Wednesday 28 October 2009

Cochrane: time for having some fun

Cairns Regional Council's official statement announcing the 7/4 vote in favour of the waterpark on the Captain Cook Highway north of Cairns, trumps up the jobs and what the facility will eventually boast.

"Council approved the application for the development of the more than six hectare site, that will eventually house 16 water slides, a surf simulator, pools, lagoons, restaurants, retail outlets and function rooms, is proposed for a site that formerly housed a local shark show," the statement reads.

It goes on to say that Deputy Mayor and Division 8 Councillor Margaret Cochrane championed the proposal, and says the building of the $35 million scheme would "create jobs during construction and for future employees."

“The developer has done all the work in the planning stages with respect to creating an environmentally sound recreational facility with sensitivity to the surrounding agricultural land,” Margaret Cochrane says.

Developer, former Toyworld manager and raffle ticket winner, Paul Freebody has long touted that the park will employ "over 200 locals." However the economic feasibility study conducted by Cairns Chamber of Commerce President Jeremy Bockey said that it's only a quarter of that, as there will be 52 full-time equivalents.

As for Freebody stunning claims the he's done all the flood modelling, I think there'll be a few more than tourists looking at the first flood across his park. There's nothing more certain in the world than a flood there. Just pop onto Google Earth and zoom into the river system that feeds directly into the subject land. How could Councillor Paul Gregory support this as chair of the water and works committee. He of all people should have known better.

Cochrane says the Dillon Road site is currently derelict. "This plan will give it new life as a functioning economically viable and sustainable facility for locals and tourists alike. The plans for this theme park have been long in the making and it is time to get on with the job of creating the reality – and having some fun.”
A source close to the project has informed CairnsBlog that Margaret Cochrane will "get to test out all the water slides first. They have been made 'Councillor-Cochrane compliant'," the source said.


Barron delta blues said...

It was a disappointing but not unexpected result from CRC today regarding Freebody and Plath's waterpark.

Thank you to the four people on the CRC who didn't let the empty promise of "bringing jobs to Cairns" sway them from using common sense and voting against the waterpark.

Councillor Forsythe, it was good to see you express your opinion on television news today about the short-sighted decision which was made today. Sadly, I think you'll be proven correct in the long term.

Freebody's bodyguard said...

Hahaha what a joke.. Freebody won i guess MM can eat his words now! Val was saying she was all for the water park and then changed her words at the end.. what a dumb cow she cant even speak glad we get the water park..

Bryan Law said...

Mr Bodyguard, we don't have the waterpark yet, we've only got CRC approvals that, according to the CP, are heavily conditioned.

I'm interested that the proponent of heavy conditioning - our beloved Matron the Deputy Sherrif - is hard at work trying to extend the contracts of those managers who are best known for their failure to uphold or enforce any conditions at all.

If Mr Tabulo gets the axe (and I sincerely hope he does) the your principal may well fall over of his own accord. Plus there's the economics, and the difficulty of mobilising capital for empty words in today's market.

Still, you keep up the good work there squire. p.s. threats are everywhere.

Jude Johnston said...

Watching the machinations between Councillor Cochrane and the Freebody Group, hand signals and nods during the debate was an appalling display of "collusion".
The Officers report was still to refuse the application. Somehow, the councillor is able to "work with council officers" to produce a different report with conditions that somehow make the project ok.
The next step will be for the Freebody Group to go back for a Negotiated Decision to have some of the conditions reduced.
While I expected nothing less from the "old guard" the biggest disappointment was from Rob Pyne. Congrats to Councillors Leu and Forsyth for continuing to have integrity.
As for the Cairns and State Regional Plans, well they can be found lying at the bottom of the murky waters of the Freebodys water park.

Sue E said...

Tell me the old, old story!!!!!

A regional plan is a statutory instrument under the Statutory Instruments Act 1992 and has the force of law.

The FNQ Regional Plan is the pre-eminent plan for the FNQ region and, therefore, takes precedence over all other planning instruments. The effect of the FNQ Regional Plan is established under section 2.5A of IPA as follows:
• For the purpose of the IPA, the FNQ Regional Plan is a state interest.
• Under the IPA, if there is any inconsistency with another plan, policy or code, including another planning instrument made under state legislation that affects the FNQ region, the FNQ Regional Plan prevails.In the development assessment process, applying the regional plan’s associated regulatory provisions must occur in addition to any matters applying under a planning scheme for assessing and determining a development application.
If a local government planning scheme materially contradicts the regional plan, the planning scheme must be amended to align with the regional plan.

Nothing changes - regional plans and local planning schemes can be disregarded or manipulated at will.
The proposed Qld coastal plan and policy will suffer the same fate.
Qld State government policy and law is a joke.

John, Kuranda said...

Its interesting to note the proposed additional tier of planning - The following was reported in the NT News today

PLANNING and development in coastal cities has been named as the latest target for federal government intervention.

And Darwin is set to be "front and centre" of this latest move.

In an address called "Building a Big Australia" Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told the Business Council of Australia he would intervene to improve city function and protect against climate change.

"The time has come for national leadership in our long-term city planning," Mr Rudd said.

It will be interesting to see if Rudd regards Cairns as one of his coastal cities.

Over to you Corporal Turnour - what it going to be? Does KRudd think of Cairns as a city to be protected? Certainly his (and your) attitude to the high rates of unemployment seem to indicate that Cairns, and by extension FNQ, is not really worth the worry!

Jude Johnston said...

Sue E, it is the same old old story. The only addition to the chapter on "How do we work around the Cairns Plan to give the Developer what he wants", is the FNQ Regional Plan. Not content with ripping out the pages that they don't like, these 7 Councillors think that they are now able to re write the FNQ Regional Plan. They obviously have not read the chapter that states they have to have justification to reject the Officers recomendations. What is their justification - 7500 hits on Facebook.

The Headless Horseman said...

What Cochrane and her Cronies have conveniently forgotten is that council last year was forced to pay insurance payouts around flood-affected Cairns because of the ill-advised decisions of development decisions of previous councils.
Councils have an obligation not to make decisions that will impact disastrously on ratepayers.
Thankfully, Paul Nobody's water park is nothing more than a pipe dream and will never happen anyway. I am not surpised that Val, Di, Kirsten and Julia opposed the location for the water park. They have commonsense and vision and listen to ratepayers. Cochrane's Cronies on the other hand are still looking backwards to the dark days of the Byrne councils.