Entsch and Bailey dig in for highway
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.