31
Jan 2019

Katter reignites calls to finish sealing 'Highway 1' as road deaths multiply

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KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter is amping up his long-running push to finish two-lane sealing the dangerous and deteriorated Gulf Development Road between Mt Surprise and Georgetown.

Mr Katter has made repeated calls to request funding to complete the works and met today with Etheridge Mayor Warren Devlin and local stakeholders to inspect the deadly and decayed road.

“This is our national highway, single-lane, falling to pieces on the edges,” he said.

“In the past 18 months, four people have died on this road. One of my closest mates, former Croydon mayor Jack Pickering, and his wife Joy were killed in a head-on collision.

“How many more deaths have we got to have? This is the national highway – it’s ‘Highway 1’!”

The issue has remained a priority on Mr Katter’s agenda since 2015, when he was inundated with community concerns and wrote to then State Minister Briggs, followed by Federal Minister Chester in 2017, outlining the appalling state of the road and its significance to the region.

The Gulf Development Road stretches about 442 kilometres along North-West Queensland, and is a vital link and main transport route connecting the greater Cairns region to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Travellers and large road trains travel frequently across the one-lane bitumen stretch of road including fishing freight, fuelling trucks, cattle trucks and general freight; some vehicles are as wide as the road.

Mr Katter called for funding to be immediately instated towards the upgrade and directed at local councils to create desperately-needed job opportunities in the regions.

“It is appalling to compare Brisbane, with over 200 overpasses and 21 kilometres of tunnels, with our situation in North Queensland, which it needs to be noted has nearly the same population as Brisbane,” Mr Katter said.

“To initiate funding to complete the two-lane sealing, with these funds directed to the local councils, would be a step in the right direction.

“We believe every support should be offered to this development, which only serves to promote one of the greatest regions in our country.”

—ENDS—

Contact Details

Innisfail
P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

Canberra
(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au