SENT: 27 November 2016
Dear Craig Crawford
It was heartening to see you at the October public meeting in Kuranda (Ed: Video Minutes bottom of page) on the subject of Kur-World, especially given you were unable to attend previous meetings in July and August.
You may recall at one stage I asked you a question regarding comments of yours on the Kur-World proposal that have been widely reported.
I mentioned that the only substantive statement by you on the subject of Kur-World that’s currently widespread on the web is the following:
“The site contains habitat of the protected Kuranda tree frog, but most of the development is proposed in the northern area of the site which has been cleared,” (Mr Crawford) said.
See for instance the Cairns Post story at http://www.cairnspost.com.au/business/640m-kuranda-ecoresort-project-gets-special-government-status/news-story/55760e07feb65aaedf36e46c537af7bd and the tropicsNow article at https://www.tropicnow.com.au/2016/july/12/approval-process-for-640-million-resort-project-streamlined.html#c1666 )
You made this statement as part of Minister Lynham’s July 12th media Statement re Kur-World ( see http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2016/7/12/fnq-tourism-project-moves-to-eis )
The statement is absurd. This is because the known habitat of the highly endangered, IUCN-listed Kuranda Tree Frog IS IN THE NORTHERN AREA of the property. Furthermore, it is in that northern area that site-works have already polluted creeks and put the long-term survival of these crucial populations at risk.
Dr Conrad Hoskin, the zoologist who first identified the Kuranda Tree Frog a decade ago, wrote a report earlier this year about the occurrence of this highly endangered species on the Barnwell Estate. It is available online: http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/_entity/annotation/edd0b23b-0b26-e611-bb47-005056ba00a8/a71d58ad-4cba-48b6-8dab-f3091fc31cd5?t=1468056983993 (see also http://www.localstuff.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Kuranda-Region-Planning-Group-KUR-WORLD-Northern-Zone-Correction-August-2016.pdf )
Please note the following brief extract from Dr Hoskins report:
A fourth creek on the property, the small creek downstream of the dam by the homestead, would almost certainly have had Litoria myola until recently (marked in red shading on Figure 3). However, sediment from dam construction and the eroding dam wall has filled this creek for hundreds of meters downstream of the dam and the habitat is no longer suitable for Litoria myola breeding. The reasons I can be fairly sure this creek had Litoria myola are:
(1) It is within the typical distance Litoria myola occurs upstream from the Barron River;
(2) The creeks on either side have Litoria myola up to at least this point; and
(3) Assessment of the size and structure of the creek, and associated vegetation, enables me to make an educated estimate of how far upstream they would have bred on the creek. In the adjacent un-named creek, L. myola extends to within 300 m of the head of the creek. Using this as a benchmark, I have estimated an upstream extent of the former occurrence of L. myola on the creek below the dam (see Figure 3). Remedial works have begun regarding the sediment issue in this creek, and these are ongoing.
This extract mentions damage that has already been done to the frog’s habitat on the property.
The FoE FNQ Executive has since considered the matter and decided to write to you directly asking you to clarify the facts on this issue by publicly retracting your earlier statement.
At present, anyone currently seeking to learn your opinion about the ‘Kur-World’ proposal would get the impression that in your informed opinion it’s environmentally benign, with specific reference to Kuranda Tree Frog conservation. Given your claim to the meeting that you are neutral on the project, surely that’s an impression you wish to correct?
We believe that had you consulted with conservationists in your local community (the very people who voted for you at the last election and without whom you would not now be an MP) prior to making that statement, you would presumably not have made it in the first place? Yet you first met representatives of the developer a early as last December, presumably to discuss the project. Where’s the balance?
At the recent public meeting, your response to the request for a correction was simply “if I made a mistake I apologise”.
With respect, we do not believe that is sufficient.
The public record needs correcting and we ask that you correct it ASAP.
(For FoE FNQ, formerly FoE Kuranda)