Friday 9 October 2009

Freebody defers Council waterpark vote

In an about face to Cairns Regional Council's deferral two weeks ago, Barron River waterpark proponent Paul Freebody, has requested that the Council not now consider his development application at next week's Planning and Environment meeting.
Freebody has asked that it be held over for another week, "so I have more time to consider the additional conditions."
One on the 40 additional conditions, was the substantial lack of car parking. Planner said he needs to provide 750 car parks, however only 200 were in the applicant's plans. Likewise, 30 were allocated for staff, yet Freebody has said there will be "over 200 staff employed."
Deputy Mayor Margaret Cochrane, a supporter of the applicant, is wanting a compromise and suggest that "300 car parks should be enough."
Some Councillors have made it known that a complete redesign of the park was needed, however Paul Freebody is clinging onto his cramped design that doesn't take the effects of roading infrastructure off the highway and the use of Dillon Road by large agricultural vehicles.
In the same correspondence requesting removal of the agenda item, Freebody noted that Councillor Linda Cooper would not be available at next Wednesday's meeting.
So the real reason that he has asked for his own deferral, is he'll be counting on every vote, after his outburst on radio two weeks ago, when he publicly insulted the female Councillors, calling them "witches and bitches."
The Mayor responding saying it was an odd way to carry out business by the applicant. Very odd indeed.
"The only one that is negative, and always negative, is Kirsten Lesina because - I mean, I don't know what the problem is with this young kid, but she hasn't got a clue," Freebody screamed on radio.

"I mean, how this city voted in some of these people is beyond me. When you put dumbos in there, you're going to get poor results."He accused Mayor Val Schier and Councillors Di Forsyth, Kirsten Lesina, and Julia Leu, and Nancy Lanskey. I just cannot believe that Lanskey and Leu and Forsyth and this young kid bloody Lesina, do not have a commercial [background] and that's the problem."
Linda Cooper is a supporter of the project going ahead on the doomed Barron River flood-prone site at Dillon Road.
"I have had many parents of children contact me about this, and there is a lot of support out there," Councillor Cooper told CairnsBlog.
Council's objection is that the development is in contradiction to the CairnsPlan stating that the use of the Barron River Delta should not be for uses other than agriculture.
Councillors have had further discussions with the objectors including the the development assessment manager Simon Clarke who repeated the rationale that neighbouring farmers will bear the brunt of the four meter high "bund wall". It will mean sugar crops become water-logged for longer period after flooding.
Although flood water is expected to rise in the neighbouring area as a result of the construction, the ability for the water to dissipate rapidly is fundamental for crops survival. This is the reason why the road north of the Barron Rover to the Smithfield roundabout, was never built up when it was constructed in the early 80's.
Meanwhile, the digging work on the Dillon road site that I reported was being carried out on Monday, has shown signs of illegal excavation.
The old excavator, brazenly sporting a bright 'Adverture Waters' logo, believed to be operated by Paul Freebody himself, now lies abandoned and broken.
It's rather amazing that this so-called $35 million development is being built by a nut being the wheel with an old excavator.
This follows a frenzied digging mission at the beginning of the week. Old telecom and power cables have been exposed and torn, even small trees ripped down in an effort that looks like a amateur madman has been let loose in a sandpit.

Tributaries of the Barron River water course have clearly being tampered with and diverted. It's expected Freebody is doing this work in an attempt to appease neighbouring farmers who have strongly objected to the development.

The Barron River channel runs right through the proposed land, and under massive culverts on the corner of Dillon Road and under the Captain Cook Highway. The story that he proposes to simply build a fortress wall around his new toy world, and believes there'll be no "upstream or downstream effects," is outrageous.

It is believed that no permit has been sought from local authorities for "altering the profile of the land."

The irony is that this time the applicant has asked for a deferral before Council. I wonder if Cairns Regional Councillors will go on radio today and return the serve Freebody dished out at them.

The waterpark application will now be deferred until Council's next Ordinary meeting on 28th of October.


Anonymous said...

So Linda Cooper is the respected business women (in Paul Freebody's opinion) who will vote on this development on the basis that some Mums have called her and said their kids would like to go to the water park. Are you serious! I am absolutely appalled that this is the basis for her decision making. Not so much a smart business woman as a woman who is toeing the old party line with the old Unity team. Maybe KB is still pulling her strings, when Paul Gregory isn't hanging off them.

nocturnal congress said...

