Kuranda Range upgrades a ‘criminal waste of money’: Katter

Sep 14, 2022

Kuranda Range upgrades a ‘criminal waste of money’: Katter

Sep 14, 2022

AN INFAMOUS road with a dangerous reputation, multiple switchbacks and an average 44 closures per year cannot be made safe without “knocking down half the bloody jungle,” Kennedy MP Bob Katter says.  

Responding to reports the Queensland Government had agreed to update the Far North’s regional planning document which would acknowledge increased use of the Kuranda Range Road, Mr Katter slammed any advocacy and proposed spending towards upgrades of the highway as a “criminal waste of money.”  

“I am going to ask to speak to every North Queensland mayor, not in a confrontational way, but to calmly point out to them the incredible stupidity of trying to make that road safe,” Mr Katter said.  

“The only way you can make that road safe is to knock down half the bloody jungle. And I am not going to agree to that, nor will any other North Queenslander, because we love our trees.  

“And even if you do all of that, you still have an extremely dangerous road with switchbacks and re-entries everywhere. You can never, ever make it safe.” 

Mr Katter said he was sick and tired of watching individuals who were “too bloody lazy to do any homework” and have no aspirations for developing their homeland. 

“That is why we need the Bridle Track tunnel,” Mr Katter said.  

The Bridle Track involves 16km of road from the Davies Creek turn off from the Kennedy Hwy to the tunnel entrance, and a 1-2km tunnel through the range coming out on the Cairns southern suburbs side where there would be an overpass onto the Bruce Hwy. Mr Katter estimates the project would cost $1.5b. 

“The reality is we’ve been left with no access to our mineral fields. There’s no use developing agriculture and irrigation west of Cairns if we can’t get the bloody product out.” 

Mr Katter said the tunnel would also reduce travel time between Cairns and the Tablelands to about 20 minutes.  

He said the Kuranda Range Road should remain as a tourist attraction.  

“Why do the tourists come, because of the Barrier Reef and our rainforests. What are you going to do, knock down the jungle for the upgrades, are you mad?  

“The Kuranda Range Road winds through the jungle, and you are going to make it a road that does not wind through the jungle.”