Now or never for range road
IT IS now or never for the Kuranda highway.
Governments of every persuasion have been squeezing votes from the Kuranda Range issue for decades on end.
It happens like clockwork — the election cycle ramps up, the volume temporarily increases, but lo and behold nothing ever gets done. This time is different. Conservative modelling in former Queensland Government studies place the capacity of the range at about 9500 daily vehicle movements, give or take.
Current usage is pushing right up there, nipping at the heels of catastrophic traffic jams the likes of which have never been seen.
Anybody who uses the third-rate road — mums taking their kids down to town, truckies lugging pineapples out to market — can tell you what a mess it has become.
It is dangerous, prone to landslides in the wet season, and all it takes is a minor bingle for the whole shebang to be blocked up for hours.
Then you get a situation like we saw earlier this month (and again last month, for good measure) where a truck rolls over.
Politicians talk about wanting to grow the agriculture industry, of creating new dams and promoting tourism, but have repeatedly lacked the vision or gumption to do what needs to be done.
What should be a no-brainer has become political with nobody wanting to upset the apple cart due to environmental concerns.
Fair enough, but there are ways to build a road in an ecologically responsible manner.
Governments just need to bite the bullet and spend some money outside the southern capitals. Chris Calcino firstname.lastname@example.org