Cook Highway safety tunnel plan near Cairns
MULTI-MILLIONAIRE developer Sean Howard wants to build a tunnel under the Captain Cook Highway at Kewarra Beach to make it safer for pedestrians, school children and golfers to cross the main road.
He is to dust off plans originally approved by the former developers of the Paradise Palms golf course about 20 years ago for a similar proposal.
His plan has received the backing of the area's MP, regional councillor and the owners of the course.
Mr Howard, who owns the Kewarra Beach Resort and this week announced the sale of Double Island resort, said he hoped to build the tunnel in the first half of next year as part of the construction of his new aged care facility and retirement village next to the resort.
"I want to emphasise this is about safety, not only for golfers and retirement residents in electric golf carts, but for school children and elderly pedestrians to safely cross the highway," he said.
Mr Howard said the idea was sparked after he saw a pedestrian tunnel near his daughter's school in Sydney.
He said there would be many golf carts at the village and resort which would be used by residents and those wanting to play golf at Paradise Palms.
"But it's also an issue of safety, so school children and local residents can safely cross a main road," Mr Howard said.
He said he hoped to build the tunnel in conjunction with the $100 million 100-room aged care facility and 180 villa retirement village in the first or second quarter of next year.
Mr Howard said he would seek approval from the Cairns Regional Council and the Main Roads Department and had discussed it with the owners of the golf course.
Rose-Marie Dash, the managing director of HS Vision Group which owns Paradise Palms, said about 20 years ago Daikyo had approval for a similar tunnel and had built part of it to the course's boundary.
She said the block of land which contained the section of the tunnel had since been sold and a house had been built on it.
Mrs Dash said HS Vision had no objection to the tunnel and Mr Howard had discussed it briefly with director Ross Straguszi.
Barron River MP Michael Trout said it made common sense.
"He'll get my support. I'm supportive of progress and development in Barron River and anything to make it safer for residents," he said.
Regional councillor Greg Fennell also said it was "a great idea".
NEW CAIRNS.COM.AU COMMENT POLICY
We welcome your comments on this story. Comments are submitted for possible publication on the condition that they may be edited. Comments submitted without a full name and suburb/location will not be considered for publication. Please read our full comment policy and publication guidelines.
Share this article
Back to the future: Sean Howard is dusting off plans originally approved by the former developers of the Paradise Palms golf course about 20 years ago.