The approval of an eight residential lot development within prime cassowary habitat has resuslted in the destruction of an important cassowary corridor at Mission Beach. It was approved on all levels of government, the outcome being totally contrary to the promises in the application referred to the federal government environment department. It highlights the lack of planning that allows this shocking, unacceptable practice to continue.
Award winning documentary team in town
Hello from the rainforest of Coquette Point,
The rainforest is waiting for rain. The large leaves on the rainforest trees are folded and bent down in a prayer for rain. The summer storms are near and the trees should not need to wait long. This is the longest dry period we have had for five years.
The pheasant coucals have left their ground nests and have again taken to the trees. Every evening the birds laboriously climb to the very top of the rainforest to roost. In the early hours of the morning you can hear them call from the tree-tops and the long note ‘ooopp’ wakes the forest sleepers.
The scramble to lodge development applications ahead of the deadline of the FNQ2031 Regional Plan in 2009 saw at one stage 35 proposals in the Mission Beach area referred to the Federal Environment agency to be assessed under the EPBC Act.
To date, except for the then minister Peter Garrett's 'clearly unacceptable' decision on Lot 66, all developments assessed have been approved with various conditions and offsets.
On Friday 15th July it was publically announced that the application to subdivide 1 lot into 15 lots on Lot 66 was withdrawn. The final outcome of the 24.4 hectare (60 acre) block of land in the heart of Mission Beach which has been the subject of a high profile campaign, is still uncertain.
The lot was bought at Auction in 2007 at the height of an economic upturn and a development application for a 40 lot sudivision was lodged ahead of the FNQ 2031 Regional Plan.
In the development of the new state Plan, the importance of the fully covered remnant vegetation block connecting the World Heritage area to a large coastal lowland reserve was recognised and removed from the urban footprint.
A scientist studying floristic at Mission Beach has noted that the large number of big trees blown down by cylcone Yasi has resulted in the destruction of the rainforest canopy.
The impact has been quite different from cyclone Larry. Before Yasi, the rejuvenating rainforest was beginning to provide some shade cover but was still very light and open in many places with lots of pioneer species creating an understorey. This time with many of the oldest and largest canopy trees gone, the saplings and younger trees are experiencing an enormous growth spurt and are providing enough shade to sufficiently inhibit the pioneer species and many of the weeds that proliferated post Larry. They are the species that will in time form part of the next canopy. We may have a jagged skyline with vine towers for a long time to come.
After a glorious Easter, when we had the first fine weather in months, on Tuesday the rain descended on the Wet Tropics, 285mm in three days. The Johnstone River once again turned into a brown drain. What a difference a day makes when yesterday the skies cleared and with no run-off the river is already clear.
Easter brought the fishers onto the river and in the water, up to their waste, catching bait. What do you need to do to make people understand there are crocodiles in the Johnstone. I expressed my concerns to NPWS and they came to look and right on cue Midget woke from a doze on the beach and slipped into the water , Charlene was not seen. The ranger put a sign on the beach. Just in time for this weekend as the beach here is a favourite bait area.