huge non compliances with Local and State planning instruments was self evident. By the way it only takes one objector to go to the Planning and Environment Court.

veritas said...

Factman, I am surprised with your attitude. I note you are out of step with the Council Planners. I assume your comments are your personal views and not those of the Council.
I am disappointed to read your spin on the inappropriate proposal. Inappropriate because of its location. Place it on non flood land and the detractor will turn to be supporters.
As a Council employee you of all people should know better. I would have thought that you would be a supporter of applying the Cairns Plan as approved by Council to the letter of the law, let alone the spirit!
Factman, New Orleans comparison, please do not insult the intelligence of the those who criticise its location. Everything is relative my friend. As a young Country we should learn from the mistakes of others and not repeat them ourselves, unless you want to be classified as a fool!
Intelligent Council employee like yourself should lead by example!

Veritas said...

Clifton Ratbags Rule, your facts must be right when you publicly comment. There were 4 submitters of opinion. 3 against and 1 in support. See page 381 of the Planning Report
As well as advertising in the Cairns Post and Signs on the land, it is up to the Councillor who represents the Division to hold a public meeting/s especially when it comes to controversial issues.
In this case the Councillor is Cochrane. Little chance of her calling a public meeting to discuss the proposal when she is an ardent supporter of inappropriate development. Freebody and Cochrane are mutual mates from the days when Freebody was a Councillor.
Why give added exposure when the application is inappropriate to the locality and Town Planning principles.
The Applicant has right up to the day of the decision to make representations in support or clarification. Objectors have that right as well and we are exercising it.
Come, join the objectors and accomplish something worthwhile for orderly planning and longevity for the community in which we all live.!

Factman said...

Veritas ... yes all views expressed by Factman are Factman's, not Council's.
I read Simon's report re. this waterpark proposal and his report was written solely from a town planners perspective.
There are other points/issues to consider and Factman has formed his opinion by considering such.
It's only a water park, not a hospital, nor is it an airport,or a subdivision where people live.
I cannot understand how all you detractors did not jump up and down when the State Government committed $400 million of your money expanding the hospital in an area subject to both Q100 and tidal surge.
What seems to be the problem with this waterpark proposal is that it is linked to Paul Freebody and that's what has stirred the anti-Bryne brigade.
So what if this park gets flooded in a 100 years ... so what?
Cairns needs everything it can get to pull itself out of the doldrums at the moment and this park would be a wonderful asset and a boost to not only the economy, but also morale.
Forget Q100, forget that it's in a sugercane precinct and most of all, forget that Freebody is involved.
If we don't, then guess what, it will be built in Townsville.

Brett Hitchens - Machans Beach said...

Its actually think its about our residential communities and not just a waterpark. Our town planners have seen the bigger picture not obscured by short term commercial or political imperatives.
Like them my concern is both the precedent and Councillor Cochrane's "conditions". A bund-protected waterpark once approved then begets what? A series of similarly "protected" ventures dotted down the hi-way to the Barron bridge? Each one built on the precedent and conditions of what came before. Each one "protected" not just from a 100 year event but from what we already know is more likely, the 3 year event or 1 average cyclone. Those flood waters, restricted by bunded walls will need to flow across ever contracting areas. As they do they flow faster and increase the flood levels both upstream and down. Any kid whose played in a beach creek building sand dams knows what happens next.
Would the developers agree to go ahead with these projects if they were actually prohibited from constructing flood protection barriers and their businesses subject to whatever comes each wet season? Or is it really a case of beach communities be damned.

Quien Sabe said...

Brett you are so right,

Factman….if you object so conscientiously to Council Officer’s adhering to Local and State Government Planning Instruments, then I suggest you take the honourable course and seek other employment.

No it is not just about letting a few waterslides and pools go under water every wet season.

This proposal includes retail outlets, conference facilities, restaurants et al.

Blind Freddy knows that these buildings CAN NOT be allowed to be inundated, so the area HAS to be raised above the normal (let alone Q100) flood level. If you look along the highway you can see the flood level markers, so we would expect the bunds to be above those levels.

If the water that would normally spread across this flood plain can no longer do so, then where does it go?

Well the water to the North would build up back into Avondale Creek, and Caravonica, increasing the flood levels there.

The water to the south would be accelerated into Thomatis Creek, increasing the mass flow, and increasing the possibility that this will become the major outlet for the Barron River. Add to this the continuing removal of sand from the adjacent area, resulting in the large ponds/lakes now visible with the cane cut, and the additional diversion of Barron River water into the Thomatis catchment should be of major concern. The likelihood of this happening has support from the local scientific community, and I would suggest that should this occur the consequences would be catastrophic.

