Territory Stories

Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 12 August 1998



Questions Day 2 - Wednesday 12 August 1998

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Parliamentary Record 8


Questions for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




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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QUESTIONS - Wednesday 12 August 1998 recognised the magnificence of this occasion and what it will mean for Territorians. Every question has been negative. The party spoiler, the Leader of the Opposition, and her members in opposition have found not an ounce of brightness in the statement made yesterday by the Prime Minister and the commitment to Territorians. I consider that a great shame. Adelaide River Bridge - Restoration of Access M r M cCa r t h y to MINISTER for TRANSPORT and INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT Yesterday, I sought advice from the minister regarding action taken to restore access across Adelaide River on the Amhem Highway following the failure of the Adelaide River Bridge. Will the minister provide updated advice for those people who rely on this bridge for access to homes and businesses on the measures he has taken to reopen access to the region east of the Adelaide River to allow residents, tourists and others who have reason to use that bridge to proceed with their normal activities? ANSWER Madam Speaker, I provided some photographs yesterday to the member for Goyder of the bridge which is in his electorate. A considerable amount of damage has occurred there and I think todays N T News demonstrates that as well. With regard to interim options, a ferry service will be operating later this afternoon. Pontoons are being put in place on either side of the river. This will be a pedestrian ferry initially, to ensure that people are able to get across the river. Honourable members who have been in the Territory for a while would recall the road across the Marrakai Crossing. For those who are not familiar with that, you travel down the Stuart Highway to the 47-Mile, turn to your left and travel across the Marrakai Crossing up through Deep Water and a number of other stations in that area, through Marrakai Springs, onto the Amhem Highway and across to the Marrakai Station Road. In fact, that was the old Hardys Lagoon Road. Honourable members will recall the controversy about that road being opened or closed recently. We are talking to the people who own those properties. There is a question of stock control. Expenditure of somewhere in the order of SI50 000 to $250 000 needs to be spent on the road to bring it up to a standard that would allow vehicles to travel on it. It is an option and those issues will be handled today, and we hope to work on that as soon as we have permission from those owners to travel through there. The other options we are working with involves the Australia Defence Force. There are 2 options there. One is either a Bailey bridge or a tank pontoon to allow vehicular traffic to cross the river. We are told that pedestrians will not be allowed onto the bridge itself. Another option that was put to me by a road contractor yesterday was to put in place a conveyor belt, either on the existing bridge or across the river, to allow aggregates and stone to be taken across. Those materials are needed in the Darwin area. Trucks travel backwards and forwards 24 hours a day on this road, providing aggregate for road construction and also concrete. The idea is to dump the aggregate on one side of the river, put it on a conveyor belt and load it into trucks on the other side. That proposal is being considered seriously at the moment as well. We have briefed the Darwin Regional Tourist Association. The Kakadu Visitor Organisation, the Tourism Council of Australia, the Jabiru Town Council and the NT Road Transport Association have also been contacted, and we are working through this very serious and important situation to try to afford some means by which traffic will be able to cross the river as soon as possible. An interstate bridge expert will be arriving today to inspect the bridge, and Acer Forrester have been engaged to conduct preliminary bore logs. Initially, we planned 2 bores in the vicinity of the piers, perhaps at the side of the failed section. There is a tentative plan to drill through the bridge deck. That is subject to confirmation from the structural expert. Another group of people, Harry Collis of Coffey and Partners in Sydney, will then be consulted on geotechnical pile parameters and further design input. Pending the outcome of these preliminary cores, a decision will be made on the need or demand for further investigative drilling. Territory Diving Services is fabricating a specific purpose cage, as was reported in the NT News today, to enable staff to conduct underwater pile inspections. I wish those divers well. It is a very interesting career for anyone that involves them entering the security of a steel cage to go down and inspect piles in this way, knowing of the numbers of crocodiles that live in these rivers. I assure honourable members a number of crocodiles live in the vicinity of this bridge. Marrakai has one of the famous jumping crocodiles. I would not go down there even if I was encased in one of the chimney stacks from the old powerhouse, let alone a steel cage with crocodiles of that size around me. That highlights some of the problems we face in fixing this bridge. The crocodile infestation of the 285

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