More than 1,100 FNQ residents call for new highway from Cairns to Tablelands

Apr 23, 2021

More than 1,100 FNQ residents call for new highway from Cairns to Tablelands

Apr 23, 2021

1,155 people have signed a Queensland parliament petition calling for a safe road between Cairns and the Tablelands, following ongoing questions about the state of the Barron River Bridge which has been down to one lane for nearly six months.

938 residents signed the petition online and 179 signed in person at the Mareeba electorate office.

The petition draws the attention of the Queensland parliament to the inadequate nature of the Kuranda Range road and the Barron River Bridge.

The petition requests that the Government take urgent action to fast track the construction of a new road linking the Tablelands and Cairns and ensure the use and safe use of the Barron River Bridge at Kuranda.

The principal petitioner was Federal MP, Bob Katter, and the sponsoring member, Shane Knuth MP.

Mr Katter said the high number of signatures showed an overwhelming majority of Tablelands and Mareeba residents wanted a new and safe road.

“For a year now, we have been fighting to the get the attention of the State and Federal Governments to see that a new road is essential,” he said.

“Currently, 50,000 people are trapped from Far North Queensland’s biggest city. FOI (Freedom of Information) documents have revealed the State Government has known about the problems with the Barron River Bridge for six years, so they really need to get their act together.

“We thank them for the $1.6m for a study into a new road, but this must be fast-tracked and started as soon as is possible.

“The KAP’s preference is for the Ron Reddicliffe – Bridle Track proposal, which starts near Davies Creek Bridge, on the Kennedy Highway, and will end up in Cairns city with a 1km tunnel at the end. This will allow people to get from Mareeba to Cairns in 25 minutes and it will open up massive economic development in mining, agriculture, industry and tourism.”

The petition was referred to State Transport Minister Mark Bailey on Wednesday (21 April 2021), who is now required to provide a written response.

Mr Katter is also calling on the Federal Government to chip in $1.6m for the study into the new highway.