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24 May, 2021

Cook Shire slow to kick into gear on roadworks

Roadworks are ploughing ahead on the Peninsula Developmental Road as Cape York prepares for a bumper tourist season, but not all the key access roads are being maintained.

By Matt Nicholls


The PDR comes under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transport and Main Roads, but most of the other main roads in the Cape are controlled by Cook Shire Council.

Cape York Weekly drove from Laura to Weipa and then from Weipa to Punsand Bay last week. By far the worst roads were those looked after by Cook Shire.

The Cooktown-based council usually contracts out the work to other councils and stations, but have yet to give the green light to works this year.

The Aurukun access road might be sealed for the last 80km or so, but the first 25km is dirt and also on Cook Shire land.

The road was in a disgraceful condition last week, despite the fact the PDR was as smooth as a highway.

Bramwell Station is usually contracted to do the bulk of the Bamaga Road, from the “Y” on the PDR up towards the Jardine River Ferry.

The men are ready to work and spend months away from home keeping the road in good condition for travellers, but Cook Shire Council has yet to give them the green light.

“The longer they wait the more money they save,” one source told Cape York Weekly.

“Having said that, Cook Shire is probably waiting on funding from the state government to fix the roads.”

While the roads from Laura to the Tip were all passable for just about every vehicle, there were some hairy moments for motorists, with a large number of washouts and pot holes in need of repair.

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