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4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

22 June 2012

TAYLOR POINT MIS-MARKETING BEGINS WITH PROPONENT SENSING disUNITY COUNCIL EMBRACING KEVIN BYRNE OVERDEVELOPMENT POLICIES

Taylor Point is the very visible, undeveloped promontory at the north end of Trinity Beach.  Originally bequeathed to the Anglican Church for development as a "youth camp", the Anglicans ultimately sold the property off, apparently convinced that making these kinds of promises to your parishioners is ultimately superseded by the need for more money and selling out your religion to the highest bidder.


Apparently the Anglicans only give lip service to one of their religious principals, "judgement in the afterlife".


The property has been on the developer's block since 1984, with various projects knocked back over the years by relentless community pressure.  As the abusive nature of the conservative council under Kevin Byrne became apparent, with the wholesale destruction of a similar headland adjacent to Palm Cove (Buchans Point), residents of the northern beaches areas decided to make a stand at this last of the city-area headlands to block its development and honor the "public use" requirement of the original owners.


The owner and appellant is RH Prettejohn - the Prettejohn family are "sugar millionaires" in North Queensland, with huge real estate holdings across the area including the largest undeveloped flatland property at Palm Cove (where the elder Prettejohns still reside).  The Prettejohns have long argued their "environmentalism" at their other projects like the Kewarra Beach resort, however we'll see the speciousness of that argument shortly.


Prettejohn claims he bought the land with a 252 unit project approval "in place".  It's been admitted by those associated with the developers that clearly this was never going to happen - it was a political manipulation by minister Russ Hinz.  Prettejohn in 2004 submitted a 39 luxury housing estate plan, which cynically offloaded two small parcels, the northern degraded beach area and a cliffside, both of which cannot support development and would just cost the residents money in maintenance.


The project was finally knocked back by the Schier council in 2010, and hence the appeal by Prettejohn.  Over 4000 objectors from Trinity Beach, in a wide-ranging use of people-power, engaged the Environmental Defenders Office of North Queensland, (EDO), who along with council engaged counsel defeated the plan before a Land Court Judge earlier this year.  In the court ruling, the plans were found to be deficient, and the land is said to be unsuitable for any development.  In addition to the visual amenity blight on the community (illustrated very competently by local architect Mark Buttrose in a drawing unavailable to the blog), the land would require massive excavation for both roads and proposed housing many believe would exceed the works being done at the now blocked False Cape project, where CEC excavation works on unsuitable ground resulted in an employee death.


False Cape was brought to a halt by federal minister Peter Garrett.  There are more compelling reasons to stop the development of Taylor Point.


Usually, such a decisive ruling by the Land Court would be the end of the matter.  However Prettejohn is schmoozing with new councillors and Mayor "Screwdriver" Manning on the issue, framing it as a "jobs" project.  Never mind there is little market for high-end (over $500K homes) in Cairns at the moment.


There are several significant issues at play here, issues that the community needs to communicate to the representatives.
  1. Development decisions must be respected by incoming governments.  We can't have a see-saw of open slather and restrained development based on the government of the day.  The new Cairns Regional Council needs to continue to defend the wishes of the overwhelming number of Trinity Beach community who want this project killed.  
  2. While the Prettejohn's claim they are environmentally sensitive developers, the reality of development is that this cannot be guaranteed.  The Prettejohn-developed Kewarra Beach Resort was sold off for massive retirement unit development when they decided they had squeezed enough money from it, and demurred at the needed upgrade to this dilapidated property.  We now will likely see hundreds of little retirement units packed between the coast and Cook Highway.  Who's to know what a new approval for Taylor Point might really mean to a politically-savvy developer?
  3. Other "protected" areas are likely to see a council backtrack on Taylor Point as a signal to further degrade the public amenity of other Northern Beaches icons.  Already Tom "Six-Pack" Hedley has jammed units right up to the golf course and highway, with no assurance Paradise Palms will remain as a golf course.  Owners of the Novotel at Palm Cove put bulldozers thru their golf course without a moment of hesitation.  And even the currently open appeal by the Melbourne Buxton family on their Foley Road property surrounding the Phil Hartwig environmental disaster on the Palm Cove hillslopes might see their chances of further rape of that hillside in full view of Palm Cove residents and visitors alike.
THE MASSIVE PRETTEJOHN PROPERTY BETWEEN
PALM COVE AND ARGENTEA/CLIFTON BEACH.
PUBLIC GOOD OR MORE OF THE SAME?
We have a new council who have electioneered as "protectors of democracy" and "listening to the people".  Sno Bonneau knew full well that his pro-position on Taylor Point ensured him an electoral loss, hence his withdrawal from the last election.  Councillors need to respect the overwhelming majority in the Northern Beaches who not only signed petitions, but stumped up cash to fight against the destruction of this last iconic headland in the city.

