AN expression of interest to operate a slipway or boat-handling facility in Port Douglas will be released to the market next year.

Douglas Shire Council made the decision to gauge the appetite of the marine industry after a CMD Smith report detailed an economic analysis of the sector’s reliance on the slipway.

The report found that that the number of vessels berthed in Port Douglas marina facilities, pile moorings and inlet buoys would need to more than double to drive sufficient demand to support a new purpose built and operational facility.

The EOI is designed to test the findings of the investigation and understand what the market may be able to offer.

The slipway has a functioning ship-lifting facility, with associated infrastructure such as space to store boats and a shed.  The existing slipway lifts about 60-70 vessels per year.

The Reef Marina Pty Ltd & Council entered into a Deed of Agreement, which sought to secure the slipway operation until May 2020.

The Deed of Agreement has been novated to the current owners of the Marina – CrystalbrookSuperyacht Marina Port Douglas Pty Ltd.

View full Council report here