Today the farming town of Mareeba, to the west of Cairns with a population of 15,000, came of age. The first permanent traffic lights ever seen on the Atherton Tablelands were turned on this afternoon but the traffic outcome was not what The Main Roads Department had expected.
Costing $3.47 million, the new lights at the Byrnes and Rankin Street intersection were predicted to improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.
Instead a traffic jam of Rodeo Procession proportion saw cars and trucks backed up for more than one kilometre along the main thoroughfare of Byrnes Street for more than an hour, coinciding with school departures at 3pm.
Mareeba Shire Council has had almost no involvement with the construction of the lights and the new intersection as Byrnes St is the responsibility of TMR.
Residents and business proprietors have questioned why traffic lights replaced a large roundabout when a gazetted but unmade vehicle bypass skirts the CBD which would alleviate the extremely high volume of traffic movements along Byrnes Street.
Katters Australian Party spokesman for FNQ Alan Webb said the bypass should have been constructed a decade ago removing the need for traffic lights and taking large trucks out of the main street.
“These single semitrailers carrying Cairns garbage, soon cane trucks and heavy trucks traveling to the west and north every day are an accident waiting to happen,” Mr Webb said.
“I know (Member for Kennedy) Bob Katter has been in talks with TMR in Cairns and federal authorities in Canberra about funding for the bypass but neither the state government nor the federal government want to know about it.”
Mareeba mother, Ann-Marie Keating was quite worried when it took the school bus an extra 40 minutes to go past the gate to their small farm, 6 klms from town.
“I had picked up the kids from school because of the traffic and it took me over 40 minutes to get home instead of 15 and the bus was just behind me,” Ms Keating said.
“On Monday I don’t know if the bus will come early to get the kids to school on time. The kids will have to get up early to make it then if it is 40 minutes late again it will be a long day for them.
“It could be a very long day on the bus for kids from further out.
“There were temporary traffic lights set up at Centenary Park and Anzac Avenue intersection that made the congestion worse than Cairns.”
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui has been contacted for comment.
Drive for traffic revenue escalated by a broke ALP State Government
The second round of public surveillance will soon be deployed by Queensland Police in the South East of the State when point to point speed cameras are rolled out later this year.
The Labor State Government has called tenders for the Point to Point (P2P) Average Speed Camera System to be installed in the South East region.
All vehicles including trucks will be monitored for an average speed between points.
GPS monitoring will be used to define both geographic points to calculate the speed of the vehicle between the points.
Any speed detections will be sent in real time from the equipment to police and The Main Roads department computer data bank.
This is the first time such surveillance methods have been used in Queensland. The Labor Party has outdone the Liberals in transgressing the privacy of motorists who will have to dig much deeper into their pockets to fund the largesse of the Queensland ALP.
Cairns News received from a trucking industry source the locations where the P2P cameras will be installed.
Beenleigh to Gaven, approx. 30 klm installed on overpasses.
Gateway Motorway between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge
Toowoomba second range crossing. All eastbound and westbound marked traffic lanes, including hard shoulders along the primary corridor, will be monitored.
Cecil Plains to Gore Hwy
Between Warrego Highway east and New England Highway (east and west bound)
Camera located 33.3 km west of Warrego Highway (east)
Camera located 10.3km west of Warrego Highway interchange
Between Mort Street interchange and Warrego Highway west (east and west bound)
Camera located 18.6km west of Warrego Highway interchange
Camera located 10.3km west of Warrego Highway interchange
Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey’s spin
The Camera Detected Offence Program (CDOP) is a key road safety element of the Queensland Speed Management Strategy and the National and Queensland Road Safety Action Plans. CDOP is managed jointly by the Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) and the Queensland Police Service (QPS). The Traffic Camera Office (TCO) manages CDOP activities on behalf of the QPS.
Mr Bailey will be safe from the predatory cameras – he doesn’t drive a car.
Deep dust holes have developed in a gravel section of the Peninsula Development Road 40 klms south east of Weipa. The dust holes have been flagged by road authorities however most drivers unfamiliar with the road find themselves dropping into the 400 mm crevices before they can react.
Once a vehicle falls into a hole the steering becomes unresponsive and drivers can often lose control at speeds over 40 klm/hr.
Nearby property owners believe this road disrepair will soon lead to a roll over and injury for unsuspecting tourists who often tow caravans or bike trailers.
The Main Roads Department currently is laying bitumen on southern parts of the PDR, but the Weipa section apparently is a long way from being sealed.
Federal and State funding of $220 million for PDR upgrades has been seen largely misspent according to Peninsula businessmen who accused the MRD and Roadtek of discriminatory tendering and kowtowing to a select few of the indigenous hierarchy.
“There has been awful mismanagement of this project and millions wasted on so-called jobs for the boys like cultural heritage surveys and wrong road materials or spending $70,000 a day to cart water to fill dams because the wet season did not fill them when they could have just carted the water from the Coen River on demand,” one irate local told Cairns News.
