It’s not too late to have your say- see Tableland Regional Council’s website for details- late submission are being accepted until Friday 12 April. And feel free to use any of the points below submitted by Friends of the Earth Kuranda.
FoE Kuranda’s submission to the TRC draft Planning Scheme takes place at a momentous time.
As things currently stand, the Kuranda district would be part of a different Council from early next year; if that happens, the outcome of TRC’s planning process may not directly affect Kuranda.
However, an overwhelming number of people in Kuranda oppose this and we write our submission on the basis that we shall remain within the TRC.
We are deeply concerned at the amount of disinformation that has been spread in the over-heated political atmosphere of the de-amalgamation debate and the debate over this planning scheme. Attachment A is an example: this was an anonymous, A4 laminated notice pinned to the Kuranda notice board (next to the Post Office) for several days. It’s a fact-free, emotion-laded rant – but the kind of material that may well affect attitudes in the community.
We are especially concerned about the level of fury directed at the TRC over the presentation of overlays in this draft plan. Very crude negativity about the process should, in our view, have been countered with cogent arguments from Council members and other political leaders in the region.
It is a matter of regret this has happened so little. The haunting words of Yeats come to mind:
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity. “
In the view of FoE Kuranda, rational planning for sustainability, biodiversity conservation and protection of our environment as a whole are crucial causes that should be argued with passionate intensity by well-informed community leaders.
If this was done – and done well – we suspect much of the current angst would fade away. It is largely based on a lack of understanding inflamed by quite disgraceful and irresponsible disinformation, probably co-ordinated by vested interests who perceive their self-interest lies in weak and ineffective planning.
Planning for a Future
Nearly half of the world’s forests and around one-third of its species have been lost in the past three decades.1 According to the World Wildlife Fund, “this global trend suggests that we are degrading natural ecosystems at a rate unprecedented in human history”.2
The United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, an exhaustive analysis of the state of life on Earth prepared by more than thirteen hundred experts, concluded that “ Human activity is putting such a strain on the natural functions of the Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted .”3
It is clear that our future must not be a repetition of the mistakes of the past. The development of Tableland Regional Council’s new planning scheme is an opportunity to safeguard the wildlife and plants of the area that make it such a special place to live.
While congratulating the council on much of this planning scheme and the extensive public consultation process, we would like to point out the following:
Mapping and Overlays.
We applaud the use of overlays to ensure any development is appropriately sited away from areas prone to natural disasters and to avoid further fragmentation and destruction of areas of high biodiversity.
As the mapping used for the overlays is acknowledged by council to be inaccurate, we ask that council employs sufficient staff to enable the mapping to be reassessed independently and then revised.
This process of reassessment could include consulting with the public via a free helpline as well as by the existing process of written submissions and consulting with the Rural fire brigade and QFRS to determine areas of high and medium bush fire risk.
However we urge council not to abandon the overlays due to pressure from residents who may be misinformed and for council to take a whole area approach, not a piecemeal one, to preservation of biodiversity and the natural environmental values of our Shire.
The Council’s biodiversity strategy – of which this mapping exercise is a key part – must be viewed in a broader national and international strategy.
For two decades, leading conservation biologists have advised governments that to protect biodiversity long-term, a ‘CAR’ reserve system is needed. This is a reserve system of protected areas that is Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative – see http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/nrs/science/scientific-framework.html
“Specifically CAR means:
- Comprehensive: the inclusion in the National Reserve System of examples of regional-scale ecosystems in each bioregion
- Adequate: the inclusion of sufficient levels of each ecosystem within the protected area network to provide ecological viability and to maintain the integrity of populations, species and communities
- Representative: the inclusion of areas at a finer scale, to encompass the variability of habitat within ecosystems”
However, a true ‘CAR’ reserve system is possible in very few parts of Australia (and the world) due to the extent of vegetation-clearing and ecosystem destruction to date. Consequently, off-reserve management for biodiversity conservation is absolutely crucial if we are to stem the haemorrhaging of our biological inheritance.
