By: Regional Infrastructure Projects Coordinator, Gerard Read...
We are a bit light on for news this month! There was only one meeting and this was the Technical Committee soiree in Innisfail on 14 November. The long-awaited wrestle to develop the new 14/15-17/18 works program never eventuated. A few of the members did not have their projects submitted and were sent to the naughty corner for most of the meeting! They now have until Friday 13 December (that's 2013 not 2014 guys!) to get their projects in – DON'T FORGET!!! Anyway it will now be sorted out at the next Technical Committee meeting in Atherton on Friday 31 January. Representatives from the new Mareeba and Douglas Councils have been invited to participate.
Woobadda Creek is out of the gates and rolling with footings for the two abutments completed – hallelujah! There have been some geotechnical issues with construction of the central pier footing, however this is now under control. The project is expected to be completed approximately two months following resumption of works post wet season – this will obviously be dictated primarily by stream flows.
Kirrama Range Road also got underway in mid November with a spot of vegetation clearing to start. The work was essential and WTMA has been fully involved from the outset. The project is expected to be completed around October-November 2014.
It is now confirmed and official - the National Heavy Vehicle Law will come into effect from 10 February 2014, but we have all heard that before haven't we? From that date the Regulator will control and distribute heavy vehicle access applications to Councils for routes using Council-controlled roads for Councils to review and either approve (conditionally if required) or reject (with reasons). Further information is available at www.nhvr.gov.au.
The Regulator commenced information forums for Councils last week across Australia – forums in Townsville, Rockhampton, Brisbane, Toowoomba and Roma have or will be held prior to Christmas. They were contacted regarding holding a forum in Cairns and the advice was, "NFI ... but I think one will be held before 10 February 2014, there's good fishing up there isn't there?"
In welcome news the Federal Government announced a new "Bridges to Renewal" program through the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development a few weeks back at the 2013 ALGA National Local Roads and Transport Congress in Alice Springs. The sum of $300 million has been set aside for the program Australia wide, with this to be matched by Councils and State Governments – similar to the TIDS program. The bad news is the NSW Government has submitted the Harbour Bridge under the program so all the money is gone for the first four years ... well it would be bad news were it true!!
Seriously, it would appear the funding will be allocated on a competitive basis, however there is no detail regarding administration of the program at this stage.
• FNQRRTG - Monday 9 December 2013, Cairns Regional Council, commencing at 1.30pm following the FNQROC Board Meeting
• FNQRRTG TC - Friday 31 January 2014, Tablelands Regional Council, Mabel Street, Atherton commencing at 9.00am
A very Merry Christmas to everyone!!