“A lot of the water they tipped into dams just ran out the bottom or the sides.
“The whole project has been blackmailed and threatened by the laughable Land Claim No 1 led by the Cape York Land Council.
“The land council told the Main Roads Minister to give them all the work or they would shut down the job.
“Locals don’t mind the indigenous people getting work but they have stretched their credibility with most people on the Cape with their outrageous demands and prices being charged.
Editor: The MRD has repaired these dangerous dust holes much to their credit and made the road much safer.
While far northern motorists have been discussing and complaining about a greatly increased traffic police presence on highways, the former Queensland LNP Government ensured the game was sewn up, with no escape.
Contractors with roadside cameras and cameras fitted to all highway patrol cars are busily recording your every move sending images of your vehicle and in some cases its occupants to a massive data bank held by the Main Roads Department and police.
The cameras record the registration number, speed, time, date and direction of a vehicle whenever it passes a camera.
Well that’s probably not such a bad thing, some motorists reckon, “why I don’t have anything to hide”, said a Cairns truck driver.
It does seem rather innocuous, and after all motorists have been exposed to mobile radar speed devices for many years.
The new age of surveillance by Big Brother has been in full swing since the former state government abolished car registration stickers, to save a measly few million dollars when the Treasury is raking in more than six million dollars a week in traffic fines.
Cairns News recently interviewed a Townsville builder who had a very disturbing story to tell about state government surveillance that he got caught up in October last year.
He was completely unaware that he had been on “police radar” for some weeks.
The consequences of this roadside spying could have cost him his livelihood, yet he broke no laws in pursuit of his occupation.
We will call the builder Mike.
Mike,42, is a normal hard-working ‘chippie’ who owns a four wheel drive utility and a work trailer in which he carries his tools of trade and a few personal belongings.
He lives close to Townsville with his family and often works in remote parts of western Queensland.
His work requires him to do a lot of driving, returning home after working at townships like Hughenden, Julia Creek or Pentland, a comfortable distance from his base.
Sometimes he has to drive to Townsville during the week to buy building materials, normally unavailable in smaller towns.
He was returning from Townsville with a load of materials for a job when he was intercepted by police at a roadblock west of Charters Towers.
Present at the parking bay were several Main Roads Department inspectors and traffic police checking truckies’ work diaries, licences, vehicle roadworthiness and conducting drug and alcohol tests.
Well, again such an offensive is probably in the interests of road safety, motorists would claim.
Mike’s vehicle was searched by over-zealous constables, starting with his trailer.
“The young coppers pulled everything out of the trailer and tossed my valuable electric tools into the very dusty ground,” Mike said.
“I was a little upset because there were thousands of dollars of equipment that I depend on for my job.
“I asked the cop to be careful and he looked like he was about to bash me.
“The situation got worse when they started on my car and then they were about to pull all the frozen stuff out of my car fridge.
“I got really angry because before they started I told them I had nothing illegal in my car.
“Fortunately a senior officer appeared and told the young cops to stop and leave me alone.”
The conversation Mike then had with this officer shocked the easy going tradie father of three.
Mike asked the officer why his car was being searched and why he had been picked out of a large number of vehicles stopped on the roadside.
“The copper said I had been on their radar for a while because I often travel between Townsville and the west and they wanted to check me out,” Mike said.
“He told me they had lots of photos of my car passing the fixed camera at Woodstock and from other cameras in Townsville and they thought I was selling drugs.
“I told him I was a tradie and often had to go to Townsville for materials and they knew my movements because he said I was spending too much time on the road and would have been tired.
“He said if I had an accident because I was tired the insurance company could get the camera information and possibly not pay out any damages.
“I said I drove no more than five hours at a time and do not drive when I am tired.”
The Main Roads Department has advised Cairns News:
“The fixed roadside cameras on Flinders Highway, near Woodstock, are Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras.
We use this state-of-the-art technology to collect information about travel patterns of vehicles using the road.
The cameras take an image of all passing vehicles.
Infra-red cameras and illuminators are used to automatically capture the registration number, date and time of passing vehicles, providing statistical data on travel times, volumes and vehicle types.
ANPR cameras are strategically placed at key locations to provide:
- Journey time,
- Congestion information,
- Origin and destination information, and
- To monitor the use of the network by heavy vehicles.
Collected data helps us understand vehicle movements, plan for future improvements and achieve efficient control and management of the road network.
The cameras are also used to detect unregistered and uninsured vehicles.
Only authorised officers, including Queensland Police and TMR Transport Inspectors are able to access information from the ANPR cameras where an offence is suspected.”
This covert surveillance of law-abiding drivers heralds a new age of motoring in Queensland.
You have been warned.
by Robert J Lee
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT LEFT WITH EGG ALL OVER ITS FACE
THE CAIRNS POST AND THE ABC HAVE HAD THIS STORY FOR 3 WEEKS BUT WILL NOT TOUCH IT
TROUBLE AHEAD FOR ALL RESIDENTS OF CAPE YORK PENINSULA WITH A NEW INDIGENOUS STATE TO BE CREATED
Cape York Land Council takes control of the Peninsula Development Road on Cape York Peninsula.