Children are the last refuge of a scoundrel. "Their kids would like to go to the water park." Hmmmmm...sounds like Cooper is being put under some pressure alright....but is it coming from Mums with kids??????

Al said...

Thus far, I think Linda Cooper has energetically represented her divisional constituents well. However, If she proposes to vote in favour of this, I would urge her to reconsider. Perhaps some Mum's have called her saying their kiddies would enjoy a water park - but that is not the issue here. There are many more Mum's - and Dad's - in fact the majority of her ratepayer constituents, who want to see a clear adherence to CairnsPlan. And to ignore the advice of professional planners who objectively state the river bed is no place for this development needs a far better reason than the phone calls of a couple of Mum's. Supporting such a divisive and controversial development would certainly call into question her judgement and objectivity as a divisional councillor.

Oliver of Redlynch said...

What about the other development on the Barron river that is going to seriously impact the health of 500 school children at Peace Lutheran College - namely the sand mine in Kamarunga? Which councillors are going to be supporting that one and be associated with potential lung cancer deaths of young children? This is another scandal surely worthy of mention and debate here.

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

Right - kids want to go to a waterpark. Isn't Sugarworld working anymore? It's only 20 mins drive to Edmonton, other side of the big city of Cairns.

Apart from which, most probably if the whole nutty plan ever went ahead, it would be priced at tourists, & local mums & kids wouldn't even get a look-in.

And HIGHLY useful doing bulldozing before the plan is even regulated.

I think the man is nuts.

Official Waterpark Objector said...

You claim council has had "further discussions with the objectors". I was one of the OFFICIAL objectors. No one from council has contacted me.

hieronymus bosch said...

Coops only votes against this kind of thing if it's in 'HER' division!

It amazes me that herself and gregory always fly under the radar, while everyone throws shit at cocky, blake and sno (oh and val too).

Trevor Herrington said...

Obviously, if an Applicant want to garner support for their application, easy just label the women component of the Council as "witches and bitches'

Its amazing to us men how you all fall into line with a little bit of bulling.

For the likes of Freebody - who claims to be a happy clapie Christian, compliant wife et all, you are here on this earth to serve us men and be here for his pleasure and doting.

When are women in general going to resist this intimidation and stand up for your individual dignity and honour and self esteem?

Come on, show the likes of Freebody that the age of blind allegiance, through bullying is no way to do business in the Cairns Regional Council!

Alison Alloway said...

Trevor Herrington, I don't know the female Councillors all that well...although I have met some of them several times at social functions over the years and had contact with them on Council and community issues. Nonetheless, I have had enough contact to know they are not the type of women to collapse into a soggy heap of snot and snivel after a bit of bullying. Rest assured, they have a bit of backbone!!

concerned said...

Mr Herrington,
From what I have heard it is standard practise by many developers in Cairns to bully and intimidate objectors to the development. (Either submitters or councillors. Usually it appears developers are careful in their language to avoid possible legal action.)

It is a disgraceful state of affairs that such a way to conduct business is considered to be the norm.

Quien Sabe said...

So Mr Freebody needed a deferral "so I have more time to consider the additional conditions."
Is this the same Mr Freebody who ranted and raged because the Councillors wanted more than 12 hours notice to consider whether to overturn the officer's recommendation and to absorb the 40+ "additional conditions."

Trevor Herrington said...

Alison, I fervently hope that all women stand up for their rights as generally I abhor abuse, whether in its physical form or verbal.

Unfortunately, some women do cower to such abuse to readily, particularly when administered by bully 'men' who do not get their way, vis Freebody.

Under the cloak of a proclaimed convert Christian, and the guise of Community respectability, he like many others of similar ilk trample on the right of the individual. As a fellow human I do not like it and I destest it vehemently at every turn.

As the Council numbers stand at this moment Freebody's application to violate the integrity of the delta, looks likely to be approved.

When Freebody called the women Councillors ' witches and bitches' he was in doubt of the numbers. It now appears obvious to those that have a keen political eye/and human behaviour that since his tirade the wavering ones including Cooper and Lanskey have falling behind him under the spin of 'creating jobs' with a broken down wreck of an Excavator that stand in disrepair. The same one that is going to build his web $35 million of deceit! This man is a con and an imposture.

I sincerely hope that the Councillors that have been intimated do not cower but to the contrary stand tall.

Sue E said...

