Results are in: community has spoken on ferry’s future



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The public has 
spoken with the results of the Daintree River Crossing survey released today showing the community has voted no to building a bridge across the Daintree River, preferring a two-ferry system instead.

In September, Council put the hotly debated topic out to public consultation via a six-week survey asking for the community's preference between a two ferry system or a bridge to ease traffic congestion issues at the current single ferry crossing.

External research agency, Compass Research, analysed the results which show 66 per cent of those who voted prefer a two-ferry service, compared to the 33 per cent who voted in preference of a bridge.

Classifieds: Douglas Shire Public Notices and Council Notices

Compass Research received 3,992 survey responses compared to the 117 responses which were received during previous consultation in 2018.

After validating residents against the electoral roll, and absentee ratepayers against rates register, and removing any duplicates, 2,757 responses were received from residents and ratepayers.

An additional 652 responses were received from people living outside the Shire and do not own property here, creating a total of 3409 valid responses.

The results were broken down by area, with 600 residents voting from Port Douglas, 390 from Mossman, 326 from North of the river, and 816 from other areas south of the river.

The results were consistent across different groups of survey respondents, including those who live north of the Daintree River, where 63 per cent preferred the two-ferry solution.

- The Daintree Crossing debate: An explainer
- Have your say: Daintree Crossing Options report released to public
- Daintree bridge debate ignited: council votes to explore options

Community opinions were split, however, on a question about whether the ticket charges should cover costs only or be used as a revenue stream for Council, with one per cent more residents and ratepayers opting for the ferry crossing to provide revenue.

Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the community has made an educated choice about the crossing’s future, which he will support when the report is tabled and the final decision is voted on by Councillors at the next Ordinary Council Meeting on 15 December.

“I am now confident we can move forward with the two-ferry contract negotiation, continue applications for relevant approvals for a second ferry crossing and work at improving the ferry experience for travellers and locals,” he said.

View the full Compass Research report.

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