Federal Government announces $50 billion plan to build the Kuranda Range Tunnel
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today announce that Australia's biggest ever infrastructure project will take place in Cairns with a $50 billion grant to build a tunnel through the Kuranda Range.
Mr Turnbull described today as a "landmark date" that would forever go down in history as the most important infrastructure investment any government has ever made, topping the Snowy Mountains Scheme as a turning point for the nation.
The 5km, $50 billion tunnel will save motorists an amazing 20 minutes of travel time and create 3200 jobs.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch was beside himself at the news, telling TropicNow he wanted the Prime Minister to announce it today so people could celebrate the whole weekend long without worrying about work commitments.
"This is a bit like the day we won the America's Cup, except different," Entsch said. "I've been badgering the Prime Minister for three whole days about this project, and I'll never forget the historic day we finally got to announce it."
The multi-billion dollar funding boost is the first - and only - project to built by the Federal Government's Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility.
The Turnbull Government has been under increasing pressure to announce they were doing something for North Australia after being unable to locate the region on any map inside ministerial offices at Parliament House.
KATTER GETS A WIN
In what is believed to be a first for his political career, maverick MP Bob Katter was overjoyed that decades of talking had finally resulted in action and results.
"I've been yabbering on for years about how important and easy it would be to tunnel through the Kuranda Range and by jingo, they've finally listened," Mr Katter told TropicNow.
"It's about bloody time. Brisbane has 24km of tunnels and the State Government keeps building more down there. They have the same population as North Queensland but we’ve got no tunnels. Not one.”
Renowned environmentalist Syd Fairweather-Child stunned his fellow Greens voters by backing the project, despite thousands of trees and animals being destroyed in the project.
"Cars won't spend as much time on the road travelling from point A to point B, and my estimates suggest the quicker travel time will save a total of 0.0000032 percent in carbon emissions over the next 99 years, a huge win for our planet," Mr Fairweather-Child told TropicNow this morning.
Advance Cairns - which had previously ridiculed Mr Katter's tunnel vision - today claimed credit for securing the $50 billion in funding, saying it had lobbied "long and hard" for the project.
Work on the tunnel is expected to begin on the 1st of April in the year 2032, following the completion of 36 feasibility reports, 18 environmental impact studies, 4 separate taskforces and a cross-bench Senate inquiry.
(PS: Happy April Fool's Day!)