Rainforest 4 Foundation supporters were up in arms at the news that Douglas Shire Council was considering a bridge across the Daintree River. In response, we launched a petition and made a formal submission in opposition to the proposed bridge. Now the results are in.
The only way to cross the river now is via vehicular barge – a rite of passage for many tourists visiting the region to experience the world’s oldest living rainforest.
Today, Douglas Shire announced the results of its community consultation process on the issue and the people have spoken. There will be no bridge across the Daintree River.
66% of respondents did not support a bridge and this result was consistent across different groups of survey respondents, including those who live north of the Daintree River where 63% voiced opposition to a bridge.
8503 everyday people just like yourself, signed our petition calling on Douglas Shire to urgently put a stop to proposals for a bridge across the Daintree River and instead work to protect the region’s natural values.
I’m sure you join with me today in celebrating this great outcome.
But while we celebrate this small win, I need you to know that this is only one of many threats on the horizon for the Daintree Lowland Rainforest – a living museum with direct links to 120 million years of evolutionary history.
Proposals for an electricity grid north of the Daintree River are still being touted. This is concerning as it would support and encourage further residential and commercial development. And I have recently seen firsthand illegal clearing of the rainforest, clearing in excess of areas allowable for approved development, and illegal occupation of properties in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest without development consent.
We have identified 207 undeveloped freehold properties that need to be purchased to reverse the impacts of the 1980s rural residential development and prevent further development. We are currently working towards the purchase and protection of Lot 157 Cape Tribulation Road. Please make a donation now to help protect this property from development. Every $2.50 you donate will help save one square metre of the Daintree. If you donate $25 you will help save ten square meters of essential Cassowary habitat! A donation of $50 will help save 20 square meters and $100 will help save forty square meters of the World Heritage value Daintree Rainforest.
So while we may have succeeded in stopping a bridge across the Daintree River, there are many challenges that lay ahead.
Lot 157 Cape Tribulation Road in the Daintree Rainforest