 




34 comments:

Anonymous said...

They have so much already, why the greed? Then why are the people ignored? Oh I rememBER we voted in the faceless boys club, all about them and stuff the people.

Mz. Elly-May Clambutt said...

Isn't Greg Fennell the Councillor for Trinity Beach? What is his say on the issue? Has anyone heard from him?

CBD Warrior said...

Another great analysis from HBW.

Elly-May, you ask about Fennell? He's a car salesman - he'll start selling whatever the boss tells him.

jim-bob snr. said...

Seems like the people of Trinity Beach need to stand up again and be counted. I don't want to comment about Fennell because I just don't know him and have never heard of him. However Hillbilly has pointed out not to dismiss all Unity Councillors as "yes" people hoping to keep a low profile for the next four years before they piss off to a comfortable retirement. Thus I keep an open mind about Fennell. This hot potato will be in his court before too long.

ruby red dress said...

Fennell would risk losing Trinity Beach I should imagine if he supported development on Taylors Point. Looking at the voting for the Council Election at Trinity Beach, Fennell received 852 votes, to Tim O'Hallahans 883 and Ross Parisi's 468. Both OHallahan and Parisi opposed development on the Point.
Overall Fennell only secured 32% of the vote. He therefore only has a very tenuous hold on the division and this issue would most likely lose him his Council seat.

Anonymous said...

Parisi supports the project now. Maybe trying to get into/stay in the "crowd". Jack Wilkie is similiar, maybe something in the water in that division. No real conviction on anything, just try to follow the crowd - never lead it. Next week maybe see another change in tune like the CEP, support it then don't, then do , then dont. Political sheep.

Anonymous said...

Ive just had a gander at the voting figures from the CRC Election. Fennell's is the most marginal division of all the Unity Team councillors. However, even if he were to abstain from voting or vote against a motion on development of Taylor Point, his own Unity Councillors would ensure the vote was carried. In all likelihood the vote would go:-
AYES
Manning, Brain, Schilling, James, OHalloran, Richardson.
NOS
Pyne, Bates, Cooper, Leu, Fennell.
I am assuming of course in this that Cooper and Bates would vote against any development, ditto Brain, the Independent would vote for the proposal.

JOHN MACKENZIE'S HILLBILLY WATCH said...

Last Anonymous,

That's an old government trick when one side has more than a majority.

Let the affected councillor vote "NO", while all the mates vote the issue across the line. The affected councillor than goes back at the next election and says sheepishly "well, I voted to support the neighbourhood".

They ain't fooling me with this nonsense

Anonymous said...

Of course, Hillbilly. However, don't discount the very high emotions involved with Taylor Point and that it is a very long running issue. Many of those teens at Trinity Beach have seen their parents fight against developing T.P. all their lives. Fennell may be able to claim that he "supported the neighbourhood" while his own Unity Mayor and Councillors supported the proposal. However, I doubt his protestations would go down very well with the voters. They would be able to do the maths themselves.

ruby red dress said...

The very last thing these Unity Councillors care about are the needs of children. Ive just seen some photos displayed on facebook (courtesy Jenny Pyne) of how the kids at the recent Eisteddfod held at the Civic Theatre, had to stand outside in the cold at night, with their musical instruments as there was no room backstage for them. Cairns Choral Society and various High Schools who stage musical productions there have said this over and over and over, that they are worried about safety issues for children when using the Civic Theatre. Children frequently have to change in temporary accommodations outside, or wait in Munro Martyn Park. The area is a major traffic zone and also renown for homeless people, and a high proportion of pedestrians. Had it been raining on the night of the Eisteddfod, the kids would have had to remain in cars or under umbrellas. With participants in the yearly Eisteddfods growing yearly, our Civic Theatre is well and truly way too small. But hey, did the Unity Councillors give a stuff about our kids when they voted against the Entertainment Precinct recently? Did Mayor Manning? It therefore beggars belief that Manning and the Unity Team will give a shit about the kids of Cairns and Taylor Point.

Dean said...

There would have to be changees to the plan for it to be considered again. And while Council can overturn previous Council's decisions, the Courts would not. Whatever the courts have said will over-rule any Council motion.

Dean said...

I forgot to add that the real winners will be the lawyers again. No matter what side they're on, the more cases they represent, the more money they make. Win or lose is secondary.

Anonymous said...

Well said ruby red dress. I also support the Junior Eisteddfod each year and the talent is truly solid. I arrived at the old Civic Theatre to hear School Orchestras rehearsing in the car park at 7.15p.m. There is no revolving stage, therefore the audience and adjudicator have a lengthy wait between orchestra acts whilst chairs, pianos are positioned. The shock was that the Patron of the Eisteddfod is the Cairns Mayor and he never showed up for the Official Opening! Val always gave a great speech each year and some hope for the youth. Current Mayor gives the talented youth of Cairns lots of aspiration not to stay here. Build the C.E..P. not for us oldies (inc, current Councillors) but for the next generation. Just DO IT!

