4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News
4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

14 February 2013


Not long after the Kamerunga Bypass upgrade was opened in 1999, a young woman with a child crashed at night into the concrete drainage infrastructure that sat unprotected between the carriageways - sadly killing herself, and leaving her young child with only minor injuries, but without a mother.

No cause for the accident was ever found - the young woman wasn't intoxicated, and the car was well-maintained.  And while the roadway isn't well-lit in that location, there was never any cause found for the accident.  It was recorded as a "driver error".

A simple driving error should not result in the death penalty.

A few years later, another young tradie went off the Cook Highway into the sunken roadway adjacent to the Smithfield Centre, crashing into the concrete structure and dying.  Another accident with no apparent cause other than driver error.  Another death penalty issued by the government for a driving error.

This problem has been a plague on much of rural Australia, but in Queensland it reaches epic proportions.  In Cairns we have always had difficulty even getting any government of the day to recognise our road needs.  Instead they spend billions on tunnels and bridges for Brisbane and we consider ourselves lucky to get substandard roads that are death traps.  

Long-term residents of Cairns also know that the reporting of cars running off the road between Palm Cove and Port Douglas used to be a regular item on the evening news.  Cars usually driven by tourists, or buses filled with tourists.  These events stopped several years ago when Main Roads was ordered by the ALP Roads Minister to fix it.  As a result, hundreds of meters of guardrails were installed on the road, seeing an end to this carnage.  Millions of dollars well spent.

One of the last efforts at this repair were pushed thru by Anna Bligh's government just prior to the last election.  And while we understand the LNP government tried to "freeze" all of these ALP projects, our contracts had been let and we've now begun to see the results.

All over the region, Main Roads contractors have been installing guardrails in the most dangerous of these locations - large dropoffs into concrete drainage channels.  The same kind that took two lives in Cairns in the last decade.

Other areas that have long needed this kind of driver protection - notably on the Gillies Highway - have not been upgraded and Main Roads have refused to comment on these areas.

Brisbane City Government, under the then-mayor Campbell Newman, ordered a report on this problem in their area - which was then used to force the ALP government to repair these danger spots.  However with Joh Bjelke Newman now Premier, he's cancelled any further spending on these projects inevitably dooming more drivers to the "Queensland Main Roads Death Penalty".  12 points and you're out.

Spending on Australian highways by our various levels of government is among the lowest in the world, by any measure.  Countries that do the best (Germany, France, Switzerland, the USA) do so because road taxes collected with petrol are held in "trust funds" and can only be spent on transit.  Here, we're at the mercy of the government of the day, and their feelings of largess (or not) for the local region.  We know where we stand in that equation.

Kudos to the ALP for finally making some attempt to stop the road carnage in Cairns.  Brickbats for Main Roads who refuse to release the Peninsula Roadway Risk Assessment to the community, so we can see how deficient the Cairns-area roadways are from a safety standpoint.

Oh, and how come we still have no boomgates at our rail crossings after the "big promotion" of these across the state???


Smithfield Sam said...

I've noticed the installation of these long-overdue fixes to our highways, and was wondering what triggered them. Thanks for another great story from the HB Watcher!

Tony Hillier said...

It can only be a matter of time before an LNP troll sticks a white shoe into HBW's flanks and accuses our host (maliciously) of peddling ALP propaganda. For all its faults, the Queensland Labor government did some good things during its extended tenure. They are looking better every day of Campbell Putin's reign ... mention of which check out my mate Hank Vann's great new song:-

Anonymous said...

WTF its all Shanghai's fault he told the Chiness we had the best Hiways in the world, and they were safe if they were to come to Cairns, and they'D make lots of money at the Casino.

Anonymous said...

Shame the ex-Barfly gripper Hillier, couldn't bring himself to comment on this;

"PREMIER Campbell Newman has vowed to do "everything possible" using the legal system to ensure notorious violent rapist Robert Fardon remains behind bars following the granting of a stay on his release.

"We will pull out all the stops to make that happen," Mr Newman said."

Good on ya Campbell - go you good thing.

Jethro said...

We won't get a brass razoo from Newman for our road funding. All he has to do is to point the finger at the Federal Government and tell another giant porkie, "The Feds have cut our funding!" All too easy.

Destiny Prophet said...

The Gillies is frightening, and it carries a lot of traffic.

I breath a sigh of relief when I reach the top or bottom of it.

That section near Ross and Locke really does need some attention.

That bloody great frog can scare the bejesus out of you coming down at night time too.

Mick said...

Always find it interesting how some commenters can hide behind anonymity when they have a cheap shot at others who are prepared to put their name to their comments. Very brave of you.

jim-bob snr said...

One of the best initiative of a Labor Government was in widening and upgrading the Palmerston Range road. I recall when it was a single laned, pot holed road with high ragged shoulders and was the scariest range road of all to drive on.

Destiny Prophet said...

Hurrah for the lowest troll yet - attack someone for not commenting on a subject that hasn't arisen.

If Anonymous 21:13 was so desperate to know Tony Hillier's thoughts on Fardon, perhaps he should have asked.

It would probably help Anonymous if we all listed our opinions on everything because these trolls don't have an opinion on anything till they find out what other people think so they can oppose it.

Pathetic to use the abuse of women and children as a funny little point scorer.

For the record, this lefty is of the 'throw away the key' school of thought.

There are some crimes, people should not get a second chance at committing.