Pull In The Pollie

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tonyhSat, 18/05/2019 - 1:54pm

Last Wednesday, four members of the Fame Cove Action Group met with our local State member, Kate Washington, in the Terrace. They were Doug Kohlhoff, Len Yearsley, Peter Chappelow and yours truly.

You will remember that in 2017, the Land and Environment Court imposed on the owner of the property known as Fame Cove a deadline of December 2020 to complete a complex plan for remediation work for the disastrous damage done to the flora and fauna. But since the hearing, our concerns over the lack of progress by the owner, Mr Philip Lee, on the 400-hectare property have been growing.

One cost estimate for the basic essential work is about $5.8m. This excludes considerable extra expense of about $12m that we have been told is necessary to properly stabilise, by paving, two 6 km long dirt roads running the length of the property from north to south.

As things stand, only a fraction of the work has been done and the chance of the deadline completion date being met is receding further into the distance.  

At the meeting, we expressed to Kate our frustrations over the lack of public information over progress, the apparent continual delays for approval from the MCC for works proposed by the owner and the owner’s inability to maintain relationships with the people appointed by him to do the planning and implementation work. Any further fall-out of his senior advisory staff could present a very serious impediment to progress.

We also spoke to Kate about our concerns for future development of the land. We have been pushing for many years for one single consolidated plan for the whole site. Now it’s 2019 and we still don’t know what will happen next. All we have is a hotchpotch of DAs and approvals for various buildings, roads and a poorly sited 30m jetty. Some DAs are 14 or more years old.

There is still nothing to suggest that one minute’s thought has been given by the owner to developing an integrated, sustainable and environmentally sensitive plan.

Kate sympathised with our concerns and agreed to take them up with appropriate State planning and environmental ministers.

Tony Hann

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