Daintree in power play
DAINTREE residents north of the river are gaining confidence in the State Government’s promise to rescind legislation prohibiting power.
In 2000 state legislation was established prohibiting people from gaining or sharing access to electricity.
Despite all parties refusing to commit to helping Daintree gain electricity last year before the election was announced, president of the Bailey Creek Community League Russell O’Doherty said Premier Campbell Newman has since given his word.
“We’ve got it in writing from Campbell Newman the LNP will be rescinding Labor’s policy,” he said.
“They’re formulating a policy on power north of the river at the moment and are looking at all the options on what sort of power will be the best for us.
“Also we’ve asked to be considered for tariff equalisation in the interim which means we pay exactly the same for power as the rest of the state does.”
Mr O’Doherty said Ergon Energy have been up in the Daintree looking at different possibilities the past few years and will discuss the best options with the Government.
“There’s quite a few options available to them to put in the same type of systems they have up in the Cape communities with stand-alone systems to fuel efficient generators that feed the power out,” he said.
“There also can be a combination of standalone and renewable so that people with solar or hydro can feed back into the grid and that would be the best of both worlds.
“It’s been a long time coming, the community’s really suffered badly under this policy and it’s created a lot of hardships for businesses and residents and it’s not nice running generators everyday and pumping thousands of tonnes of pollution into the rainforest.
“It would be an all-round win for the environment and for us but a lot of people are sceptical to think they might actually get a better form of power than smelly old diesel generators.”
The change in heart from the State Government cannot come any sooner for the residents north of the Daintree River, with the Federal Government recently lowering the diesel rebate from 38c per litre to 32c per litre.
“That’s impacted pretty dramatically on residents up here, six cents doesn’t sound like much but using thousands of litres it soon mounts up to a considerable amount of money,” Mr O’Doherty said.