What the mayor didn't mention and the giant loop hole

Submitted by Webmaster on Sat, 14/05/2005 - 14:07

Transcript of mayors statements on John McKenzie's talk back radio 4 May 2005."To go back a bit, in 1986, the then Mulgrave Shire approved the development.  On the Mulgrave Shire at that time was Dr. Lesley Clarke, ah representing the er, the er, I think the division 2 or whatever the division with a number of other councillors – that’s the Northern Beaches division.  Then in 1987 again after a court case, Mulgrave Shire approved that development, and I mean this can be, this is all on the public record and councillor Pezutti, who is currently on the ah ah on the ah Cairns City Council was also a councillor at the time and ah and, he supports this.  I mean we’ve had the discussion.  And further and people out there should realise this, further, Dr Clarke was until recently, until the last State election, the parliamentary secretary to the Premier for matters pertaining to Far North Queensland in particular and North Queensland generally, and she would have been aware the process and and and ah all the issues in relation to False Cape, and she would have been aware there were a number of, that the Cairns City Council is but one agency involved in in the process.  The matter was previously determined to be approved by the then Mulgrave Shire of which she was a part, and then the developer has to go has gone through a number of hoops and hurdles and the developer has stuck rigidly to it, er  this is the new owner of er er of the property who bought the property with the development approvals in place which is the normal procedure, and he has gone down the path of answering every information request by various State government departments and by the Federal government and I understand that there were a number of meetings on site with all of the agencies involved. And this is what is required and so on and the developer has complied in relation to the letter of the law in every issue."The main claim that the Mayor made was the development approval was provided in 1986 and again following a court case in 1987.  FutureOfCairns does not believe this is a true record what happened.  In 1986, a rezoning application was made and was successful and the False Cape site was rezoned to the “Special Facilities Zone”.  However it was Kevin Byrne’s council that provided the development approvals that allow the creation of all of those tiny little lots. This approval which, required several dispensations from the Town Plan was the doing of the Kevin Byrne council, so why didn’t the mayor mention that?The mayor's other claim was this proposed development has gone through a number of hoop and hurdles.  However many of the normal development hurdles were completely missing.  One of the main hurdles is the Vegetation Management Act.  Due to the previous rezoning as a 'Special Facilities Zone', the site is exempt from the Vegetation Management Act, therefore there was no assessment of this normally very important issue.  A similar situation arises with regard to the Coastal Management Plan, the proposal has been zoned special facilities so it was not even assessed.  To claim that the proposed development passed through all of the hurdles is misleading, it would be more accurate to say that it has passed through a giant loop hole.  Special facilities zones were not introduced for the purpose of escaping assessment, they were introduced to allow special site based conditions to be prepared for project types that did not fit well into any of the existing zone categories, for example tourist resorts or rifle ranges.  It is very unfortunate that they are resulting in greatly lower standards rather than alternative but equal standards. 

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