MEDIA RELEASE: KUR-WORLD DEVELOPER MCU APPROVED BY Mareeba Shire Council “delegated authority”

DATE: 29 November 2017


KUR-WORLD DEVELOPER MCU APPROVED BY Mareeba Shire Council “delegated authority”

While attention was focused on the Queensland election last week, the Mareeba Shire Mayor and CEO colluded in an astonishing action related to the notorious proposed ‘Kur-World’ mega-development in the Myola Valley near Kuranda.

Using powers allegedly “delegated” by the full Council, the MSC Mayor and CEO approved a material change of use of the Myola Valley property purchased some years ago by Macau-based developer Ken Lee. Their decision approves a change from “rural use” to “nature based tourism” (which appears, in this case, to include quad-bike riding!)

Angry Kuranda residents are now obtaining legal advice and may challenge this decision in the Land and Environment Court. Among grounds for a challenge is the clear statement on the Council’s own website about a limitation on delegated powers:

The delegate will not exercise any delegated power in relation to a matter which, to the delegate’s knowledge, adversely affects, or is likely to adversely affect, the Council’s relations with the public at large“

Clearly any land-use decision related to Mr Lee’s property is of enormous interest to many locals – especially given repeated environmental breaches in the past – and does affect Council’s relationship with a significant number of constituents.

At the State election last Saturday, anti-Kur-World campaigner Cheryl Tonkin attracted 16% of the primary vote to the Kuranda booth – in addition to a 20% vote for The Greens. This indicates very significant concern in the Kuranda region about Mr Lee’s unpopular ‘Kur-World’ proposal.

Independent Candidate Cheryl Tonkin says “We look forward to a fresh start with Mr. Craig Crawford and opening a line of communication from our tight knit community and into his office”.

Siteworks on Mr Lee’s Myola property, suspended due to Federal Government intervention in late 2015, have now resumed. Did Mr Lee have the necessary approvals for this activity? The hasty, behind-closed-doors approval granted by the Mayor and CEO last week has the appearance of yet another unsavoury butt-covering exercise on behalf of the owner.

Queensland’s environment and planning laws are already heavily biased towards the interests of big developers. Something stinks when due process is circumvented to such an extent that residents are forced to consider legal action even under such unsatisfactory laws!

Steven Nowakowski
President Kur-Alert Inc

Outside the Kuranda booth, Queensland election Nov 25th 2017

Aerial photo of some of Mr Lee’s Myola property showing extensive recent siteworks