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,

1,353 signatures
  • Margaret Skeel
    signed 2020-04-25 18:01:16 +1000
    Save this irreplaceable treasure!
  • Joseph Lampard
    signed 2020-04-25 11:47:12 +1000
    The daintree rainforest is the oldest rainforest left on this planet being over 180 million years old.

    And its a bio diversity like none other. Everything from the ancient soil to the canopy tree top is of its own. Like nothing else on earth. Why? Because its here. And its ours( Australias). It has our ancient riches and im not talking about gems gold or opals. Im talking about what we can learn from this place. One tree here called the mangosteen in a medical genius and can cure everything from foot rot to tumour and cancer. The is only a small amount discovered here. The thing that could change the course of Australian lifes could be still ready to discover in the daintree. And the lives here are consumed by choice to nurture this environment to help it is achieve another million years or more. If we learn enough to understand the daintree we may be able to incorporate that knowlage to the rest of the state.

    Please look further than the next 40 years of profit for one generation of people as opposed to countless generations after us winning from our decisions now.
  • David Grant
    signed via 2020-04-25 11:32:29 +1000
  • Kathryn Litchfield
    signed 2020-04-25 08:52:47 +1000
  • Moira Greenhalgh
    signed 2020-04-25 07:35:44 +1000
    It is just jaw dropping that they wish to destroy an area that is arguably one of the most beautiful in Australia. We visited the Daintree many years ago and I remember it so clearly because it WAS unique. Sealing roads just brings in car loads of tourists, many of whom care little about the environment. Forget bloody “jobs and growth”! Look where it has got us!!!
  • Kate Flick
    signed 2020-04-25 07:01:28 +1000
  • Jill Liibus
    signed 2020-04-25 00:25:31 +1000
  • Trevor Vivian
    signed via 2020-04-25 00:10:40 +1000
  • Robert Lund
    signed 2020-04-24 23:39:35 +1000
    We need to protect and expand the last of the wilderness. There will be enough challenges in the near to medium future without adding another natural disaster to the list. The country is stressed from droughts, floods and climate change, the natural forests acts as a stabiliser and filter for water supplies. controls soil erosion, and provides a refuge for wildlife. Keep it intact and continuous for all present and future generations.
  • Alexa Troedson
    signed 2020-04-24 22:06:54 +1000
  • Helen Tehan
    signed 2020-04-24 22:06:53 +1000
  • Della Parkinson
    signed 2020-04-24 21:06:50 +1000
    It’s hard to believe that anyway would destroy this place for money. Stop!
  • Tricia Innes
    signed 2020-04-24 21:00:51 +1000
  • Olga Istomina
    signed 2020-04-24 20:43:03 +1000
  • George Paras
    signed 2020-04-24 20:17:10 +1000
  • Kim Barker
    signed 2020-04-24 19:12:20 +1000
  • Robyn Smith
    signed 2020-04-24 19:10:59 +1000
  • Sharon Jones
    signed 2020-04-24 19:02:21 +1000
  • Robyn Baker
    signed 2020-04-24 19:01:26 +1000
  • Kate Woods
    signed 2020-04-24 18:42:58 +1000
  • Tom McGee
    signed 2020-04-24 17:59:17 +1000
  • Leeah Lampard
    signed 2020-04-24 17:59:06 +1000
    Enough distruction, leave what little rainforest we have alone. We dont need any of the modern conveniences, so we suffer the consequences for the convenience of tourist. We live here. 180+ millions year old. The oldest rainforest in the world. Leave it as is.
  • Frank Fiumara
    signed 2020-04-24 17:50:52 +1000
  • robert wild
    signed 2020-04-24 17:40:07 +1000
  • Lynda Katthagen
    signed 2020-04-24 17:38:25 +1000
  • Ian Locke
    signed 2020-04-24 17:20:29 +1000
    This would totally destroy the area and Jobs in and around the area .
  • Julir Robertson
    signed 2020-04-24 16:58:16 +1000
    No bridge no gas fired electricity. This is the last great rainforest and must be preserved for future generations
  • Frederick Brown
    signed 2020-04-24 16:23:10 +1000
    With QLD’s terrible environmental record lets make a start somewhere, why not here ? Formerly a resident of Mackay so have a personal interest in this happening.
  • Cris Matthews
    signed 2020-04-24 16:17:17 +1000
  • Amanda Denison
    signed 2020-04-24 16:13:22 +1000

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