Mayor keen to seal elusive Hann funds
FLINDERS Shire Mayor Greg Jones is hoping the State Government can bring forward grant money for the sealing of the Hann Highway between Hughenden and Lynd Junction.
Cr Jones wants to lock in funding for the sealing of the Hann and the last 35km of the Aramac to Torrens Creek road. He said the council would be contacting Mount Isa MP Robbie Katter to see if he could convince State Treasurer Curtis Pitt to loosen the purse strings. Cr Jones said money had been pulled on the Torres Creek road three times in the past after promises were made it would be sealed.
“There were changes of government and the money was withdrawn. We don’t want that happening again,” he said.
Cr Jones said his council wanted some money made available so that it could start preliminary works and keep employees in jobs.
He said the Federal Government White Paper on developing Northern Australia, released earlier this month, was looking at funding being made available in 2017.
“We would like to start now so that we can keep our staff in work,” Cr Jones said. He added he was happy that the Cloncurry division of the Main Roads Department would be supervising the road- building projects when they came onstream and not the Cairns of- fice, as is normally the case. “Normally Cairns supervises these jobs, but this project has been given to Cloncurry,’’ he said.
“That suits us because Clon- curry knows how to build roads in the dry tropics. When Cairns gets involved out here they try to impose wet tropical conditions on road construction. It blows the costs right out.’’
Cr Jones said the Flinders and Etheridge shires wanted to complete the work on the Hann. He said the two shires had enough machinery between them and it would mean more work for local people in both local government areas.
“We don’t want outside contractors coming in. Flinders and Etheridge can do this themselves and keep their people in jobs,” he said.
“And we can do it a whole lot cheaper because we know how to build roads out here.”
TRYING AGAIN: Greg Jones on the Hann Highway.