The Palmerston Highway is one of the most important routes between the Tablelands and the Cassowary Coast and it’s now set for an upgrade after recent heavy rain left large potholes.
The State Government has announced it will commit $3 million to repair the Highway around Henrietta Creek, this follows on from the recent $6million in upgrades that were carried out along Millaa Millaa-Malanda Rd and the Palmerston Highway.
Hill MP Shane Knuth said he had been lobbying for years to get the road repaired properly.
“The Palmerston Highway has been used for many years as a major transport route and the traffic has increased dramatically, including buses and trucks. The continuing issues are caused by poor drainage which is causing severe potholes.” Mr Knuth said
“In 2017 I secured 3 million dollars to upgrade the Henrietta Creek section and we saw the road falling to pieces within a few months.
“I have met with the Minister and pointed out to him that we are getting tired of appointing southern contractors that just don’t know North Queensland weather conditions.”
Mr Knuth believes one of the problems with getting the road fixed permanently is the tender process.
“They have given the job to the cheapest tender and then we don’t get a proper job.” Mr Knuth said
“We should be giving local contractors the opportunity tender for these projects, we are disappointed with patch-ups we want our roadworks to last for years.”
Mr Knuth says that the current 3 million allocated for road works between Henrietta Creek and Gooligan Creek isn’t enough and that more investment was needed to make the road safe.
“The last thing road users want to see are maintenance crews back out there months later fixing something that should have been fixed properly in the first place.”
In May the state government announced that 25 per cent of all government purchases were to be from Queensland small and medium-sized businesses and from July 1. The target would be extended to 30 per cent by 30 June 2022.
A commitment that Mr Knuth says should be also applied to local roadworks
“I don’t have any faith in that commitment from the government, but we have been working very hard to make that commitment a reality”
Roadworks are due to start in July.