Daintree River Crossing public meetings announced as consultation opens

HAVE YOUR SAY: BRIDGE OR FERRY

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Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said it is now up to the community to tell the Council what they prefer. Image: Supplied.
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It’s now time to have your say on whether you prefer a bridge or a ferry to cross the Daintree River with the six-week consultation period officially opening today.

Douglas Shire residents can now register to attend one of seven COVID-safe community meetings, where they will be able to speak to engineers about the future of the Daintree River crossing.

The community meetings will give attendees a chance to ask further questions of Council engineers about the various options to make a better-informed decision.

The Daintree River Crossing Options Assessment Report, which examines a two-ferry service and bridge option, and compares them against the current single ferry arrangement, has been publicly available for the past two weeks.


Have your say: Complete the survey here.


Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the consultation would include an online survey, postcard delivery to all letterboxes in the shire, community meetings and written submissions.

“The next six weeks is your opportunity to tell us what you want for the Daintree River crossing,” he said.

“For the first time, our community will be making a transparent decision on this issue with a solid understanding of how much each option may cost them and the various engineering challenges involved.

“At the end of the day, I will be supporting the option that the majority of our local community wants and progressing that direction – it is time we put this issue to bed,” said Mayor Kerr.


RELATED:
- Daintree crossing debate: postcards to hit every mailbox in Douglas
- Have your say: Daintree crossing options report released to public
- Daintree bridge versus ferry debate to go to public consultation
- Daintree bridge debate ignited: council votes to explore options


Council has commissioned an external research agency to gather survey data, verify details against the electoral roll and present the results showing which option is preferred by all respondents.

The survey results will differentiate between the preference of Douglas Shire residents and ratepayers and those who live out of the shire, as well as which option is preferred by residents living north of the Daintree River.

The Options Report can be viewed online and has been downloaded almost 350. Hard copies of the report may be viewed at Council's Admin office in Mossman, at both Council libraries, Croc Espresso in Daintree Village and at Mason's Cafe in Cape Tribulation, Rainforest Village in Diwan and the Daintree Discovery Centre in Cow Bay.

People will have the choice of completing the survey online or in the mail.

Postcards will be dropped to 7,500+ households across Douglas Shire and a further 3,300 mailed to non-resident, interstate ratepayers.

To attend an information meeting, head to Council’s website to register your attendance for the following sessions:

Port Douglas Community Hall - Monday 28 September [38 capacity per session]
10am to 11.30am, 1.30pm to 3pm, or 5.30pm to 7pm

Mossman Shire Hall - Friday 2 October [50 capacity per session]
1.30pm to 3pm or 5.30pm to 7pm

Diwan Sports Centre - Wednesday 7 October
2pm to 3.30pm or 4pm to 5.30pm

One local group has already made their opinion publicly known by launching a “Save the Daintree, Again” campaign, installing signs around the region imploring people to vote no to the bridge reading, "don't risk our world heritage jewel".

President of the Douglas Shire Sustainability Group, Didge McDonald, said he was against the push for a bridge.

“A second round of the Bloomfield Road Blockade, that led to World Heritage listing in the 80’s, needs to be seriously considered,” he said.

Time will tell what the majority of the community prefers with the consolation period closing on 26 October.



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