The beginning

  1. In the 1930s the Barnwell family began a dairy and droughtmaster (cattle) property on 620ha in Myola.
  2. Until the property sale in January 2014, there was little infrastructure or interference with the natural eco values. Infrastructure consisted of a family home, a few outbuildings and fencing.
  3. Old growth rainforest stands including some quality cabinet timbers existed.
  4. In the past 30 years, the cattle business was reduced, with 20-30 year old rainforest revegetation occurring

The environment

  1. The 626ha property location, in the middle of the Myola Valley near Kuranda has become an unusual resource in an area with much smaller rural properties.
  2. It is located in the middle of an established wildlife corridor which provides a travel corridor across the wider area and links the rainforest corridors on the coastal ranges through the World Heritage Area to the tablelands. This is the Envirolink Corridor, a 20 year labour of love from hundreds of local volunteer tree planters.

The big change

  1. The property was sold by the Qld Public Trustee on behalf of the elderly owners.
  2. It was purchased for $2m by the Chinese investor, Mr Ken Lee, of Reever and Ocean Pty Ltd.
  3. Mr Lee has announced several ‘ideas’ for the property including:
    1. A mango and avocado orchard (these trees do not grow well in this area)
    2. A private millionaire’s retreat. The Dragon’s Lair, complete with helicopter pad.
    3. KUR-World, a $650m Integrated Eco Tourism Resort was announced in June 2016. This includes:
      1. KUR-World Campus – tertiary education and sports facility, accommodation for 500 people.
      2. KUR-World Equestrian Centre and Farm Theme Park.
      3. 18 hole Resort Golf Course
      4. 373 Residential lots 600m2 to 2000m2 – accommodation 1500 people.
      5. KUR-World Health and Wellbeing Medical Retreat – accommodation 60 people.
      6. Rainforest Education Centre – research and student accommodation 300 people.
      7. KUR-World Adventure Park
      8. Leisure and Business Resort – accommodation 1080 people.
  4. KUR-World Village – retail precinct, restaurant, spa, general store, markets, amphitheatre, convention centre – capacity 500 people.
  5. The current MSC Planning Scheme only allows for a small tourism use, with other rural uses.

The big promise

  1. Jobs, jobs, jobs.
    1. Only if you are Mandarin speaking
    2. If you work for a huge construction company from the south
    3. Where will the workers live? Locals may lose their current rental homes.
  2. Eco Accreditation and sensitivity to our rainforest environment and endangered animals.
  3. Community consultation and listening.
  4. Indigenous cultural heritage – not mentioned.

The big lie

    1. Extensive earthworks on-site commenced without approvals.
      1. A 4 acre dam with sediment overflow into Owen Creek, the sole water supply for 20 established properties and families downstream.
      2. Excavation into a local creek to build a new road, without approval.
      3. Extensive tree clearing and earthworks.. the golf course is already built, without approval.
      4. Cabinet timbers, old growth rainforest trees, cut down and sold.
      5. Renovation of heritage home, without approvals.
    2. Environmental damage has already been done.
      1. To the habitat of the endangered Myola Tree Frog.
    3. No local consultation, no consideration of the changes coming to our community and environmental values.
    4. There is nothing eco sensitive about Mr Lee.

The real truth
Locals suspect Mr Lee is handing out a lolly bag of goodies to turn our attention away from his true plans which is residential subdivision by stealth.

  1. Say No-way to an intensive 600m2 subdivision coming your way.
  2. Say No-way to an extra 4,400 people in Kuranda.  Current population approx.. 2,700.
  3. Mareeba Shire Council and the Qld State Government can see only the writing on their bureaucratic bits of paper. Local residents are actually SEEING the problems with their own eyes.  KUR-World cannot be ignored.
  4. Mr Lee wants a material change of use for the Barnwell Land. He will then sell it off at a massive profit and go back to where he came from.  Our community will be left with the clean-up costs.

The big problem – infrastructure
If the Kuranda population grows from current 2,700 with an added 4,400 to 8,100, think about:

  1. The range road problems
  2. More local car traffic
  3. The electricity, water and sewerage infrastructure
  4. Ambulance and fire services
  5. What about the water supply from Tinaroo
  6. Local schools capacity
  7. Competition for our current CBD businesses – many will not survive
  8. Noise, wandering dogs

The big problem – our social and environmental values
If the Kuranda population grows from current 2,700 with an added 4,400 to 8,100, think about:

  1. The loss of community, we will become like another Cairns suburb
  2. Wildlife road kills increase
  3. Water quality – no swimming in our local creeks and river
  4. Loss of habitat – 20 years of community volunteer work to re-establish cassowary habitat, gone
  5. Endangered Myola Tree frog, gone

The solution to KUR-World – we are not saying NO, we are saying NOT THIS WAY

  1. The Barnwell property consists of 12 separate land titles making up 626ha (1547 acres) in total.
    1. 6 titles make up 262ha or 647 acres.
    2. 6 titles make up another 364ha or 900 acres.
    3. The 12 titles range in size from 16ha to 70ha.
  2. Mr Lee could make a nice profit from his $2m investment through the creation of a rural subdivision, consisting of large lots to be used for rural business use.
  3. The eco values could be covered by a covenant on the title to protect the Environlink Wildlife Corridor and endangered Myola Tree Frog.
  4. Water quality could be assured for downstream users of Owen Creek and Warril Creek, currently the only water supply to these properties.

What can I do?

  1. Offer your expertise, if you have experience in these matters, we need you.
  2. Offer your time to help the current group of volunteers.
    1. Do some photocopying, typing, letter drops.
  3. Come to meetings, bring your ideas.
  4. Email/write to local, state, federal politicians.

The Kuranda Community has stood up for its environment, time and time again.

This is why we live here.
It is time now, to stand up again.