Entsch and Bai­ley dig in for high­way

The Weekend Post - - News -

THE Cairns TNQ Con­voy to Canberra is drip-feed­ing more of its key pri­or­i­ties it will be pur­su­ing in the halls of power in less than a fort­night. We al­ready have some of the big hit­ters on the wish list — in­vest­ment in HMAS Cairns, a ma­rine main­te­nance precinct and ma­jor roads up­grades to name a few. Now some more re­gion-build­ing items have come to the fore. THE hatchet was buried un­der shovel-loads of dirt by Le­ich­hardt MP War­ren Entsch and Queens­land Trans­port Min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley yes­ter­day.

The odd cou­ple joined to turn the sod on the Kate St to Au­muller St up­grade of the Bruce Hwy — a $104.1 mil­lion jointly-funded project widen­ing the stretch of high­way from four lanes to six.

It also paves the way for a DOU­GLAS Shire Coun­cil has sub­mit­ted an ap­pli­ca­tion to the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s Re­gional Growth Fun on be­half of Far North­ern Milling for $20 mil­lion to buy back the im­por­tant fa­cil­ity.

The co-op­er­a­tive of Moss­man and Table­lands sug­ar­cane grow­ers are aim­ing to de­velop the mill and its sur­rounds into the Dain­tree Bio Precinct - a state-of-the art bio­pro­cess­ing park cre­at­ing re­new­able en­ergy and valu­able by-prod­ucts from the milling process.

Moss­man re­lies enor­mously on the mill and the jobs it cre­ates and if the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment fails to get on board, it could spell dis­as­ter for the lo­cal econ­omy. CAIRNS has the po­ten­tial to be­come a world leader in tech­no­log­i­cal re­search and ed­u­ca­tion, with the rest of Aus­tralia shar­ing in the ben­e­fits that would en­tail.

JCU is ham­mer­ing away at the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to ac­knowl­edge the enor­mous prospects of its $50 mil­lion Cairns Trop­i­cal En­ter­prise Cen­tre.

There is talk of po­si­tion­ing the cen­tre be­side the Cairns Hos­pi­tal and mak­ing it a multi-dis­ci­plinary re­source for ap­plied tech­nol­ogy and en­ter­prise.

The tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances made within the cen­tre would be fo­cused on serv­ing the needs of Far North Queens­land and other trop­i­cal pop­u­la­tions around the world. po­ten­tial ex­ten­sion of the Na­tional High­way to Smith­field.

The duo had a quiet pri­vate chat be­fore grab­bing the cer­e­mo­nial shov­els, agree­ing to tone down their re­cent ver­bal brawl­ing in the me­dia.

“Once fin­ished, res­i­dents and busi­nesses will no­tice an im­me­di­ate im­prove­ment in traf­fic flows along the 2.6km stretch of the high­way,” Mr Entsch said.

CHAT: MP War­ren Entsch and Trans­port Min­is­ter Mark Bai­ley.

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