There have been three major planning exercises since 2007 that have affected Kuranda and environs.
Far North Queensland regional Plan 2009 – 2031
The first was the FNQ 2031 regional plan funded by the Queensland Government to replace the existing FNQ 2010 plan. Where the 2010 plan was effectively advisory in nature, relying on councils to sign off on it, the 2025 plan required councils and other agencies to adhere to its outcomes. Various community groups were involved in the planning process of one year that was administered by the Department of Local Government. CAFNEC (Cairns and Far North Environment Centre) employed a part time worker to consult with the other regional environment groups. Kuranda Envirocare endorsed this approach and complied by having several meetings with the local community to gain feedback on the proposed plans. As well, they encouraged individuals to join their submissions to council so that a strong community voice was expressed.
Myola Structure Plan
The second was the Myola Plan, a major structure plan released for public consultation during 2007. Kuranda Envirocare was involved in an earlier Myola Study that looked at the potential for urban development, while preserving the environmental values of this partly forested area adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. As this development was inextricably linked to the upgrade of the Kuranda Range Road, and the need for further room for the urban expansion of Cairns, it was a highly contentious period of discussions amongst industry, all tiers of government and the community. With an eventual population increase of the order of 10,000 people, Kuranda Envirocare and Friends of the Earth Kuranda led the opposition that resulted in a final decision to exclude the Myola development until the review for the FNQ Regional Plan 2031.
Mareeba Shire Plan
The third planning issue was an upgrade of the Mareeba Shire Plan also during 2007. It was an unusual move by the council to instigate an upgrade at the time of the 2025 process. Just a few years previously, Kuranda Envirocare, after consulting with the local community, made a very detailed submission when a new planning scheme was prepared under the Integrated Planning Act. We have constantly sought to have the precious environment of Kuranda protected, and will continue to lobby hard to preserve environmental values in our area and in the shire generally.