Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

The Mayor, pre­sum­ably rep­re­sent­ing Coun­cil, has sug­gested that since ferry num­bers have in­creased over the years, peo­ple north of the River should be happy!!

What an aw­ful slap in the face! It shows no em­pa­thy with the North and South Dou­glas com­mu­ni­ties, nor re­spect for irate trav­ellers.

To top things off, Coun­cil has made two fur­ther amaz­ing de­ci­sions

An amount of $4,000,000 will be set aside for a po­ten­tial dis­as­ter. This seems to as­sume that no State of Fed­eral help would be forth­com­ing. The fig­ure of $4m co­in­cides with the ac­cu­mu­lated amount in the Ferry Re­serve. How con­ve­nient!

The $500-600,000 an­nual ex­cess will not be al­lo­cated to north of the river im­prove­ments (as was con­ceived over the years), but will in­stead go to con­sol­i­dated rev­enue. Based on the cur­rent year bud­get, this does not in­clude com­pre­hen­sive ferry im­prove­ments.

Yet it is pos­si­ble to make some real ad­vances be­fore the 2018 sea­son, as well as longer term plan­ning for the next ferry con­tract.

Where is the ev­i­dence that Coun­cil has ad­dressed: * au­to­matic safety gates, * ad­vance tick­et­ing * proper re­ceipt­ing to fa­cil­i­tate re­turn jour­neys * two-tier pric­ing * down­load point at ferry * traf­fic lanes * op­tions of a big­ger ferry, a sec­ond ferry, or a bridge pos­si­ble sites for any sec­ond ferry or bridge so­lu­tion com­mu­nity en­gage­ment in its ferry pro­cesses?

Coun­cil­lors, please take con­trol of this un­fold­ing de­ba­cle.

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