Save the Daintree - put conservation first

We're calling on the Douglas Shire Council, Queensland Government and Australian Government to 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.

  • Pressure is growing to develop parts of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. In 2022, the Morrison Government committed $18.75 million to supply reticulated electricity to the Daintree. Pressure has also been mounting for a bridge to be built across the Daintree River. 
  • The exceptional biological and scientific values of the Daintree Coast mean the conservation 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. Let's not change that now.

Will you sign?


Forty 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 collectively 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. Now, the threat is even more significant: renewed calls for a bridge over the Daintree River and an $18.75 million commitment from the federal government to supply reticulated electricity to the Daintree, 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.

The Australian Government once protected the area by supporting its listing as a World Heritage Area, yet construction, at a cost of $18.75 million, has already commenced on a renewable energy microgrid, complete with a solar farm, battery and hydrogen plant, to connect the Daintree to reticulated electricity. While renewable energy is a much better option than the gas-fired power plant originally proposed, it doesn't address the biggest issue - that infrastructure like this will inevitably lead to increased pressure for urban development in the Daintree. There are also calls for a bridge or second ferry to increase vehicle access to the Daintree Lowland Rainforest. 

In the mid-1980s, a pro-development state government inappropriately rezoned leasehold and freehold in the Daintree Lowlands Rainforest, enabling a developer to subdivide it into 1,136 blocks. This has resulted in inappropriate road building, clearing and development of high conservation value rainforest. In the 1990s and 2000s, 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.


Cr. Michael Kerr, Douglas Shire Council Mayor.

The Hon Meaghan Scanlon MP, Queensland Government Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Australian Government Minister for the Environment.

We, the undersigned, call on the Douglas Shire Council, Queensland Government and Australian Government to dismiss current plans for further development in the Daintree Lowland Rainforest that include a bridge over the Daintree River and the establishment of reticulated mains electricity in the Douglas Shire Local Government Area.

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. 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 Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Daintree National Park (CYPAL), 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,

2,201 signatures
  • Peter Walsh
    signed 2019-06-14 20:54:20 +1000
    This is one of the last and the largest areas of lowland rainforest left in Australia. If people want to live in the area, they must do so without impact on the environment. If they want the amenities of city living move to the city, if they want to live in the World Heritage Rainforest respect the rest of the people of Australia whose tax dollars fund our national parks.
  • Debra Rowe
    signed 2019-06-14 16:11:50 +1000
  • Kaihla Cudbertson
    signed 2019-06-14 08:23:44 +1000
  • Asanki Fernando
    signed 2019-06-14 00:52:50 +1000
  • Mark Jager
    signed 2019-06-13 20:44:23 +1000
  • Zac Brits
    signed 2019-06-13 16:45:19 +1000
    The Daintree is such a beautiful place and given the current state of the world we need to act more than ever to protect our enviroment!
  • Rachael Parry
    signed 2019-06-13 15:58:24 +1000
  • Mechthild Mayfield
    signed 2019-06-12 18:32:38 +1000
    Save the Daintree , Save this wonderful Rainforest for our Kids and further Generations
  • Stuart Bradley
    signed 2019-06-12 18:08:40 +1000
  • Jennifer Duncan
    signed 2019-06-12 15:10:38 +1000
  • Lorenna Grant
    signed 2019-06-12 14:48:43 +1000
  • Loren Harris
    signed 2019-06-12 14:40:30 +1000
  • Sun Sax
    signed 2019-06-12 13:20:24 +1000
    Save our precious Daintree, it’s ecological significance is paramount to our way of life and for our future generations.
  • Bronwyn Rees
    signed 2019-06-12 13:16:00 +1000
  • Heath McDonough
    signed 2019-06-12 12:58:14 +1000
  • Geoff Patterson
    signed 2019-06-08 21:47:13 +1000
  • Roisin Allen
    signed 2019-06-07 10:10:25 +1000
  • Femmie Klos
    signed 2019-06-07 05:13:58 +1000
    Development is the absolute last thing the Daintree needs. Lets keep one place sacred in the world!
  • Loren Cowley
    signed 2019-06-06 20:09:02 +1000
  • Noelle Johnston
    signed 2019-06-06 19:33:15 +1000
  • jenny bostock
    signed 2019-06-06 11:40:40 +1000
  • Emmanouel Kaloudis
    signed 2019-06-06 09:25:53 +1000
  • Rich Jones
    signed 2019-06-06 05:33:38 +1000
  • Enga Mills
    signed 2019-06-05 21:20:04 +1000
  • Amanda Jackes
    signed 2019-06-05 16:01:07 +1000
  • Vivian Akkermans
    signed 2019-06-05 15:56:00 +1000
  • Melissa Egan
    signed 2019-06-05 08:47:17 +1000
  • Tessa Wylde
    signed via 2019-06-03 12:43:57 +1000
    The rainforest which homes our rare native wildlife is of highest priority… Do not risk the deversity of our native species for yet another home, supermarket, carpark etc. Apart from the very real issues of climate heating, erosion, drought and please seriously consider the amount of water and the purity of it for the aquducts and rivers, remember there is no replacing old world forest that has taken millions of years to form and created a balance with land, life cycles, and seasons. In reality no value can be placed on something that represents the evolution and ongoing processes and balance of life itself.

    Consider; if you must see things in terms of financial gain, the advantages of having something unique in your area, where tourists seek out differences and the iconic Australian wildlife, and also obseve, the identity this provides for the community….. The forward thinking that is engaged today is the salvation of the future, and the future is definitely a part of today, which hangs in the balance and the decision you make.

    Thank you

    T W
  • Colin Mirgis
    @colmirgo tweeted link to this page. 2019-06-03 10:58:38 +1000
  • Colin Mirgis
    signed 2019-06-03 10:58:28 +1000