Dain­tree’s cross­ing a brake

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

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

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