Land Clearing for Subdivisions
Given the dramatic loss of biodiversity worldwide and the fact that we live in an area with iconic and threatened species such as the Southern Cassowary and the Myola frog, clearing of all forested areas, whether rainforest or sclerophyll, for residential or commercial development is ill advised and should be halted. Any existing approvals that have not been actioned need to be revoked.
For example, the days when it is acceptable to proceed with developments in known cassowary habitat bordering on the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, such as Possum Ridge, must be over.
Location and Scale of Residential Developments
We welcome the ruling out of residential development in Myola for the next ten years but are saddened by council’s support for Welcome Pocket which, while a valuable resource, is inappropriately sized and sited too far from Kuranda for the retirees. It would be better in an area close to essential services, with these preferably accessible by wheelchair friendly footpaths.
Welcome Pocket would also cause an increase in traffic along the relatively narrow Myola road causing potential traffic jams and road accidents. Also it could act as a back-door to development in Myola and introduce inappropriate urban character to a rural residential area.
Myola has iconic and threatened species such as the Southern Cassowary and the Myola frog and is world renowned for its butterflies to name just a few of its natural values.
More generally, it is important to determine the ecological carrying capacity of the Tablelands and Kuranda, and scale any future development accordingly.
All land planned for new residential development should be tested for toxicity such as heavy metals.
It is also important that mapping of toxic sites is up to date, comprehensive and easily available to the public.
Ecofriendly Farming Practices
Good farmland needs to be preserved and measures taken to encourage farmers to develop sustainable farming practices. There is a growing consensus in agricultural research that sustainable agricultural that doesn’t rely on heavy spraying of pesticides and insecticides is the future.
Council have already facilitated excellent workshops on regenerative agriculture and we hope that this great initiative will continue.
The development of genuinely sustainable transportation should be a key goal for the TRC. While the road system should be maintained, it is unlikely that this can continue to be the backbone of a transport system if long-term sustainability is to be achieved and this we feel is not acknowledged in the plan.
Council should strive for the development of a state-of-the art rail system which services the major nodes of the TRC and the adjacent lowlands (mainly Cairns) – and connects with the rest of Australia via linkages to the south.
Existing railway easements must therefore be protected and we welcome this being mentioned in the strategic farmework. Council should play a lead role in promoting the redevelopment of FNQ’s rail network.
This will help bolster the resilience of the region’s economy in the face of rising energy costs (peak oil etc.) and the gathering pace of global requirements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Establishing a system of safe cycleways is important but should not necessitate taking up existing, presently disused rail track such as has been suggested between Mareeba and Atherton.
The Barron River basin dominates the most populated eastern side of the Tablelands region. It’s a developed river, integrated with the Tinaroo Dam system (crucial for agriculture as currently practised) and with hydroelectric power production in the vicinity of the Barron Falls.
Along with the introduction of exotic flora and fauna – riverine and riparian – this has caused major changes to the Barron and full restoration to its natural state is not a feasible option in the foreseeable future.
However, it is utterly unacceptable that the Barron continues to drain toxic pollutants into the Coral Sea – and even more unacceptable that the extent of this pollution and its impacts is not closely monitored.
Council must play a lead role in ensuring research and ongoing monitoring occurs as soon as possible, with assistance as appropriate from other levels of government. The extent of toxic pollution flowing through the Barron must be understood and steps taken to reduce this load, over time, to zero.
Of particular note are pesticides, which are entirely the result of human activity. The complexity of pesticide usage in the Barron basement is such that monitoring is a very complex task, but that doesn’t mean monitoring should not be attempted (which appears to be the current situation) and the results made easily and freely available to the public which is not now the case despite requests by FoE Kuranda. A mitigation program is needed including the following:
•conversion to certified organic (the most profound long-term solution)
•reduction in pesticide usage levels by improved integrated pest management
•replacement of most toxic and persistent pesticides with less damaging alternatives
•thorough and regular testing of town supplies of drinking water where it is derived from the Barron (e.g. Kuranda)
•studying clusters (if any) within the TRC area of human cancers and other environmentally-influenced health conditions, with a view to identifying and (if necessary) eliminating the human health impacts of current pesticide usage.
