DATE: 6 AUGUST 2017
TO: The Right Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland
CC: Mareeba Shire Council, Cairns Post, Kuranda Region Planning Group
On Tuesday July 11th at the ‘Town Hall’ meeting held in Cairns, I asked our premier about the Kur-World development in the Myola Valley of Kuranda. This development, which will double the population of the village and straddles sensitive habitat for endangered Wet Tropics species, will have a huge impact on the environment and on infrastructure. The Kuranda Range Road, scene of multiple accidents and assessed at being near its design limit of 8,700 vehicles per day, will not be able to accommodate the traffic associated with this development. It was largely due to the limits of the range road that the FNQ Regional Plan 2009-2031 did not support urban or residential development in the Myola Valley. Yet now the State is being asked to approve a development which, due to its size, can bypass the local Council. We can only hope that the Queensland Government will honour the approved Regional Plan which was developed with a lot of time and effort in collaboration with residents. That was the thrust of my request to the premier at the meeting on July 11th.
It has now been brought to my attention that the developer has been given permission by the Mareeba Shire Council to lodge a development application on land designated rural under FNQ Regional Plan 2009-31. The Council is allowing the application based on a superseded earlier plan. This is apparently quite legal. But why engage residents in a process that led to a long-term regional plan for the area when it can simply be waived aside at the first whiff of development?
I ask you, Premier Palaszczuk, and Mayor Gilmore, to please put a hold on all decision-making regarding Kur-World applications until such time as the State, the Shire, and the Residents can truly consider and discuss all the ramifications of this development in the Myola Valley. Our local State representative, Mr. Craig Crawford, has thus far shown little, if any, interest in engaging with us over our concerns.
Thank you for taking the time to consider the contents of this letter and for considering further action.
Keila Waksvik, Kuranda