THE survey results are in with Douglas Shire preferring a two-ferry crossing over a bridge at the Daintree River.
The detailed results, released on Douglas Shire Council’s website today, revealed a majority of those who completed the Daintree River Crossing Survey preferred a two-ferry service with 66% of the count, compared to 33% of people who chose a bridge.
The remaining 1% provided no response but did indicate in their comments a preference for the crossing to remain a single ferry.
The result was consistent across different groups of survey respondents, including those who live north of the Daintree River where 63% preferred the two-ferry solution.
Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr said he would vote with the community when a report is tabled at the Ordinary Council Meeting on December 15.
“I am now confident we can move forward with the two-ferry contract negotiation, continue applications for relevant approvals for a second ferry crossing and work at improving the ferry experience for travellers and locals,” he said.
“For the first time, Councillors can make a fully informed decision, armed with real results gained through a thorough consultation, which paints an accurate picture of community sentiment towards this issue.
“The community is also fully aware of the costs Council will incur in establishing a second ferry crossing and have made an educated choice about the future of the crossing.”
Compass Research received 3,992 survey responses, compared to the 117 responses which were received during previous consultation in 2018.
After validating residents against the electoral roll, and absentee ratepayers against rates register, and removing any duplicates, 2,757 responses were received from residents and ratepayers.
The survey attracted an additional 652 responses from people who lived outside the Shire and did not own property here, creating a total of 3409 valid responses.
Preferences were divided on a question about whether Council should cover costs or use the crossing as a revenue stream, with 1% more residents and ratepayers opting for the ferry crossing to provide revenue.
A total of 61 individuals and organisations lodged submissions, which can be accessed at the link below.