6 July, 2024

Taking industrial action

IT is expected to be standing room only at meeting at Redlynch next week when Cairns Regional Council representatives will attempt to answer questions about a proposed industrial precinct which has residents up in arms.

By Nick Dalton

Residents outside the proposed industrial precinct proposed on Redlynch Intake Rd, Redlynch. Picture: Supplied
Residents outside the proposed industrial precinct proposed on Redlynch Intake Rd, Redlynch. Picture: Supplied

The community requested the meeting on Monday before submissions about the proposal close on July 12. The application is due to be decided at the council’s ordinary meeting on August 28.

Residents fear the proposal will change Redlynch Valley forever with concerns including environmental impacts, threats to cassowaries and at least three endangered frog species, hundreds of extra truck movement each day, damage to watercourses, roads and the semi-rural lifestyle, as well as possible increases in flooding during the wet season and in severe weather events.

Bengali Land Pty Ltd wants to transform the Redlynch Intake Rd property, currently home to the Crystal Cascades Horse Park and zoned rural, into a “low impact” commercial precinct, to include mini-storage facilities, contractors/builders yards, vehicle, caravan and boat storage, or bulk landscaping supplies and other light industry uses.

The preliminary application is for a material change of use to divide the property into four lots for the precinct to be built on 8ha of land beside the existing quarry and Currunda Creek.

Owner Pat Flanagan has declined to comment but has confirmed he will be attending the meeting as an observer. He has referred Cairns Local News to the Currunda Creek Trades and Services website (See side bar).

Objections to the proposal are  growing and the room at the Red Beret Hotel where the meeting is to be held on Monday from 5.30pm is expected to be packed to overflowing.

Divisional councillor Kristy Vallely said she would be at the meeting with senior council officers to answer as many question as they were permitted to and to guide people on how to make submissions. 

There are currently 19 submissions totalling more than 200 pages, including from high profile residents Dr Ken Chapman of Skyrail and pharmacist Nick Loukas. The developer’s application covers 720 pages.

Resident Margo Dean said she was being “selfish” about her reasons for objecting to the application, wanting to preserve the valley’s beauty for her grandson’s grandchildren.

She said the valley was not the place for a light industry precinct and there were other far more suitable locations in Cairns.

Ms Dean said the precinct would “change the whole area”, and flooding in Currunda Creek would be exacerbated.

She said she feared chemicals used in the industrial park would also leak into the waterway and continue into Freshwater Creek and down to Goomboora Park.

Ms Dean said it would endanger cassowaries, platypus as well as three frog species: waterfall frog, mist frog and Australian lace-lid frog. She said she hoped the meeting would clarify the “unknowns” and provide direct answers to questions.

Another resident Ken Dalton said he did not believe the developer had addressed the impacts on cassowaries, flooding or landslides.

He said he feared the development would increase run-off and flooding in Currunda Creek. The valley had already witnessed two major flooding events after Cyclone  Jasper in December last year and in 2018.

Mr Dalton said a 1999 council report identified Redlynch Valley as one of highest risks in Cairns for landslides.

He said the application also allowed for further subdivisions on the property, putting more pressure on the road network and the environment.

“The increased traffic would be 236 trucks a day, passing three schools in the area,” he said.

Planning consultant Kristy Gilvear on behalf of the applicants has written to the council saying: “To assist in this assessment, the applicant confirms it will work to have a formal and robust response to matters raised in submissions lodged with council as a priority following the conclusion of public notification.”

Answers to some concerns

THE developer’s website has some answers to frequently answered questions.

Why not a residential project?

The project site is beside Boral’s Redlynch Quarry and is included in the “quarry exclusion zone” in council’s planning scheme.   The exclusion zone does not allow sensitive development such as dwellings and accommodations facilities. Subdivision of the project site for house lots or rural lifestyle blocks would result in unacceptable noise, dust and vibration experienced by near neighbours.

What can be developed on site?

The project proposes low impact industry uses and may include mini-storage facilities, contractors/builders yards, vehicle, caravan and boat storage, or bulk landscaping supplies and other light industry uses.

What about noise and odours?

Storage and warehouse facilities will not create noise or odours likely to be experienced external to the site.

What about traffic impacts?

It is expected that traffic coming from the north, including areas such as Redlynch, Brinsmead, Cairns, and the northern beaches, will not have a significant impact on peak hour movements. 

Will there be traffic lights?

No. The existing entry to the equestrian facilities was upgraded in 2021 to provide a turning lane for traffic turning right into the site. 

What about flooding?

Extensive flood modelling has been carried out to determine the extent of earthworks without resulting in increased flood levels and velocities. There will be some filling of 2ha on the north side of Currunda Creek to ensure acceptable flood immunity with extra drainage.



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