Second Daintree Blockade on the cards
A CONSERVATION group has started a petition to block a bridge being built across the Daintree River, saying they're willing to stage a Daintree Blockade-style protest if needed.
The Douglas Shire Sustainability Group has launched a "Save the Daintree Again" campaign, which has already received 25,000 signatures, and publicly criticised the Douglas Shire Council for considering a bridge at the World Heritage Listed rainforest.
DSSG president Didge McDonald said his group was appalled with what he called "restrictive consultation" from the council and the federal government, saying they're ignoring wider national and global views.
He said the group would seriously consider a "second round" of the infamous Daintree Blockade of 1983 if plans for a bridge gathered steam.
"We are similarly appalled that the local council … seems to have no appreciation that visitors, on whom 80 per cent of Douglas Shire's economy depends, want conservation not development and urbanisation," he said.
"(Council) Has prepared an options paper that looks only at the cost of the cheapest possible low-level bridge with no environmental, economic or social impact assessment and no overall cost benefit analysis."
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr rubbished the claims, pointing to his released "options report" and upcoming town hall meetings as evidence of a transparent process.
He said it was up to the community to decide whether a bridge or a second ferry will be implemented to ease traffic congestion at the Daintree River crossing.
"This is the most open consultation on any issue this council has seen for years," Mr Kerr said. "We're doing an open and appropriate consultation involving the whole community."
DSSG claim federal member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch and the Cook Shire Council were pushing "to build a main road to Cooktown along the coast through the Daintree rainforest."
Mr Kerr said the petition was misleading.
"There are things on the petition that are just opinions of the party involved and not factual whatsoever," he said.
"Someone could start a petition tomorrow about stopping diesel generators being used in the Daintree Rainforest and if it's written appropriately people will sign it.
We are all here to protect the environment … but it's the ratepayers who will be paying for this and they deserve to have their say."
Originally published as Second Daintree Blockade 'seriously considered'