No power prom­ises

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - AN­GELIQUE PAT­TER­SON

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.

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