Council may hinder heritage values
THERE is a risk that some Gympie Regional Council activities in or near the proposed Cooloola Extension to the Fraser Island World Heritage Area could threaten world heritage values and hinder existing or planned land uses in and around the area.
Council’s director of engineering services Bob Fredman has reviewed the Cooloola Assessment of Potential report by the Fraser Island World Heritage Area Scientific Advisory Committee.
He concluded the upgrading of Cooloola Way, road construction from Boreen Point to Tin Can Bay Road, bore extraction at Rainbow Beach and water extraction and water supply power at Teewah Creek were issues of concern.
The Department of Environment and Resource Management has advised council the only reason land uses would be impeded was if world heritage values were threatened.
Mr Fredman identified threats including water supply and sewerage treatment plants at Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay and Cooloola Cove, and the ability to maintain and upgrade Cooloola Way, Carlo Road and Queen Elizabeth Drive.
Other threats, including future public use of marine facilities, landfill sites, golf courses and controlled burns, were all revealed in Mr Fredman’s response to the proposed World Heritage Listing of Cooloola at this week’s Works and Services Committee meeting.
The response will be submitted to the State Government on behalf of council along with a request for more time to compile a complete submission.
Council was originally given a May 19 deadline, but Mr Fredman said that was not enough time.
He also reported a need for the proposal to benefit council before support could be given, which he said could not be gauged until several potential liabilities were resolved.
Ending the response, Mr Fredman wrote council could not support the proposal and recommended the State Government involve “council in a partnering environment with a view to providing long term resource and land use security”.
At this week’s council meeting, councillors didn’t comment much on the issue, except to say that Mr Fredman had done well with the response.