Daintree Ferry Audit gets councillors' blessing

Daintree River Ferry

Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Douglas Shire councillors have narrowly voted (3-2) in favour of a Daintree Ferry probity audit at a Special Meeting in Mossman today, but questionable ‘terminology’ and ‘unanswered questions’ were among the reasons why two councillors voted against the motion.

The five-month probity report, which was undertaken by Local Buy Probity and cost $45,399.00, was endorsed by Mayor Michael Kerr and Councillors Lisa Scomazzon and Peter McKeown. Councillors Abigail Noli and Roy Zammataro voted against it.

Although the councillors received the report 10 days ago, it is still a confidential document and Council will load it on their website once Local Buy Probity release it for public consumption.

Local Buy Probity is one of Australia's leading providers of independent probity services to Queensland government entities, and were entrusted to analyse the ferry contract process to ensure public trust and understanding in the decision-making process.

Cr Zammataro said although he was not against the audit itself, he said he opposed the way it was presented.

“Not all the stakeholders were consulted and I question words such as ‘it is understood’. I cannot pass this until the public sees it. It needs to go further,” he said.

Cr Noli concurred with Cr Zammataro and said she had compiled a dozen questions which need to be answered.

“I also do not know how this document will be formatted when it goes public,” she said.

Financial statement

The financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2021 were submitted and adopted.
Key points include:

  • The operating deficit for the year is $2.23m compared to a (revised) budgeted operating deficit of $3.66m;
  • The cash position at the end of the year is $24.1m ($3.2m of this cash is restricted);
  • No material changes to Council’s overall financial position resulted from the audit process.

RELATED: Daintree Ferry: How did we get there? - Part one

RELATED: Daintree Ferry: How did we get there? - Part two

RELATED: Audit launched into Daintree Ferry contract renewal


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