Shire residents to decide Daintree River crossing


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Replacing the ferry service with a bridge over the Daintree River has been debated passionately in the community for many years, according to a Council statement. Image: Newsport
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A survey entitled “Bridge or Ferry for the Daintree River?” has been sent to residents who will get the opportunity to consider their options for this hotly-debated issue.

In August the Douglas Shire Council paused negotiations for a two-ferry solution to go back out to the community with more information about a bridge, potential sites, expected costs and the forecast costs for the proposed two-ferry service.

Replacing the ferry service with a bridge over the Daintree River has been debated passionately in the community for many years, according to a Council statement.

“There are people who believe the ferry service needs to be retained and those who think a bridge is the only practical solution. There is also a section of the community who want to know more about each option before deciding.”

The Council report states that Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said the Daintree River Crossing Options Report examines a two-ferry service and bridge option, and compares them against the current single ferry arrangement.

“The two ferry option is based on the preferred tenderer’s proposal, and includes estimated costs for the land based infrastructure such as a new ramp, mooring pylons and new road on southern bank, to support the improved service.

“The bridge options were developed in-house by two Council engineers with bridge construction experience. It involved a desktop review of possible locations and estimated construction costs and associated infrastructure including approach roads.”

In reference to the survey, Kerr said all ratepayers will receive a survey either in the mail for absentee landowners, or dropped into letter boxes of all households in the Shire.

Kerr said if a two-ferry solution is preferred, the time frame to obtain approvals, build a new ferry and associated land-based infrastructure, is expected to be over one year.

“If a bridge option is preferred, it is expected that design, approvals and construction of a bridge and associated roadworks could take over five years to complete,” the Mayor said.

There are three survey questions and there is provision to tick a box for what you believe is the best option:

  • i) which Daintree Ferry crossing do you prefer? Two ferry service or bridge;
  • ii) should the ferry ticket price or a bridge toll? Cover costs only or provide a revenue stream for DSC; and
  • iii) are you a resident of Douglas Shire?   



Community consultation for the Daintree River crossing kick off next week. The sessions dates, times and locations are listed below. 

Port Douglas Community Hall

Monday 28 September [38 capacity per session]
· 10am to 11.30am
· 1.30pm to 3pm
· 5.30pm to 7pm

Mossman Shire Hall

Friday 2 October [50 capacity per session]
· 1.30pm to 3pm
· 5.30pm to 7pm

Diwan Sports Centre

Wednesday 7 October
· 2pm to 3.30pm
· 4pm to 5.30pm

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