A comprehensive program for waste minimisation, re-use and recycling is needed.
Working closely with other levels of government, the TRC should help drive a transition to a waste-free economy, in which producers are responsible for their product waste and extended warranties for goods discourage in-built obsolescence.
Historical and existing solid waste dumps should be monitored closely for leakage and remedial measures taken as necessary to avoid toxic pollution of adjacent groundwater and water courses.
Well-publicised collection facilities for highly toxic common items such as small batteries, electronic waste, energy efficient light bulbs and strip lights containing mercury and other heavy metals should be introduced as a matter of urgency.
In general, the goal should be to separate the most toxic components of the waste stream from more general waste. Land filling highly toxic waste should avoided in the future.
The Tablelands, as well as being a high quality, clean food bowl for north-eastern Australia can also develop as a prime eco-tourism destination.
By conserving and restoring our rivers and natural ecosystems, building a network of safe cycleways and bush tracks for people to explore the area, and creating an advanced, ecologically sustainable economy and way of life, this region can become a destination to rival any in the world, with residents enjoying an unrivalled quality of life.
By leading the way in modern sustainable development within a tropical environment, the Tablelands region – and FNQ in general – can also develop skills and a knowledge-base in techniques that will find markets elsewhere in similar environments around the world.
Specific suggestions ( in red), deletions ( in blue) and comments in green and as footnotes for the Strategic Framework wording:
2.3 Referral agency delegations
Schedule 7 of the Regulation identifies referral agencies for certain aspects of development. The
following referral agencies have delegated the following referral agency jurisdictions to Tablelands
Table 2.3.1—Delegated referral agency jurisdictions– none listed-
2.4 Standard planning scheme provisions
The Minister has identified that the Queensland Planning Provisions version <insert version number>
dated <insert version date> are appropriately reflected in the planning scheme.– no State Planning provisions listed.
3.2 Strategic intent
The Tablelands Regional Council seeks to sustainably manage appropriate growth and development whilst protecting the natural environment, landscape qualities, rural lifestyle and character and primary industry base of the region. It seeks to foster and create vibrant, compact and prosperous towns and villages which support local communities and the regional economy through providing for a diverse range of housing modes, economic opportunity and a high standard of infrastructure and amenity
3.3 Settlement pattern and built environment
3.3.1 Strategic outcomes
STO1 Regional settlement pattern
The settlement pattern of the Tablelands supports a widely dispersed population in a variety of
settings, including urban living in rural towns, small rural settlements, rural residential areas,
cropping lands, dairy and grazing lands, broad-hectare grazing properties and a variety of other
rural settings. Any future development must protect the highly valued range of rural and urban lifestyles and land uses and the viability of the rural economy which underpins them. Any Population growth should be increasingly focused on a network of compact, rural centres of varying scales, primarily located in the eastern extent of the region. Each activity centre will maintain its individual rural character ( delete while growing steadily) and support and service any sustainable and renewable natural resource based economies of its catchments.
STO2 Network of activity centres
The major regional activity centres of Atherton and Mareeba are the focus of the Tablelands activity centre network and any sustainable and low impact regional population growth. Atherton and Mareeba accommodate regional scale business, retail, entertainment, government administration, tertiary and secondary educational facilities as well as health and social services. The district activity centres of Kuranda,
Malanda and Ravenshoe provide higher level services to their surrounding localities and districts.
Chillagoe, Herberton, Kuranda, Yungaburra and Tinaroo support significant tourist activity and
visitor numbers in addition to servicing their local communities. The level of service provision and
any sustainable growth of district, village and rural activity centres is consistent with their role and function within the hierarchy of regional centres. Activity centres include a range of goods and services, and maintain a high level of centre amenity and streetscape design including shady native trees and shrubs, thus fostering vibrant, lively hubs of social interaction and trade and exchange.
