KAP MPs call for fast-tracking of study into new road from Cairns to Atherton Tablelands

Aug 21, 2021

KAP MPs call for fast-tracking of study into new road from Cairns to Atherton Tablelands

Aug 21, 2021

KATTER’S AUSTRALIAN PARTY (KAP) MPs, Bob Katter and Shane Knuth are calling on the Queensland Transport Minister to fast-track the completion of a study into a new highway between Cairns and the Atherton Tablelands/Mareeba, so the Federal Government can be involved in the project.  

In May, Transport Minister Mark Bailey confirmed a $1.6 million Queensland Government funded planning study to investigate capacity, safety and efficiency improvements of transport routes between Cairns and the Northern Tablelands, including the Bridle Track.  

Now, Member for Hill Shane Knuth has written to Minister Bailey to request the fast tracking and completion of the study.  

Mr Knuth has also asked for the estimated competition date of the study so that residents in the Far North can have certainty of the future of their roads, especially with the state of the Barron River Bridge and the delays it is causing.  

“I believe fast tracking the completion of the study is of vital importance to ensure the State Government can take advantage of the Australian Government’s $4.9B Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative,” Mr Knuth said.  

“I understand the Federal Transport Minister would seriously consider any approach by the Queensland State Government requesting funding for the alternative route. 

“A new inland highway will save Tablelands and Cairns motorists 30 minutes in travel time when compared to the existing route, and it would allow greater production in agriculture and mining.”  

Mr Knuth said he and Kennedy MP Bob Katter tabled a petition in Queensland Parliament earlier this year to support an alternative road to Cairns and they have both been in discussion with TMR about another road.  

Mr Katter has been wearing out the carpet with Assistant Transport Minister, Scott Buchholz, to advocate for the new road and request Federal Government involvement.  

“The Assistant Minister is waiting on correspondence from the State Government before he can get involved,” Mr Katter said.  

“So, I am urging the State Government and the Transport and Main Roads engineers, who do a fantastic job, to speed up the study into the Bridle Track.  

“The people of Cairns, Mareeba, the Tablelands, the Cape and the Gulf are sick and tired of waiting up to 15 minutes at the Barron River Bridge. The fact our national highway is down to one lane is a disgrace. We cannot transport our agricultural and mining goods cost-