For and against hy­dro project

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ELLEN WHINNETT IN LON­DON TONY RAGGATT tony. raggatt@ news. com. au

PRINCE Wil­liam and Prince Harry have re­leased new pho­to­graphs of their mother, Princess Diana, to mark the 20th an­niver­sary of her death.

The princes re­leased three im­ages from Princess Diana’s per­sonal photo al­bum to co­in­cide with a doc­u­men­tary which airs in Lon­don to­day, Diana: Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy.

One of the pho­to­graphs shows Princess Diana hold­ing young son Wil­liam. She was preg­nant with Prince Harry when the photo was taken.

A sec­ond pho­to­graph shows Princess Diana and Harry en­joy­ing a hol­i­day to­gether. The third pho­to­graph Princess Diana had kept in her al­bum is of her two sons on a park bench.

The doc­u­men­tary and the re­lease of pho­to­graphs comes ahead of the 20th an­niver­sary of Princess Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris on Au­gust 31, 1997. She was just 37 years old.

A state­ment from Kens­ing­ton Palace said the princes were pleased to share the pho­to­graphs from their mother’s pri­vate al­bum. DE­VEL­OP­ING a hy­dro- elec­tric­ity project near Tully could be com­pat­i­ble with the val­ues of a Wet Trop­ics World Her­itage Area which need not be amended or have part of the area ex­cised, says State LNP MP An­drew Cripps.

But Townsville con­ser­va­tion­ist Gail Hamil­ton is op­posed to the idea and says other ar­eas can be de­vel­oped for hy­dro- elec­tric­ity with­out hav­ing to build renewable projects in the Wet Trop­ics.

Mr Cripps has asked the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to fund an up­dated fea­si­bil­ity study into the 600MW Tully Mill­stream hy­dro scheme.

A res­o­lu­tion to pur­sue the study was passed at the LNP State con­ven­tion last week.

The scheme in­volves cre­at­ing two wa­ter stor­ages, pump sta­tions and tun­nelled pipe­lines, as well as de­vel­op­ing an un­der­ground 600MW power sta­tion be­tween the Koom­booloomba Dam and up­per reaches of the Tully River.

Much of it would be within the Wet Trop­ics area.

An ex­ist­ing 88MW Ka­reeya hy­dro plant is al­ready in the area. De­vel­oped in 1957, its Koom­booloomba stor­age is wholly within the Wet Trop­ics.

Mr Cripps said, given this, the larger Tully Mill­stream project should also com­pat­i­ble.

“It would ap­pear that wa­ter stor­age ac­tiv­i­ties with a hy­dro project are not in­com­pat­i­ble with World Her­itage,” he said.

Ms Hamil­ton, pres­i­dent of the North Queens­land Con­ser­va­tion Coun­cil, said she did not be­lieve the plan would be sup­ported by con­ser­va­tion­ists.

While its po­ten­tial to abate one mil­lion tonnes of car­bon emis­sions was in­ter­est­ing, she said it was pos­si­ble emis­sions could be cut with­out hav­ing to im­pact a World Her­itage area.

“There does not need to be a trade- off. We can have re­new­ables and pro­tect spe­cial places,” Ms Hamil­ton said.

The Snowy Moun­tains Engi­neer­ing Cor­po­ra­tion has pre­pared a fea­si­bil­ity re­view into the Tully Mill­stream project.

It wants to con­firm the orig­i­nal 1988 de­sign and as­sess op­tions that might al­low the project to be de­vel­oped.

State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments aban­doned the scheme in 1988 when the World Her­itage area was de­clared.

Gov­ern­ments con­sid­ered re­vis­it­ing the scheme in 1991 and 1998 but con­cluded en­vi­ron­men­tal and po­lit­i­cal is­sues could not be over­come.

“Con­ser­va­tion­ists will risk be­ing seen as hyp­ocrites by not sup­port­ing the op­por­tu­nity to se­cure 600 megawatts of renewable, re­li­able en­ergy in North Queens­land,” Mr Cripps said.

ROYAL SNAPS: Princess ss Diana em­braces Prince Harry while on hol­i­day; ( top) Diana holds a young Prince Wil­liam; ( above) Wil­liam and Harry to­gether.

The front of the Cairns po­lice sta­tion.

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