A hybrid solar-powered vehicle ferry will be part of the Daintree River Ferry Crossing fleet as part of the winning proposal for the new contract to run the service.
Douglas Shire Council resolved to allow the chief executive officer to finalise contractual negotiations with local company Sirron Enterprises following a tender process.
The council plans to release a tender for the design of new roads, barge ramps, pylons and a second river channel in the coming weeks, before it submits plans to the State Government for approval.
It has allocated $250,000 from the Daintree River Ferry Reserve towards these infrastructure upgrades in preparation for the new ferry service in 2021.
Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu said the winning contractors were enthusiastic about building a second ferry and fixing congestion issues at the crossing.
Sirron Enterprises have operated the ferry crossing since 2006.
Their proposed 36-vehicle ferry, which would operate on solar power a majority of the time, would carry nine extra vehicles and operate in the main channel, while the current 27-vehicle ferry would operate downstream in a second channel to alleviate traffic congestion during peak tourist season.
“Council is excited to continue improving the iconic Daintree River crossing with our contractors, who have committed to rolling out online ticketing, camera technology, a dedicated website and alleviating peak season queueing issues through a two-ferry solution,” Cr Leu said.
The council plans to consult the community for ideas on ways to improve the Daintree Gateway precinct.
Council will announce details for the community engagement sessions in the New Year.