Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS @SCHOOL -

This is go­ing to be chaos and lots of peo­ple and busi­nesses will be los­ing a lot of money with this.

Of course this would never have hap­pened if coun­cil could just do a proper job and fol­low up on the rec­om­men­da­tions from its own stud­ies. In 2004 a study into the Dain­tree cross­ing rec­om­mended a se­cond ferry which would re­duce the mas­sive queues ex­pe­ri­enced there for a good part of the year.

This ferry would then also be the back up op­tion should a dis­as­ter ever hap­pen with the main ferry, be­cause what good is $4 mil­lion in a ferry re­serve if you can’t just go to a hire place and rent another car ca­ble ferry? These are not com­mon items.

Now we are faced with an in­ad­e­quate ser­vice for five days which is go­ing to cost us all money in the Dain­tree.

Cape Trib is com­pletely screwed as the shut­tle bus will only go to Cow Bay. No idea how our daugh­ter is gonna go from Cape Trib to Moss­man High School that week, and ac­com­mo­da­tion guests that have al­ready booked with us will now prob­a­bly can­cel – who would spend money on a rental car in Cairns to have it sit­ting un­used at the Dain­tree River, take a shut­tle bus to Cow Bay and then hitch hike or walk the rest of the way?

Rob La­paer, Dain­tree

Dain­tree re­minded me why I am re­lieved not to be on Coun­cil de­spite the chair say­ing the meet­ing was about so­lu­tions, not re­crim­i­na­tions, the whole meet­ing was long whinge ses­sion about Coun­cil, which did not cause the prob­lem, with lit­tle at­ten­tion to how this un­for­tu­nate episode is best han­dled.

The meet­ing de­manded an al­ter­na­tive ferry for the out­age pe­riod and there is no ques­tion that would be the best solution. How­ever, find­ing a ca­ble driven ferry at short no­tice is clearly un­likely and a pro­pel­ler driven land­ing barge could only be used for lim­ited times be­cause the wa­ter is too shal­low but may help those who re­ally need it.

A few, like fruit grow­ers with trans­port and mar­ket sched­ules have a se­ri­ous prob­lem that de­serves a solution but most peo­ple over the river will ac­com­mo­date the out­age be­cause we ac­cept that liv­ing in a re­mote and beau­ti­ful place comes with some in­con­ve­nience.

No prob­lem peo­ple vent­ing their spleen but to spend the en­tire meet­ing do­ing that, treat­ing the coun­cil­lors who at­tended with con­tempt and fail­ing to explore work­able so­lu­tions for those that re­ally need it, meant the meet­ing achieved lit­tle.

What a shame we don’t ap­ply sim­i­lar en­ergy to bet­ter pre­sen­ta­tion, im­prov­ing con­ser­va­tion and find­ing ways to en­sure North of the Dain­tree gets more ben­e­fit from tourism, of which it cur­rently gets very lit­tle.

This place is one of Aus­tralia’s con­ser­va­tion and tourism icons – mak­ing it func­tion like a city sub­urb eg a bridge over the Dain­tree, a wide fast road, retic­u­lated power, shops, ur­ban ser­vices….all of which have been de­manded to avoid in­con­ve­niences like the ferry, would un­der­mine one of Aus­tralia’s most trea­sured nat­u­ral as­sets.

Mike Berwick, Dain­tree

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