Territory Stories

Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994



Debates Day 2 - Wednesday 23 November 1994

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Parliamentary Record 6


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 23 November 1994 Springs. I wrote to the Minister for Transport and Works about this matter on 12 September this year. As is his form, I have yet to receive a response. The road was built originally some 20 years ago by the Clarks o f Old Andado Station. Molly Clark chose the route and it began as a distance o f 122 km to Alice Springs. However, it has been finetuned gradually to the present 68 km of road through from Old Andado to the next station where it joins the other road. I might add that the work was done by Molly Clark and not by the government. She has done most o f the maintenance over the last 20 years. Every time she raises the matter o f the maintenance, she is told that she will have to use the Kulgera route. Members opposite who have been in government for 20 years should note that the Kulgera route has not been used for almost 24 years, except when the road that I am referring to has been absolutely impassable. She is also told that the road has never been gazetted for anything other than the 4-wheel-drive network. However, I am told that she has correspondence that states that the road was gazetted as an arterial access road. As usual, the minister seems to put any interpretation he cares to on what is an arterial access and what is a 4-wheel-drive road. Outstanding Territorians like Molly Clark must ask themselves what they need to do to achieve some sense o f fair play from this government. Old Andado Station attracts some 3500 visitors between May and October. This number increases every year and, of those visitors, only some 2% use the Kulgera route. In fact, government departments themselves all use the shortcut road that is the subject o f my remarks. On that road on any day, you will encounter people from the Department o f Primary Industry and Fisheries, from the Conservation Commission and from the Power and Water Authority. Even the ministers own Department o f Transport and Works uses the shortcut route. We ask ourselves why officers o f those departments use this road when they could use the Kulgera route. However, we know that it reduces travelling time by several hours, and that it is a much more practical route. The only problem is that it is becoming quite dangerous as a result o f the lack o f government action. If the government intends that its decision that only the Kulgera route is to be used, it should insist that government vehicles use that road. At least that would save some wear and tear on the Old Andado road and would make it easier for Molly Clark to maintain it. I f this government does not care about Territorians, it might like to consider the well-being o f tourists who use this and other dangerous roads in the Territory. In fact, one o f the favourite routes o f the hordes o f 4-wheel-drives that head up in that direction is through Dalhousie, out to Old Andado and around the back way. It is part o f what attracts those tourists to the Northern Territory, but you do not get it all for nothing, and decisions have to be made in relation to maintenance. I understand that money is in short supply. O f course, it is. The other day I took some relatives to have a look at Chambers Pillar. I had not been there for some years and, o f course, as some members know, the usual route is along the old south road. I was frankly surprised as I headed south o f the airstrip to find myself on an extremely well-maintained dirt road. As I travelled further, I saw that it was being worked on at the time. It was not simply a matter o f a grader being put over the road. Trucks were bringing in large amounts o f limestone which was being compacted into the road. Water trucks were busy and there was compaction equipment on site. This was on the old south road which I had been led to believe had been given up basically by the government many years 1871