Berwick calls for Daintree Ferry contractors to think big


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Former Mayor and Spokesperson for the Douglas Shire Sustainability Group (DSSG) Mike Berwick wants the Daintree Ferry to become a visitor experience. IMAGE: Supplied.

DOUGLAS Shire Council will be staging two forums this week to discuss the future of the Daintree River Ferry.

The forums will be at the following locations on Friday 9 November:

Whet Restaurant, Cape Tribulation – 8:30am to 10:30am

Cow Bay Hotel, Daintree – 1:30pm to 3:30pm

A summary of all feedback received from relevant stakeholders will be presented at the forums. The forums will provide the opportunity to discuss the findings and for the community to provide further input.

This follows Council’s decision in July to endorse a Community Engagement Plan encouraging all stakeholders to provide their input before the tenders are issued.

The current Daintree ferry contract is due to expire on 30 June 2021.

Douglas Shire Council is planning to issue tenders for a new contract no later than 30 June 2019 with the aim of awarding a contract by 31 December 2019. This would allow 18 months for the successful tenderer to build a new vessel should this form part of their offer.

Last month, the Douglas Shire Sustainability Group (DSSG) called on potential tenderers for the Daintree River ferry contract to look at offering a ‘Daintree Ferry Experience’ when they prepare their tender documents.

DSSG spokesperson and former mayor Mike Berwick said at the time it is critical that whoever wants to assume the new contract in 2021 must look at the big picture and take into consideration imposing a visitors levy, a booking system for peak times, priority lanes for locals, the development of an interpretive centre, a coffee shop, and a shuttle bus service on the North side to return visitors to their cars via the ferry following a river tour.



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