There are quite a few Daintree residents that think the government wants
to help them, but they are short of money.
If it was about money then Forest Creek residents next door to grid connected
houses could be hooked up to the grid as they are so close they could
pay for the whole connection cost themselves, but no, the government maintains
the discriminatory exclusion from Ergon's distribution area.
To think our government wants to help us but is short of money is a bit
naive, the $25 million needed to put a normal electricity supply in the
Daintree sounds like huge money to a simple person living on a seasonal
tourism wage or the dole in the Daintree, but to government this is nothing.
Just look up the road from the Daintree, the bridge over the Bloomfield
river cost the tax payer $21 million and the bridge over the Woobadda
was budgeted at $2.5 million but according to rumours the cost went way
So while there has been no money for electricity there are two lumps of
concrete sitting there out in the bush that cost the same $25 million
as a grid through the entire Daintree would have cost.
So while the Queensland government denies money for basic infrastructure
in the Daintree, which through its rain forest tourism industry contributes
about a billion dollars a year per year to the economy, just look at only
some of the other things the government has money for;
$11 million for solar panels and $2 million for a fibre optic cable
to Doomadgee (which makes no contribution what so ever to the economy)
$7 million for a temporary desalination plant, $16.5 million primary
health care facility and $3.5 million wastewater treatment plant,
with a further 160 homes expected over the next three years on
Palm Island, and then in June 2017 it was also announced that
the Palm Island power station will be upgraded for $16.5 million!
$33.5 million for houses in the indigenous community Aurukun
and (June 2017) announced that the town's generator will be replaced
at a cost of $1.2 million. And a new 133km underground optical
fibre cable is being laid. (no contribution)
$1.8 million to replace the Murray Island generator. (no contribution)
$313,000.- to for solar power on Coconut Island. (no contribution)
$800,000.- for a fibre optic internet cable to Hopevale (why
can't they use satellite like the Daintree does?)
Countless milliions every year to build and run 34 remote power
stations in indigenous communities from west Queensland to the
Torres Strait who only pay the subsidised state wide electricity
tariff. (no contribution)
$14 million for a Port Douglas water reservoir
$20 million for Mossman Gorge visitor centre
$42.5 million for a solar farm in Lakeland
$30 million for boat ramps across Queensland
$42 million to manage abandoned mine sites across Queensland
$30 million to Screen Queensland for films and TV shows
Other amounts bragged about in media statements by the Palaszczuk Government
$375 million Building Our Regions is a targeted regional infrastructure
program for local government projects, primarily for critical
infrastructure in regional areas of the state;
$180 million Significant Regional Infrastructure Projects Program,
part of the State Infrastructure Fund, is fast-tracking key economic
and social infrastructure projects in regional centres right across
Queensland including transport, health and education infrastructure;
$130 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund. The Jobs and Regional
Growth Fund is providing assistance for projects that require
direct and immediate assistance to protect and create jobs;
$100 million Back to Work program to $100 million Back to Work
- Regional Employment Package provides support to businesses for
up to 8000 job opportunities for regional jobseekers;
$40 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Program to
attract businesses to Queensland, either to relocate or establish
new projects in the State; and
$20 million Made in Queensland to providing support to Queensland’s
manufacturing sector through grants supplementing industry contributions.
The Government has invested $4.9 billion through its capital works
program across regional Queensland this financial year (2016-17).
Annual profits of electricity providers
Ergon Energy used to make around the $400 million but since they merged
with Energex in to Energy Queensland the nett after tax profits of the
Queensland electricity provider have gone up to $942 million per year!
It is time the Queensland government admits it has a policy
to sabotage the Daintree economy and drive people off their land.
They claim to be green but knock back every invitation to talk to the
Daintree community about a solution to end to the ongoing pollution.