Wednesday 14 October 2009

Freshwater sandmine "shocking" - Deputy Mayor

400 submissions objecting to a proposed large scale sand excavation in the Lower Freshwater delta, have been lodged with Cairns Regional Council.
The permit, if granted, will be in effect for up to 20-years. The site borders neighbouring semi-rural properties, and is close to a school. With a well-organised and co-ordinated local campaign, it's unlikely that this application will be supported by the majority of Council.
"I think it's shocking, absolutely shocking," Cairns Regional Mayor Margaret Cochrane told a residents' meeting in Freshwater about the plan to excavate the site.

Dust pollution, increased traffic and potential dumping at the site are the primary reasons locals are banding together to object.

There are already three active sand mines on the Barron and Thomatis deltas, with extensions being sought by Pioneer who operate a site at Kamerunga. They are hoping to dig up the land which occupied the original Smithfield township.
Like the proposed waterpark at the Dillon Road site, a moratorium in the Barron River delta should be called for on all development in the catchment. It would be hypocritical and inconsistent for Council to refuse permission to excavate sand in one part, yet allow a commercial development to occur just two kilometers away.
Locals say that if this mine goes ahead, the beauty and quality of the Lower Freshwater area will be ruined. There are two schools 350 metres from the mining area.
Sandmining produces fine silica dust that contains 'crystalline silica' — a class one carcinogen which causes cancer and silicosis, an incurable disease.
Residents in the Kamerunga, Freshwater and Redlynch suburbs are concerned the quality of life will be upturned. Trucks will use public roads hundreds of times per week, passing through narrow rural roads. There is also valid concerns that the empty sand mines will be turned into landfills that are filled back up with rubbish, as is the case with Northern Sands facility just North of the Holloways Beach roundabout.
Concern has also been raised about contamination of bore water.
It is expected that the application will be formally heard by Council late October or early November.
Here's some of the locals, including Councillor Cochrane, discussing reason why the sandmine is not welcome.


Smithfield Sam said...

Margaret Cochrane is a two-faced politician. On one hand she claims to oppose sand mining in the delta, and then puts up an approval document for the Freebody waterpark, which will increase flooding for others in the delta including residents of Yorkey's Knob and Holloway's Beach.

Trevor Herrington said...

Smithfield Sam you are so right!

Watch her. Blake and Cochrane make a good bedside couple. They are both tarred with the same brush, duplicitous and brandish a forked tongue.

Cochrane when the chips are down, will support the Freshwater sand mine 'lock stock and barrel', to quote a well used phrase.

The Cochrane and the Savina families go back a long way. They worship the same God. At some point she will find a reason to hang her hat on that will cause her to support the application.

My advice to the Objectors is to watch Cochrane right to the end. Go to the Council meetings and train your eyes on her while she sits at the Council table.

I too, support the call for a moratorium in the Barron River and Freshwater Delta.

Noj Nedlaw said...

Whilst I empathise with the good folk of Kamerunga and their opposition to sand mining, I have to also chuckle; both at the scenario and perversely at the involvement of Clr Cochrane as supposed saviour.

Just a few scant months ago, CRC approved a similar request for Stewarts Road, just a stone’s skip across the Barron River. This raised barely a ripple in our consciousness yet created a precedent.

Perhaps if those opposing the Kamerunga extraction plan had raised their voices then, the battle now may have been easier. OH and guess who moved the motion – yep Clr Margaret Cochrane. Pot calling the kettle black methinks – or should it be “pot calling the kettle blake” as that esteemed councillors seconded the motion.

Remember please, as has been pointed out in relation to Freebody’s water park, precedents in planning do count, both in the hallowed halls of the Cairns Regional Council and later in any subsequent appeal or legal action. I note the case, for example of the Telstra tower in the Northern beaches area. Precedents are important.

Which goes to show that yesterday’s seemingly innocuous proposal can affect today’s outrageous idea.

If this proposal were to get up, there will be two very large holes on opposite sides of the Barron River, and in the flood plain. Holes larger enough to swallow Cairns rubbish for many years – or perhaps with a Freebody bund wall, become our answer to the Gold Coast. Canal development; lazy Sunday afternoons lolling on my yacht, never a care in the world as the world goes to shit around me.

Great life for some!

Nigel Banning said...

Trevor Herrington and Noj Nedlaw, you both have hit the nail on the head.

