No power promises
NO POLITICAL party is willing to promise electricity to Daintree residents north of the river, however, the LNP has offered to negotiate with residents.
Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has committed the LNP to addressing the issue with a change of State Government.
“The LNP has made an unconditional agreement to rescind the Daintree Power Bill - it’s the only community in the world I believe where the Government has introduced legislation to prohibit electricity,” he said.
“Why not put in a couple of world-class hybrid systems and be the leaders in the field, we could have a ceremonial dumping of hundreds of bloody diesel-drinking generators. It would give a quality of life to the residents to be able to enjoy the noise of the rainforest.”
State LNP candidate for Cook David Kempton has met with Daintree residents to help come up with a solution but is making no promises.
“We will review the Daintree electricity policy and open up appropriate discussion with residents north of the river and others involved and work with them to find the best solution - but we can’t promise power,” he said.
“Underground is efficient because it’s cyclone-proof but it’s really high capital, we need to balance mains power and underground for the long term.
“We think the solution probably lies in a mix of alternatives, you might extend the mains power some of the way, have some generation and put back into the grid using solar.”
This is due to the viability of getting electricity up to Cape Tribulation and also the cost of installing electricity poles above or underground.
Cow Bay Hotel owner Peter Magnussen is no stranger to powering up remote communities, having worked with an energy company for 35 years, and believes providing electricity to the Daintree is possible.
“We powered up plenty of situations and sites with problems,” he said. “If they (the State Government) want to help straight up they should give us some sort of rebate to put our costs in par with what town folks spend.”
Mr Kempton will meet with Daintree residents next month.