Approval Process


Here is a list of the approval processes the Kurnad Range 4-Lane Highway option has already passed and still has to go through.

February 2000

The 2010 plan is released. This plan looks at the preferred settlement pattern for FNQ over the next 30-40 years.

February 2000

The 2000 transport study is released by DMR (Department of Main Roads).

It states that "The FNQ2010 Regional Planning Project recommended that a study be undertaken to address future transport demands on the Kuranda Range Road from the proposed urban growth in the Northern Tablelands."

It is noteworthy that this study is released at the same time as the 2010 plan, fulfilling above recommendation before it is even made public.

August 2000

DMR releases the IAS (Impact Assessment Study) on the two options short listed in the 2000 Transport study.

September 2001

The Queensland Government made the decision to "upgrade" the Kuranda Range Road to a 4-Lane Highway pending the required approvals.

September 2004DMR releases the first addendum to the IAS, comprising hundreds of pages of reports on most aspects of the project

December 2004 to January 2005

DMR calls for public submissions to the IAS addendum. This is the first time the public was given the opportunity to comment on the Range Road "Upgrade" in the whole process. Despite being over the Christmas holidays well over 600 submissions were received with probably over 90% being against the project (DMR refused to release this information)

June to October 2005

DMR releases the second addendum to the IAS addressing concerns raised by the public and asks WTMA (Wet Tropics Management Authority) to allow rezoning of Wet Tropics areas for the construction of the highway.

7th December 2005 to 3rd March 2006

WTMA calls for public submissions regarding the rezoning application by DMR. Again hundreds of public submissions were received, almost all against such rezoning. WTMA clarifies that it can consider only direct impacts on World Heritage.

11th April 2006

WTMA defers its decision and seeks further information, refusing to reveal what information it seeks from whom.

5th May 2006

WTMA made the decision to recommend that the rezoning application by DMR be approved by the Ministerial Council with the provision that the Ministerial Council consider all the possible impacts of the Kuranda Range Road.

Approvals still outstanding:

DEH (Department of Environment and Heritage)

The Department of environment and Heritage approval was supposed to happen at the same time as the WTMA approval. This approval was expected to be made in May/June but seems to be experiencing a significant delay. We can only assume that DEH has significant concerns about the impacts of this proposal

Ministerial Council

The ministerial council is comprised of the Federal Minister for the Environment, the Federal Minister for Tourism, the QLD Minister for Tourism and the QLD Minister for the Environment with the latter being the chair, giving the local member for Cairns, Desley Boyle the key position for the approval of the 4-Lane Highway.

The Ministerial Council has the obligation to consider all issues and possible impacts pertaining to the proposed project and make a recommendation to the Governor

The Governor

The Queensland Governor needs to give his final approval for the project


After all those approval processes are successful and only then will the Queensland Government look at the feasibility of finding half to one billion dollars to actually finance this project. It could prove difficult to convince southern Queenslanders to cough up that much money to pay for only 12 km of road up here.