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10 December, 2020

Tell 'em they're dreamin

“A MAN’S home is his castle,” a wise man once said, and Peter and Shonnay Ives are not prepared to give up their castle for anything.

By Tanya Murphy

PHOTO: Tanya Murphy

The couple are among the longest-term residents of Trinity Beach, having built their home at 148 Trinity Beach Road 42 years ago when it was surrounded by paddocks.

They recently found out that the Cairns Regional Council is proposing to demolish their home in the next financial year to make way for a road link between Miami Road in Kewarra Beach and Trinity Beach Road.

Mrs Ives said they would not give up on their home.

“We’re not going anywhere,” she said.

“This road wasn’t on the planning scheme when we bought the block of land.

“We raised our two kids in this house, we’ve put so much work into it over the years, there’s nowhere else we want to live.

“It’s our home, you can’t put a price on it.”

A council spokesperson confirmed to Cairns Local News that the proposed road would necessitate acquisition of the Ives’ house, and said the link road would provide “safer passage for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians as they will no longer have to travel via the highway.”

The spokesperson said council had received Roads to Recovery Funding from the Federal Government to bring forward the road construction to the 2021-22 financial year.

“The link road has been proposed for over 20 years and the property owners at 148 Trinity Beach Rd have been aware of the potential acquisition of the property,” said the council spokesperson.

The road connection had only been on the planning scheme since 2005, and the Ives were told verbally by a council staff member that it “would never happen in their lifetime” or potentially would never happen at all.

“In 2009, we received a letter from the Department of Main Roads stating that, after their studies, there was ‘no longer a potential land requirement on this property,’ so we felt assured that we had nothing to worry about,” said Mrs Ives.

“We heard that a road link between the two suburbs was still on the cards but last year the council was considering other options such as putting the road link through Strombus Street, and from August to October this year they had a proposal out for community consultation about putting the road through Cayley and Baler Streets.

“So to suddenly find out now that they’re going back to the option of demolishing our house and it could happen as early as next year, is devastating.

Hundreds of residents have signed petitions and made submissions against the idea of any type of road link between the two suburbs, due to the impact of increased traffic on residential roads, which one submission from P&E Law said could be up to 6000 extra vehicles per day.

“The Strombus Street and Cayley Street options were stopped by community opposition, and those options didn’t even involve demolishing any houses, so they’re dreaming if they think they can carry out this latest proposal without a fight,” said Trinity Beach resident Chris Bosnjak.

“We don’t need a road link bringing extra traffic through residential areas, past a school, through a recreational reserve and threatening the agile wallabies that live there, when there’s a perfectly good highway just two minutes away.”

The house next to the Ives, at 146 Trinity Beach Road, will also be demolished for the proposed road, but this house is owned by the Department of Main Roads.

The council website lists benefits of the road link including reduced travel times between the suburbs, improved running times for Sunbus, reduced congestion on the highway, and improved access to the Trinity Beach Sporting Precinct and Trinity Anglican School as well as to the suburb of Kewarra Beach in general, which currently can only be reached via one road, Poolwood Road.

A concept plan is expected to be completed within the next three months and will then be released to the community for comment.

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