25 Years On An No Progress On The Kuranda Range

The place these words (with the artcile in the middle) TWENTY-FIVE years ago, in 1999, the Queensland Labor government ran a consultation on the range crossing at Kuranda called the “Integrated Transport Study for the Kuranda Range Road,” (Urgency for new, safe route to coast, 21/02).

However, that multi-million dollar study didn't consider the needs of people from the Tablelands, Gulf, or Cape - it was considering the needs of hypothetical new dormitory suburbs for Cairns.

The FNQ2010 Regional Planning process proposed that massive suburbs of up to 40,000 people be built at Myola, Speewah, and Koah to cater for Cairns' expected growth - because greenies didn't want the Mt Peter cane lands or the East Trinity salt flats to be developed.

The Integrated Transport Study found that even a four-lane Kuranda Range Road would be unable to cope with the huge hypothetical commuter populations, so Labor decided to do nothing at all - as we've seen. (Installing an over-priced spy camera network doesn't count as an upgrade, because it doesn't make the route safer or more efficient.) History shows that the FNQ2010 Regional Plan was ignored, Mt Peter was developed, and Labor simply wasted millions of taxpayers' dollars - as we've come to expect from Labor.

From the start of the 1999 consultations, I argued publicly for greater consideration of the needs of the existing populations.

Simple geometry says that the shortest distance between points is a straight line, and the straightest, most central, viable corridor inside a triangle drawn around Atherton, Mareeba, and Cairns was the Lake Morris-Davies Creek route.

With the help of the late Arthur Leinster and the late Bruce Stapledon, I raised an onpaper, pre-internet petition of 5,000 mainly Tablelands and Mareeba residents asking for a new surface road on that central route.

It would have used the existing low-level high-voltage Chalumbin to Woree power line corridor and the existing Lake Morris Road corridor (with the road itself being upgraded).

Labor's planning authorities didn't want to discuss the existing population at all and wouldn't even concede that more than half the K-Range traffic was from west of Kuranda until I did a traffic count at Brumby Creek.

The planners reluctantly did their own traffic count, found mine was accurate, but rejected the central route that had so much local support because it didn't service their hypothetical, non-existent suburbs efficiently.

Such is the arrogance of Labor. Had Labor and its regional MPs had the interests of residents west of the range at heart, that central route could've been built in just three years, without disrupting existing traffic, at a third of the price of their Kuranda Range upgrade idea.

Twenty-five years on, with an unelected foreign body, Labor's mates at UNESCO, now tightly controlling vast areas of our bush, no surface route has a hope of jumping all the arbitrary regulatory hurdles.

That's why for the last several years I've advocated for a tunnel on the central route; we can simply bypass the anti-everything brigade by going under them.

That tunnel could be part of a larger project that combines Cairns Port dredge spoil with tunnel spoil to develop four square kilometres of the East Trinity salt flats, quite close to the Cairns CBD, to be sold to pay for the whole project.

There'd be a 7km surface road from the Davies Creek Road turnoff connecting to a 17km tunnel to Ray Jones Drive, near the golf course.

There'd be no net cost to taxpayers, no privately-owned properties resumed, few disruptions to existing traffic, and Tablelands traffic would be delivered straight to the CBD.

I'm presently discussing this project with One Nation's leadership and with my fellow One Nation candidates in FNQ.

Labor's interest in regional Queensland only extends as far north as about Noosa; we've all seen that.

If FNQ residents elect a bloc of One Nation candidates in FNQ in October to take the balance of power in the next Queensland government, then we'll finally have a chance at getting the infrastructure we so desperately need.

Peter Campion One Nation candidate for Cook

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  • One Nation
    published this page in News 2024-02-29 12:51:10 +1000