The pro-Labor Wilderness Society, that has campaigned for the last three years to support the Queensland Government's Wild Rivers legislation, has fought plans from both LNP and Abbott to overturn the Wild Rivers Act.
The arrival of the election billboards this week indicate that Labor may call an early election, ahead of a March 2012 date, that will also coincide with local Council elections.
The regulation and access to Wild Rivers on the Cape York Peninsula is a dividing issue, not so much for those cosy in the city of Cairns or South East Queensland, many who would not even have seen the remote wonderland of the Cape or even tripped over an Aborigine.
Last year I trekked north to the very tip of Cape York, and spent time talking and listening to the locals, including Mayor of the Northern Peninsula Area, Joseph Elu, who expressed anger at how the State Government had not engaged his people in the process.
"We're the first people in Queensland that say the Cape rivers need protection, but protection doesn't mean lock up," Joseph Elu told CairnsBlog. "Wild Rivers is very much a lock up situation."
Mayor Elu said they have river protection covered under conservation covenants and national parks, which is enough protection. He warned that any lock up will only damage the river systems, with many feral pigs and cane toads. He was scathing about the lack of negotiations by the State Labor government over the proposed Wild Rivers legislation.
"Their way of consulting, is telling us what's going to happen," Joseph Elu said. "They did not come to us when the crucial decision on Wild Rivers were declared. They did not come to us and say why they are doing this. They did this behind closed doors."