Daintree’s crossing a brake
NO additional land use restrictions for properties north of the Daintree River have been introduced in the draft planning scheme.
Mayor Julia Leu described the draft as ‘evolutionary’ rather than ‘revolutionary’ and in a move towards allowing economic development north of the river within the constraints imposed by the prior plan.
“As opposed to the current Planning Scheme which introduced significant changes to restrict development north of the Daintree River, the overriding intent of the Proposed Planning Scheme is to enable the Douglas Shire to essentially be more responsible for its own destiny,” said Ms Leu.
“This is achieved through a reduction in red tape, increased economic development opportunities and responsible environmental stewardship.”
Some of the new initiatives identified in the plan is a move to simplify requirements in establishing road side fruit stalls, the development of bed and breakfast, cabin, homestay, farmstay and other low-impact tourism development and other shire-wide initiatives to cut red tape and reduce costs.
All development that occurs north of the river must remain at a level that does not strain or exceed the capacity of three choke points however the Daintree Ferry, the Alexandra Range Rd and the local road network.
According to data obtained by the the Daintree Ferry capacity is limited at 27 cars one-way, with a return journey taking 15 minutes.
at 108 cars an hour, the ferry can move 1944 cars over the 18 hours it operates each day.
Because the ferry only operates at capacity for 5-6 hours a day during peak tourist season, actual traffic adds up to around 100,000 vehicles per year.
Ms Leu has committed to retaining the ferry as the river crossing.
No plans for an alternative to the Daintree River ferry