STO3 Residential development
Any residential expansion proceeds in a sustainable, orderly and logical sequence, which supports an active and public transport network and maximises the efficient utilisation of new and existing infrastructure.
Residential development is focussed on the major and district regional activity centres. A diversity
of housing choices is developed within close proximity to services and activity centres. Infill
development is primarily focused in designated areas in Atherton and Mareeba, and secondarily in
the regional network of district and village activity centres. Housing for aged persons, both for
independent and assisted living, is provided to support the aging population of the region and is close to essential services, preferably accessible on foot with wheelchair accessible pathways . The
amenity of urban environments is enhanced by attractive and accessible parklands and public
space. Residential development protects the natural assets, scenic landscape qualities and the
rural character of the area. Strategically located residential and urban expansion areas within and
adjacent to developed urban areas are sustainably planned and structured, logically sequenced and efficiently serviced to meet any demand for new residential development.
STO4 Rural residential areas
Rural residential development of varying density is contained within identified rural residential
areas, to prevent further fragmentation and alienation of agricultural land and ecologically
significant areas within the regional landscape. Rural residential areas predominately maintain the
current density of development. Infill subdivision of rural residential areas only occurs in identified
areas where desired character and density with adequate services and infrastructure available or
can be adequately and cost-effectively provided and is of a size to prevent clearing of large areas of natural habitat and provides for sufficiently large wildlife corridors..
STO5 Industrial areas
Environmentally friendly industrial development in the region is focussed on the Mareeba major Industrial area. Mareeba provides a large stock of industrial land which will accommodate the region’s difficult to locate and major industrial developments into the future, with Tolga and Ravenshoe major industrial areas
providing a secondary location for high impact industries. Smaller industry areas are strategically
located across the region to service local needs. The operation, function and ongoing use of
industry areas are protected from encroachment of incompatible and sensitive development and are monitored to ensure no effluent is discharged into waterways.
STO6 Rural areas
The primary industries upon which the regional economy is largely based are not compromised or
fragmented by incompatible development. The valued, relaxed rural lifestyle, character and scenic
qualities of the Tablelands regional landscape are preserved and enhanced. The rural landscape is
largely maintained in its current configuration, while accommodating development based on natural resources including rural industry and tourism. Rural areas protect the region’s good quality agricultural and cropping lands and ensure food security. Broad hectare rural areas which cover approximately 82% of the Tablelands local government area remain large grazing properties. The primary industries are ecologically sustainable and encouraged to transition to certified organic with 1. financial incentives for farmers such as lowered rates for farms both in organic transition and for fully certified organic farms and 2. council supporting educational workshops and fact sheets on sustainable farming methods that conserve energy and water resources in conjunction with relevant State departments.
Support STO8 Natural hazards
STO7 Sustainable development and STO8 Natural hazards
3.3.2 Element—Activity centres network
The Tablelands activity centre network characterised by a range of vibrant and attractive rural towns and
villages and is focussed on the major regional activity centres of Atherton and Mareeba.
184.108.40.206 Specific outcomes
SO3 Other than small scale industrial areas, commercial activities will not occur outside centre areas unless there is an overriding need in the public interest and there is no environmental damage incurred, there are no alternative sites in centre areas, there is no adverse impact on centre areas or the area surrounding the development and the site is readily accessible by a range of transport modes.
220.127.116.11 Specific outcomes SO1
SO2 Atherton is characterised by a compact urban form, as urban growth is constrained by the
surrounding rich, red volcanic soil and the forested hill slopes of the Herberton Range. Any sustainable short to medium term growth is focused on infill sites within existing residential areas and green-field developments in the southern, northern and western residential and urban expansion areas.Longer term growth will expand into the eastern urban expansion area. A distinct inter-urban break is maintained between Atherton from Mazlin Creek north to the Tolga Industrial Estate (Industry zoned land).
