Save the Daintree

  • Pressure is growing to develop the Daintree Lowland Rainforest with calls for a Gas Fired Power Station to supply reticulated electricity, a bridge across the Daintree River and widening and straightening the Cape Tribulation Road.
  • The exceptional biological and scientific values of the Daintree Coast mean the conservation, presentation and transmission of those values to future generations must take priority.
  • A thriving tourism economy is also founded on conservation and presentation.
  • The Daintree Lowland Rainforest in North Queensland is the oldest rainforest on the planet, with an unbroken evolutionary history going back over 120 million years to the first flowering plants. Lets not change that now.

Will you sign?

 

To the Douglas Shire Council, Queensland Government and Australian Government.

Dismiss current proposals for further development in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest and work together and with other stakeholders to develop a conservation management plan for the area.

 

Background

Over 30 years ago a group of activists put their bodies on the line to prevent a road being built through the Daintree Lowland Rainforest from Cape Tribulation to Cooktown. The Bloomfield Track was eventually built, however, resulting from the protests known as the Daintree Blockade the Wet Tropics rainforests of North Queensland were inscribed on the World Heritage list. Many people assumed Australia’s most biodiverse rainforest would be protected forever.

“Within the region, the Daintree River to Cape Tribulation coast has a special status. It is the last surviving, essentially intact, tropical lowland rainforest in Australia. It has one of the highest diversity of plant families anywhere in the world. Its rarity, fame and superlative beauty make it one of the foundations of the region’s economy. It is the only place in the world where two World Heritage Areas meet.” - IUCN

Unfortunately, plans have resurfaced for further development in an area most Australians thought was secure from development. Only now the threat is even more significant. With plans for widening and straightening the main road comes calls for a bridge over the Daintree River as well as a gas fired power station to provide reticulated electricity. The Australian Government is even considering subsidising development – and right at a time when it has no money for conservation.

This is one place where conservation should come before development, yet there is no shared vision for the Daintree’s future and there is no conservation management plan for the area.

The Australian Government once protected the area by supporting its listing as a World Heritage Area yet it is now considering its support for widening and straightening the main road from the Daintree River through to Cooktown. The project will require extensive earthworks and clearing of significant rainforest and will result in a massive increase in traffic as well as a bridge over the Daintree River. That same government is supporting planning to build a gas-fired power plant on the Daintree Coast to reticulate mains power through the area. There are also calls for a bridge or second ferry to increase vehicle access to the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.

In the Mid 1980’s a pro-development State Government inappropriately rezoned leasehold and freehold in the Daintree Lowlands Rainforest, enabling a developer to subdivide it into approximately 1,100 blocks. This has resulted in inappropriate road building, clearing and development of high conservation value rainforest. IN the 1990’s and 2000’s the Douglas Shire Council, and the Queensland and Australian governments all contributed financially to the purchase or ‘buyback’ of freehold land aimed at preventing development and winding back the impacts of the subdivision. For 25 years, this has been complemented through acquisitions by local and national non-profit conservation organisations. These new proposed developments would give support for further rural residential development and must be stopped.

 

Letter            

Cr. Michael Kerr, Douglas Shire Council Mayor 

The Hon Leeanne Enoch MP, Queensland Government Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef.

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Australian Government Minister for the Environment.
 

We, the undersigned, call on the Douglas Shire Council, Queensland Government and Australian Government to dismiss current proposals for further development in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest that include an upgraded coast road, a bridge over the Daintree River and reticulated mains electricity generated by a gas-fired power station.

The Daintree Lowland Rainforest is a place of extraordinary scientific, biological cultural values that are irreplaceable. It is a foundation of the regional economy and an icon that Australians thought was adequately protected. Yet it has no overall vision or management plan. The mix of world heritage, national parks, traditionally owned land and freehold title mean management responsibility is spread between agencies, local residents and traditional owners with poor co-ordination across key issues like clearing, weeds, pests, domestic animals, visitor facilities, presentation, community infrastructure, transport and access. It is therefore proposed the local, state and Australian governments design and fund a community-based Conservation Management Plan covering the entire ecosystem of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest, regardless of tenure. Key interests are World Heritage Area, Daintree National Parks, Native Title and freehold land.

