Anti-environment & Anti-tourism Policy in the Daintree

The ratepayers’ association for the Daintree Cape Tribulation area has called upon the Queensland Government to adopt a new policy for the provision of electricity, which protects the environment to the greatest possible extent and overcomes the contradictions of hundreds of concurrently running engine generators.

In response, Mr. Phil Reeves MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of Queensland, has referred to advice from the Minister for Mines and Energy, the Hon. Geoff Wilson,

“The aim of the Government’s policy is to protect the rainforests in this World Heritage area and to safeguard the aesthetics of this unspoilt region.”

From Minister Wilson’s Office,

“We’re not about to bulldoze through ancient rainforest to put in power lines north of the Daintree River. We’re talking about world-famous, world heritage-listed rainforest and everyone would want it to stay that way.”

Such a response has born false witness, inflaming public opinion against the custodial community. Bulldozing World Heritage rainforests was never proposed; the mere suggestion is as mischievous as it is unethical.

Mr. Reeves MP, has admitted,

“The Government has not changed its position of discouraging development north of the Daintree River…”

This admission, in itself, is appalling, except for its candour. Members of the local community have long suspected that such a position was at play, but can now deal with the formal acknowledgment from the Office of the Premier.

Development in the Daintree is heavily regulated by the Queensland Government, under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 and to an even greater extent through the Iconic Places of Queensland Act 2008.

Development in the Daintree is already more rigorously constrained than probably anywhere else in Queensland. So the ‘development’ that the imposition of prohibitively expensive, polluting and aesthetically contemptuous electricity specifically ‘discourages’, can only be existing development; that being the only development that exists.

Despite the Queensland Government having previously promised freehold landowners within the World Heritage Area, that they would be helped to implement the Wet Tropics Plan to the maximum extent, the impacts of the Government’s discouragement of existing development is manifestly anti-environment and anti-tourism.

8 Responses to Anti-environment & Anti-tourism Policy in the Daintree

  1. REX July 27, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    some major events which could affect AGW’ers
    and this in the Telegraph
    looks like NASA GISSTEMP may not be around for long

  2. Marcus July 27, 2008 at 2:02 pm #


    We live with an overhead single wire earth return system.

    I can’t possibly see why a narrow underground trench, that would carry such a system, AC or HDC, would disturb the environment for longer than it takes for installation?

    Bulldozing? bullsh…

    Of course if there is no will, no action follows.

  3. Helen Mahar July 27, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    Neil, we also live with a single overhead wire earth return. A track is needed to check the lines for outages, but in the Daintree, the lines could be placed near existing tracks. (To save money we allowed the lines to cross private property.)I do not know how underground cabling would work for maintenance, but if it is secure (certainly fewer lightning strikes,) then it should have minimal impact. Tropical vegetation regenerates pretty fast. You lot are being fobbed off.

    Running any tourist business, you need reliable power. Generators, backup or 24/7, sre noisy and smelly. Been there. Reticulated power would preserve and enhance the natural advantages and thus the tourist appeal of your area.

  4. Marcus July 27, 2008 at 2:50 pm #

    We have a line running from Tas. to Vic. under the see, surely one would think it’s possible on land too?

  5. Marcus July 27, 2008 at 2:57 pm #

    of course that should read “sea”

  6. WJP July 27, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    Late last year we used and stayed within the existing road reserve for a mains electric connection instead of the dedicated power easement simply because:

    1. The road itself will better protect the wires from fire and falling branches and trees.
    2. Only a fraction of the tree clearing was needed than if the otherwise heavily treed power easement was used
    3. There was also no legal issues with the neighbours.

    Country Energy and the local council were quick to see the merit in the road reserve in this case.

  7. spangled drongo July 27, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

    For the last 25 years we have had single line power and Energex always want to clear rainforest because it makes them nervous.
    I usually convince them to leave it be because [touch wood] our trees have yet to be responsible for an outage.
    In those days Joh plumped for those lines and you see them out west running forever.
    Is it possible to do a cost analysis comparison with other areas?

  8. Neil Hewett July 27, 2008 at 6:43 pm #

    In a happenchance encounter with Queensland’s Senator Jan McLucas, the other night, I raised this issue and she said words to the following effect:

    I have been following this issue for the past eighteen years and as yet I have not heard any compelling argument that would guarantee protection of this special area, from damage if a future government were to open the floodgates to development.

    I would have liked to explore the Senator’s notion of future protection by upholding the presently inadequate power supply, but my window of opportunity was closed.

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