4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

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

22 July 2015


Ask anyone who's moved to Cairns in the last 25 years why they're here, and they inevitably say "the lifestyle".  So important is this to Cairns, one of our home builders named themselves "Lifestyle Homes".  One of the perennial issues facing Cairns residents is the continual chipping away at the "Cairns lifestyle" - usually at the hands of our elected representatives, kowtowing to the developers and other commercial interests.

During the imperial reign of Kevin "Hiding from the Pakis" Byrne, some of the worst damage was done by his development department - led by the now-CEO of Cairns (un)Regional Council, Peter Tabulo. A bureaucrat without peer, who kowtows like no other.  Byrne and Tabulo were responsible for the huge overdevelopment of units at Trinity Beach and Woree by the now-bankrupt Glencorp, run by Udo Jattke.  The prison towers constructed in the CBD by the now-bankrupt Hedley Constructions.  The tiny little house blocks jammed into the "family friendly" Kewarra Beach, where tinnies and extra cars are parked on the front garden as the streets are too narrow for anything else.  

All of these part of the "Kevin Byrne Legacy".  Goodonya', mate.

Another of these projects, Bluewater at Trinity Park, continues to generate controversy because of the lax development requirements and chaotic development done there by the developers.  Bluewater advertises itself as the home of the "Cairns lifestyle".  Hard to know what's desirable of the "Multiplex lifestyle", however.

The recently-constructed Bluewater Bar & Grill is a case in point, with the Byrne/Tabulo errors now compounded by the inattention of the current Council. 

The original Development Approval for this restaurant required 91 car parks.  Developers "rolled" Council on this requirement, getting the number greatly reduced to 64.  The we come to find that the restaurant and the developer, Multiplex, have been pledging the same parking spots for multiple uses.  And our idiot Council didn't notice this developer game of "hide the pea".  Or maybe they DID notice it, and just ignored it - like so many other Development Approval conditions.  


And as the situation has unfolded, the restaurant owner Peter Sayers has stupidly confirmed this serious shortfall, claiming that on weekend nights ". . . still there are cars parked on the street".  You've got to wonder about the sanity of a business that voluntarily opens a business with inadquate amenity for its patrons - who soon decide to go elsewhere.  The 91 carpark requirement was probably correct, but the Bob "Sleepy" Manning Council is easily rolled on parking requirements everywhere.  Impacting heavily the "Cairns lifestyle".   Council is now engaged in a "negotiation" with the parties, and in the process looking to deal-away the boat and trailer parking used by Cairns fishos.  Pushing their cars and trailers further down Reed Road, blah, blah blah.  

The entire Bluewater development however has been an enormous flop.  As developers got squeezed by the GFC, they sold off a prime site for public housing - directly across the street from this tavern.  While we fully support public housing being "dispersed" around the community and not just dumped in the three M's, the existence of this project impacted the perception of Bluewater quite negatively.  And with mains upwards of $30 and the cheapest glass of Cab Sav at $14, there is little chance the Bluewater Bar & Grill will be drawing any customers from across the road.

A drive around Bluewater shows how badly Multiplex has screwed up this "planned development".  Huge waterfront homes have been constructed cheek-by-jowl, normal for a waterfront development.  However the owners of these homes have discovered the high running cost of these homes - with huge and growing dredging levies from the CRC on their rates bills. 

And the existing residents have had no joy discussing the hillbilly-like atmosphere in the development.  Boats, caravans, and shipping containers litter the area.  Who would want to build a $2M-$3M waterfront home when your view is so compromised?  And there's even a "Bluewater Bed & Breakfast" operating along with some residences being rented using AirBNB.  If not afoul of Council regulations, obviously afoul of the neighbourhood amenity.

And the few current residents complain about the "live-aboard" boats that have also not been provided parking.  

Fully 11 of these homes have "For Sale" signs on them, along with perhaps 15 of the vacant allotments - almost 10 years after the project was green lighted by Kevin Byrne.  Seems like most want OUT of this blighted version of the "Cairns lifestyle". 

Council will undoubtably reach some "solution" that doesn't cost big business any money but will steal parking from the Cairns residents who use the Trinity Park boat launch.  And the residents of Riverside Drive (who were NOT part of this "planned development") continue to be socked with dredging they didn't ask for, and weren't consulted about.  

So much for the "Cairns lifestyle".    


Anonymous said...

And let's not forget about the "amenity' for marine life or even the ability to exist at all. Ever since the dredging for this inland canal estate started, coral fringing reefs up the coast have been destroyed. I myself snorkled the reef at Pretty Beach before the dredging and it was fantastic - like going right out to the reef but without the cost! But in the past several years, a slimy, very fine particle mud has completely covered all the coral - the sort of mud that doesn't get washed off by tides. This mud has suffocated and killed the corals, destroying the ecosystem that all the other marine residents depended upon. While everybody is moaning and groaning over the slow destruction of the inner barrier reef and the ptb is falling over itself with rhetoric, dredge spoil is trashing our coastal reefs without anybody's concern or attention!!
Bluewater is the Cairns equivalent of Port Hinchinbrook and it was a disaster from day one but rammed through none-the-less.

Anonymous said...

Aagh yes, welcome to Cairns. Will this region ever receive a competent Council or competent builders/construction groups? I doubt it. But again at least Cueball reports the facts, uike the other news services.

Anonymous said...

A major planning mistake was also to allow the rest of the Bluewater estate in Trinity Beach to be developed from the wrong direction, without considering the length of access roads. For example if you want to reach the new lots around Hatch Close, you either need to drive all the way through the end of Trinity Park and then back Roberts Drive, or through deep into Trinity Beach past the school along many extra bends. This not only makes the driving in and out very time consuming but has also contributed to massive extra pollution over the years. A direct connection to the entrance of Trinity Beach Road or even the highway should have been done first, not las. It's not even started yet, together with the mystical "Central Parkland" that will probably never exist, except maybe the necessary creeks.

Anonymous said...

Someone in EPA told me that pollution is getting much worse. Supposedly last year the airport and council kept an airport spill into the Barron hush hush. Poorr contractor oversight and poor flood gates were the cause, yet no action was taken. How do you explain that? Yes, that is the reason our City is a laughing stock.

Anonymous said...

Ratepayers paid nearly $15million to have all of the drains relined in Bluewater by a Melbourne based company. This is thanks to self sign off regulation laws where a developer can use its own engineer to sign off on its work.
This same developer is still providing Cairns with shoddy groundworks as we speak.....

herb said...

ya wanna live on the water? buy a fucken boat

Anonymous said...

I remember that the Qld ALP Govt had recently completed their Coastal Management Plan. The Bluewater Canal Estate did not meet the criteria under the Coastal Management Plan (possibly due to massive of amounts of dredge spoils to be dumped into the sea).

But somehow Bluewater Canal Estate got an exception. How was this so? Donations to the ALP?

Pat Flanagan of Flanagan Consultants did the consultation (including later stages about to go ahead. Watch out wallabies, your remaining habitat is about to disappear) argues the Development Application and implementation of the design was very environmentally progressive. Er, does that include the dredge spoil dumping in the sea which continues today I believe.

Seems a Development Application for later stages was lodged in 2007? But a more recent Development Application for the area just south of Trinity Beach Road allowed far more building lots and more forest removed. Needs more investigation.