Creating transport links connects communities

Living in a remote area can have its challenges, particularly when good local transport options are hard to come by. With a bold vision and desire to help their community, John and Kitty Tabuai took matters in to their own hands, and a thriving local business was born.

Share on Facebook

Living in a remote area can have its challenges, particularly when good local transport options are hard to come by. With a bold vision and desire to help their community, John and Kitty Tabuai took matters in to their own hands, and a thriving local business was born.

The Northern Peninsula Area in Far North Queensland covers a wide expanse of the northwestern coast of the Cape York Peninsula. It is accessible all year round by air or sea, but there are no regional bus services on the Cape York Peninsula.

Husband and wife team John and Kitty Tabuai, based in Bamaga, saw the need for an affordable and personal transport solution for the local community and surrounding regions. Their idea was to offer a number of different passenger and freight options for local people and inbound tourists arriving via Cairns, Thursday Island and Weipa.

ICV volunteers David and Marella travelled to Bamaga and helped John and Kitty get started. Together they developed a sound business plan and built bookkeeping and accounting skills.

Northern Peninsula Area Freights, Transport & Hire now services the five communities in the Northern Peninsula Area – their own community of Bamaga, plus Seisia, Umagico, Injinoo and New Mapoon, as well as the Thursday Island ferry terminal at Seisia and Bamaga Airport.

Locals and tourists now benefit from a regular bus service and an affordable long distance bus service connecting Cairns and Bamaga, some 950km one way.  Charter bus services are also available to regional communities including Lockhart River, Weipa, Mapoon and Aurukun.

David and Marella even helped John and Kitty set up a snack bar to provide “good for you take away foods”. So the local community now benefits from fresh food cooked by Kitty and her family too.

John and Kitty’s vision and resourcefulness has boosted local employment and the buses are already operating at 80-100% capacity. Their journey is an inspiring one, and highlights how, with support and encouragement, dreams really can come true.