Anonymous said...

The CEP is not going to happen. We need the money to build the roads, drains, water supply, electricity etc for Prettejon development.

ruby red dress said...

Anonymous 17.04 above, the situation of inadequate accommodations for our yearly Eisteddfods is not only appalling but indicative of the arrogant dismissive contempt this Council has for the artistic children of the region. However, what more can you expect from a Mayor, such as Manning who lordly declares that "he and his wife fly to Sydney or Melbourne to see musicals"? What manner of selfish people, wealthy enough to be able to afford these types of luxuries publicly give "the bird" to their own community? What manner of people are they to so publicly sneer at the growing talents of their own community? Manning answers those questions perfectly by not even bothering to attend the official opening of the Eisteddfod something which previous Mayors have done for years. He couldn't have said "Get stuffed!" any more clearer.

jim-bob snr. said...

Oh well said, ruby red dress!! It's only a matter of time as well before some kids get injured or attacked waiting outside the Civic Theatre. What consolation is it to them and their parents knowing that Manning says, "Oh my wife and I fly to Sydney and Melbourne to see shows!" Don't expect Manning and the Unity Team to do anything concrete about a new performing arts theatre either. Manning will dither and slither, fart and mumble,while being praised to the rooftops by Mackenzie for doing nothing, and then pass it all over to the next Council after he has retired. Oh, why didn;t Grandad turn up to open the Eisteddfod? Goodness me, because it was his bedtime, silly.

jim-bob snr. said...

Oh well said, ruby red dress!! It's only a matter of time as well before some kids get injured or attacked waiting outside the Civic Theatre. What consolation is it to them and their parents knowing that Manning says, "Oh my wife and I fly to Sydney and Melbourne to see shows!" Don't expect Manning and the Unity Team to do anything concrete about a new performing arts theatre either. Manning will dither and slither, fart and mumble,while being praised to the rooftops by Mackenzie for doing nothing, and then pass it all over to the next Council after he has retired. Oh, why didn;t Grandad turn up to open the Eisteddfod? Goodness me, because it was his bedtime, silly.

Anonymous said...

The Anglican Church sold Taylor Point to fund TAS!

Mz. Elly-May Clambutt said...

ROFL jim-bob snr. I had to laugh. It wont be long before people wake up to the fact that Manning is not a community orientated Mayor, unlike Val Schier and is only in there for one term so won't be accountable for his actions at the next election. He has already given "the bird" to so many community groups and this will continue. After all, he doesn't have to worry at all about what people think. We may as well have elected a dead dog.

Anonymous said...

I don't think he likes or even has the skills to do any public speaking, He mumbles and dithers and has nothing worthwhile to say. I'm starting to sound like MacKenzie & King attacks on Val now!

Tony Hillier said...

Rumour has it that Cairns has been offered a derisory $10 million as recompense for losing out on CBD and CEP funding. Might be enough to build a model village!

Anonymous said...

$10 million huh? A measly pittance in place of the $100 million King and Grandad Manning lost for us. According to The Cairns Post over 5000 kids participated in this years Eisteddfod. That puts the risk of something serious happening in perspective, doesnt it? 5000 kids and no place adequate enough to hold Eisteddfods. Hey Manning and King, you dickheads. Its one of the reasons WHY we NEEDED the Entertainment Precinct!

Very Concerned said...

CBD Warrior
I don't know Greg Fennell at all however to judge someone because they used to sell cars is quite outrageous.Does the same apply to lawyers,politicians, Real Estate Agents etc etc? There are very high quality people in all professions and such stupid generalisations have no place in any debate.
Taylor Point is a very complex Town Planning issue which I doubt most people would understand the legalities. The State/ Council shouldn't have bought it when it was on the market and turned it into reserve for walking/parks whatever.Lack of vision or comment from Bonneau at the time was the real problem. I don't think the current owners are doing anything illegal.
The new Councillors should be judged after 4 yrs not 7 weeks, get real. There won't be much change to anything for 6 months or so.

ruby red dress said...

Anonymous 09.10, Mackenzie and King kept up a combined, concerted public attack, villifying, ridiculing, sneering and scoffing at Val and everything she endorsed or proposed for four full years. There was never any let up; there was never any support for anything she did. Mackenzie turned it into a full on "hate" campaign unprecedented in its intensity and sheer malignancy. By direct comparison the amount of criticism both King and Manning have received in Hillbilly Watch has been miniscule. It is gratifying to see people slowly waking up to the fact they have elected a pair of ineffectual, dithering duds as the citys representatives. A dead dog would have made a better Mayor while King is merely Newman's parrot.

Mz Elly-May said...

