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.
Infrastructure and environmental devastation are major concerns before the threat of Kur-World. The affect this massive resort complex will have on our community and surrounds is another one.
Although Kur-World’s draft EIS claims to be supportive of the current Kuranda community and to ‘enhance and protect the lifestyle and values of those who live here’, there is very little evidence of this.
To enhance and protect Kuranda’s lifestyle and values, the proponent of Kur-World must understand and respect them first.
The Kuranda Community
Kuranda is a community filled with creative and culturally diverse people who embrace and nurture a sense of cohesion and resilience. There are strong connections between people and place, and the respect and care of the natural environment is a common link that most of us share.
People don’t live in Kuranda for shopping or nightlife. They don’t live here to play a convenient round of golf every weekend. They live in an area rich with ecological and precious diversity to immerse themselves in the peace, quiet and fascination of the natural world. They watch shooting stars in black nights and form bonds with neighbours and community members. They pull together to fight fires, clean up after cyclones and share the wealth of knowledge each has gained from living in a culturally unique and environmentally rich area.
Inadequate Community Consultation
Gradual and sensitive development in the Kuranda area would be welcome, but consultation with those who know it best is essential. The community that this will directly affect needs to be heard. Trust and transparency between the developer and the community are critical, but so far, non-existent.
Sloppy consultation attempts:
– The KUR-World Community Engagement team have not discussed any firm concepts or plans with the community. We have been subjected to a constantly changing set of project ideas and concept/master plans.
– A community reference group, whose purpose was to offer a voice for Kuranda, was formed and disbanded one year before the EIS was released. Disputed minutes were documented and published without approval, and one of the members was removed from the reference group for raising issues of concern to the Co-ordinator General, which were not addressed by Kur-World.
– KUR-World proponent has been invited to many but has attended only one community-organised meeting in October 2017.
– Two Kur-World open days held early in its planning were social and marketing events, not information events. Most of the information available to the wider community comes from KUR-Alert and the Kuranda Region Planning Group via Facebook, websites, mail-outs, information sessions and the Internet.
After two years and a number of postponements, the draft EIS has finally been released. It is 4000 pages long. Locals have only six weeks to respond. Deciphering this complex, vague and contradictory statement is daunting. If expected to tackle this individually, many would have given up, but the teamwork and collaboration taking place to read, decipher and summarise so all can understand and respond is simply another testament to the cohesiveness of this community.
Kur-World talks about economic benefits, but the benefits will belong to the proponent. Kuranda will face many disadvantages:
- Value of property in the region will diminish due to large land release which is beyond the current need.
- Rents will increase as there will be more demand for housing with the influx of new residents and temporary workers.
- Rates will increase as more infrastructure will be needed to support the sheer size and scope of this project. Our increased rates will pay for the maintenance, if not the building of water and waste treatment plants and roads.
- General congestion on the roads, especially the Range, will increase costing us time and money and creating even more daily frustration than we now experience. Kur-World’s plan to combat this is to lower the speed limit to 40 kph.
- Kuranda businesses will suffer as tourists will bypass town and be transported from Cairns Airport, Skyrail and the train by bus or helicopter.
Kuranda has been fighting for its life for many years. Residents have invested time, money, energy and heart into their homes and community. This unique and precious lifestyle is worth protecting.
We must protect our values and demand transparency and respect from the proponent of Kur-World.