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Community & Business

8 April, 2021

Investigation starts into new road link

THE possibility of a new road linking up the Tablelands with Cairns has moved one tiny step forward after it was revealed that the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) have allocated $1.6 million dollars to undertake a planning study to investigate capacity, safety, and efficiency improvements of transport routes between Cairns and the Tablelands.

By Phil Brandel

Kennedy MP Bob Katter who has been advocating for a new route between Cairns and the Tablelands.

THE possibility of a new road linking up the Tablelands with Cairns has moved one tiny step forward after it was revealed that the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) have allocated $1.6 million dollars to undertake a planning study to investigate capacity, safety, and efficiency improvements of transport routes between Cairns and the Tablelands. 

The funding was announced after Hill MP Shane Knuth sat down with Minister Bailey in Brisbane last week to discuss transport options between Cairns and the Tablelands.

In a letter that was sent to Bob Katter’s office from The Minister for Transport and Main Roads and seen exclusively by The Express, Minister Mark Bailey wrote about investigations into an alternative route to Cairns. 

“I can advise that the Queensland Government has allocated $1.6 million to undertake a planning study to investigate capacity, safety and efficiency improvements of transport routes between Cairns and the Northern Tablelands,” he wrote. 

“The purpose of the project is to review previous planning and determine the most appropriate focus for further planning activities. When the project is finalised, TMR will have a better understanding of the best way to improve access between Cairns and the Northern Tablelands. 

“Additionally, the Queensland Government has allocated $2.1 million for an investigation into long-term solutions for either replacing or rehabilitating the ageing Barron River Bridge at Kuranda.” 

The announcement comes after Mr Katter and Mr Knuth recently launched a petition that called for the construction of a new short inland highway. 

“Our new proposed track has the potential to take up to 40 minutes off the journey from the Tablelands to Cairns,” Mr Knuth said. 

“We are hoping that the new route will be prioritised in this investigation.” 

Mr Knuth said he believed it would be a win-win for all road uses and he has thanked the minister for the funding. 

“It would provide shorter, safer and a guarantee of little to no road closures at all for all users,” he said. 

The investigation is expected to be completed by mid-2021.   


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