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. Julia Leu, 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,

955 signatures
  • Annie Hardham
    signed 2019-02-23 17:44:25 +1100
  • Lynne Walker
    signed 2019-02-23 06:53:36 +1100
    It is so beautiful just let it be!!
  • Loraine Robertson
    signed 2019-02-22 22:42:40 +1100
  • Marcia Spitzkowsky
    signed 2019-02-20 07:59:43 +1100
    Leave this wilderness alone, enough profit is made without destroying the little we have left. It will be an environmental disaster for the forest, the river and the reef.
  • Philip Daymond
    signed 2019-02-20 07:19:26 +1100
    Some places on this earth need to be left alone
  • Annemarie Manners
    signed 2019-02-19 23:09:57 +1100
  • Christine Newman
    signed 2019-02-19 22:25:47 +1100
  • Matt Reed
    signed 2019-02-19 21:14:15 +1100
  • Suzanne Broadhurst
    signed 2019-02-19 18:51:34 +1100
  • Paul Shaw
    signed 2019-02-19 18:51:30 +1100
  • Dianna Rivers
    signed 2019-02-16 19:54:27 +1100
  • Alison Curl
    signed 2019-02-10 08:21:07 +1100
  • Rohan Stewart
    signed 2019-02-08 08:09:01 +1100
  • Adela Pickles
    signed 2019-02-07 21:04:38 +1100
  • Gregory Pipe
    signed 2019-02-07 10:14:00 +1100
  • Peter Gough
    signed 2019-02-07 04:01:59 +1100
  • Emma Murphy
    signed 2019-02-07 00:46:59 +1100
  • Chris Redston
    signed 2019-02-07 00:40:42 +1100
    I first visited the Daintree from the UK thirty years ago, and saw that this area was already under serious threat, and it seems little has changed. One would think that the devastating heatwave that Australia has been suffering this summer would convince everyone that the country’s increasing dependence on fossil fuels is literally killing the country before our eyes – yet all we see are more plans for gas fired power stations, fracking and destruction of forests. Protecting the rainforest in Daintree should be a no-brainer and these plans for ‘development’ should be resisted at all costs. Solidarity to all at Rainforest 4 and all campaigners in Australia from everyone fighting the same fight in the UK.
  • Ian Brewster
    signed 2019-02-06 23:58:24 +1100
    As young travellers we have experienced and fell in love with the daintree the the people. Please reconsider these plans as we believe it will ruin the prestine beauty of this region.
  • Laing Kerns-Stokes
    signed 2019-02-06 21:23:11 +1100
  • Katie McIvor
    signed 2019-02-06 21:20:32 +1100
    What will be left for our cholderns childern if we keep destroying natural wonders of the earth.
  • Nicole French
    signed 2019-02-06 17:39:42 +1100
  • Joseph Bayley
    signed 2019-02-06 16:06:16 +1100
    As my daughter is singing right now,“you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone…”
  • Jeannette Martens
    signed 2019-02-06 14:59:44 +1100
  • Shayne Mueller
    signed 2019-02-05 21:56:19 +1100
  • Amy Simmonds
    signed 2019-01-27 14:46:10 +1100
  • Libby Elliott
    signed 2019-01-27 10:18:23 +1100
  • barbara wright
    signed 2019-01-25 16:01:39 +1100
  • Julie Robertson
    signed 2019-01-25 12:33:41 +1100
    Keep the Daintree pristine. No more roads or developments
  • James Smith
    signed via 2019-01-24 17:08:38 +1100

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