Mid 2004 not long after council elections a virtual bomb was dropped
on the Daintree community; as of today there will be no
more building permits issued!
Not all of the Daintree, south of the Alexandra Range, where Mayor
Mike Berwick had his property, was not affected by this.
It was one of the most controversial planning schemes proposed in
Australia as it removed the development rights from over
330 vacant properties and it used a Temporary Local Planning Instrument
(TLPI) that waived the requirement for public
notification – allowing Council to implement the development
Many people in the process of establishing their homes found themselves
with useless land, which they could only sell to the
government at what ever price they offered. All their time preparing
for their new home had been wasted, and they had to
find a new place to go and live.
Protest meetings, suicides, legal challenges filled the newspapers
on the two year roller coaster ride where people tried to overturn
these decisions until they became permanent in the new planning
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Coalition leader at the time Lawrence Springborg branded
Douglas Shire Council "radical environmentalists" and
vowed to restore rights for affected land owners if elected.
Douglas Shire Council's offer to relocate me for $58000.-
Council sent out letters to Daintree land owners to inform
them of the radical changes, I received the letter above with the
offer to acquire my property (five acres with a house and operating
B&B) for $58000.-
Where else in Australia was I going to get a similar property for
that sort of money?
The sudden halt to any building or development and
the devaluation of properties caused wide spread hardship and stress
amongst the community, and for some with fatal consequences.