EIS Bite Size was developed by Steven Nowakowski, President of Kur-Alert Inc.
The Kur-World EIS has been published and is over 4,000 pages long. Our community team has distilled various major concerns from the documents.
Perusing the documents in such a short time frame is a herculean effort so I hope these little fact sheets can help give you a little grasp the enormity and complexity of this development.
Reever & Ocean (Chairman Ken Lee) says it is committed to:
- the responsible management of the site’s ecology, including the endangered Myola Tree Frog
- the preservation of existing native wildlife habitat along watercourses, retaining ecological diversity.
- The Kur-Cow operation that currently exists on the Barnwell property showed continual disregard for the frog aquatic habitat by allowing tourists to ride quad bikes through prime breeding habitat in Haren Creek.
- Construction of a large dam without a permit and unlawful removal of native vegetation occurred within minimum creek buffers and without adequate soil erosion and sediment control. This has already damaged breeding habitat in the creeks below.
Reever & Ocean says it aims to:
- attract students from Australia and around the world, by providing a fun, quality learning experience with a focus on local flora and fauna
- attract international and Australian visitors through the provision of health and wellbeing services set in a rejuvenating rainforest environment
- develop an integrated Eco-Resort that offers locals, tourists and students environmental and cultural-based opportunities and experiences
- create many jobs for locals.
- The development of Kur-World is divided into three stages. The proponent has said that if Stage 1 is not successful, Stages 2 and 3 will be abandoned.
Stage 1 includes:
- 21 lots plus internal roads on 1.7 hectares (4.2 acres)
- 56 lots plus internal roads on 14.18 hectares (35 acres)
- 39 lots plus internal roads on 20.18 hectares (49.8 acres)
Stages 2 and 3 include many more lots, but also most of the accommodation, golf club and course, the health and well-being complex and the university. If these are abandoned because the first stage is financially unviable, the ‘environmental and cultural-based opportunities and experiences’ will be limited. The employment promised will not be sustainable and will be finished with Stage 1.
Reever & Ocean says it aims to:
- Seek EnviroDevelopment (or equivalent) certification during the detailed design and construction phases of the staged development.
Many of the elements of this certification will be impossible to fulfill.
- Maintain and enhance community assets.
- This is unlikely to occur as most Kur-World visitors will be transported directly from Cairns International Airport, Skyrail or the train to the Kur-World complex, bypassing Kuranda Village completely.
- Minimise disruption to landform and natural ecosystems.
- This has already been breached as the illegal dam and runoff from the collapsed wall has destroyed one of the frog habitats.
- Maintain and enhance viable habitat size to improve connectivity and reduce fragmentation.
- This land is a critical corridor linking the northern and southern cassowary populations. Their habitat has already shrunk significantly due to the initial illegal clearing. It continues to shrink with the proponent’s continued operations and will be totally broken by the proposed subdivision of land.
The proponent’s background
- The proponent, Reever & Ocean is solely owned by Ken Lee of Macau and was registered in 2016. According to the EIS, Ken Lee’s experience is limited to positions held in various casinos and resorts in the Asia pacific region.
The environmental sensitivity of this area is a given, with insufficient infrastructure (water, waste management and roads) to support a development the scope and size of Kur-World. As such, a company in its infancy, with little or no detectable background or experience with developing in sensitive Australian environments is an irresponsible choice.
- The EIS states that Reever & Ocean has never been subject to any legal proceedings for the protection of the environment or the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
This is the only reference to the proponent’s environmental experience. Not only should this be a given, but it sets the bar very low. We live in a unique and precious area of a unique and precious country. As Australians, with limited natural commodities, we should entrust only the most experienced and sensitive developers to stimulate sustainable growth in our country.
The proponent does not seem to have the experience or intention to complete all stages of Kur-World without monopolizing resources and damaging the sensitive environment.