⟼ CEO recommends Council sell Lot 83
⟼ Lot 83 was purchased by the previous Council for carbon offsets, rainforest restoration and related uses
⟼ Buyer is Queensland Trust For Nature and Rainforest Rescue
In a report to a special Council meeting to be held tomorrow, Monday 10 August, 2020, the CEO has recommended Council sell Lot 83 (376 ha on the Daintree Cape, Tribulation Rd, purchased by the previous Council for carbon offsets, rainforest restoration and related uses), to the Queensland Trust For Nature (QTFN) and Rainforest Rescue (RR).
The recommendation to sell the land to QTFN and RR follows a letter of offer from the two conservation trusts to buy the land from Council for the same price it paid for the land last year, $725,000.
According to the report before Council, QTFN and RR wrote to Council on 23 July 2020 offering to buy the land, essentially for the same purposes Council bought for it in the first place – biodiversity restoration, establishing plant nursery activities, developing education programs, and to work with the local Aboriginal groups to conduct training and explore commercial opportunities.
The purchase of the land was a hot topic during the election, the previous Council condemned for the purchase, and its proposed carbon neutral partnership with the tourism industry.
The property purchase was to be the first stage of a Council/tourism industry partnership to create a carbon neutral holiday destination in which carbon offsets by willing tourism operators would help pay for ecosystem restoration, ie capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions in a regenerating forest.
QTFN and RR had offered to reimburse the previous Council for the purchase on the understanding Council would reinvest in further properties for the purposes of carbon offsets and ecosystem restoration. Council itself was to use the property to offset its own carbon emissions of approximately 6,000 tonnes CO2e/year.
Should Council adopt the recommendation, QTFN and RR will effectively take over the project the previous Council initiated, seeking offsets from industry to restore ecosystems in partnership with Jabalbina, at the same time generating economic opportunities for traditional owners.
DouglasNews.Network recently published an account of the current Council’s intention to sell the land raising the concern of its possible loss to conservation, the end of an opportunity to become a carbon neutral region and the promotional benefits that would bring to a nature-based industry whose future was threatened by climate change.
Should the sale go ahead, the original concept has a new lease of life, led by two conservations trusts rather than Council.
According to the report, Council will decide whether or not Council will continue the pursuit of a carbon neutral destination after “….Council’s broader carbon neutral strategy (is) explored after community consultation. “