Don’t hold your breath folks. The only thing that drives this town is money and greed. It’s all about short term gain and to hell with the consequences for others or the future. It breaks my heart every time I walk past that monument to insanity and greed – Clifton Views at Clifton Beach. Here’s a prime example why Flood Impact/Mitigation Studies by developers and their consultants should be treated with caution. Locals knew only too well what would happen when high density development was permitted on a known and documented flood plain, but were, as usual, ignored. Massive flooding and damage occurred not only on site but to downstream properties. Was the developer called to account? – of course not. The answer was to rip into the creek and destroy it because the poor old developer wouldn’t be able to sell his units. Flooding issues with new developments are increasing but still the insanity goes on. Nothing is ever learned.

It comes as no surprise that the State government is happy for the Waterpark project to go ahead. When it comes to the environment they’re the biggest Hippocrates of all. Great on drafting and enacting wonderful feel good legislation and policy but useless when it comes to actually putting it into practise and enforcing it. The importance of the Barron Delta and river system is acknowledged in numerous pieces of legislation but still it counts for nothing. Will the new Draft Queensland Coastal Plan address these continuing problems? I think not. Just more words with the usual legislative out and no political will to do what needs to be done. A small example - Clifton Beach and Palm Cove are the only coastal communities without a coastal building line, a question that has continually been raised with the State Government and never answered. It is still not addressed in the new draft plan.

Thomas said...

If this inappropriate development gets the nod despite the planning advice against it, well, something is (still) rotten in the state of Denmark. This is going to be a watershed decision by this administration. Have we moved on, or is it still the same rotten game as before? We will all know soon enough.

nocturnal congress said...

ROFL Sue E. I have always said the Coat of Arms for Cairns should display two feral fighting boars, tusks locked, with "GREED AND AVARICE" written below. Would sum up Cairns beautifully.

Ross Parisi said...

Over the weekend I thought I would take a drive out along the Captain Cook Highway. On my way out I decided to do a kerbside inspection of defeated Councillor Freebody's Adventure Park proposal.

I noticed that without Council approval he had begun to interfere with than old Barron Rive channel that runs through his yet to be approved Water Park.

I noticed the broken down Excavator, with which I understand he is to build his $35 million dream.

I made enquires with regards to the Excavator repairs with a mechanic friend of nine and he said that the repairs will cost more than what the Excavator is worth.

I have heard that Freebodys backers have pulled out for fear of flooding and the insecurity of their investement.

My concern therefore is that Frebody may not have the financial resources to build it and all that he proposes to do is to flog off the site with the approval.

Because the Delta will be adversely compromised, I believe Council should obtain personal guarantee. Furthermore, that if he does not build it within 18 months the flood prone land's approval lapses.

Unknown said...

A pro waterpark campaign has been started on FaceBook.

Mckenzie met Freebody for a coffee this morning (what a coincidence) and Freebody assured him he had nothing to do with the FaceBook campaign.

For those locals who want the park, so they can take the kids ;

A similar park on the Gold Coast charges $ 49.95 per adult and $ 32.95 per child. Add drinks and stuff and that makes it a pretty expensive day out...

Thomas said...

Quite true The Grateful Mac, I'm sure many of the 'The Mum's' imagine it's going to be free. Do the math, a family of two adults, two kids - little change from $200. Most people I know will baulk at that. Muddys is free, so is the lagoon, so is the beach. Not exactly the same, but entertaining enough and FREE!

KitchenSlut said...

I confess to being agnostic on this so far. KS is a natural cynic who will question anything and seek understanding. Nothing here convinces me yet although I think a visual monstrosity on this site is potentially counterproductive for Cairns.

KS also has a background in environmemtal issues having served in an environmenmtal role with BHP in Central Qld which included many contentious hydrological issues.

Nothing has convinced me either way on this so far? What does concern me which is in the comments above, and I believe reported elsewhere, is Linda Cooper proclaiming support because Mum's want it?

Well yes, I want it for your children too but that is NOT the role of a Councillor or has Linda misunderstood that?

I worry about Linda! Actually I worry about the IQ of the whole Council accross the spectrum?

The family woman Linda promoting the interests of her friends kiddies doesn't sit well with the ex City Life editor who spruiked some of the more unsavoury business elements in Cairns for her own commercial gain?

hieronymus bosch said...

This WILL be approved. Freebody has the numbers, indeed, had the numbers at the meeting where it was deferred, which is why Cocky(roach)'s ammendments appeared strange.

Yes, the Faecesbook group reeks of fishiness! As if some 15 year old is obssessed with waterparks! Perhaps if it was a skate park or mtb park or a sit on yer arse at home and play wii park, but a waterpark?

