Thursday 27 May 2010

Council revokes False Cape special approval

The checkered history of development at False Cape, East Trinity near Cairns, has now received Council intervention to protect it from any new development.
Cairns Regional Council passed an amendment to the CairnsPlan, removing a Special Facilities approval that currently is in place for the site.

The controversial narrow strip of steep hillside land, currently held by receivers following the intervention of the Federal Environment Minister last year, has been plagued by poor management for the last six years.
"Governments at every level have not managed False Cape at all," local environmentalist Terry Spackman told CairnsBlog. "The best thing that could happen is that land could be handed or gifted back to the community."
The State Department of Infrastructure and Planning says it has no further interest in the site.
Mayor Val Schier says the future of False Cape should be environmentally sound and is prepared to take the necessary steps.

“False Cape is a beautiful site and this is an opportunity to make right a decision that was made in the past,” Val Schier says. "False Cape has been identified as an area of high ecological significance and is affected by guidelines designated by hill slope protection, vegetation conservation and containment of significant waterways."

Following a decision in October 2009 to amend the status of the land at False Cape, Cairns Regional Council sought submission from the public over the proposed amendment early this year. Submissions wanted increased protection for the land and encouraged Council to pursue total protection.

The False Cape site remains in a very poor condition, following the stalled development. It is contained in the Rural 1 planning area under the CairnsPlan and in the Regional Landscape and Rural Production area planning category under the Far North Queensland Regional Plan.
In March 2008, CairnsBlog extensively photographed the state of the site, and showed that False Cape was still in ruin. Little has changed to this day, despite attempts by Council to undertake more sediment run-off controls.

On June 18th, 2008, a private charter helicopter undertaking surveillance photography over the False Cape development site, crashed, with four people were on board. Renowned landscape photographer Steve Nowakowski, along with Cairns architect Mark Buttrose, was on board. The pair have led a five year campaign to stop development on the land, along with their Save False Cape group.
In September 2009 Minister Garrett suspended development at False Cape for a further 12 months.
The now abandoned site, stretches almost two kilometers along the coast, to the east of Cairns. It has been the focus of much controversy since originally receiving State development approvals, and also support from the former Cairns City Council. The site is now widely damaged and scarred, from poorly managed excavation, breach of approvals and lack of any proper sediment traps, over the last five years.
Cairns Regional ratepayers have forked out $150,000 for temporary remediation work on the site, following the abandonment of the site for developers.

No comments: