AMONGST THE GREEN, DAINTREE SEES RED
Once upon a time I lived in Darwin, a nice tropical city with a good lifestyle. I sort of knew the name of the Mayor but was not really aware much of the councillors or other politicians, because you never had to deal with them. You paid your rates and taxes and had good roads, playgrounds, public toilets, electricity and everything just worked and was provided at adequate levels and you never had to lobby or protest to keep or obtain a basic service, or to protest against new laws being sneaked in that would ruin your life. While here in the Daintree there is 15 years of Daintree Gateway talk to produce a couple of toilets, car parks and landscaping, in Darwin all these things would just appear without anybody even mentioning it.
It’s a different life living in the Daintree, where there is a never ending stream of issues that take your time each day, it is amazing how you have to fight for the most basic things, and even to keep the few things already there, it is no wonder a growing number of people believe that there is a conspiracy against the Daintree community that has only one ultimate goal and that is to drive us all off our land and out of here.
The new “draft” planning scheme is full of pro-Port Douglas and anti-Daintree content, but when you make comments you get told that it is only a draft and you can put in submissions, of course most of us know that writing submissions is a waste of time and things will proceed as planned.
The planning scheme totally ignores the fact that the northern half of the shire is a third world country without basic infrastructure where the hundreds of roaring diesel generators burn up over three million litres of fuel per year keeping the community poor and instead of recommending that a solution should be sought urgently it instead declares the entire north of the Daintree river a conservation zone where electricity infrastructure and renewable energy facility are an “inconsistent use”, in other words not permitted.
The new planning scheme should be actively promoting a solution instead of throwing up obstacles against a solution to this crisis of pollution and energy poverty that throttles the Daintree economy,
The new planning scheme also no longer contains a paragraph from the old scheme which states that north of the Daintree river council should “provide adequate services and facilities for settlement areas and an appropriate level of economic opportunity for local residents”.
While we all know that the current ferry service has many problems and shortcomings, the new scheme has no suggestions for improvement, and only mentions the ferry as a traffic limiter to further stifle economic development.
I want to make it very clear that I am not a developer who wants to see big resorts everywhere but now that there already is a community living and working north of the river they should be provided with adequate services so we don’t remain Struggle Street for ever. How can a green council accept that hundreds of generators pump 7000 tonnes of CO2 in to this rain forest every year?
The new planning scheme in a nut shell; All progress, development and prosperity will be in Port Douglas, the ferry will remain as a traffic limiter to avoid economic progress in the Daintree and keep it as a sparsely populated economically struggling Centrelink City recreational area for PORT DOUGLAS based tourism, services and infrastructure will be denied to sabotage the Daintree economy and discourage settlement, and dirty expensive diesel generators are now officially an acceptable outcome to our council.
Rob Lapaer, Cape Tribulation