Cr Cochrane is the developers voice on the Council. Blake/Bonneau are their to second her proposals.

Margaret Cochrane can't be trusted. She has a reputation of backing the residents when she attends the meetings and then backs the developers when their application hits the council table.

So far it has worked for her and she gets away with it. Is time that she was exposed for what she is...deceitful.

Skins said...

One of the arguments you make against this proposal is the hundreds of truck movements on narrow rural roads.
How does this differ to the quarry on Intake Rd. at Redlynch & the many trucks that speed along this narrow road that also has 2 large schools on it?

nocturnal congress said...

Margaret is riding high in the community mind at present, much like Boadicea in her chariot, thanks to rugnut and his shameless manipulations, "Thank God for Margaret Cochrane."

Thaddeus said...

Let's hope everyone follows this one through then and let Cr Cochrane know she is under scrutiny.

Will said...

Sound like the Barron River needs Wild River protection, or at least there would be no threat of mining development in the stream if it was protected under the Wild Rivers legislation.

At least on Cape York people won't have to put up with greedy developers digging up their rivers for sand mining thanks to Wild Rivers.

The Loan Arranger said...

Watch out Will, writing words like that. I can hear Bryan Law a' saddlin' up his horse and mounting a posse for his Cape York developer mates as we speak.

Factman said...

Guess what all you "experts" ...

For every fraction of a mm that flood waters rise due to volumetric displacement caused by Freebody's bund wall, there will be an equal and opposite lowering due to the holes/voids created by sand mining.

And this occurrence will only happen statistically once in 100 years.

Not to mention the flooding a Q5 year event has due to the Cook Highway creating a "dam" effect right across the Barron delta, especially adjacent to the Tomatis Creek crossing.

And to think Main Roads will be raising the level further to "flood proof" the road.

Oh the hypocrisy, continually displayed by the contributers to this blog ...

Thomas said...

When you hear Cochrane stating "I think it's shocking, absolutely shocking" also listen for "but I'll support it" (but only for the 'jobs' mind).

Smarter than a fifth grader said...

"For every fraction of a mm that flood waters rise due to volumetric displacement caused by Freebody's bund wall, there will be an equal and opposite lowering due to the holes/voids created by sand mining."

Factman, I'd like to see the science behind that because I really don't know how you came to this conclusion (twirls finger around ear).

Factman said...

What was displaced will be absorbed.
You get in a bath - the water level goes up. Now add a void to that bath equal to your body's displacement - the water level doesn't change.
Bleedin' obvious, even to a 5th grader

Ross Parisi said...

Factman, I thought you had an hiatus with the Blog or have you let some comments go through to the keeper?

I would like to make specific reference to the following comment made by yourself.

"Not to mention the flooding a Q5 year event has due to the Cook Highway creating a "dam" effect right across the Barron delta, especially adjacent to the Thomatis Creek crossing."

As a responsible Council employee, I am sure you will have the Cairns Regional Council's ratepayer's interests as a top priority.

To this end I would expect you to advise Council/Queensland Government, on the folly of raising the Captain Cook Highway without increasing the number and width of the Culverts.

You mention that the land adjacent to Thomatis Creek crossing as an example of the damming effect, yet for good measure you fail to mention the culverts that drain the flood waters through Freebody's land as having the highest velocity during flood times.

Just up stream from Freebdoy's boundary is a defined channel, with measurement approx as follows; 20 metres from bank to bank with sides that are 6 metres high and a base of 10 metres.

It was this channel that Freebody was interfering with, when his Excavator collapsed in a heap. The Excavator still remains there as a relic to his folly.

For your information of yourself and Bloggers, this channel in places still holds water, notwithstanding the near drought conditions that exist today.

While your at it, Factman you might like to inform Bloggers the the volume of water that such a sized water channel would carry per minute during a flood situation, of lets say Q50

This is the Channel that Freebody wants to dam off. If only the Councillors would have a site inspection before consideration is given. They would at once, without equivocation put a halt to his application for Bund walls surrounding his proposed development.

Factman said...

Ross - Conics,(consultant engineers), will shape the bund so as to pierce the flow, much like Quicksilver's bow, and the water will channel past with minimal flow disturbance.

They are experienced engineers and gained their knowledge the hard way - by degree.

And far be it from me to tell the State Govt how to build their roads.
I've heard there are some unhappy farmers adjoining the newly raised Bruce Highway down Tully way.

Bryan Law said...

