Kennedy MP, Bob Katter has written to the Federal Transport Minister requesting that the Kennedy Highway from Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands be added to the National Land Transport Network, which would help get more federal assistance for the route.
Mr Katter and State Member for Hill, Shane Knuth, have been advocating for a new section of the Kennedy Highway to be built from Davies Creek to the Cairns CBD, commonly known as the Bridle Track or Kuranda Bypass.
Currently, motorists are waiting up to 20 minutes at Kuranda’s ailing Barron River Bridge which is permanently down to one lane.
“The Kennedy Highway is vital to supporting primary and secondary industries on the Atherton Tablelands and Cape communities of North Queensland,” Mr Katter wrote to the Minister.
“It is a vital connecting route of national significance due to its essential link between industry and market. I seek your assistance to classify this road appropriately.
“It has been previously suggested that the Kennedy Highway be considered a part of the National Land Transport Network and I would ask for your assistance in gaining that determination.
“I’m aware that the Network was reviewed and updated on 1 July 2020 to ensure it included nationally significant major road and rail links. I strongly believe that this route meets the criteria of the review and warrants addition to the network. As the Network is determined by the Minister, I formally seek your consideration to classify the Kennedy Highway as a significant road of the National Land Transport Network.”
Member for Hill, Shane Knuth said it was evident that there were massive issues with the current Mareeba to Cairns road with a high number of accidents and road closures that increases during the wet season.
“If the Federal Government ruled the Kennedy Highway a road of national significance and a part of the National Land Transport Network, it would take the burden off the State who could focus on other state-controlled roads,” he said.
“This would open the way for federal funding and for a new fast-tracked highway from the Tablelands to Cairns that will take 35 minutes off the journey without delays and provide a massive economic boost to the region.”