Camera Traps – November 2022 accrued 63-cassowaries, 21-dingoes and 71-feral pigs. Against the cumulative monthly average, cassowary numbers dropped by 34%, dingoes fell by 14% and feral-pigs also decreased by 33%. Against November 2021, cassowary numbers rose by 152%, dingoes rose by 425% and feral-pig numbers increased by 25%.
As both projects are complementary, the following conforms with submission lodged on behalf of Daintree Rainforest Foundation LTD:
The environment within which these two projects are proposed, is arguably the most valuable and vulnerable in the world. Containing extraordinary values, including the richest portion of the second-most irreplaceable natural and mixed World Heritage site currently included on the World Heritage List, greatly enriched with the contiguous portion of Great Barrier Reef and at its nexus, the world’s most diverse mangrove community, this phenomenal fusion of World Heritage wonders compounds into Nature’s Masterpiece! This world-renowned eco-tourism attraction draws some 500,000-visitors-per-year, but incredibly has no formal identity. Known colloquially as ‘Daintree Rainforest’, this brand has been commandeered by intergovernmental policy since 1995, to widely expand across the entire northern region of Queensland’s Wet Tropics.
The environment is already heavily inscribed with legislative protection, predominantly World Heritage-listed but also National Heritage-listed for both natural and Aboriginal Cultural values. Much of the area is federally declared as an Endangered Ecological Community, both within and beyond the World Heritage boundary, across its low-land tropical rainforest assemblages and also across its Broad-leafed Tea-Tree (Melaleuca viridiflora) woodlands. The area’s littoral rainforests and coastal vine thickets are federally declared as a Critically Endangered Ecological Community & since 1995. The area is also predominantly declared Daintree National Park, from its former declaration as Cape Tribulation National Park in 1980. Overall, the area is a complex mix of tenures, both within the World Heritage-listed area and also outside the World Heritage-boundary, including a minority portion of Freehold and Leasehold lands and also a collection of Road Reserves and other minor Reserves for special purposes.
For the past 34-years, since World Heritage-listing, the prevailing attitude towards this irreplaceable part of the planet has been sadly negligent. Since 1995, the sole conservation economy, eco-tourism, has been subject to Wet Tropics Management Authority (WTMA) policy – future growth beyond the sustainable level of visitor use in the Daintree-Cape Tribulation area will be directed to appropriate areas south of the Daintree River. Whilst tens-of-millions-of-dollars have been invested implementing this policy objective, on the issue of energy, the environment most-deserving of the cleanest and greenest form of electricity-supply in the world, has been slapped with the dirtiest and most expensive. Since May 2000, when the area between the Daintree River and Cape Tribulation was excised from the State’s Authorised Distribution Area and Stand-alone Powers Supplies (SAPS) were legislatively imposed on a per-property basis, with the noise, emissions and expense of more engine-generators per-capita in the Daintree Rainforest than probably anywhere else in the world, the local school’s enrolments have plummeted from ninety students to fourteen. It is hard to imagine how such a failing could have been achieved, with all the country’s affluence and high education, but it would seem that it is through ill-spirited and uncharitable ‘environmental’ zealotry that these policies seek to effectively starve and choke out the custodial community and scuttle ecotourism support to achieve some ideological objective of saving nature from the spread of humanity.
In 2007, Bailey Creek Community League – the ratepayers’ association for the Daintree Rainforest community, called upon the Queensland Government to adopt a new policy for the provision of electricity:
That protects, to the greatest possible extent, the exceptional environmental values (including the people and communities) within the area, through renewable optimisation, innovation, development and provision of world’s best-practice electricity supply.
This Daintree Micro-grid Project conforms beautifully with the custodial community’s urgent call for energy reform and should be given every support bringing it to fruition in the most timely manner, under the controlled action of the EPBC Act as a matter of National Environmental Significance.
It is with profound sadness that we report on the demise of Clifford Wise OAM, a most respected and dedicated Director of Daintree Rainforest Foundation Ltd.
Cliff was Vice Principal and teacher of Business Studies and Accounting at Boronia Heights Secondary College, when he fell from a roof while adjusting the television aerial of his parents’ house at Torquay, damaging his spine. He was left quadriplegic and has spent his last 39 years in a wheel chair. It is in this situation that he inspired the successful nomination for the esteemed Order of Australia Medal for the work that he did in representing the Quadriplegic Association of Australia. He pioneered the release of quadriplegic and paraplegic patients from hospital back into their homes with attendant care.
He was a voice for the incapacitated who were unable to represent themselves, and he secured a better standard of care for future incapacitated people. Prior to Cliff’s intervention, similarly affected quadriplegics and paraplegics were placed in full time institutionalised care for at least 18 months before being considered for a return to home and family.
On his recovery, he returned to his position as Vice Principal of Boronia Heights Secondary College and assumed responsibility for Curriculum Development at the time of Participation and Equity Programs during the Educational Revolution in 1980’s to early 1990’s. He contributed fully to the administration of the school and helped us to accept that his Quadriplegia was the beginning of a new way of life.
His bravery and dedication will not be forgotten.
We sympathise with the Cliff’s family, wife Wendy, son Andrew and Daughter Kim and share their sad loss. They have had the best of what Cliff was able to give.
3 December 2022
Director, Daintree Rainforest Foundation Ltd.
Ex-Principal of Boronia Heights Secondary College
“I have lost one of my dearest friends. May he Rest in Peace.”
Director/Trustee since 2005 and is a member of the Grants Sub-committee. He is currently a Director of InLife which is a disability Service Provider and is a member of the Yarra Ranges Council Disability Advisory Committee.
Cliff has interests in disability issues and works to support improved quality of life of disabled people and is a retired Secondary School Principal class member, and now a practicing Principal in his private accounting practice.
Cliff was formerly a Director and Chairman of Independence Australia until 2015. He was previously a Director and Chairman of AQA – Victoria.
In 2007, Cliff was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to the community and particularly to organisations that support people with Disabilities.
Daintree Rainforest Foundation Ltd has been registered by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and successfully entered onto the Register of Environmental Organisations. Donations made to the Daintree Rainforest Fund support Daintree Rainforest community custodianship and are eligible for a tax deduction under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.