Early ferry across river

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Mark Mur­ray

HOL­I­DAY-MAK­ERS in a hurry to get across the Dain­tree River in the New Year have struck gold, with the Dain­tree Ferry op­er­at­ing an hour ear­lier from Jan­uary 2.

The new 5am start time is a direct re­sult of pub­lic dis­cus­sions held by the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil and Dain­tree res­i­dents in Cow Bay and Cape Tribu­la­tion last month.

Mayor Ju­lia Leu said the op­er­a­tional im­prove­ment was a key sug­ges­tion at the meet­ings.

“Coun­cil has lis­tened to the com­mu­nity and wants to see how im­por­tant an ear­lier start is to busi­nesses and res­i­dents in the area,” she said.

“…We have many Dou­glas tradies who want to cross the river early to get to the work site and mar­ket stall hold­ers who would like to get to Moss­man or Port Dou­glas ear­lier on week­ends.

“Coun­cil will re­view the trial to­wards the end to de­ter­mine whether there is jus­ti­fi­ca­tion to for­mally change the hours of op­er­a­tion on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.”

Some busi­nesses also be- lieved an ear­lier start time would pro­vide tourists with more flex­i­bil­ity when trav­el­ling north of the Dain­tree River.

It comes as coun­cil an­nounced a four hour ex­ten­sion to Christ­mas Day op­er­at­ing hours for the ferry.

It will run from 7.30am to 5pm.

The Dain­tree Ferry has tra­di­tion­ally op­er­ated from 6am to mid­night with the trial to run un­til June 30, 2019.

“Coun­cil staff are still col­lat­ing and analysing feed­back re­ceived through our com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion for the con­tract re­newal and will be mak­ing these pub­lic soon,” Cr Leu said.

“We will con­tinue to look at ways to im­prove the cur­rent level of ser­vice un­til the new con­tract is awarded.

“I would like to par­tic­u­larly thank the ferry con­trac­tors for their ex­cel­lent work and high level of ser­vice they con­tinue to pro­vide the com­mu­nity.”

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