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,

1,586 signatures
  • Emily Pollentine
    signed 2021-04-13 12:37:50 +1000
  • Jessica-Rose Turner
    signed 2021-04-12 00:12:22 +1000
  • Catherine Timbrell
    signed 2021-04-07 21:25:32 +1000
  • Donella Sinclair
    signed 2021-04-07 16:28:01 +1000
  • Stuart Ball
    signed 2021-04-06 09:39:44 +1000
  • Jane Barry
    signed 2021-04-05 14:51:10 +1000
  • Lee Naish
    signed 2021-04-04 17:07:05 +1000
  • Lauren Mahoney
    signed 2021-04-04 14:08:15 +1000
  • Bridget Harrington
    signed 2021-04-01 14:08:20 +1100
  • Kerry Noda-Milne
    signed 2021-03-29 13:32:22 +1100
    You are all doing a mighty job.❤
  • Caroline Müller
    signed via 2021-03-26 19:01:04 +1100
  • Hanna Bauer
    signed 2021-03-26 18:30:17 +1100
  • Henk Van Eek
    signed 2021-03-26 17:32:01 +1100
  • Jon Temby
    signed 2021-03-26 14:08:52 +1100
  • Petra Jones
    signed 2021-03-26 07:07:54 +1100
    We need to do everything in our power to save what we can and regenerate what has been spoilt.
  • Alex Popof
    signed 2021-03-25 22:54:10 +1100
  • Hamish Burnside
    signed 2021-03-25 13:09:50 +1100
  • Marion Glover
    signed 2021-03-25 07:28:04 +1100
  • sumeet s
    signed 2021-03-24 21:08:12 +1100
  • Zoe Law
    signed 2021-03-22 17:00:21 +1100
    We can see the effects on the climate from the hacking away at these beautiful and precious forrests let’s stop this happening and allow us to preserve the worlds animals and eco systems for good
  • Lauren Selwood
    signed 2021-03-21 02:46:49 +1100
  • Jane Herd-crombie
    signed 2021-03-19 14:32:27 +1100
  • Sarah Brennan
    signed 2021-03-16 23:48:05 +1100
  • Courtney Doughan
    signed 2021-03-14 16:04:13 +1100
  • Kathleen Ager
    signed 2021-03-13 09:42:17 +1100
  • Josie Doolan
    signed 2021-03-09 16:00:57 +1100
    Long live the daintree!!!
  • Christine Crowley
    signed 2021-03-07 16:28:43 +1100
  • Savanah Stacey
    signed via 2021-03-04 18:22:01 +1100
  • Alexia Zilan Fan
    signed 2021-03-03 23:29:40 +1100
  • Helen Winter
    signed 2021-03-02 13:57:19 +1100