LETTER | Safety aspect ignored in Daintree power debate


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Dear Editor,

Thank you for taking the initiative to survey the Community regarding Renewable Mircogrid Power.

From reading the many comments posted, the white elephant in the room is largely being ignored, this is,-

‘Compromised Safety through Lack of Power'.

Community Safety is a far more important issue than one person’s or groups preferences for or against Renewable Mircogrid Power.

An overwhelming example is the two telecommunication relay towers on Alexandra Range and Cape Tribulation; they are powered by batteries which are charged by solar. If bad weather renders the panels ineffective a generator kicks in.

When the generator breaks down or runs out of fuel (which happens a few times each year) it can take days for Telstra to recognise the fault and again days until it is fixed (weather permitting).

The Community and hundreds of thousands of visitors each year are then left vulnerable without mobile services, landlines and the internet.

Every year, these outages effect the children at the Alexandra Bay Public School. They are unable to use the internet for their education for days on end.

The greater issue here is, the teachers being unable to contact Emergency Services should a situation arise and how are parents notified in such a crisis? Reliable power to these towers is of the upmost necessity.

Last year the petrol supply to the generator at the Cow Bay Medical Center ran dry. This damaged the inverter which required replacement.

The outage ruined medicines worth thousands of dollars. Until they were replenished, people’s lives were at risk.

Reliable power to Community Services is of the upmost priority.

By Douglas Shire Council not actively supporting the Federal Government's proposed Renewable Mircogrid Power Initiative, they are grossly failing their Duty of Care to the Community.

Mayor Leu’s suggestion of “another survey” is clearly a delay tactic.

Over many years there have been many surveys with overwhelming support for grid power. This is again confirmed through the results of the Newsport poll, which shows 85% in favour of Renewable Mircogrid Power.

Mayor Leu should now be seen to actively support the majority.

Reducing pollution in the Daintree Rainforest is a huge step towards the Douglas Shire making a legitimate claim for 'International Eco Certification'.

Reliable grid power is a Community necessity not an individual choice.

- A Concerned Resident

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