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pollution and energy poverty in the daintree

 

This page has become a bit irrelevant with the passing of time but it still shows the hypocrisy we have to deal with:

 

THE NEW ECOTOURISM PLAN

WILL IT CHANGE THE DAINTREE FROM A PRETEND ECOTOURISM DESTINATION
TO A REAL ECOTOURISM DESTINATION?

ecotourism plan

Copied from http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2013/4/17/have-your-say-on-queenslands-draft-ecotourism-plan :

The Newman Government is set to make Queensland the number one nature-based tourism destination in Australia, with its draft Ecotourism Plan released for public input.

“Our vision is to make Queensland a world leader in ecotourism by 2020, as the Newman Government continues to grow our four pillar economy and get Queensland back on track.

“The future of ecotourism in Queensland will be guided by ecologically responsible and sustainable practices.

“It addresses a number of critical issues that have long been of concern to industry including providing commercially viable investment arrangements and a strong focus on best practice operations to deliver quality ecotourism experiences for visitors.”

The draft Plan was open for viewing and comment until Friday 31 May 2013 at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au

Comments and any enquiries can be emailed to ecotourismplan@nprsr.qld.gov.au.

 

 

As we know, the Daintree is currently a pretend ecotourism destination, with huge carbon foot prints of residents and businesses who have been denied grid power by subsequent governments.
While government and tour guides feed romantic sounding crap to tourists that the Daintree is a renewable energy community, hundreds of polluting inefficient generators roar and pump fumes into the oldest rainforest in the world, and piles of worn out lead acid batteries sit around in the precious environment.

The current Queensland government has a bit more sense than the previous Labor government that gave in to Mike Berwick's push to ban grid power, but they claim to have no money to install a grid and make the Daintree a REAL ecotourism destination, instead of a PRETEND ecotourism destination.

But now that they have decided to make Queensland the number one ecotourism destination in the world they have no other choice than to put an electricity grid in the Daintree and end this shameful pollution saga. The current situation of pollution and energy poverty goes against all principles of ecotourism.
Some of the things they said above:

“The future of ecotourism in Queensland will be guided by ECOLOGICALLY RESPONSIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES.

“It addresses a number of critical issues that have long been of concern to industry including providing COMMERCIALLY VIABLE investment arrangements and a strong focus on best practice operations to deliver quality ecotourism experiences for visitors.”

Generators and lead acid batteries are NOT ecologically responsible, and businesses in the Daintree are NOT commercially viable running on individual generators, so it looks like the government is seeing the need for change too now.

If you Google what ecotourism means, some of the principles and definitions of ecotourism include:

Wellbeing of local people (the wellbeing of local Daintree people has for years been grossly neglected by all levels of government, they have lived in energy poverty for years).

Minimize impact ( diesel generators, fumes, noise, worn out equipment and lead-acid batteries have much more impact on the environment than grid electricity).

Tourism to unspoiled natural resources, with minimal impact on the environment being a primary concern ( as described above, generators have more impact on precious environment than a grid).

Affordability and lack of waste in the form of luxury (generators are a very wasteful way to generate electricity).

ECOTOURISM.ORG.AU describes ecotourism as: Tourism in a natural area that offers interesting ways to learn about the environment with an operator that USES RESOURCES WISELY, contributes to the conservation of the environment and helps local communities. (Business operators in the Daintree can not use resources wisely thanks to their government denying them an electricity grid, and they have to waste resources burning fuel in standalone generators.

battery pollution
Discarded batteries

generator pollution
Worn out generators


Generator fuel delivery

Is this what you would expect in an ecotourism destination?

Write to your government, especially Premier Campbell Newman, Energy Minister Mark McArdle, and National Parks Minister Steve Dickson who is in charge of the ecotourism plan, that you want the Daintree changed from a PRETEND ecotourism destination to a REAL ecotourism destination to end the shameful pollution and energy poverty, as per the definitions of ecotourism.

This is the letter I have just sent them:

I would like to take this opportunity to submit my comments on the Draft Queensland Ecotourism Plan.

As a resident of the Daintree, surrounded by the world’s oldest rainforest in one of Queensland’s premier national parks and tourism destinations, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that currently the Daintree is a PRETEND ecotourism destination and not a REAL ecotourism destination.

The principles and definitions of ecotourism dictate:
1. a minimum wastage,
2. wellbeing of local community,
3. and minimum impact on environment.
This makes the Daintree a PRETEND ecotourism destination as:
1. In the Daintree energy and resources are being wasted with inefficient standalone generators and power systems, which pollute far more than a grid, but the government gives residents no choice.
2. The wellbeing of the community has for many years been grossly ignored with denial of grid electricity which has caused the issue of energy poverty, people spend so much money on fuel, generators, batteries and other equipment that it has a major detrimental impact on the quality of their lives.
3. Minimum impact on the environment is not achieved with hundreds of generators running daily thanks to the lack of grid power, and the dumping of worn out lead acid batteries.

Now that the Queensland government has embarked on such an ambitious plan to become an ecotourism world leader, no doubt with copious amounts of funding available, it would be very appropriate to spend some of this money on a grid in the Daintree so the shameful pollution of smoking generators and discarded lead acid batteries in the rainforest can be a thing of the past, and the Daintree can become a true ecotourism destination and won’t be the embarrassment to the Queensland government that it currently is.
The current plan is to make Queensland a world leader in ecotourism, a World Heritage area with polluting generators can hardly be described as a leader in ecotourism.

Next year the Australian Tourism Expo will be held in Cairns and the top tourist reps from all over the world will be touring the area, if they find out that the Queensland government denies the Daintree region an electricity grid and generators and batteries are polluting this World Heritage Area that would be a major embarrassment.
Action should be taken now to avoid such a PR disaster.
While a year might be too short to get the grid finished, even when plans and preparations are well underway for a world class eco friendly grid connecting all resident’s solar panels, hydros and back up generators this would make Queensland look really good to international ecotourism reps, instead of really bad if the current shameful situation persists.
The Queensland government has the opportunity to make a choice here;
let thousands of ecotourism reps go back to their countries in April 2014 to tell the story of how one of Australia’s premier ecotourism destinations burns up three million litres of fuel a year in old generators that keep the population starving, or impress them with a state of the art green grid which could be a tourist attraction in its own right.
Wouldn’t it be good if all these ecotourism reps would be raving on back home about the amazing high tech clean grid that is being built in the Daintree?
IS QUEENSLAND THE SMART STATE, OR NOT?

The excuse that there is no money to build a grid in the Daintree is a lie, there was money to build grids in 33 remote indigenous communities, and the Queensland government still subsidizes these communities’ energy use at $80 million per year. If there is money for indigenous people, there must be money to help hard working struggling white taxpayers too.

Please see www.daintreehour.com for more details on this shameful saga of pollution and energy poverty.

 

A reply to this letter was received, but was the usual meaningless politically correct writings from a staffer referring this on to another department.