Panelists Named for Iconic Extinction


Queensland’s former Douglas Shire is no more. Under amalgamation, the new Cairns Regional Shire extends where Douglas once existed, but not so far that its constituents remain entitled to elect representatives for the genuine care for development. Rather, for the first time in Queensland’s modern history, this entitlement has been usurped by Parliament, so that its Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, currently the Hon. Paul Lucas MP, can decide who to appoint for such a care.

Former member for Toowoomba (1966-1972), Mr. Peter Woods, has been appointed. So too, former head of the Planning Institute of Australlia, Mr. Leo Jensen. Mr. Ken Dobbs, of the Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce and Port Douglas-based architect Mr. Gary Hunt have also been endorsed. Cairns Regional Councillor for Division 10, Ms Julia Leu, completes the appointment.

So, that portion of the new Cairns Regional Shire, declared as ‘Iconic’ by Minister Lucas, can forget about developmental self-determination. And rather than defending the jurisdictions of their respective divisions from the possibility of being similarly stripped of democratic integrity, the other nine councillors remain deafening in their silent opposition of the relinquishment. Then again, so too are the other elected officers around Queensland that have current custodianship of representative authority.

10 Responses to Panelists Named for Iconic Extinction

  1. spangled drongo July 12, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    Did I imagine it or were there a bunch of posts that just disappeared from here?
    Watta ya doin, Neil?

  2. spangled drongo July 12, 2008 at 6:03 pm #

    Did the white ants eat ’em or are you building a fence?

  3. Neil Hewett July 12, 2008 at 7:26 pm #

    No, spangled drongo, no comments whatsoever; it’s a sad reminder that there is a price for living in paradise.

    I wonder, if such a thing were to happen to anyone else, would they remain as apathetic?

    Perhaps it is just too remote a concept to have any relevance. But if we were to imagine a landholder applying to develop a discrete, purpose-built eco-resort within a 10-acre orchard in the middle of their 160-acre privately-owned World Heritage property, it would be referred to the aforementioned panel, having fallen into the iconic places criteria. The five adjudicators have only one member with any discernible connection to the landscape whatsoever; having been elected from constituents between the Bloomfield River in the north and down to the northern beaches of Cairns in the south.

    What’s the bet that the forum becomes devout in its protection of nature’s masterpiece and the custodial community becomes the threat from which the treasure must be protected?

  4. spangled drongo July 12, 2008 at 9:20 pm #

    I can understand your concern. It may, hopefully, turn out better than you anticipate depending on the environmental understandings of the other four.
    One thing positive to realise; more people are improving their understanding of the environment [though for many its only talk].
    We have just ended up in the Scenic Rim RC which is the only council to have had its rates base reduced so we are going to be over developed and commercially exploited when we are seeking WH listing and Iconic Status.
    If we had ended up in Gold Coast we would have been better looked after.

  5. Neil Hewett July 12, 2008 at 10:11 pm #

    As you say, SD; but my community has had its rates based eroded by around $750K per year. This vulnerability for criticism has been offset by strata-titling in Port Douglas, so that the net benefit hovers in favour of the ratepayer by $5million-or-so p.a., ensuring general content.

    Nevertheless, the Qld Govt ordered the shire’s subscision, simultaneously concealing the eroded rates-base of the Daintree.

  6. Helen Mahar July 13, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Neil, “Heritage” anything is financial death for property owners. World Heritage is the worst, as international “values” trump whatever protection of property rights – and thus civil rights – was under national / State laws.

    I followed with interest the resistance of the Lake Eyre Basin people to World Heritage Listing. The untenable positon of the Shark Bay pastoralists was highlighted. They were in limbo over their future, with devalued properties, unsaleable businesses, and very stressed. (What happened to them? Are there any graziers left operating within the Shark Bay World Heritage area?)

    The Lake Eyre people looked at the Shark Bay precedent and saw their own future under World Heritage – none. No surprise they resisted the push for listing.

    Once listed, the easiest targets for politicians, amdministrators or conservationists, is the custodians, who have had their property and civil rights diminished. They cannot fight back.

  7. spangled drongo July 13, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    Not necessarily so. When you already aren’t permitted to subdivide under a regional plan and you have a good environmental resource that is giving you great quality of life and becoming rarer and more valuable as modern civilisation overwhelms, the last thing you need is a quarry starting up next door etc.
    “Heritage” can stop that.
    Grazing futures on big pastoral holdings [particularly leasehold] is, of course, many different things.

  8. Hasbeen July 13, 2008 at 9:57 pm #

    Neil, I did not comment as I have nothing to say, that you would like to hear.

    Its all your own falt.

    You see, you managed to get in there, before the watermelons, & their tame politicians managed to get the development shut down. You beat them.

    They will never forgive you for that. They hate you, even more than they hate a Tasmanian logger, or dam builder.

    You see, they believe that the only “people” living there should be hippies, on welfare, making the place stink. No one should be able to make a living there., or wash their clothes, or faces, thats not on.

    They intend to make you suffer as much as they possibly can, in every way they can think of. Nothing is too bad for you.

    So Neil, thats why I did not comment, not because I don’t believe you are getting the rough end of the pineapple, & always will. Not because I don’t support you in thought, & wish you well, but because I knew I’d end up in a rant.

    Your only chance is that sooner, or later, they will want your water for Brisbane, & then nothing will stop the bulldozers, until then, you’ve had it, mate.

  9. Arnost July 13, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    “So Neil, thats why I did not comment, not because I don’t believe you are getting the rough end of the pineapple, & always will. Not because I don’t support you in thought, & wish you well, but because I knew I’d end up in a rant.”


  10. Neil Hewett July 14, 2008 at 7:48 am #

    Nicely put Hasbeen, ditto Arnost,

    And the thing of it is, much of the disinformation portrays us as whingers and contemptuously condemns, ‘since you obviously loathe the conditions, LEAVE!’

    But we LOVE IT, despite all the vomitous political and bureaucratic shenanigans and we will never leave. Indeed, if ever there was a reason to stand and fight, it is for this particular battle, for it lies at the very crux of who were are as a people and how we relate to our national landscape. No doubt it would be an easier concept to grasp if the invading hordes were from another hostile nation, but from within, Australia’s domestic usurpation in the name of environmentalism, albeit not so far travelled, is following the same unconscionable pathway of Nazism.

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