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2 April, 2022

Campion suggests alternative road link

TOLGA local and United Australia Party candidate for Kennedy Peter Campion has presented his solution for an alternative link from the Northern Tablelands to Cairns, an issue he has been pushing for over 20 years.


Photo | Dreamstime

Mr Campion has criticised the State and Federal Governments failure to address the problems with road links between Cairns and the Tablelands, gulf and peninsula regions. 

“Growth and industry in the Tablelands, Gulf and Peninsula areas are being artificially restricted by the uncertainties offered by the outdated existing road links,” he said. 

“All we ever see from ALP and LNP governments is millions of dollars of tax money spent on studies, with no viable solution ever eventuating.” 

Mr Campion has campaigned for a new road link on a direct, central alignment since 1999’s Integrated Transport Study for the Kuranda Range, when he raised a 4,500-signature petition for a shortcut Mareeba-Cairns highway. 

“Basic geometry says the shortest distance between points is a straight line, and with the major population and freight hubs being in Mareeba and Atherton, that direct line is the one I have promoted for 23 years,” he said. 

Mr Campion’s proposal is for a seven-kilometre surface road from the Kennedy Highway linking to a 17-kilometre, gently sloped tunnel which emerges at Ray Jones Drive. 

“These days no surface road plan has any hope at all of gaining approval due to UNESCO’s stranglehold on our bush,” Mr Campion said. 

“The landslip risk from cutting a four-lane road into the crumbly local rock type is huge.” 

Mr Campion’s proposal includes additional infrastructure projects which according to him, would pay for themselves without requiring taxpayers to go into even more debt. 

CAMPION’S PROPOSAL 

  • A seven-kilometre surface road from Davies Creek Road turnoff plus a seventeen-kilometre tunnel to Ray Jones Drive, with gradients meeting national standards for freight-efficient vehicles. 
  • Tunnel spoil transferred to degraded land at East Trinity to bund four square kilometres, shipping channel dredge-spoil used to fill the bunds, and the remaining tunnel spoil used to cap the dredge spoil. 
  • Two bridges to cross to Admiralty Island and to East Trinity, allowing for the bulk liquid fuel storage facility in Portsmith to be moved to Admiralty Island for safety. 
  • Additional mangrove habitat channels cut into Admiralty Island to replace the mangrove habitat lost near Ray Jones Drive. 
  • The new East Trinity land sold to pay for the roads, tunnel, bridges, and dredging. 
  • No net cost to taxpayers, no privately-owned properties resumed, no views ruined, few disruptions to existing traffic. 
  • Takes Tablelands traffic straight to the CBD and provides a tsunami evacuation route for Cairns that crosses no rivers.

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