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1 March, 2021

Katter and Knuth launch Bridle Track petition

Kennedy MP, Bob Katter and Hill MP Shane Knuth have joined together to launch a petition with the aim of fast tracking a new road linking up the Tablelands with Cairns, which they hope to present to the Queensland Parliament.

By Phil Brandel

Local resident Denis McKinley signing the petition to get a new road from the Tablelands down to Cairns at Bob Katter’s office in Mareeba.

Kennedy MP, Bob Katter and Hill MP Shane Knuth have joined together to launch a petition with the aim of fast tracking a new road linking up the Tablelands with Cairns, which they plan to present to the Queensland Parliament.

Mr Katter said that bureaucratic delays have held up the improvement of the Barron River Bridge at Kuranda. He also questioned why Transport and Main Roads (TMR) have left residents in the dark as to what is wrong with the bridge.

TMR have said they are waiting on a report about the bridge, which they have claimed will not be released to the public as it is ‘to technical”.

The Express asked TMR for an update on the bridge and the condition report

A TMR spokesperson said.  “The Barron River Bridge report is currently being finalised and we are continuing inspections,” they wrote.

 “We understand the strong community interest and will provide an update as soon as possible.

 “This update will include advice about the duration of the single-lane closure.

 “The single-lane closure is a precaution while we carry out investigations and the average delay is less than two minutes.

 “The bridge is safe and we thank motorists and residents for their patience.”

Mr Katter is now calling on Tablelands and Mareeba residents to show their support for a new road from Mareeba to Cairns by signing his petition, available on the Queensland Government website.

“There are seventy thousand people that live on the other side of the Great Divide, and a new road will allow them to get mineral and agricultural products out, but there needs to be significant work done,” Mr Katter said.

“The North Queensland tourism industry will also be able to reap huge benefits from improved transport links, particularly as the region starts its economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There will an explosion of people living on the Tablelands as they will be able to access Cairns in 25 minutes.”

Mr Katter and Hill MP Shane Knuth said they have taken the drastic action of launching the petition to the State Government because “The Member for Cook - Cynthia Lui, has been missing in action and failing to adequately represent her electorate.” they said.

“It is now up to the state government to secure the safety of North Queensland residents,” Mr Katter said.

“A report prepared by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads on the condition of the Barron River bridge has been withheld from the public because it is ‘too technical’ – an excuse that I call laughable.”

Local resident Denis McKinley said he signed the petition as new road infrastructure was overdue.

“We need to get heavy loads in and out of Mareeba,” he said.

“Due to this road not happening, it’s stagnating development across the Tablelands.

“If we had a decent road, we could have big industry up here, which would mean more jobs, which means more pay packets which then gets spent back into the community.”

The petition is available to sign at Bob Katter’s office in Mareeba, Shane Knuth’s office in Atherton and also online at https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/or go to https://bit.ly/3bzSXsJ



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