Douglas Shire Council will make a request for the State Government to take immediate steps to provide electricity to communities north of the Daintree River.
Mayor Julia Leu said that while electricity supply is first and foremost a State Government responsibility, the policy position adopted at today’s Ordinary Council Meeting considers the provision of electricity to communities north of the river to be an essential service.
“There is a legitimate entitlement to a reliable State-supplied electricity supply to the residents and businesses in the area and Council will co-operate fully with any proposals for the extension of electricity supply to properties north of the river,” Mayor Leu said.
“But it is essential any proposal takes into account the unique and sensitive environmental characteristics of the Daintree, its World Heritage Status and the climatic risks such as cyclones which impact the area.”
Mayor Leu said Council understood the provision of electricity north of the Daintree River was a complex issue, but was advocating for the State and Federal Governments to put forward viable solutions after years of promises.
“Historically, the limitation on electricity supply to communities north of the river was primarily as a consequence of a desire by relevant governments and authorities to restrict over-development,” Mayor Leu said.
“But with the implementation of the 2006 Douglas Shire Planning Scheme and the substantial completion of the “buyback” of land, much of this risk has been mitigated.
“We look forward to a meaningful dialogue with the State and Federal Governments, which of course must ultimately decide on and fund any provision of electricity north of the river.”