Zipline tragedy prompts calls for help in remote regions
TALKS are set to begin on whether emergency service agencies should be based permanently at Cape Tribulation in the wake of the tragic death of a man at a zipline attraction.
While there was no suggestion response time played any part in 50-year-old Dean Sanderson's death at Jungle Surfing Canopy, it has prompted calls from the community for help to be closer to hand.
The closest police, fire and ambulance stations are at Mossman, almost 30km south of the Daintree Ferry.
The calls come after it was revealed the Rescue 510 helicopter was delayed by more than an hour responding to the emergency due to mechanical issues. Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Craig Crawford said a warning light came on as the crew tried to take off, forcing them to shut down.
"It's unfortunate that the aircraft had to ground itself but we cannot afford to put our aircrews in danger," he said.
Ferntree Rainforest Lodge managing director Mark Cromwell, whose property is used as a helicopter landing pad, said the emergency services set-up at Cape Tribulation was a concern.
"Seeing it from our side of things, it's quite frightening. Someone's going to die one day, from lack of a plan, because the government can't get their act together," he said.
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu conceded that even though there were only 300 residences at Cape Tribulation, the population swelled with tourists during the day and potentially needed a bigger emergency services presence.
"I would urge the relevant ministers to review and investigate the possibility of additional emergency services and resources north of the Daintree River," she said.
Police Minister Mark Ryan said he would speak to Commissioner Katarina Carroll.
"In relation to having a permanent police presence at Cape Tribulation, that is a matter for the police commissioner," he said.
"But I am aware there are people who think it would be a good idea and I will raise the matter with the commissioner."