Construction ‘to start this month’ at Diggers Bridge

MOWBRAY VALLEY

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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A protester at Diggers Bridge can be seen with a hammock in one of the rain trees that will be removed when construction begins this month. IMAGE: Supplied.
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CONSTRUCTION of the two-lane bridge to replace Diggers Bridge in the Mowbray Valley is only expected to start mid-July, but it appears the battle lines have already been drawn and this week a ‘protester’ was perched on a tree along with a hammock.

This will come as no surprise after Gary Hunt, one the valley’s biggest landowners, said the region is headed for a blockade – it could mimic the 1980s Daintree Blockade which received international media coverage – if plans to redevelop Diggers Bridge are not halted.

Council said in a statement today they are finalising a project handover to the principal contractors, who will control the site and any unlawful behaviour will be referred to police.

“Councillors and staff have held several peaceful meetings with Mowbray Valley residents and do not expect any adverse behaviour. Construction is expected to start this month.”

A full project overview and documents are available on Council’s website.

Council did not respond to how they would handle a ‘media circus’ – if it amounted to that – and whether they had a crisis management plan in place. They would also not reveal if they had met with local authorities, such as the police.

Hunt, meanwhile, has said he is concerned about the media damage it will cause if a ‘Daintree Blockade’ style protest were to erupt at the site.

“As somebody who loves this area I’m very concerned about the reputational damage a story like this could have.

“I know people are willing to chain themselves to the trees which will be picked up on national television and gain huge mainstream media exposure."

 

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