Impacts of the Development
Aerial view of the False Cape site, with the "detached dwelling" area in the foreground.
The dark green trees at the centre of the picture are an "Of Concern" rainforest community.
The Murray Prior Range consists of Permian/Carboniferous Mareeba Granites. Around the False Cape area, outcrops of native rock can be seen above the proposed residential area in the image to the right (mouse over mag glass icon to view large version).
The development site is strewn with large boulders, varying in size up to the size of houses, but more commonly as large as cars. The presence of floating boulders on the “Detached Dwelling” portion of the development will propose substantial challenges to construction.
Slopes within the development area range from 10 degrees to 15 degrees at the hotel area, and 15 degrees to 35 degrees in the remaining areas (averaging approximately 25 degrees) (HLA-Enviro-Sciences 2004). In other words, slopes at the site range from 1:5.7 to 1:1.4, the latter being almost too steep to stand upon.
HLA-Envirosciences (2004) note that soils within the site (where granite scree and boulders are not present) comprise relatively deep gravelly sands, with a shallow organically enriched topsoil. The depth of soil varies significantly depending on the presence of buried rock and boulders, but would commonly extend to depths greater than 3 m in the lower sloping areas of the site.
It is likely that soils are moderately erodible and dispersive, however, the porosity of the soils and on-site observations indicate that stormwater flows generally percolate through the soil profile rather than concentrating as surface water flows. This in turn significantly reduces the potential for erosion and the resulting sedimentation.