Myola is a small township on the railway line and adjacent to the Barron River just upstream of Kuranda. See Map. The township was subdivided into small urban allotments when the railway was built in the early years of the twentieth century, and the surrounding land was cleared for farming, at various times supporting a small cattle grazing industry, coffee and pineapple plantations and various other crops. Little of this remains. Much of the cleared country is reverting to rainforest, especially when burning is prevented. Some rural residential subdivision has been permitted in the area, though no more is supposed to occur until proposed urban planning is complete.
The 2010 plan for Far North Queensland identified the Myola area as a potential 'urban node', to accommodate the future expansion of Cairns when existing infill land near the city was used up. There were concerns that the Myola site was inappropriate given its hilly terrain, proximity to World Heritage listed rainforest, necessity for a huge upgrade of the Kuranda Range Road to service the increased population (estimated at about 10,000 people), and the significance of the Envirolink corridor to the west and south of the site, with a smaller Fairyland link to the east. See Vegetation Map. The degraded banks of the Barron River and some of the smaller streams in the area required revegetation, not subdivision. As well, Myola is home to an extremely rare palm which grows only along one creek, in the area likely to become the shopping precinct for any development, and a recently discovered new frog species. Both could be threatened by closer settlement.
An initial plan was drawn up for the possible development of the site and included a good deal of community consultation and some progressive environmental input. However in recent years there has been another planning exercise under way with at this stage no involvment of the community. There are fears that whatever has been planned by Government departments and the local council will be difficult to change when community consultation is finally permitted, probably in mid 2007. Kuranda Envirocare will be deeply involved in this consultation when it occurs.