21 February, 2023
Push to get on with bypass
IMPROVING overall safety and making Byrnes Street a more pedestrian-friendly area were just two reasons why the State Government should get on with building the long-awaited Mareeba Heavy Vehicle Bypass, says community leaders.
The State Government is currently asking Mareeba residents for their views on the bypass, but with only a couple of days to go before the deadline on 23 February, both the Chamber of Commerce and the Mareeba Shire Council are urging locals to have their say.
The current alignment of the road would take heavy vehicles around the main centre of Mareeba and connect them back onto the Mulligan Highway at the Adil Road intersection.
Chamber president Joe Moro said the bypass was first raised three decades ago and while he understood that some locals had “lost faith” it would ever be built, it was critical they fed into the consultation process to put pressure on the government to get on with the planning, design and construction of the road.
“The need to get big trucks out of the main street has been identified in surveys from the chamber so we will be putting in a submission in favour of the bypass going ahead,” he said.
“While I don’t believe there has ever been an accident involving a truck in the street, we have been told there has been near misses.
“A lot of people, especially our elderly folk, get a bit nervous backing out of parking spots with big trucks coming down the street, and crossing the road, so from a safety point of view, we support taking trucks out of Byrnes Street.”
Another advantage of the bypass would be that trucks could avoid using Granite Creek Bridge which was not only an ageing structure, but susceptible to flooding.
He acknowledged that some businesses were concerned the bypass could mean a loss of passing trade.
“That fear is held by some businesses but there is no data to back that up and there’s a strong view that it will not be a negative.
“I think the main thing here is safety – if trucks did not come down the street, it would improve safety immensely.
“The other advantage is that once these issues are sorted out, we can look at more beautification of the street including possible allowing for green spaces and outdoor dining options.”
Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin plans to hand the shire’s feedback directly to Transport Minister Mark Bailey this week.
“From our point of view, this is a growing shire and the more it grows, the more you’re going to have that sort of traffic (trucks),” she said.
“And the industrial park is over the other side of Mareeba, so the bypass would take them near the industrial park and would keep that sort of traffic out of the main street.
“And we have been plagued with this problem for awhile – the bypass has been on our advocacy list since amalgamation - we have taken it on numerous occasions to the State, we’ve taken it to FNQROC and it is included in their advocacy priorities.
“This council has already handed over some council land on the northern end to facilitate the bypass so we are fully supportive.
“The thrust of our feedback will be to ‘get your roller skates on’ and build it.”
Mayor Toppin urged residents to have their say before the consultation closes this week.
To have your say, go to www.yoursay-projects.tmr.qld.gov.au/consultations
Hard copies of the feedback form are available at the Mareeba Shire Council office in Rankin Street.