Very Concerned, I haven't made any comment about any Councillor's career prior to becoming Councillor. Frankly, I like to see as wide a group of people from the community as possible on a Council, rather than say 10 developers/builders/investors. That would be a nightmare. As to your statement that this Council should be judged in four years time, are you kidding? We can already judge them, and harshly. They have lost the CRC the biggest amount of government funds ever given to the CRC. How easy it was for them to vote "No". Did the cretins THINK before they just up and said "NO"? Didn't they understand that Newman would grab the monies? Do they understand what they really did?

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

Well, if we had elected a dead dog, at least we could have it stuffed, & propped up and it could turn up to open the Eisteddfod! Manning also turned down opening up the Festival of the Knob, a job joyfully performed by Val for the last four years. Moreover, when Division 8 new Councillor (Manning's) Jessie Richardson was then asked to open the FOTK (after Manning's refusal), at the last YK Residents Association meeting she asked "what is it? what is it for?". OK, you might not want to attend the FOKB folks, but at least if one was alive & awake in Cairns, one might of at least heard of it. She has been managing body corps for years, & one would imagine she might have seen the FOTK signs along the highway? But wait, to be fair to Jessie R., it has only been running for eight years, she might take a while to catch on to things? I sent this little snippet of info to the ComPost a few weeks ago, but guess - they weren't interested.

ruby said...

That doesn't surprise me at all, Lilian. Some of these Unity Councillors are not locals of long standing. They are self-serving opportunists who were elected on a tsunami of unprecedented hatred, generated over a full four year period by both Mackenzie and King. They were not elected because of community regard and respect for them or for their contribution to the community. Most people had never heard of them prior to the election. So much for their being "community representatives". We now have a second rate Council and the city and region is already, only seven weeks after their election, $100 million poorer for it.

Anonymous said...

Getting back to Taylor Point -what is happening with the old guy who is permanently camping there? (See Courier Mail)

ECKERS said...

Dunno about the old guy camping at Taylor Point, Anonymous above. Just a comment about our new Mayor. Since he won't be accountable to the people at the next election he can cherry-pick whatever community events he wants to attend. Sure, Val was a highly visible Mayor who put in a huge effort at attending so many community events, however Val also had the courage and the ethics to go to the people for judgement. I wonder if that is important to the voters of Cairns? They have voted twice for two representatives who will only serve one term in office, and who, by virtue of their one term, do not have to "sing for their supper". Neither Manning nor Entsch have to work hard to justify another re-election. They don't have to worry about what the voters think. The Cairns Post and Mackenzie unashamedly promote them in loveable,matey matey terms, aka "Wazza" and "Butch" like they are everyones best mate instead of highly paid community representatives. It seems to me as if Cairns voters are happy to have this carefully constructed media image of "mates" as opposed to community representatives. (Just my analysis on it all.)

Anonymous said...

A thoughtful analysis ECKERS. You have raised some further points there which again clearly validate the claims that our democracy is weakening.

Dean said...

Democracy is eroding because of the failure of the 4th estate.

The media is becoming more brazen in its support of business over public good. Whether it's selling their own papers at the expense of the good of the city or its brazen support of a major advertiser (woolworths) in its pursuit of breaking almost every planning regulation in Gordonvale.

I'm a student of history and this so close to a textbook case of fascism as I've ever seen. Business controls the media and therefore the votes by proxy. All I can suggest to people is that they stop watching commercial TV and buying papers. These days there's more misinformation than valuable information.

Anonymous said...

Dean, ECKERS etc, it is a frightening fact of life, watching the gradual but steady erosion of democracy. That the corporatised media machine has played a pivotal role is undeniable. Take for example the way the "Australian" newspaper has written an expose recently on the huge debt that Campbell Newman racked up when Mayor of Brisbane City Council. Did the Queensdland regional newspapers do the same expose? No. No regional newspaper pointed out that Newman was not a good economic manager when Mayor of BCC. Queenslanders went to the polls without all the facts.

Bob R. said...

Thats a bloody good point you made there ECKERS about the media softening and personalising the image of Entsch and Manning. I agree, its bloody disturbing.

Dean said...

Queensland politics is the worst of the lot. The cronyism that goes on here wouldn't last 5 minutes in the southern states. Unfortunately, last state election there wasn't much to choose from up here. Labor had run their race, Newman's a political pygmy and I wouldn't let him run a chook raffle (he'd probably scrap the cost of the chook and spend all them money on an elaborate raffle-type machine). The third party was Katter's Krazy Krednecks(the third K is silent) and then the Greens whose environmental messages go too far.

I used to wonder how somebody like Hanson could be elected, but now I've been through a whole political cycle and it's become eveidently clear.

The beginning of turning it around would be an informed public. Fingers crossed for the web generation to be that informed public, because the radio and newspaper generations can't become informed with the drivel they're fed.