Legislated Safety Inspections:
The Daintree Ferry will be dry docked for up to five days to complete mandatory five-year safety inspections required by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and below water maintenance, required for certificate renewal.
The ferry will be temporarily closed from February 28 until March 4, 2018
No vehicles will be transported across the river during the closure.
Ferry services are planned to resume no later than 6am Monday 5 March.
– 7th FEBRUARY –
Douglas Shire Council has been working extensively with individuals and businesses to minimise disruptions that may arise during the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s legislated temporary dry–docking of the Daintree Ferry from February 28 until March 4.
The mandatory closure period is not flexible due to an extreme high tide that will help dry dock the ferry.
Council was first notified of the dry-dock requirement in December 2017.
Ferry contractors advised that they were notified in November 2017.
The public notification date of February 1, 2018 signalled the start of Council’s community consultation period to work through any further issues.
Fruit barge secured
Council has secured a barge to help enable growers to shift fruit during the mandatory closure. Growers not already in discussion with Council are encouraged to contact Gaye Scott.
Shuttle bus extension to Cape Tribulation
Council is investigating the possibility of extending the shuttle bus service to Cape Tribulation, with stops at Diwan and Thornton Beach. Residents and business owners who may benefit from this service are invited to contact Gaye Scott so Council can assess demand.
A FREE 50-seat passenger vessel will transport people across the river from 6am to 6.30pm daily.
Parking vehicles north and south
Council will provide security for vehicles parked overnight in the designated areas. Cape Tribulation Road will be closed to traffic from Forest Creek Road to the boat ramp with the exception of shuttle buses, school buses and vehicles carrying tour groups who have registered with Council.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Douglas Shire Council’s Community Liaison Officer Gaye Scott is available to answer any questions and take further suggestions. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 4099 9444.
Arrangements to be put in place to minimise disruptions
A free passenger vessel will be operating continuously back and forth from 6:00am to 6:30pm to transport people across the river. On the south side, passengers will embark/disembark at the public pontoon just upstream from the boat ramp.
Free shuttle buses will operate south and north of the Daintree River.
North side: two shuttle buses will operate between the river and car parking zones in place in Forest Creek and Cow Bay. First pick up from Cow Bay will be 5:30am and last pick up 5:45pm. No cars will be permitted to park on northern bank of the river to avoid congestion.
South side: two shuttle buses will operate between the Daintree River and Mossman. There will be two stops in Mossman—one outside Mossman Primary School and one at Woolworths. First pick up from Mossman will be 5:30am and last pick up will be 5:45pm.
Updates will also be available on Council’s Facebook page.
Why is it necessary to dry dock the Ferry?
In short it is for safety reasons. Under Marine Order 507 (Load line certificates—national law) 2013, all ships over 24 metres in length, must obtain a load line certificate. AMSA has changed the regulations so that exemptions previously obtained by the ferry operators to carry out “in water” inspections are no longer available. The Daintree Ferry’s current certificate is due to expire 20 March 2018.
How were the dates of the closure selected?
There were a number of factors which influenced the choice of dates. The ferry can only be dry docked at extreme high tide; to minimise disruption, work is scheduled to occur over three weekdays and one weekend; the low tourist season was selected to minimise impact to tourism businesses.
Is there likely to be a delay in services resuming?
The ferry operators are confident services will be resumed no later than 6am Monday 5 March. They have arranged for contractors to work 24 hours per day to ensure the inspection is completed within the time allowed.
If work is completed earlier than expected, will ferry services be resumed before 5 March and how will we know?
Yes, if possible ferry services will be resumed earlier. Council’s website and Facebook pages will be updated. A notification will also be emailed out to Council’s Daintree email database. If you received an email about the closure, you are on the list. If not, you will need to register your email with Gaye on email@example.com
Does the Ferry Contract Allow Closures?
Yes, the contractors are entitled to have one temporary discontinuation of services per year for a period of up to 6 days.
Since 1 July 2006, the ferry contractors have been able to schedule all maintenance activities to avoid temporary closures. Over the past 11 years the ferry has operated for 99.85% of the total hours required.
How many passengers can the vessel carry at one time?
The passenger vessel can carry 50 people.
Why can’t the passenger vessel operate later than 6:30pm?
This was considered but there are safety risks with disembarking passengers after dark on the northern bank due to the presence of crocodiles. Based on previous years, 95% of vehicle movements are between 6am and 6:30pm.
How will my children get to and from school?
Council will be liaising with Queensland Education to discuss whether there is a need to change school bus runs. It is however, expected school bus runs will operate as normal by using buses based on either side of the river.
Can I catch the shuttle bus at mid points along either route?
Travelling south from Cow Bay, the shuttle bus will pick up people at the Cape Kimberley turnoff before stopping at Forest Creek Road.
Travelling into Mossman, passengers may be dropped off at the Crossroads. In Mossman, the bus will drop off and pick up at the bus stop outside Mossman Primary School and at Woolworths.
What happens if there is an emergency?
The ferry operators will have a vessel on site which is able to transport emergency personnel across the river 24 hours per day. You must call 000 to activate this service. Queensland Police will have two officers based north of the river for the duration of the closure. Queensland Ambulance will have an ambulance based north of the river for the duration of the closure. Queensland Fire Service and Queensland Health have also been notified and arrangements will be publicised once finalised.
If I need to leave my car on the south side on Tuesday 27 February, how will I get home that evening?
Travel on the ferry as a pedestrian at no charge and the shuttle bus will be running from 1pm through to 6:30pm to transfer people as far as Cow Bay. Similarly, the bus will operate on the morning of Monday 5 March to transfer people to the ferry crossing.
What will happen with the daily bus tours to Cape Tribulation?
All Daintree tour operators have been notified of the temporary ferry closure. If you work in with a tour operator, please contact them directly to confirm arrangements during the ferry closure.
How will self-drive visitors travel to Cape Tribulation?
They will only be able to drive as far as the Daintree River. They can catch the passenger vessel and travel on the shuttle bus as far as Cow Bay.
How will contractors prevent run off of any toxic materials into the Daintree River?
Contractors will be required to prepare an Environmental Risk Assessment to document potential risks and to detail what actions will be implemented to prevent pollutants entering the river.
I have guests due to check in at 8pm during the ferry closure? How will they get here?
The passenger vessel stops at 6:30pm. If guests are unable to arrive before then, they will need to make arrangements to stay elsewhere overnight, and travel across in the morning.
What arrangements are in place for emergencies after 6:30pm?
The ferry operators will have a vessel on site which is able to transport people across the river in an emergency. You must call 000 to activate this service.
What arrangements are in place for suppliers to make deliveries?
Council has notified known suppliers. Please contact your supplier directly if you have questions about deliveries.
Can I carry a container of fuel on the passenger vessel?
Yes, people can take a fuel container on the passenger vessel.
If I want to speak to someone, who should I contact?
Gaye Scott is your best point of contact. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 4099 9414.
North Side Vehicle Parking
This will be at the SES Shed in Forest Creek. It is located approximately 1.5 kilometres along Forest Creek Road on the left hand side. It is the very first driveway opposite Ronald Road.
The second parking area is at the Cow Bay Hotel.
South Side Vehicle Parking:
You can send an email to email@example.com or call her on 4099 9414.
You can view a more detailed question and answer sheet HERE.