A SURGE in development applications for service stations has Cairns Post readers asking an important question – how many servos is too many servos?
Clifton Beach already has a Mobil and a BP, and now two developers have lodged applications in the space of a single day to convert former tourist attractions to service stations right next door to each other.
If approved, the sites of the former Cairns Tropical Zoo and the neighbouring Outback Opal Mine will be demolished to make way for pump stations.
The prospect of more service stations coming to the Captain Cook Highway has not sat well with readers.
Here are some of their opinions.
■ This is a terrible idea for the Palm Cove/Clifton Beach area. I got knocked back from council to begin a small home-based business because they said the area is considered a rural residential area and would bring too much traffic to the area. This giant servo will be an eyesore! Perhaps a better idea would to turn the old zoo into a nature walk track/botanical gardens with the beautiful rainforest background and bring more tourists back to the area. — Laura Burton
■ The whole eyesore on the side of the main highway between Clifton and Palm Cove needs to be rebuilt not with shops and servos but something for the people that travel here and live here. And yes the decrepit zoo look needs to go. Was a great place when it was running but unfortunately its time has passed and needs to be removed. — Kerry Briggs
■ Clifton already has two servos. Don’t need another. Certainly don’t need any more shops when ones already in the area aren’t even being filled. And people wonder why people object to these ridiculous developments. — Dan Hammersley
■ I live in this street and I can assure you we chose to buy here because of the zoo and our beautiful native wildlife and our property is a registered wildlife sanctuary. We paid a premium for our property for this lifestyle and had yearly passes to the zoo. Not everything you hear is necessarily correct. This is truly is devastating news to us as I have been liaising with council for years and was assured this was not going to happen. — Michelle Gilmore
■ How to destroy the Cairns environment and the tourism industry … build more fast food outlets and more fossil fuel petrol stations … when we will be moving to electric cars! — Lyn
■ The power of the complaint: the Tropical Zoo, despite being there for a long time, newcomers to the area took issue with the zoo and complained and complained and had it closed. So congratulations on closing an icon of Cairns newbies. You can now have a servo to keep you up at night. It’s almost poetic … — Rob
■ So a petrol station Palm Cove, two already at Clifton, one happening on Trinity Beach Rd, one at McGregor Rd and two at Smithfield … not counting all the ones in town heading north now. Looks like the council planning department is on another planet — Peter
■ What a travesty. Cairns is a tourist town, the Tropical Zoo was a fantastic authentic tourist attraction and excellent for families and children too. Honestly how to ruin the northern beaches. The drive from the airport north to Palm Cove and Port Douglas is iconic – it’s probably the best and most accessible tropical coastal drive in the country. No one wants to see a Macca’s, Hungry Jacks and servo and there is no need for them either. Are there no planning rules at all? — Paul
■ Yep, as so many others have said we need another petrol station like we need a hole in the head … Sad that this closed and has become a rubbish tip over the last five years … — Nicholas
■ This site, nestled in the rainforest, has the potential to be something tropical and distinctive. We have two service stations and several takeaways in Clifton already. How about some sensible town planning. Let’s NOT change the zoning to commercial and turn this narrow coastal strip of forest into a surfeit of unnecessary, unappealing businesses. Let’s be forward thinking. EV recharging instead of petroleum perhaps? — Felicity Croker
■ Another petrol station, thank goodness! Cairns has a shortage of reliable fossil fuel recharge depots! Heaven forbid the government might have considered purchasing the site for a much needed primary school in the Clifton/Cove area. 1000-plus students at Trinity Beach State school is unsustainable. Well, there’s always the old Palm Cove golf course, I wonder how many petrol stations we can stick on that? — Shane
■ Ha ha and those fuel prices north of the city all trade at least 10 per cent higher than Cairns City area on average. Not sure how they get customers, but it’s obvious why the business proposal. Question is how many more servos can we sustain? — 2 Bob’s Worth
■ Such a pity that the zoo was closed. These are the sort of attractions that Cairns needs not more service stations. The zoo attracted many locals and visitors. It was a fun place to visit. Now the only attraction in the Palm zone-Clifton Beach area is the Palm Cove jetty … wow! — Tom
Extracted from Cairns Post