Community consultations and survey add to confusion

DAINTREE POWER

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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State government-driven community consultations and a survey to gauge opinion on electricity supply for the Daintree appear to be at odds with what has been proposed by the Federal Government
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And Russell O’Doherty, president of Daintree Renewable Energy (DRE) Inc., and the driving force behind securing power north of the Daintree, believes the latest state government’s initiatives add to the confusion.

A Hydrogen Fuel Cell Micro-grid proposal already has the backing of the Federal Government as well as the funding.

However, the Queensland Government has not made a decision “to support any particular option at this time, and will carefully consider stakeholder feedback.”

The Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) said the Queensland Government is working with the Daintree community and stakeholders to deliver the Daintree Electricity Supply Study.

This work is assessing and comparing possible fit-for-purpose options for reliable and sustainable electricity supply for the Daintree region into the future.

And in their quest to obtain the relevant information from the Daintree community, they are encouraging the completion of a survey and the opportunity to attend two community consultation sessions.

The first of these sessions is at the Whet Restaurant, Cape Tribulation on Friday 8 November from 3:30pm to 6:30pm; and the second on Saturday 9 November at the Cow Bay Hotel from 9:00am to Noon.

But the drivers behind power in the Daintree remain confident with what the Federal Government has offered, despite the uncertainty emanating at state and local government level.

“We do not believe there is any value to hosting the community consultations and asking the residents to respond to another survey.

“This only adds to the confusion and we question what it will achieve,” said O’Doherty.    

In April this year, it was reported that the Daintree region could be the site of an Australian-first solar power to hydrogen gas-based micro-grid, with newly announced Federal Government funding tipped to help make the 100 per cent renewable project shovel ready.

At the time, the Morrison government unveiled plans to underwrite the establishment of up to 50 “affordable and reliable” renewable micro-grids around the country, thanks to a new $50.4 million purpose-built fund.

The Federal Energy Minister, Angus Taylor, has singled out the Daintree project as one the government hoped would be helped to investment stage by the new fund, and that the assistance would help foster new forms of micro-grid ownership.

Further information: https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/energy/initiatives/sustainable-electricity-supply-options-for-the-daintree 


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