Cape York Land Council says the $210 million Mein Deviation road job near Weipa can start
The prospect of Northern Development hailed by the Federal Government as the panacea for northern Australia has been placed on the back foot after the State Government and the Cape York Land Council signed an agreement allowing the Land Council to control the Peninsula Development Road, the main arterial access to Cape York.
The Land Council claims it wants jobs for local community residents but some Cape Traditional Owners, businessmen and pastoralists believe it to be a “greedy land grab for the few at the top of the CYLC” that will not benefit most struggling communities.
There will be more of the traditional CYLC ‘jobs for their boys’ who in most cases are never local indigenous businesses. Richie AhMat, Gerhardt and Noel Pearson are in bed with the big boys and their predictions of jobs for Peninsula indigenous contractors like most of their other failed, expensive schemes will also fail local businesses, contractors and the long-suffering community resident.
The state and federal governments have rolled over to the unrepresentative CYLC yet again. Next comes the new Aboriginal state of Cape York above the 16th Parallel with the TOLL gates set at Laura or Lakeland.
Every local authority in the nation should be terrified about the hijacking of this vital state government-owned road that is the only land access to important northern defence facilities and the major mining town of Weipa.
Meanwhile September is a few days away and the wet season a few months away. Starting such major roadworks near Weipa that should have begun in May will be a disaster for the unlucky contractor, soon to be announced.
And the annual $25 billion Aboriginal industry, taxpayer feeding frenzy continues for CYLC and Balkanu……..
Meetings to discuss Cape York issues to be held soon
A series of meetings about the Penisula Development Road will be held next week across Cape York Peninsula.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org – (07) 40532856
Cooktown Monday 3rd August 5.30pm – 7pm Sovereign Resort
Coen Hotel Wednesday 5th August 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Lakeland Hotel Monday 3rd August 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Laura Tuesday 4th August 10am – 11.30am Quinkan Hotel
Lockhart River Church Hall Tuesday 11th August 10am – 12.30pm
Loyalty beach camp ground and fishing lodge Friday 7th August 5.30pm – 7pm
Musgrave Roadhouse Tuesday 4th August 3.30pm – 5pm
Weipa Albatross Bay Resort Tuesday 6th August 5.30pm – 7pm
It would seem Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch has been fence sitting over this issue and continues to ignore the voice of the people. He may have started his own political demise with voter anger reaching boiling point in North Queensland.
Gerhardt Pearson Facebook Source: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009743923034
Landmark agreement paves way for Peninsula Development Road
Published on Facebook – 29 July 2015
THE Cape York Land Council today signed an important agreement which paves the way for the start of construction on the Mein Deviation and other sections of the Peninsula Development Road, known as the PDR.
Under this agreement, the Queensland Government and Native Title Holders will now begin negotiations to settle an Indigenous Land Use Agreement for the whole of the PDR by the end of 2015. These negotiations follow the lodgment and registration of one of Australia’s largest native title claims earlier in the year, over Cape York.
Chairman of the Cape York Land Council, Mr Richie Ah Mat, said the Department of Transport and Main Roads could now finalise contract arrangements for construction to commence next week.
“There has been a mammoth effort by the Queensland Government and the Cape York Land Council to settle these outstanding matters over the last two months and our meetings over the last two days have endorsed our approach,” he said.
The agreement addresses Indigenous employment, training and business opportunities, cultural heritage clearance processes and environmental considerations.
“On Cape York, where the Indigenous community is battling very high unemployment, high incarceration rates and alcohol and drug abuse, projects such as the PDR are critical in providing opportunity to our mob,” said Mr Ahmat.
“This is a great example of the State Government recognising the Native Title and cultural interests of Traditional Owners to maintain respectful ongoing relationships to carry the PDR to completion.”
Under the agreement, a Traditional Owner steering committee has been established that will guide the settlement of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the Queensland Government.
Mr Ahmat said that it was very important for Traditional Owner groups to work together on major linear projects such as the PDR. “An important principle of the Native Title claim has been that Traditional Owners speak for their country,” he said.
“Prior to the settlement of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement, there will need to be further discussions with Traditional Owners from along the road route”.
Southern Kandju and Negotiating committee member, Dion Creek, praised the agreement.
“For the first time, the State Labor Government, Cape York Land Council, and Traditional Owners have respectfully negotiated a single agreement covering the PDR,” he said.
“There can be no longer be any excuse for our people to remain on the sidelines, when it comes to capitalising on investments for the PDR and other road networks throughout Cape York.
Mr Creek said that PDR investments specified in the agreement would be used to increase the capacity of Indigenous people, through the provision of training and employment, enterprise facilitation and the commitment to support local business.
“We have a jobs crisis in Cape York,” he said. “It is a priority we must address