We call on the Douglas Shire Council, Queensland Government and Australian Government to work together and with other stakeholders to develop a conservation management plan before any further investment in infrastructure is considered in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest.  

Yours faithfully,

1,661 signatures
  • Fern Bannerman
    signed 2021-07-25 10:37:02 +1000
  • Melanie Ledgett
    signed 2021-07-25 10:17:44 +1000
    Visited the area last week! Saw the planting and preserved lots. It would be a disaster to increase development in any way!!
  • Janet Knight
    signed 2021-07-21 19:49:43 +1000
  • Joash Oostryck
    signed 2021-07-20 19:06:45 +1000
    For goodness sake Queensland! We need to put aside our selfish and greedy ways and protect this unique, beautiful and valuable rainforest. I’ve never been but I really want to see it. Just extend the national park already. No more development and deforestation. Enough Is enough
  • Joseph Birckhead
    signed 2021-07-19 08:12:05 +1000
  • Madan Deepa
    signed 2021-07-16 18:08:48 +1000
  • Emilia Jesse-Weaver
    signed 2021-07-15 19:08:31 +1000
  • Stephanie Murray
    signed 2021-07-14 14:23:06 +1000
  • Timo Gruber
    signed 2021-07-14 05:56:19 +1000
  • Rebecca Ryan
    signed 2021-07-10 09:37:37 +1000
  • cassy Tzoutzias
    signed 2021-07-04 09:08:08 +1000
  • Phill Johnson
    signed 2021-07-04 08:53:32 +1000
  • Georgia Watts
    signed 2021-07-02 08:07:59 +1000
    No gas fired power station, no bridge across the Daintree river (the ferry is one of the joys of visiting the area) and no widening or straightening roads as the winding roads are fully part of its charm.

    Turning this area into effectively a commercial enterprise will not only destroy important and irreplaceable nature, but will also lessen its renowned and sought-after appeal to both locals and visitors alike.

    There are plenty of places in Australia that have been compromised and disrespected already; perpetrators, go there if you want those things and leave this stunning area as is!

    Conservation, care and appreciation all the way.
  • isabel gildenhuys
    signed 2021-06-30 23:46:49 +1000
  • Selwyn McFaul
    signed 2021-06-30 22:53:57 +1000
  • Kim Gregory
    signed 2021-06-30 19:45:41 +1000
    It is so critical that we do not lose more of this irreplaceable, critically important rainforest through further unnecessary development.
  • Sue Strodl
    signed 2021-06-30 19:18:44 +1000
  • Matteo Volonte
    signed 2021-06-30 19:01:20 +1000
  • John Rimmer
    signed 2021-06-30 15:42:07 +1000
    The Daintree is a priceless national asset and it must remain a pristine example of the world’s heritage.
  • Susan Lane
    signed 2021-06-27 21:50:30 +1000
    We should be protecting our rainforest NOT destroying it
  • Masha Marjanovich
    signed 2021-06-27 11:51:14 +1000
    As a citizen of this country I respectfully request that the government ban all development and cutting in the The Daintree Lowland Rainforest in North Queensland.

    This is the oldest rainforest on the planet, with an unbroken evolutionary history going back over 120 million years to the first flowering plants. It’s unique biodiversity must be protected and saved for the health of our ecosystem, which is what sustains human life. Any development, any cutting of this forest should be a crime punishable with imprisonment, not just fines. This is a precious resource, like the Great Barrier Reef, and we, the Australian people, are responsible for preserving it. You, our government, must help us preserve it with appropriate legislation.
  • Marie Cameron
    signed 2021-06-25 19:36:39 +1000
  • Ruth Haig
    signed 2021-06-25 10:30:46 +1000
  • Celina Cacho
    signed 2021-06-24 06:21:20 +1000
  • Michaela Kelly
    signed 2021-06-22 21:57:31 +1000
  • Alison Felton
    signed 2021-06-22 17:36:21 +1000
  • Judy Betteley
    signed 2021-06-22 13:31:45 +1000
  • Monica Hersburgh
    signed 2021-06-21 21:56:25 +1000
  • Kathleen Ager
    signed 2021-06-21 20:37:48 +1000
  • Vicki Holmes
    signed 2021-06-21 17:48:45 +1000