Residents vow to stop Taylor Point development
PROTESTERS against a new development proposal at Taylor Point are pushing for an urgent meeting with Cairns Regional Council to try to halt the residential project.
But eco-developer Robert Prettejohn said the group's concerns for the land, near Trinity Beach, were off-base and a "knee-jerk reaction''.
About 100 residents met at Kewarra Beach on Saturday to voice their concerns over Mr Prettejohn's new plans to divide the headland into 19 residential blocks.
He had previously proposed a 30-house development but dropped an ongoing court battle over it about a week ago after the council agreed to negotiate over the smaller development.
Cairns Coastal Heritage and Marine Protection Association president Kelli Harris said the group would continue to push for a council buy-back of the 18.8ha land to develop it with nature facilities such as walking tracks and an information centre.
"We'll be organising more of these events and we'll try to have meetings with councillors and the mayor,'' she said.
"We want them to see the community vision. We want them to hear the voices of the people.
"Imagine how much tourism it (nature reserve) would bring because Cairns has got nothing like that.''
But Mr Prettejohn said his proposal would not have a negative environmental impact, and even the original proposal was given an environmental green light by experts who gave evidence during court proceedings.
"I think there's a lot of people who have a knee-jerk response to anyone doing development,'' he said.
"What I am proposing is something very sensitive to the environment.
"At the end of the day the decisions have to be made on the use of this on rational grounds.''
Saturday's rally included speeches from Ms Harris, architect Mark Buttrose, long-time campaigner Eugenie Navarre, James Cook University geological expert John Knott and Environmental Defenders Office solicitor Patrick Pearlman.
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Community view: Cairns Coastal Heritage and Marine Protection Association president Kelli Harris addresses Saturday's rally. Picture: TOM LEE