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14 July, 2020

New petition launched to lower speed limit on the Kuranda Range

Kuranda residents are encouraging people to sign a parliamentary petition after Elvis the cassowary lost all 4 of his chicks to vehicle strikes this year. 

By Phil Brandel

Kuranda residents are encouraging people to sign a parliamentary petition after Elvis the cassowary lost all 4 of his chicks to vehicle strikes this year.

Secretary of Kuranda Conservation Jax Bergersen said the cassowary deaths showed that a major change in driving conditions was urgently needed.

“There is only one stretch on the Kuranda Range which is 80 kmph and it’s also the same spot where three of the Cassowary chicks were killed.” She said

Elvis’s last surviving chick was killed on July 2, which led to a change.org petition, which has now evolved into an official parliamentary petition in an effort to protect and save the endangered species.

“Originally we started the Change petition but we have now changed that to a parliamentary petition which we will be sending to Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey,” she said

“Once this happens he needs to table a response within 30 days.”

Three out of the four cassowary chick deaths occurred on the stretch of road near the top of the Kuranda Range, where the road increases from 60 kmph to 80 kmph and where there are overtaking lanes in both directions.

“This change would simply bring that last section of the Kuranda Range Road in line with the rest of the range which is 60 all the way from Smithfield.” Ms Bergersen said

“This is the only official overtaking lane on the range, the rest are slow vehicle pullovers, we are just asking for the same configuration as the rest of the range.”

The petition asks the minister to:

  • Alter the overtaking lanes - making the outside lines 'slow vehicle turnout lanes' whilst directing traffic to the inner lanes for 60 kph thoroughfare
  • Reduce the speed limit from 80 kph to 60 kph to remain consistent with the rest of the KRR through to the Kuranda/Myola Road traffic lights
  • Investigate additional 'intelligent' wildlife safety solutions leading up to this location, and monitor driver behaviour and cassowary crossing points (Latch, 2007) until a final decision is made regarding the route.
In a statement from Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey:

“The latest report of another cassowary death along the Kuranda range is very sad,”

“I met with cassowary welfare advocates a couple of weeks ago to look at what more can be done to avoid the deaths of these magnificent birds on local roads.

“It was a very productive meeting, and there were a number of sensible suggestions, which I have asked TMR to investigate further.

“Those suggestions ranged from reducing speed limits on some roads, greater enforcement of speeding drivers, and the creation of specific interventions around know cassowary crossing points, like painting the road surface or installing traffic calming devices.

Minister Baily said that with more people back on the roads he has asked the TMR to rollout a driver awareness campaign.

“Just like you drive safely to keep your family and other people on the road safe, I implore everyone driving through known cassowary habitats to drive safely for the sake of our cassowaries.”

To sign the petition go to https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/

 

 

 

 

 

 


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