What advice did the Minister receive to make that decision? Was the Minister fully informed of the facts"?
These and other questions will be asked in a Right to Information request by Mission beach Cassowaries.
Pedro O'Connor, Director of Australian Inbound - Private Epic Journeys agrees. “Mission Beach is one of the few places in Australia where you can enjoy a true nature experience. It attracts the same market as the Daintree. " said Pedro. ”Why would you bring in this noise factor when the iconic features of Mission Beach are the Dunk Island butterfly and the cassowary. It just doesn’t go hand in hand with current community and visitor expectations”.
Pedro said there was no evidence the helicopter development would bring any economic benefits to Mission Beach. “Of course we need balanced growth. That is what everyone is looking for ".said Pedro, "but who is to benefit from this development?” "It won't be employing a lot of people so it needs to be weighed up against who will not benefit" . The accommodation houses and other providers along the coast who are selling their region for its nature and that’s being interrupted”.
“What is the developer’s true agenda"? Pedro asked? “There is no high end tourism industry at Mission Beach. It has developed as a low key boutique nature based tourism industry.
"The council and the Minister has been made well aware of the community's concerns. There is no evidence to show there would be any benefits for the community said Liz "But they have chosen to ignore it".
"How can we have faith in the assessment process”? The public feel they have been sidelined, let down and treated with contempt. Liz said “Council decisions are dividing communities and forcing some into costly court battles”.
“What is the point of council writing plans claiming to put “Community First’ and to “… listen to the people and support their quality lifestyle and unique natural environment", when council decisions, policies and actions are often in direct conflict to the vision in those plans? asks Liz.
"The community has been thrown into a state of anxiety over this decision". said Liz "They are now unsure of their future. Their lifestyle and economy are threatened. “What we want is sound future-focused planning, and state and local governments which defend that planning; not to play the double game of writing good things into policy and legislation and doing bad things on the ground”.
The Mayor of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council told ABC Far North he couldn't comment as the matter is in the court. Cr Nolan said the submitters are exercising their right of appeal and confirmed the ratepayers will be paying for the council to defend the appeal.
"This is what the assessment process has come to" said Liz "The public input during the consultation process is ignored, the planning scheme is ignored, and the planning department recommendation is skewed in favour of the developer. The council will then use public funds to defend themselves against any appeal against the decision. A 'win win' for the developer and a 'lose lose' for the community and public expectation of a fair due process". said Liz.
“All of this angst could have avoided by the council sticking to their planning scheme and working in the public, not the developer’s interest said Liz. The helicopter facility belongs at one of the designated air services facilities in the Cassowary Coast".
The Community For Coastal and Cassowary Conservation (C4) has filed an appeal in the Planning and Environment court against the helicopter development approval.
Mission Beach Cassowaries is helping raise funds for the appeal. Please go to nohelicoptershere gofundme if you would like to help.
Mission Beach Cassowaries
Australian Inbound - Private Epic Journeys
0418 113 227
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This website is managed by Mission Beach Cassowaries inc to share information about the No Helicopters Here campaign against the approval of A HELICOPTER BASE on 2224 Tully Mission Beach Road.
Court appeal chronology
28th February 2022.
C4 entered into a compromise settlement with Mission Helicopters. The appeal did not proceed to a court hearing.
3rd December 2021
The appeal was reviewed. Judge Morzone ordered (above) the appellant (C4) to provide a list of matters they wish to be considered for inclusion in the proposed conditions attached to any approval of the development application.
3rd September 2021
Order (above) made by his Honour Judge Morzone QC.
Appeal review listed for 3 December 2021
6th August 2021
Court ordered MH to respond to C4 correspondence by August 15th. Appeal review listed for 3rd September.
3rd June 2021
Grounds on which Mission Helicopters, as co respondent , defended the appeal .
5th Mar 2021
C4 filed to appeal the Heliport approval decision