Now, now Mr Loan Arranger, don't go putting words into my mouth. I'd quite like to see protection for rivers, like the Barron, that are actually under threat from inappropriate development. Mind you I'd like a process that brings local people on-side instead of alienating them.

As for Will, I appreciate that he might be genuine and well maotivated - but he doesn't seem to have read the legislation, or realised the enormous powers the Minister has to license and approve exceptions for people who make a substantial contribution to the Party, oops government, oops people of this great state of Queensland (cue anthem).

Bryan Law said...

Noj Nedlaw "the pot calling the kettle Blake", really, that deserves a prize. Thankyou.

Factman said...

And further Ross, I am not criticizing Main Roads for the dam effect the Cook Highway has on the Barron delta. I am just pointing out that there is a fixation on this blog about the perceived flooding effects this minuscule development will have compared with the highway and the unhealthy preoccupation with the fact that the development is being undertaken by an ex Kevin Byrne Unity team member.
By the way, Ergon have a substation to be built on MacGregor Road - I'll bet that will be constructed on a flood proofed elevated platform.
I await with keen anticipation the howls of protest on this blog.


Smarter than a fifth grader said...

Factman, you really have shown your lack of intelligence here. It is nothing like a bathtub, nor is it is even a lake. It is a bloody flood plain, replenished by millions of litres of water every hour in a flood you goose.The sand mine'holes' you talk about would fill in seconds in a flood. The only way to make the water dissipate would be to physically (and at great expense- oh that's right Conics will be your saviour there) change the water course. How big is your sand mine going to be? It's got nothing to do with 'displacement'. Smarter than a fifth grader? Mate, you fail.

Ross Parisi said...

Factman with due respect, you just don't get it.

Friends of the Delta just do not want any developments that require the building of levee banks to protect their investment.

And that includes incremental developments. Freebody's development without levee banks would be ok. But try building it without levee banks and sit back and witness the destruction.

Engineering wise and with an abundance of money the Barron River, Thomatis Creek and Freshwater Creek could be trained to remain within their respective banks, thereby removing all treats of flooding.

I am unsure whether the Community would want that fearing the consequences that could eventuate should the levee banks be breached.

You of all Council employees should understand that promoting irresponsible developments does not do any credit to your employment charter.

Jude Johnston said...

Factman, your comment
"They are experienced engineers and gained their knowledge the hard way - by degree."
Like the consulting engineers who built the levees in New Orleans?
Man oompeting with Mother Nature, I don't think so.

Northern Beaches Warrior said...

Factman, I do hope you do not sincerley believe your own drivel....

Your so called "experienced engineers" from the Con-artists planning group built 246 units on a flood plain at Deadman's creek at Clifton Beach, and in the last two wet seasons, we have seen unprecedented flooding and stormater inundation of both adjacent and downstream resident's
properties. The worst we have seen in 35 years!!!

Where did these engineers get their degrees?

From the back of a Cornflakes packet or did they buy them from some dodgy American University??

I rest my case.

Elsie said...

If Margaret Cochrane renegs on her vote against the sandmine then she can probably count this as her last term in Council. She says she has the numbers in Council to support her for a no vote. We will wait and see. The residents won't forget Margaret!

Factman said...

5th grade drop out ... what flows in - flows out. Increase the volumetric capacity and the water level doesn't rise as high. sheeesh!

Ross ... I'm not for inappropriate development, I just get mighty pizzed off with the emotive unfactual bullshite written by most on this blog. If it wasn't Freebody, this blog would be a lot quieter. There are other far more substantial "incremental" developments happening all over the Cairns Region' which incidentally, 90% is on flood plains.

Jude ... the levies of New Orleans failed through lack of proper maintenance, not poor design.

Northern Beaches wimp - there was far more extensive flooding around the city area on January 13 than at Clifton Beach. Also Mt Whifield copped 125mm in one hour on Feb 7.
I suppose that was Connic's fault as well !!!

merry me said...

Whatever ones concern with Margaret Cochrane I am happy to have her help support a good cause. Thank you Margaret for your input and influence at this trialling time.

Nigel Banning said...

What a strange posting.

I always thought that our publicity shy Councillor Margaret Cochrane read the Cairns Blog, now with ‘Merry Me’ contribution, I no longer have to ponder!!

Margaret, we would love you more if you removed your veil and signed off as Cr Margaret Cochrane.