SO3 Mareeba is characterised by a relative lack of development constraints, and is supported by an
expanding major industrial area which needs to be sustainably managed to prevent pollution of waterwaysand a regional aviation facility. It has significant residential, industrial and commercial growth potential but this growth needs to be monitored and ensured to be environmentally sustainable and non polluting. Growth is focused on infill sites within existing
residential areas and green-field developments in residential and urban expansion areas to the
east and south of the town. An investigation area to the north will be considered for potential urban growth outside the life of the planning scheme.
SO7 Region-scale services and employment are provided in major regional activity centres; including:
• TAFE colleges and high schools; and
• major supermarkets and large format retailers; and
• environmentally friendlyfactory outlets using renewable energy and producing minimum waste and warehouses; and
• government administration; and
• hospitals and social services; and
• major recreation and fitness facilities including safe pedestrian and bike trails.
3.3.4 Element—District activity centres
District regional activity centres provide a large concentration of services, business and employment to
service their communities and surrounds and accommodate increasing populations.
18.104.22.168 Specific outcomes
SO1 Kuranda, Malanda and Ravenshoe provide a strong service provision role to large rural and rural residential communities within their immediate districts. The three district regional activity centresall provide high schools, some government services and appropriately sized retailers especially smaller, local businesses.
SO2 Kuranda continues as a premier tourist destination of Far North Queensland. It’s positioning and access to the Cairns tourism base will continue to support a significant local tourist economy, as well as making it a lifestyle destination for new residents. Kuranda’s centre area retains and enhances, by revegetation with appropriate native plants, its attractive village character and rainforested entrance and surrounds which make it an attractive place to live and visit. Kuranda Infrastructure Program Strategic and Conceptual Plan guides the development of public infrastructure to encourage tourism in the town. Any Growth is sustainable and environmentally friendly and is focused within the town of Kuranda ( delete- and the Welcome Pocket aged living and care site on Myola Rd4 Furtherresidential development in Myola is not supported within the life of the planning scheme.5
SO3 (Delete Ravenshoe has a large stock of residential urban expansion areas, nearby rural residential areas, and provides significant stock of industry areas which are capable of accommodating large
industrial facilities. Opportunities for further growth based on sustainable energy production,
supporting the mining industry and primary industry.) Any industrial development in the Ravenshoe area, needs to be appropriately monitored to prevent future pollution problems, run with renewable energy and producing minimum waste.
SO4 Malanda continues to support a traditional primary industry base and encourages sustainable( delete as well as expanding towards) innovation in agriculture and growth in home based and technology driven small business pportunities. It also positions itself to cater for further nature and food based interpretive tourism and cultural events. A large stock of residential urban expansion areas cater for future urban growth and surrounding rural residential areas are further consolidated. Centre activity expansion enhances the existing character of the town and is focussed in Eacham Place and Catherine Street with ongoing streetscape improvement strategies. An open space precinct along the Johnstone River is developed into a key strategic asset for the town and the green gateway to this area is retained. Sustainable expansion of the Malanda industrial estate provides opportunity for further rural industry and local service industries.
SO2 Tolga continues to benefit from its proximity to Atherton, it retains a separate village character and a distinct inter-urban break is maintained between the two, defined by the Tolga scrub and rural vista before arriving in Atherton. The Tolga Industrial Estate is concealed from view from the
Kennedy Highway by containment behind the existing Tolga scrub area, which will be extended
south to continue this screen as the Tolga Industrial area grows. Any expansion of The Tolga Industrial Estate must not damage the natural values of the Tolga scrub6 and a Residential
urban expansion areas in Tolga are not developed until reticulated sewerage infrastructure is
SO2 DeleteThe Welcome Pocket site in Myola provides for a major retirement and aged care facility and is developed exclusively for this purpose.7
3.3.12 Element—Industrial areas
The region’s industrial areas provide for industrial uses of varying scale and intensity.
