Developer investigated over mangrove clearing
A PROMINENT local developer is being investigated by the Department of Environment and Resource Management in respect of an allegation his contractor destroyed protected species on a property at Yule Point.
Two State Government agencies launched investigations last week after receiving complaints from a neighbour that John Lordan’s contractor had allegedly destroyed protected species, ploughed tracks through to the beach and trespassed on the neighbour’s property at Yule Point.
Cairns Regional Council is also investigating.
The state investigation is being led by DERM, with assistance from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.
“DERM is currently investigating the alleged unauthorised clearing of vegetation at Yule Point,” DERM’s North Queensland regional services director Andrew Buckley said.
“The department considers illegal clearing of native vegetation to be a serious matter.”
Mr Lordan’s neighbour Linda Lane is furious at what she calls “wholesale destruction” of native vegetation on Mr Lordan’s property and a neighbouring state reserve.
Ms Lane also alleges Mr Lordan’s new beach access track drives straight onto her block.
“Someone has driven a dozer straight across state land and crashed onto my land,” she said. “It’s just not on.” Cairns Regional Council mayor Val Schier said she had visited Ms Lane, and was concerned by what she had seen.
“I stopped in Yule Point on my way to Mossman last week,” she said.
“It appears that someone has trespassed on her land and bulldozed a road.
“It appears that someone has been trying to gain access to the beach, and has trespassed on private land and reserve land.
“I witnessed habitat destroyed, including orchids, ferns and trees.
“Council officers are preparing a report in respect of the allegation concerning habitat destruction.”
Division 10 councillor Julia Leu said it was critical mangroves are protected and state and council’s policy and regulations in relation to mangroves are enforced.
“We need to do everything we can do everything we can to protect them because they are breeding sites for prawns and other commercial marine species, and they provide protection from tsunamis and cyclones,” she said.
“Studies have found wetlands and infrastructure survive much better after cyclones when mangroves are protected.”
In March 2007, Mr Lordan was fined $1000 for clearing mangroves and hibiscus from one of the blocks he owns at Yule Point.
Mr Lordan, who owns substantial landholdings and several businesses in Port Douglas, denied the allegations.
“You need to get your facts straight,” he told the Gazette.
However, Mr Lordan would not discuss the recent work done on his property.
Under investigation: some of the alleged landclaring