DATE: 15 MAY 2017
TO: MEDIA LIST
KUR-World 2.0: More ridiculous than the first KUR-World ‘Master Plan’!
Residents and conservationists are incredulous at the release of the latest KUR-World “Master Plan”, along with a “Q & A” received from the developer’s PR consultants.
“This so-called ‘KUR-World’ proposal in my opinion just gets shonkier. It should be canned now by the State Government to save the community any more wasted time” said Cheryl Tonkin.
“Far North Queesnalnd needs genuine sustainable development – not flim-flam that offends every principle of ecological sustainability, it’s a Trojan horse ” she added.
In February 2014, Macao-based developer Ken Lee purchased a very large property in the Myola Valley. This 626 hectare estate had been in the hands of the Barnwell family for generations. It was substantially forested, with some cleared areas used for low-intensity grazing.
The new owner rapidly set about transforming the land, clearing at least 60 hectares (mainly rainforest, without a permit), constructing a large dam without Council approval and damaging the habitat of the Federally Listed Endangered Kuranda Tree Frog – a species so rare and endangered it’s been located only in a few creeks in the Myola Valley. Three of those creeks run through the former Barnwell Estate.
After bulldozing and destroying with abandon, Mr Lee’s rampage was stopped by Federal Government intervention in late 2015. After that, he retained new consultants and PR agents, who’ve shamefully and manipulatively helped him craft a mega-development proposal that most of the local community regard as appallingly inappropriate for this very high-biodiversity rural property, close to the World Heritage Wet Tropics, that effectively serves as a buffer and wildlife corridor for the Federally Listed Endangered Cassowaries and other rainforest species.
“This land is currently and properly zoned “rural” which precludes mega-developments such as ‘KUR-World'” said Jo Martin. “In my opinion Mr Lee should never have gotten beyond base one with his ludicrous proposal” she added.
“Such an inappropriate proposal that’s contrary to current planning instruments such as the MSC2016 and FNQ Regional Plan 2009-31, should never have become the subject of environmental impact assessment. Blind Freddy can see this mega-development proposal would wreck nationally-significant environmental values. The conservation-oriented Kuranda community shouldn’t need to waste time and energy defeating this gigantic folly.” she said.
THE BIZARRE “Q & A”
The latest material from the proponent in my opinion indicates extraordinary ecological ignorance combined with opportunism on the part of Mr Lee and his consultants. It is a blatant abuse and misuse of the word and our understanding of the word “eco”.
Responding to a query about precedents for an “Integrated Eco-Resort” of the kind proposed by Mr Lee for this property, the “Q & A” sent out by his “community relations” consultants cites one example: the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore. This is a gigantic casino complex in a high-density city landscape – dream-child of Shelston Adelson, a Los Vegas gambling magnate. The Marina Bay Sands own website doesn’t claim it’s an “eco-resort”.
(Aerial View of Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore)
“If this is Mr Lee’s idea of an “eco-resort” the mind boggles.
“If it’s the result of slapdash advice from his PR agents, he should fire them for gross incompetence.” said Jo Martin.
“The Kuranda community has some understanding of ecotourism and cannot easily be green-washed” she added.
KUR-WORLD MASTER PLAN 2.0
Around the same time as the notorious “Q & A”, the KUR-World proponent also released a revised “Master Plan”. This amounted to little more than a new drawing of the site plan – but with some difficulty it’s possible to extract the most key information.
Some locals anticipated the revised Master Plan would be more ecologically responsible.
This tabulation shows how their hopes were dashed.
“If anything, KUR-World 2.0 would be even more disruptive to the local environment and community than the initial version. To quote a past Qld Senator ‘it’s like polishing a turd’.” Cheryl Tonkin concluded.
“We call on Ken Lee to abandon the KUR-World proposal now – and on the State and Federal Government to ensure this grotesque folly goes no further”.
For more information please contact Jo Martin or Cheryl Tonkin
Comments on MEDIA RELEASE
On 2017-05-14 23:04, *Kuranda Resident wrote:
Check your facts – Ken Lee was born in Melbourne.
He is an Australian.
Thanks for your feedback on our MEDIA RELEASE.
With regards to facts – perhaps you want to check these yourself.
1. KEN LEE was born in CANTON, CHINA
SOURCE: ASIC REEVER AND OCEAN: http://kurandaregion.org/…/05/Reever-and-Ocean-ASIC-2.pdf
2. As you will see from the image below – in highlights – these are the words that presumably he is happy with using in the media.
We are simply using existing nomenclature.