LETTER | A third option to the Bridge/Ferry debate


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Dear Editor,

A bridge completely contradicts the aim and process of preserving and protecting the World Heritage Listing and the biodiversity of this environmental treasure, that is this unique rainforest. Human interference to the Daintree Wet Tropical Rainforest must be kept to a minimum – hence No Bridge, not now not ever!

There is a third option regarding the Daintree River crossing and one that I believe, deserves serious consideration. This option is one in use very successfully in many environmentally critical areas around the world. Given that the Daintree, in general, with its ancient perhaps million years old rainforest already depleted by the destructive nature of the human race in the name of progress, has to be preserved and nurtured no matter what the cost or inconvenience.

On the subject of cost, the World heritage Listing of The Daintree Rainforest and its surrounding area provides a huge attraction to adventure travellers from around the world, in normal times. These travellers bring a substantial financial contribution to the community and The Douglas Shire Council.

OPTION 3 Park and Ride and or Walk or Stay using One slightly modified Ferry.

Look no further than Mossman Gorge for a small example of Park, Ride and Walk, which is providing enjoyable experiences for locals and tourists, environmental protection for the rainforest plants and wildlife, as well as an income and employment opportunities for the Aboriginal Community,

Build a Visitor Centre & Cafe with secure parking for tourists’ cars on the Mossman side of the Daintree River, similar to that at the Mossman Gorge entry.

The Ferry Crossing only to be used by northside residents, service vehicles, tour operators, as well as the visiting pedestrians. The ferry would need adapting to provide shelter for the pedestrians and room for their luggage.

On the north side of the river a privately run bus service with multiple buses covering a circular route between the Ferry and Cape Tribulation.  

The provision of a safe walking track along the existing road, from the ferry to intermediate accommodation, beaches, lookouts etc. all the way to Cape Tribulation, with the option of hopping on and off the bus along the way in either direction. Travellers would be able to purchase all encompassing tickets for ferry and bus transport valid for one or two days or longer periods. This style of travel is popular world wide and many walks of this kind are booked out months in advance.

The Council would charge a licence fee to the bus operators, similar to the current ferry system. This arrangement would save the Council from incurring heavy debt and interest payments as well as encourage environmentally sensitive travel for the Shire – a win win strategy!

- Robert and Julie White - Port Douglas.

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