FNQ Regional Plan
North Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031 claims it is planning
for a stronger, more liveable and sustainable community.
And for most regions in Queensland it does that, it identifies economic
opportunities, and allocates resources, money and infrastructure to improve
living conditions and economy for residents.
While this may be the case for most of Queensland, for the Daintree it
is the total opposite, economically speaking the plan is a disaster for
the Daintree commmunity which designates the Daintree area to be frozen
in time with no improvement in services or infrastructure and no economic
These Regional Plans are also the basis for local Council Planning Schemes,
and it is a convenient excuse for Douglas Shire Council to keep the inadequate
ferry as it is to keep raking in profits and to keep it as an economic
handbrake on the Daintree to avoid progress that may require more services,
such as garbage collecction, which is a standard service in even the poorest
third world countries.
Some parts of the plan that relate to the Daintree:
Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2009–2031 planning for a stronger,
more liveable and sustainable community.
The regional plan applies to the Far North Queensland (FNQ) regional
local government areas as defined under IPA, section 2.5A.2. It replaces
the Draft Far North Queensland Regional Plan 2025 (the draft plan) released
by the regional planning Minister on 9 May 2008. The draft plan was subject
to community consultation and comment up to 8 August 2008. A consultation
report, which summarised the issues raised during the consultation period
was released on 28 October 2008. Another round of limited consultation
on four strategic issues identified in the consultation report concluded
on 28 November 2008.
The regional plan has been prepared in good faith, taking into account
all public submissions, to provide a framework for the management and
development of FNQ for more than 20 years.
The regional plan represents an agreed Queensland Government position
on the future of FNQ. Any plans, policies and codes being prepared or
amended by state agencies or local governments must reflect and align
with the regional plan.
Part D–Regional land use pattern 23
North coast The north coast contains significant areas of good quality
agricultural land and areas of high ecological significance, including
large areas of the Daintree and other Wet Tropics World Heritage rainforest.
The former Douglas shire contains important scenic and ecological values
that attract significant tourism. Growth north of Cairns is constrained
by a lack of appropriate infrastructure.
The coastal settlements of Wonga, Newell and Cooya Beach and various
other small urban centres and rural residential developments, including
significant areas north of the Daintree River are
not intended to grow or increase in density. These communities generally
have very low levels of infrastructure provision and significant
coastal and environmental constraints. Tourist development north of the
Daintree River should be small-scale, nature-based and protect the unique
ecological values and local character.
The car ferry crossing on the Daintree River will
continue to limit development north of the river, while the road
between the Daintree and Bloomfield Rivers will continue to be a scenic/adventure
drive, adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage area.
2.1.3 Development and infrastructure provision north of the Daintree
River is managed to protect the significant biodiversity, scenic and ecological
values of the area.
2.1.C The ferry crossing at the Daintree River
is maintained to protect the World Heritage and scenic values of the area
north of the Daintree River.
2.1.D The roads between Palm Cove and Port Douglas, and Daintree River
to Bloomfield River are maintained as scenic routes.
Governments must work with Indigenous Traditional Owners and native title
holders to protect and manage landscape values. The state has signed Indigenous
Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) with the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people to cooperatively
manage natural and cultural values on land in the Daintree area, and with
the MaMu people for the MaMu rainforest canopy walkway west of Innsifail
(see section 3.8)
The landscape and scenic elements of the former Douglas Shire are considered
by many residents and visitors as being regionally significant. The policies
included in this section protect these values of the area by:
• limiting urban growth and development north
of the Daintree River
• designating the area between the Daintree River and the Bloomfield
River as a regional landscape and rural production area •maintaining
existing policies to maintain a the car ferry crossing on the Daintree
• maintaining the roads between Palm Cove and Port Douglas, and
the Daintree River to Bloomfield River as scenic routes.
It is important that development north of the Daintree River remains low
key and sustainable to protect the scenic and World Heritage values and
character of the area.
The existing access configuration and lack of mains
power are two major reasons why the area north of the Daintree River has
remained in a relatively undeveloped state. They are also the reasons
why the area has maintained its heritage status and attractiveness to
tourists. The Douglas Shire planning scheme provides for limited infrastructure
provision north of the Daintree River, with a strong preference for self-sufficiency
using sustainable technologies. The regional plan supports these elements
of the scheme.
(Definition of sustainable; the quality of
not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and
thereby supporting long-term ecological balance:
Currently the government maintains the third world situation of hundreds
of individual generators, which does NOT fit the definition of sustainable,
because this is harmful to the environment, and it is depleting natural
resources at a much higher rate than a grid does.)
The Daintree River ferry crossing is an important element of the tourist
experience and tourism economy, creating a sense of destination and emphasising
the isolation and significance of the area. The
ferry limits the number of vehicles that can travel into the area during
peak periods, which serves to limit undesirable crowding on roads
and at visitor facilities. In this regard, maintaining
a car ferry, as opposed to constructing a bridge crossing, remains a policy
for the region.
The region is very vulnerable to rising fuel prices due to its heavy reliance
on air and vehicle-based transport for the import and export of goods
(It does not mention here that the Daintree
region / community is vulnerable to rising fuel prices because of this
community relying on diesel generators, this is what nearly killed Cape
Tribulation in 2012)
it would not be appropriate to allow higher dwelling densities at Mission
Beach than those identified in the current planning schemes due to the
serious threat that increased traffic would have on the endangered southern
cassowary. Similarly, it is not intended that dwelling
densities increase in the area north of the Daintree River.