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14 January, 2021

Paradise Palms opponents appeal for funds

The Paradise Palms Residents Association (PPRA) is asking the community to donate urgently to help fund its court battle to overturn approvals for the Paradise Palms redevelopment.

By Tanya Murphy

Paradise Palms residents Clive Abbott and Tony Richards at the back gate of their home, Keys Apartments, overlooking the former golf course

After a concerted effort of letter drops and advertising they have raised $40,000 but urgently need to reach their target of $100,000 before January 27 to cover expected court costs.

In September the owner of the defunct 15-hectare golf course, PPNQ Developments managing Director Darren Halpin, unveiled a $300 million plan to transform the site into a residential and tourism precinct called “The Palms,” which will include a water park, adventure park, caravan park, shops, restaurants, and bars.

An application was also recently lodged at Cairns Regional Council for a new Catholic Primary School to be built at the site and more than 30 per cent of the land will be retained open space with walking trails and parks.

At their November 11 meeting the Cairns Regional Council gave the development the green light by approving the rezoning of the land from sport and recreational use to residential.

Division Nine Councillor Brett Olds, whose constituency includes Paradise Palms, and Division Two Councillor Rob Pyne were the only councillors to vote against the rezoning.

On December 18, the PPRA lodged an appeal in the Planning and Environment Court to overturn the approvals, listing 35 grounds of appeal against the development.

“It’s a very expensive process, but we previously had more than 5000 people sing a petition against this development and another 850 or so who went to the trouble of writing their own individual objections and sending them into council, so if each of them were to donate even a small amount, we would have enough,” Save Paradise Palms president Clive Abbott said.

“Justice is easier to achieve if you have very deep pockets, so the deck is stacked against not-for-profit community organisations likes ourselves.

“However, we’ve received donations as large as $5000 from some supporters and we believe we will have more than enough funds to fight this all the way to the end and we’re quite confident we can win this.”

To donate or for more information, visit

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