Notwithstanding the effects at the respective river mouths, the prospect of Thomatis creek becoming as wide as the Barron River at the Captain Cook Highway crossing is daunting to say the least. Imagine a scenario where the ONLY access to/from Cairns from the north of Smithfield, for a period of 6-12 months (assuming a new crossing could put in at that time frame) was via Redlynch.

If you read the concurrence agency response in the officer’s report you will note that the Barron River delta is the replenisher of the subterranean aquifer from which Mr Freebody proposes to draw the water for his facility. This aquifer not only is the proposed supply for the development, but also provides the groundwater for surrounding properties during the dry season. DNRM, quite rightly observes that the “tar and cement” (my quotes) of this development will hinder replenishment of the aquifer during the wet season, and requires evidence that the development will not substantially affect the replenishment cycle of the aquifer. In simple terms, this development will suck water from the underground supply, but prevent the natural refilling of the supply during the wet season.

It is ironic that in directing the waters way from his project, the first casualty may be his own project when the aquifer is sucked dry…to be flushed as treated water into an already stressed CRC sewerage system. Unfortunately others who depend on the aquifer and groundwater will also be affected.

concernec said...

Factman, seeing as though this is an MCU I would imagine the report would be written from a planner's standpoint. This is a planning issue, is it not? The applicant has asked for a development application to be passed by the council. So probably best to stick to the planning points of the development then. Being a council employee, you are probably well aware of that.

Now, what is the point of having the time, effort and money invested in the CairnsPlan if it is only going to be used in "spirit" or as a guideline.

The expertise of the council planning department is to be utilised in presenting the reports and I imagine an MCU such as this is not to be taken lightly when setting such a precedent in the area. I would think the planners are the ones who have the training and years of experience in this particular field and the councillors are aware of this and hopefully will take note of the concerns raised by the planning officer.

Reading the report it seems flooding of the area is one of the many concerns raised in relation to the location of the proposed development. As many people here have said, not against the development - just the location is not suitable.

Also, hospital location is ridiculous too.

Factman said...

Quien Sabe ... you are joking right?
" Factman seek other employment".
No way Jo-se.

Just because I have my own view on what is important for Cairns, am I to be constrained for expressing my opinion on this blog?
If and when Council adopt a position on this development, then it is only the planner's opinion that I am debating.

Factman will accept Council's resolve on this matter without question.

And not only have I read the report, I have had discussions with the report's author, who incidentally was not Simon Clarke.

And all your emotive clap-trap about "would build up back into Avondale Creek, and Caravonica, increasing the flood levels there" is total rubbish.
The bund can, and will be engineered, to allow free flow passage of water with no back water effect whatsoever. Talk to Connell Wagner's Senior Engineer.

The water theme park can happily co-exist with, Skyrail, the water-ski park, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Canopy’s Edge, Go-Kart track, Ergon's new substation on Macgregor Road and the Prawn farm.

I really think all this has more to do with Freebody than flooding.

And that's a fact !!!

Tom Sawyer said...

Clifton Ratbags Rule, surely you don't suggest that American migrants have no right to appeal.

Quien Sabe said...

So Factman...

The bund can, and will be engineered, to allow free flow passage of water with no back water effect whatsoever..

Free flow to where ???

The western side of the site is where the water comes from.
The eastern side of the site is the Captain Cook Highway,
The Northern side of the site is Avondale Creek, Caravonica, and Smithfield, and
The Southern Side is Thomatis Creek.

Sure the engineers will ensure the water is moved away from the development site, after that it simply becomes an SEP. (Someone Elses Problem)

Clifton Ratbags Rule said...

Hey Tom,

I don't suggest that at all. I just think it's pathetic that all these poor aussies are moaning and whinging about this development now, when they sat on their hands when the comment period was open. We've got a lot to learn from the Yanks - I think it's called political activism. Aussies are good complaining after the fact, but the Yanks that have been in Cairns have pitched in and actually done the work, whether it's been petitions in Clifton or writing cogent objections to projects. It's odd that they care more about our region than the Aussies do!

Go Yanks!

Northern Beaches Warrior said...

Hey Clifton Bags Rule,

Did you know that The Heritage Hotel on the Corner of Spence and lake street has an application in to extend opening hours to 3am during the week and 5am on the weekend.


Why is that then?

Is it because the sign is hidden in a dark alcove off Spence street so unless you were walking into the Hotel via that entrance, members of the general public would not have a chance to see it???

As we all know, apathy is one problem, people still do not realise that little white signs should be read and understood!

Anyone concerned about extended trading hours in the City and the increase in violence associated with alcohol abuse in our streets at nighttime?