22.214.171.124 Specific outcomes
SO1Delete The Mareeba major industrial area will develop as a major regional industrial hub, servicing the Tablelands region and beyond. The role of Mareeba as an industrial and service node is strengthened by the allocation of suitable and adequately serviced land for all types of industry,
from low impact to high impact and special industries. It provides an alternative and secure location to limited supplies of industrial land in Cairns, and potentially expands as a base for mineral processing.8
3.3.13 Element—Rural residential areas
SO2 Infill development within rural residential areas occurs only where appropriate levels of
infrastructure are available and provided, exposure to natural hazards can be managed, the
existing rural living character can be maintained, the environmental impact is minimal
and an activity centre is proximate.
SO4 Rural residential areas across the Tablelands are characterised by a range of lot sizes, consistent with the form of historical subdivision in the vicinity. Rural residential areas which are not serviced by reticulated water retain lot sizes of 1ha or greater and it is ensured that an adequate portable water source is available that will not threaten existing bores and waterways.
3.4 Natural resources and environment
3.4.1 Strategic outcomes
STO1 Habitat and biodiversity
The Tablelands’ outstanding natural environment, ecological processes and biodiversity values are
conserved, enhanced and restored. The region’s World Heritage listed wet tropical rainforests are
recognised for their internationally significant ecological qualities and biological diversity. Areas
within the Einasleigh Uplands bioregion to the west of the shire are recognised for their high level
of endemism and significant biodiversity values. Endangered and of-concern ecosystems and
threatened species habitat including upland refugia ecosystems, ecotone forests, Myola valley, Mabi Forest, wet sclerophyll, and the habitat of endemic species are protected across all land tenures.No netloss of native vegetation is achieved in the Tablelands through halting clearing of forested areas and high biodiversity areas, clearing of biodiversity areas and
strategically located rehabilitation areas and the replanting of native vegetation9. The values of
conservation areas and biodiversity areas are recognised and protected by development.
Support STO2 Habitat connectivity,
STO3 Watercourses and wetlands
The physical condition, ecological health, environmental values and water quality of surface water
and groundwater systems are protected, monitored and improved. The impacts of the Tablelands’ water quality, wetland and riparian health on the Great Barrier Reef and the Gulf of Carpentaria are recognised through integrating sustainable catchment management practices into land use
planning. Stormwater, wastewater and potential contamination sources will be managed to protect
environmental values and water quality within the catchment. Riparian areas of water courses and
areas surrounding ecologically significant wetlands will be rehabilitated as part of new, sustainable
STO4 Water resources
The region secures a safe and reliable water supply, which adequately provides for the needs of
the community, industry and agriculture. Important strategic sources of water, including the Barron
Basin, Lake Tinaroo and the Atherton Basalt Aquifer, are recognised for their role in supporting the
region’s community, primary industries and economic base, are regularly and extensively tested and are not compromised by land uses and development. Contingent water supplies are protected from development which may prejudice their future use. Water is used sustainably and efficiently to ensure supply is available for physical, social and economic well being and for the natural environment. The extraction of groundwater from underground aquifers, must not directly or indirectly cause environmental harm.
SO2 The ecological values and processes of conservation areas, including World Heritage areas,
National Parks, Conservation Parks, Resource Reserves, Nature Refuges and Forest Reserves
under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 and, State Forests and Timber Reserves under the
Forestry Act 1959 will be protected from development which is incompatible with these values including logging of native forests.
3.4.3 Element—Pest and weed management
The impacts of pests and weeds on the natural environment is minimised and managed without contamination of the natural environment with pesticides
SO3 Native plants are used for landscaping and street trees which are appropriate for the purpose, and do not introduce invasive, exotic plants into the region.
SO4 Operational works, including roadworks, ensure appropriate management practices are adopted to minimise the spread of weed species.
126.96.36.199 Specific outcomes
SO1 Development avoids adverse impacts on the ecological values of biodiversity areas of high
ecological significance (delete-and where avoidance is not possible the adverse impacts are minimised and a net gain in biodiversity values is achieved.)
