Daintree power a top priority: Frydenberg


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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(L-R) Federal Energy and Environment Minister, John Frydenberg, said the government 'was 100 per cent' behind the Daintree community getting power, as Warren Entsch looks on. IMAGE: Supplied.
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A 30-YEAR battle to obtain power in the Daintree and the reliance on diesel and petrol generators could finally be at an end following a highly-charged and positive meeting in the region.

And Russell O’Doherty, chair of the Daintree Rainforest Power Committee, said this is the closest the area has come to securing connection to the grid.

“This is the most confident I have ever been. For the first time I believe we have the support from the relevant people and if everything falls into place, we’ll be connected early next year,” he told Newsport.

Federal Energy and Environment Minister, John Frydenberg, said his government “was 100 per cent” behind the community getting power.

“I have told the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to treat this as a priority,” Frydenberg told a gathering of more than 100 people.

The Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch; State Opposition energy spokesman Michael Hart; Douglas Shire councillors Abigail Noli and Michael Kerr; ARENA and Wet Tropics Management Authority representatives were also present.

“The only caveat at this point is the support of the State Government. We invited the premier and energy minister seven weeks ago, and when we followed up after they failed to respond, we were advised they were ‘too busy’ to attend.

“This was viewed as a disgrace, but we still hope to engage with the state government as all three levels of government need to be involved,” said O’Doherty.

O’Doherty said the need for power has increased over the years and a mere three per cent of people do not want power. “The businesses want it, and those against it, is their choice to make.”

The next step is a report from an advisory group on renewable energy which ARENA will appropriately act upon.

Meanwhile, O’Doherty still has work to do – getting the Queensland Government on board. 

Will the Daintree be connected next year? Let us know in the comments below!

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