Promising contenders have emerged for ferry tender


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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The company that wins the Daintree River Ferry contract will not only face a number of unique challenges, but will need to produce cutting-edge ideas to improve the widely-used service.

But what is heartening for Douglas Shire Council, is that when the Expressions of Interest closed last month, reputable companies with a proven track record and a global reach were among those who responded and lodged submissions ahead of the formal tender process.

Although Council would not reveal any of the ‘reputable companies’, Mayor Julia Leu said the response was not surprising.

“Given the Daintree Ferry is a unique, iconic and renowned tourist attraction that carries about 100,000 vehicles across the Daintree River every year,” she said.

The Daintree Ferry Contract Renewal project team is now working closely with its legal team to review the draft tender specifications.

“The project team will be looking at these submissions very closely and discussing some of the ideas before going back out to the market for a competitive tender process.

“Council is shaping up to be in an enviable position where it is choosing from a range of strong tender applications,” said Council. 

“Council will be running a solutions-based tender that is focused on improving the ferry crossing.

“Council wants the market to help us solve some of the challenges we face with the current ferry service and come up with cutting-edge ideas for this iconic piece of Australian tourism infrastructure,” said Leu.

Another public meeting will be held north of the Daintree River before the tender goes out to market. A date, time and location will be confirmed shortly.

Council is planning to invite tenders by no later than 30 June 2019 and to award the contract by no later than 31 December 2019.

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