Reconnecting Far North

Minister for Transport and Main Roads and Minister for Digital Services The Honourable Bart Mellish

Road Crews on the Palmerston Highway

  • Over 650 kms of state-controlled roads have been reopened in the Far North District following catastrophic flooding in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Jasper.
  • 19 kms of road remain closed on the Palmerston Highway, due to significant damage and landslides.
  • 27 kms of road remain closed on the Captain Cook Highway between Buchan Point and Oak Beach.
  • Our crews have been working tirelessly to ensure emergency services and freight providers can access isolated communities.
  • In a massive effort thousands of tonnes of flood debris and landslips have been cleared, roads reconstructed, and hundreds of geotechnical, bridge and culverts inspections completed to ensure safety of motorists.

Quotes attributable to the Transport and Main Roads Minister and Digital Services Minister Bart Mellish:

“Our hearts are with the people of North Queensland as they continue recovery efforts following a once in 100-year flood event.

“The flooding caused catastrophic damage to the state-controlled road network in the Far North.

“On Monday (18 December 2023) following the event all roads into the Far North were closed, all four range crossings providing access to the Northern Tablelands were closed and there was no road access to Cooktown or Port Douglas.

“In a massive effort our crews have worked tirelessly to inspect, repair and open over 650 kms of road in just four days.

“There are some roads including the range section of Palmerston Highway and the Captain Cook Highway between Buchans Point and Oak Beach that have suffered significant damage and will face extended closures.

“Crews made good progress yesterday clearing some of the landslip on Captain Cook Highway at Oak Beach. A 300-tonne boulder on the road was demolished today to allow removal.

“On the Palmerston Highway crews have commenced clearing large trees and debris on the road. It is estimated clearing will be completed by Sunday, allowing access to our geotechnical engineer.

“Once the Palmerston Highway site has been assessed we will be in a better position to understand the timeframe for repairing the road.

“I’d like to thank our dedicated TMR road crews for working around the clock to get these vital roads back up and running.

“As you prepare to travel over the Christmas season, we ask that you drive to conditions and plan your journey.

“For up-to-date traffic information please visit QLDTraffic.”

/Public Release. View in full here.