SO2 Development avoids adverse impacts on the ecological values of biodiversity areas of general
ecological significance (delete-and where avoidance is not possible the adverse impacts are minimised and a net gain in biodiversity values is achieved.)
3.4.6 Element—Watercourses and wetlands
The physical condition, ecological health, environmental significance and water quality of watercourses and wetlands are protected, monitored and improved.
188.8.131.52 Specific outcomes
SO1 Hydrological flows, riparian ecology and ecosystem services of watercourses and wetlands are
maintained, monitored and enhanced.
3.4.7 Element—Water resources
The region’s water resources are managed in accordance with total water cycle management principles.
184.108.40.206 Specific outcomes
SO2 Water resources including Lake Tinaroo, the Barron basin and the Atherton basalt aquifer are
recognised, monitored and protected for their important role in underpinning the region’s agricultural production.
SO3 New development enhances public access and appreciation of features which are highly valued and utilised for outdoor recreational pursuits, while containing recreational activities that are noisy or potentially dangerous to the public and wildlife such as jet skis and speed boats, including:
• the foreshores of Lake Tinaroo;
• parts of the Barron, Johnstone, Wild and Walsh Rivers;
• stock routes, particularly those of regional recreation and tourism significance such as the
stock routes near Julatten and Mt Molloy
• decommissioned rail corridors, including rail trails of regional recreation and tourism
• National and Conservation Parks;
• the existing network of parks and reserves on the Tablelands.
(Delete 10SO6 Rail trails are developed in disused rail corridors between the centres of Atherton, Herberton,
Mareeba, Tolga and Yungaburra and activated by complementary development.)
SO2 Access to existing health facilities and regional hospitals is enhanced by consolidation and
improvements within their immediate vicinity, such as:
• enhanced pedestrian orientation and infrastructure; and
Tablelands Regional Council Planning Scheme – as at 19 September 2012 SF18
• compact housing to support ageing and impaired residents who may require regular medical
• the integration of universal design principles into the built environment, ensuring access to
both the able bodied and (delete-physically disabled) those with physical disabilities.
SO3 Areas within walking distance of key regional hospitals and health care services provide infill
development opportunity for people who depend on access to these facilities.
3.5.8 Element—Scenic amenity
The Tablelands’ high levels of scenic amenity are appreciated and protected.
220.127.116.11 Specific outcomes
SO4 The following scenic routes are protected from visually obtrusive and unattractive development.
The scenic routes include:
Kuranda range road
• Lakes Circuit; and
• Waterfalls Circuit; and
• Old Palmerston Highway (Misty Mountains route); and
• Tully Falls Road; and
• Great Tropical Drive; and
• Savannah Way; and
• Barron Falls Road; and
• Danbulla Forest Drive; and
• The Great Inland Way; and
• Atherton-Herberton Road.
SO6 Roadside advertising devices in rural areas are unobtrusive and sparse, (delete-except in areas specifically identified as appropriate for large outdoor advertising.)
3.6 Transport and infrastructure
3.6.1 Strategic outcomes
STO1 Road and Rail network
Local and State controlled road and rail networks support the identified hierarchy of activity centres and rural economy of the Tablelands. The location, density and scale of development supports the efficient and convenient movement of goods and people. Railways and roads are progressively upgraded (including construction of future state roads and railways and local connections) and maintained to a high standard to support higher urban densities, rural production, commerce, industry and major trip generators. Freight is progressively moved on to rail wherever possible.
Development provides off-street parking, loading areas and manoeuvrability and new streets integrate with the existing road and rail network in a way which results in high levels of connectivity, accessibility and legibility to motorists, cyclists and residents.
STO3 Freight routes
Designated freight routes (including B-double routes) are appropriately managed, upgraded and
unimpeded by inappropriate land uses to ensure the efficient transportation of essential goods and
services. Rail corridors are recognised as important strategic infrastructure resulting from
significant past investment. Active and inactive rail corridors are protected from development which could compromise existing and future rail operations. Planned and designated future state roads and railwaysin Atherton, Malanda, Mareeba and Yungaburra are protected from development which will prejudice or impede their future construction.
