The Daintree Gateway is a concept that has been talked about for many
many years and it has taken a long time for something to materialize there.
While Douglas Shire Council is extremely proud of the few things that
have popped up, they are mainly things things like some basic public toilets,
some landscaping, car parks and signage that is part of daily business
as usual for other councils in Australia, these things normally just appear
without even being mentioned in the normal world.
They are very proud of their "interpretetive centre", a small
extension to the toilet block with some information signs on local history,
flora and fauna.
Considering that the Daintree is on par in terms of visitor numbers and
environmental significance with Kakadu and Uluru we had expected something
different when the visitor centre was being talked about...
Kakadu and Uluru, as Crocodile Dundee would have said; that's not a visitor
centre, THIS is a visitor centre
During the years that lots of talk produced only a car park, basic landscaping,
a toilet and a painting on the ferry.
Meanwhile down the road a huge $20 million visitor centre was built
at Mossman Gorge, a multi million dollar art gallery / cafe at Wujal
Wujal, and the first million spent on the Mossman Botanic Gardens..
The "official opening" of the Daintree Gateway
showed where council's priorities are, the ferry was stopped for
half an hour with tourists keen to get to the Daintree kept waiting
for a photo session, and how many business owners from north of
the Daintree river do you see on the photo?
A sign was placed at the Highway turnoff which was black
with cut out lettering, impossible to read and an accident waiting to
happen, so it was replaced with a brown timber sign with white lettering.
While it was now possible to read it, it was still impossible to understand
as it was in a language that no tourists understands.
Daintree business owners wanted to know why the sign could not say
in English "Welcome to the Daintree" but council resisted
and it took half a year and many letters for the Daintree community
to get a little bit of recognition with the addition of a little
English sign on top that acknowledged the Daintree as a tourism
Before and after...
Mid 2017 when the annual budget was published it showed
that Douglas Shire Council had nominated for an award for this Daintree
Gateway project, not much to anyone's surprise it did not win an
award and was not even shortlisted...
Car parks, toilets, land scaping, and road side signage are standard
day to day business for every council in Australia that does not
even get mentioned in other parts of the country.
Amazingly enough on 22 August 2017 the Queensland
government did this media
Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Mark Furner
Daintree Gateway Precinct upgrade complete
Work on the next stage of the Daintree Gateway on the Daintree River
has now been completed.(the car park has been
The upgrade to the world class visitor experience will welcome
tourists to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
It was made possible through $210,000 in funding from the Local
Government Grants and Subsidies Program.
Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Partnerships Mark Furner said the Palaszczuk Government
understands how investing in projects like this can be beneficial
to the community.
“We appreciate the vital role Far North Queensland plays
in Queensland’s economy,” Mr Furner said.
“During the recent Governing from the Regions week in Cairns,
it was evident just how important the region – with its abundance
of natural attractions – is to the rest of the state thanks
to the all-important tourism dollars that flow on from there.”
“This project is one of thousands around the state that have
contributed to the 94,500 new jobs the Palaszczuk Government has
created since 2015.”
Mr Furner said the Daintree Gateway marks the crossing point into
the world heritage area.
“The Daintree Gateway near the Daintree Ferry is the first
true experience of this iconic landmark and offers visitors a greater
understanding of the experiences and opportunities to come,”
Mr Furner said.
“This funding from the Palaszczuk Government has enhanced
these facilities and will give the hundreds of thousands of visitors
to the Cape even more reason to visit this world heritage area.
(there is nothing special there, just car
parks, toilets, some garden beds and a couple of info signs, why
would this be reason to visit the Daintree?)
“The Daintree is one of the star attractions in Tropical
North Queensland and an important part of the traditional lands
of the Kuku Yalanji people.”
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said the Daintree is the only place
in the world with two adjoining World Heritage-listed areas: the
Great Barrier Reef and the ancient Daintree rainforest.
“The Daintree Gateway will encourage visitors to spend more
time in the area and discover the magnificent beauty, spectacular
natural landscape and rich cultural stories of the region,”
Mayor Leu said. (why would some carparks and
basic toilets be reason to spend more time in the area? The only
way people are spending more time in that area is by sitting in
the horrendous ferry queues for hours).
“Stage two of the Daintree Gateway Western Precinct upgrade
provides car and coach parking for river cruises, separate access
to the boat ramp and designated parking for cars with trailers.
“Landscaping will screen parking areas and provide additional
shade and improve safety and amenity for those using the boat ramp.”
The Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program supports local
governments to deliver infrastructurewhich is designed to create
jobs and contribute to building safe, caring and connected communities.