There is nothing wrong to actually contribute to a debate. What I find repulsive is duplicity.
Remember, lies will always find you out!

For the record, Remember, lies will always find you out!
Remember, lies will always find you out!

I will be at the Council Chambers to watch you support us.

Jude Johnston said...

Factman, so who designs the maintenance programs on the levee's, oh thats right it is the engineers. And I understand engineers have to design in a "safety factor" to allow for extreme events. Which way is the bund "wave piercing bow" pointing? Beginning to sound like an Ark.

islands in the stream said...

Thanks Mike for including this informative videoclip, and thanks Deputy Mayor Cochrane for explaining how an individual objection is counted as one submission, and how a petition is also counted as one submission.

Councillors, please consider very carefully the present and future consequences of this sand mine application.

400 submissions - way to go, Freshwater people!

Thornton On Spence said...

Blake and Cochrane have regularly played the good guy bad guy game with much success. They do the numbers and work out that their individual vote is irrelevant and therefore hand on heart one of them can say "Well I opposed it". Bonneau on the other hand is too stupid to join in but does vote with these two if required. It is what is described as Politics losely but is clever if you want to keep your seat and your voters. Cochrane is always "horrified" when it is in her own backyard and where her voters are but outside she doesn't give a toss and votes with her Developer friends.

John Pain (Sand Mine Action Group) said...

We have found Margaret Cochrane to be very supportive in helping us alert local residents about the proposed Kamerunga sand mine.

Thanks to the media, people like Margaret and all of the hard work put in by many others, a large number of submissions (+500) saying “no” to an inappropriately placed sand mine have been lodged with council.

Thanks to all involved.

Trevor Herrington said...

John Pain, all I can say about Cr Margaret Cochrane forthcoming support is "beware of Greeks bearing unexpected gifts"

Fey1 said...

"Oh what a tangled web we weave
when first we practise to deceive"

Sir Walter Scott

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

To the Freshwater anti-sand-mining crew, all power to you - keep going, more signatures & petitions. And you can also email, write to & personally lobby all the individual Councillors with your concerns, which I strongly suggest you do. You can also speak to the Council enginners & so on. You can also request to have a Deputation to Council meetings to speak directly with all the Councillors. Go for it.

And for Merry Me & John Pain - yep, Margaret is all too good at saying "Oh no, shock horror" & appear to be engaged. She will seem to follow it through, especially if you are new to the game. However, has she ever suggested you meet with Council officers to discuss the situation? Has she arranged a meeting with yourselves & the council engineers? And so on. Yes/No?

Beware, as a few above have suggested, she turns on a feather (well, not literally, of course). She promises one thing, then delivers another at the last moment.

Over here at Yorkeys Knob, we've had years of her & know her tactics. For (one) example (& I can come out with more), last year a housing development was proposed for Yorkeys over the road from the lovely golf course. The development was way too big & high, was intrusive to neighbours & there were a lot of lies within its design (ie. it purported to be residential when it was aimed at tourism - ie. less car-parking spaces needed).

Many residents objected. Marg said "oh no, how ghastly", & gave some support to the original design being overturned in Council. Council voted against it (November 2008, if I recall correctly). All good.

Then, by January 2009 Council meeting, the developers had resubmitted a slightly altered, but equally hideous plan, & bingo, it went through Council.

Margaret did not even bother to inform our local Residents Association that a new plan had been submitted for the January Council meeting, to which we could have lobbied against.

Margaret knew the community was against the development as on the plan, & yet allowed a very similar plan to be Okd - & I think voted for that second amendment in Council, if I remember.

That development thankfully has not yet gone ahead, possibly due to the GFC - & has two years (now one-and-a-half) of planning permission to go. My point: she'll say one thing, do another. I have not called her Margaret "Forked Tongue" Cochrane for nothing. She's a chameleon.

Mind you, in your favour Freshwater crew, this is a fairly high-profile issue, & there's nothing that Marg likes more than a photo-op. Also, you are not simply dealing with a code assessable or non-code asseable development, so you might have some real luck. All I'm saying is: don't expect her to deliver anything to you, she will not, unless it is to her direct advantage.

I would also suggest you speak to the Environmental Defenders Office here in Cairns - they're good at such stuff. And definitely, don't any of you book any extended Christmas holidays, because January is the month in Council when dirty deeds get done dirt cheap.

I say this not as a vendetta against MC - I quite like her when I'm having a chat, but she really can not be trusted.