DATE: 8 JAN 2018
FROM: Jo Martin KRPG
TO: George Lindsay CARDNO
SUBJECT: RE: Kuranda Region Planning Group – Public Claims in relation to Cardno’s Professional Conduct *RETRACTION AND APOLOGY
I hope you had a lovely festive season and managed some time off with family and friends.
I have sectioned out the different parts with headings and links below for ease of reading.
Jo Martin here – author of the original letter, co-signatories Steven and Nadine. I am a resident of Kuranda and am working with others to Save the Myola Valley from unnecessary development.
4000+ people, their pets, traffic, water use, helicopters, waste and deforestation is the last thing this ecologically sensitive historically zoned rural land needs.
Development pressure is being heavily applied from outside our community interests, needs or desires, outside sensible science, for this 626ha of World Heritage Wet Tropics Bioregion – essential habitat and cassowary country. Kuranda is situated in the narrow pinch-point of the greater World Heritage Wet Tropics Bioregion – concreting Kuranda is disastrous – and will cut the Bioregion in half – isolating cassowary populations north and south – and further fragmenting viable habitat.
Did you know only 20-25% of former cassowary habitat remains ? That’s a fact – and one that will continue to drive unwarranted-deforestation debates in our region in the coming years. When is the Wet Tropics Bioregion also on the endangered list as an ecosystem – when it’s keystone species becomes extinct ? 20-25% former habitat remaining puts us on the edge of survival for the cassowary. ‘Corridors’ are not ‘goat tracks’ but large swathes of forest with mature fruiting rainforest food trees – free of high-density-humans, their fences, their waste, golf balls (v bad for wildlife), pets, traffic, helicopters, etc – that bring cassowary transiting through our region year after year. Surely there’s no amount of profit that is worth compromising our iconic species ?
I am personally inspired by those that have come in the decades before me – to replant the critical World Heritage Wet Tropics Bioregion Corridor where we live here in Kuranda – critical to the survival of keystone species cassowary (and all the other endangered species). In this place – the future of the Bioregion lay in the hands of private landholders and the attitude of our local council – we have approximately 3,000ha (BARNWELL IS 626ha of this) of insufficiently protected essential habitat that desperately needs to be sheltered from development by the government – for the generations to come.
Decades, hundreds of volunteers, thousands of volunteer hours sweaty-with-bent-backs, our community has been putting back what was removed by early “pioneers” and “settlers” – before we understood that deforestation would become the global issue it now is – and would pose the current and present danger it is. Science is science. Rainforest only grows in specific places. Old-growth takes hundreds of years to recover. Only 3% of land in Queensland is rated with high ecological values like Kuranda. Cassowary only has 20-25% former habitat remaining. Kuranda has been in Rainforest Recovery mode for at least 30 years. Can someone please explain to me whose interests “developing” the Myola Valley for international-real-estate-sales will serve ?
–MY ERROR AND APOLOGY–
Once I was advised by Brian Millard (MSC Senior Planner) of my error (18 Dec 17), I immediately apologised to my peers Steven Nowakowski and Nadine O’Brien for getting this one wrong – because I did get this wrong. For that I unreservedly apologise. Being a layperson trying to understand very, very complex documents – something those in-the-industry may take for granted I’m sure! We are unfunded community volunteers learning as we go – in our own time – and by and large we’re doing a reasonable job – mostly :- )
I am suitably embarrassed because it was a dumb error. Very annoying for me, personally.
In this instance – I definitely got the code wrong and consequently the gross floor area part – and I do sincerely apologise for my mistake. I am human and have made, and will continue to, make mistakes and errors of judgement. What really counts now is that your Cease and Desist letter is very kind in asking for redress within an appropriate timeframe. And of course, I am more than happy to accommodate 100% and make my amends because that is the right and proper thing to do when one is wrong – and I am an honourable person.
My FORMAL RETRACTION AND APOLOGY LETTER and other Cardno legal requirements:
–REPLY TO BRIAN MILLARD’S EMAIL [19 Dec 2017]–
Brian Millard MSC advised me I should personally pay for a planner to ask ‘proper’ questions. While I understand everyone’s frustration with novices like me asking dumb questions (sometimes) or making a mistake with an assumption (sometimes) I think we all need to understand that a Planning Scheme and how it works should be understandable, and therefore accessible, for the general public – of which I too belong. It is simply beyond the means of our community’s families to fund planners and lawyers to play this ‘proper’ game. And our democracy should not be shut down to only those who can afford it.
That being said, I have these follow-up questions to my original line of enquiry so I can finalise my document regarding MCU170012, if you could please clarify for me:
1. Who at Cardno, and at Mareeba Shire Council, is tasked with categorising Development Applications against the code criteria, ie. ‘Nature-based tourism’ or ‘Tourist Attraction’ ?
Please see ATTACHMENT SLIDES:
Nature based tourism References [2-13]
What does Nature based tourism look like ? [14-17]
Mareeba Shire Council Planning Scheme [22-23]
2. Can you please explain in simple terms why question 23.6 and 23.7 on the DA were checked ‘No’ when there is no town water supplied and bores will be used for the toilet block and commercial kitchen for 60 daily visitors ?
Please see ATTACHMENT SLIDES [26-27]
3. Can you please explain in simple terms why question 20 on the DA was checked ‘No’ regarding associated development applications or current approvals ?
Please see ATTACHMENT SLIDES [28-30]
ATTACHMENT: Nature-based-tourism-in-relation-to-MCU170012 (PDF 45 pages colour 7.4MB)
Thank you everyone for your time and patience.
for Kuranda Region Planning Group