Not to be outdone by illegitimate Traditional Owners and the Cairns Post newspaper, Far Northern tourist operators have been trumped by the Northern Peninsula Area Regional Council which has removed the car ferry from the Jardine River for maintenance.
Now in dry dock the only land link between the Top of Queensland and the Peninsula Development Road to the south is gone until April 26.
Holidaymakers who made bookings for the caravan parks and resorts north of the Jardine River have been forced to cancel causing struggling tourist operators to lose significant income desperately needed after last year’s unnecessary Covid disaster.
Popular tourist camping grounds such as Loyalty Beach, Seisia Camping Ground, Bamaga Resort and Punsand Bay resort will have to lay off staff.
Punsand Bay resort operator Rod Colquhoun said he has lost the remaining 100 bookings he had saved after assuring tourists the Tip was not closed following scurrilous reporting by the Cairns Post newspaper a week ago claiming the gates were closed to the Tip of Cape York.
“Apart from the fact there are no gates anywhere, the Tip could not be closed unless the council did it,” Mr Colquhoun said.
“I have just employed staff for an expected busy Easter. I have now sought legal advice to claim compensation for lost income.
“The council could have done maintenance on the ferry after the Easter holidays which would not have affected tourism and not caused a loss of income for the service stations, grocery shops, the pub, the baker and all the tourist operators.”
Thursday Island tourism and the island ferry operator would also suffer significant losses as the Easter break is the start of the tourist season.
NPARC Mayor Patricia Yusia said the council’s hands were tied because the car ferry had exceeded regulated hours for maintenance and did not meet safety standards.