6 August, 2020
New push for Ootann Road
Katter Australia Party candidate for Cook Tanika Parker has made her first election promise, that if elected the sealing of Ootann Road would be high on her priority list.
Katter Australia Party (KAP) candidate for Cook Tanika Parker has made her first election promise, that if elected the sealing of Ootann Road would be high on her priority list.
Recently, Ms Parker, Member for Hill Shane Knuth and KAP leader Robbie Katter MP attended a meeting with concerned truck drivers and residents near Ootann Road to talk about what can be done.
The beginning of the road starts just a few kilometres outside of Almaden and comes out 20km south of Mount Garnet.
A total of 86.6km is in the Mareeba Shire Council district with 78km still needing to be sealed.
If elected Ms Parker said she would advocate for funding to get the road sealed. “The residents need this,” Ms Parker said.
“It is going to open the Cape up and help alleviate the stress to our graziers, farmers, fishermen, and construction industry.
“If Brisbane had an issue with a main road that is used to export resources such as cattle, cotton and produce they would have already come up with the funding to fix it.
“This is something that the people want and needs to happen.”
Member for Hill Shane Knuth said he could testify to how bad the condition of the road was as he had blown a couple of tyres himself while travelling it.
“Governments cannot hide from putting money into infrastructure when there are billions of dollars of NAIF funding just sitting there,” Mr Knuth said.
“There are projects of strategic importance, such as Ootann Road, that would be a huge benefit for industries.
“Upgrading this road would provide huge relief to transport operators and take the stress off Tablelands roads and the Bruce Highway.”
Transport business owners and hay growers from Mutchilbah Lucy Bowyer and Terry McFarlane have been calling for the road to be maintained and sealed for years.
“We would love to see the road sealed but even being properly maintained would be a brilliant start, so trucks aren’t getting destroyed and are happy to use the road,” Ms Bowyer said.
“It would be a huge benefit for northern producers.
“Anything over a B-Double can go through the Tablelands but anything classed as a road train must unhook from Mareeba to Mount Garnet and take one trailer at a time.”
She said if the road was maintained and sealed, they could travel the whole distance to southern markets, but Main Roads also need to work on making the Mareeba to Almaden road a three-trailer road.
“If that was fixed, they could have 450m trucks all the way to the south on the inland roads,” Ms Bowyer said.