Yet again the question is phrased, "Does Cairns need a waterpark?" Well, yeah, i spose.

"Does Cairns need a waterpark that will potentially flood people's homes and neighbouring farms?"

"Does Cairns need a waterpark owned by a hypocrite born-again?"

I asked the Murris next door if we need a waterpark. They said yeah. I then asked old mate how often he'd take the kids at $50 a head. He said never. I replied, "Me neither."


Freebody the Facebook Manipulator said...

According to Facebook, the "support the waterpark" website has almost 5000 members in just a few days.

This is frankly impossible without some major operation being undertaken. Even large Aussie companies have only a few thousand Facebook members.

How do you manipulate Facebook to do this?

Al said...

The more Facebook members that "support the waterpark" has, the more counter-productive such support becomes. Any dill can see this is being engineered by the vested interests that want this approved. For goodness sake, is this what sound municipal planning has been reduced to?

Clifton Ratbags Rule said...

I suggest council has positioned themselves to do the most disingenous thing they could do. They're going to "approve" this waterpark with most or all of the 40+ conditions in the alternative report from staff.

If you've read the 40+ approval conditions, you'll realise that Freebody can NEVER meet them. The site is too small, the diversion of flood waters too great, and Freebody's purse too small.

And while Freebody has been counting on vendor finance for much of the project (an American program for export assistance), Freebody can't raise the additional funds necessary for what's being demanded of him.

Even if he does sell his "Mansion in Manunda". . .what kind of clown builds a million dollar house in a ghetto?

Jude Johnston said...

The mums will also find that as well as having to find the $100 plus to take the kids to the waterpark for the day, they may find, as is the case on a couple of theme parks on the Gold Coast,that they won't be allowed in with their packed lunches and water bottles. They will have to pay for over priced food and drink for their little darlings.

Unknown said...

Comment on the facebook Group "Support for a Cairns Waterpark"

"Thanks Paul Freebody for spamming me to get me to sign up for this group! I hope the waterpark is free for everyone, because the charge at the Gold Coast one is wayyyyy too high".

Thaddeus said...

There you go...Freebody has created a job or two already...manufacturing "community support".

Mummy said...

I also query why Cr Cooper is using the demands of children to sway her opinion. Children are well catered for here with water sports and enjoyment venues.
As a Mum, I'm wondering if Cr Cooper has ever noticed the lack of exercise space given to childrens needs in those monstrous blocks of housing units, she keeps on approving. If Cr Cooper is so concerned about children, then she should know children require exercise every day. Yet there are no requirements for basic childrens play needs in those typwes of develoments. For shame Cr Cooper!!

nocturnal congress said...

I've just been into the Facebook site to check out the support for the Waterpark. The overwhelming majority of the posters there are kids, many identify their schools even. Some of the kids are in other towns. Oh, incidentally Rob Pyne has his name on it.

Northern Beaches Warrior said...

To Sue E,

Welcome back.

As we have said on the Northern Beaches now for some time, our only saviour is going to be good old Mother Nature.

She will reek her revenge on Cairns and all these inapproprate developments in one form or another as sure as God made little green apples!

We only have to look around in our country and close proximity to Australia in the last 12 months to see the full force of Mother Nature at work.

Fires in Victoria - hundreds of lives lost and vast areas of burnt bushland/devastation.

Tsunami in Samoa - hundreds of lives lost and coastal property devastation.

Earthquakes in Indonesia - hundreds of lives lost and property destruction.

Floods in Phillipines - massive flooding and lives lost.

We just have to be patient and wait.

Personally, I hope it happens sooner rather than later, or there will be nothing natural left to save.

Al said...

With respect, it is not the time to lambaste Linda Cooper. So far, she has only said that 'Mums' have contacted her saying they would like a water park. One should not necessarily translate that to mean she is going to support this waterpark in this location.
Let's wait and see the outcome and who was for and who was against, as Councillors will need better reasons than 'Mums' and 'jobs' to ignore the advice of planners and to trample the intent of Cairns Plan. Mums and jobs can still be accomodated by relocating this proposed park to an appropriate location.

Mummy said...

Al, of course you are correct and Cr Cooper shouldn't be hastily judged. However I would hate to see Council swayed by the numbers of teenage schoolchildren who have, as I have seen myself, flocked to Mr Freebody's "Facebook" site.

Smithfield Sam said...

I heard Paul Freebody was on the radio this week whinging that his waterpark was being killed by the greenies, or some such nonsense. Anyone hear exactly what it's all about? Is this waterpark dead at long last?