STO6 Waste facilities
The region is provided with sustainable and adequate waste disposal facilities which have minimal
adverse impact on the environment. Recycling is encouraged wherever possible and commercial developments encouraged to adopt a no waste policy. Transfer stations and waste disposal facilities are separated and not compromised by incompatible development and odour sensitive land uses. Urban development provides appropriately located and adequate space for waste storage and collection and for recycling.
3.6.2 Element—Road and Railway network
The Tablelands is provided with a high quality road and railway network which supports the social and economic needs of the region.
18.104.22.168 Specific outcomes
SO1 The region’s road and railway network is upgraded and extended to provide for the safe, efficient movement of vehicles and to cater for new development.
SO2 The design and layout of new roads and railways compliments the function and hierarchy of the existing road and railway network.
The regional economy is supported by an efficient regional freight network.
22.214.171.124 Specific outcomes
SO3 Mareeba landfill ( delete-provides a significant solid waste disposal facility for the far north Region during the life of the planning scheme and beyond. Its ongoing operations are protected from incompatible development.) is capped as being too close to residential areas and being a source of offensive odours.
3.7.1 Strategic outcomes
126.96.36.199 Specific outcomes
SO3 Intensive animal industries incorporate measures to protect environmental values and are run humanely.
SO4 Intensive animal industries will be located outside biodiversity areas, in rural areas characterised by rural large lot sizes where residences and sensitive land uses are not adversely impacted.
3.7.4 Element—Rural enterprise
Intensive, sustainable , environmentally friendly agriculture and enterprises which add value to and process the regions primary produce are encouraged throughout the Tablelands region.
188.8.131.52 Specific outcomes
SO1 Rural industries and intensive agricultural uses are appropriately scaled and located in the regional
landscape, including the establishment of further:
• food and fibre processing facilities; and
• value adding of primary product; and
• cottage industries; and
• hydroponics; and
• aquaculture where there is no risk of mosquito borne diseases impacting on local residents; and
• wholesale nurseries; and
• intensive horticulture.
3.7.5 Element—Forestry and permanent plantations
Forestry and permanent plantations are expanded and established in the region in a manner which
enhances the rural economy and follow best practice for sustainable forestry.
184.108.40.206 Specific outcomes
(Delete-The region capitalises on opportunities for economic development from the extraction of the region’s rich and diverse mineral resources) All mining operations must be environmentally friendly and responsible for containing on-site contamination.The natural ecology of the area must be protected
220.127.116.11 Specific outcomes
(Delete-SO1 The development and expansion of mining in the region is supported by ensuring support industries and workers can be appropriately accommodated and sited within the region.
SO2 The expansion and diversification of active mine sites in the region are anticipated and supported by the development of services and accommodation in the surrounding activity centres.)
1Ref: Friends of the Earth International Press Release 28 Oct 2010 regarding Convention on Biological Diversity’s summit in Nagoya, Japan
2Suzuki’s Green Guide David Suzuki & David R. Boyd Allen & Unwin 2009 p. 172
3Suzuki’s Green Guide David Suzuki & David R. Boyd Allen & Unwin 2009 p. 172
4Welcome pocket, while a valuable resource is inappropriately situated for such a sizeable development. Any retirement facility should be appropriately sized and within confines of Kuranda village, for the benefit of both Welcome Pocket residents and to prevent inappropriate development in Myola under guise of aged care facility.
5We Support this.
6And follow sustainable principles as outlined in our introduction
7Welcome pocket, while a valuable resource is inappropriately situated for such a sizeable development. Any retirement facility should be appropriately sized and within confines of Kuranda village, for the benefit of both Welcome Pocket residents and to prevent inappropriate development in Myola under guise of aged care facility.
8We have concerns about pollution and adequate monitoring of industrial developments in Mareeba
9Recognising the limitations of this and time needed to replace, if possible, mature ecosystems
10If rail tracks are used, important to ensure they can be easily turned back into railways when the need arises.