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First, some great news from Cape York.

FIRST, SOME GREAT NEWS from Cape York. In May, the Queensland government decided to take a different route in generating a regional plan for Cape York Peninsula. While the draft plan had threatened to open up more than half the Cape to development, including mining and land clearing for agriculture, the new regional plan process will ensure greater input and control by Traditional Owners and local communities. This should result in greater protection of the Cape's outstanding natural and cultural values.

Acknowledging he had heard the message, the Queensland Deputy Premier, Mr Seeney, noted that "we received more than 6000 submissions to the draft Cape York Plan representing a wide range of views and we will continue to engage with Cape residents to ensure our plan reflects their wishes." 5441 of those submissions came from ACF supporters, mostly Queenslanders. Thank you. Your efforts have made a real difference in protecting the Cape from destructive development. We will watch the regional plan's progress like hawks to ensure the new commitments are delivered.

Over in the Kimberley, ACF is seeking to permanently halt exploratory drilling and fracking for shale gas until an independent agency undertakes a thorough environmental assessment. Some of the proposed wells are within the flood plains of the National Heritage listed Fitzroy River and the Ramsar listed Roebuck Bay. The drilling program has been delayed but we fear the fight has only just begun.

Up in Kakadu National Park, ACF has raised serious concerns about the Ranger uranium mine following a massive radioactive sludge spill last December and amid recent revelations that plans to rehabilitate the mine lack sufficient funds. And over in Townsville and Mount Isa, we have been helping raise public awareness of the impacts of proposed new uranium mines in north Queensland. We believe the energy future for northern Australia, with its abundant sunshine, should be driven by clean renewable energies, not the dirty and dangerous fuels of the last century which leave a lasting and toxic legacy.

Graham Tupper


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Title Annotation:Campaign updates
Author:Tupper, Graham
Publication:Habitat Australia
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jul 1, 2014
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