Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (27 February 1990)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 - Tuesday 27 February 1990 Highway, which continues further north to Brisbane, are no better than a 1960-standard road. I feel very sorry for the government of New South Wales, which has to bear the brunt of this problem right now. It is suffering the result of more than a decade of state Labor Party neglect,not only of roads but of other things. We hear stories of sewage spewing out into the sea at Sydney Heads. The Greiner government has been caught holding the baby - the neglect resulting from over a decade of successive Labor governments in New South Wales. That is the problem there. We have a road, where these horrendous accidents have occurred, that is no better than a 1960-standard road. The difference is that the number of vehicles travelling on that road has increased dramatically. The speeds of those vehicles and their ability to accelerate have increased also. The torque has been developed to the point where these vehicles attempt to overtake, in many cases, where there is i nsuffi ci ent di stance or room to do so. Of course, we have another problem. In the 1960s, much of the freight was carried on the railways. Today, the amount of freight carried on road transport has increased out of all proportion. As well, many more people are travell ing by bus. In the 1960s, when these roads were designed, most people travelled by passenger train. Today,they hop on a bus and, 24 hours later or even less, they are in Brisbane or in Melbourne or wherever. In addition, we must take into account also the design changes in motor vehicles. A few years ago, the vehicles had some bodily strength. They had a chassis and decent body work. These days, they are like tin cans. I know what happens to my vehicle regularly in car parks. Somebody opens the door of a car parked next to it and there is a great dent in the side. That did not happen a couple of decades ago. If you combine all these factors, you have the reason for the situation that has developed around this country, particularly in the more populated states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and, to a lesser extent, in the other states. If you add the fa il ure to deve 1 op our roads to keep pace with vehicle design, vehicle speed and the increased number of vehicles, the end result is bus crashes, as we have seen, that kill 30 people. Who has been responsible for this neglect in the last 6 years? The Hawke Labor government. There is no doubt that the Territory government is to be congratulated for the enormous development of our roads since 1978. It was a priority of the Country Li bera 1 Party government at self-government in 1978 to deve lop our lifeline. Our highways are indeed our lifeline. We do not have a railway. We do not have sea transport any longer and therefore our only means of transporting goods is by road. It is very important for us to upgrade our highways. Certainly, the Barkly and the Stuart Highways are not finished yet. We have some way to go. Indeed, we saw the member for the Northern Territory, Warren Snowdon, jump on the band wagon the other day when he announced some meas ly fundi ng for the Vi ctori a Hi ghway. As the minister rightly pointed out, he could not even get its name right. He called it the Victoria River Highway. The minister said in his statement that Northern Territory highway funding has been cut by 44% since 1984. That is absolutely appalling. It is another example of the maltreatment of the Northern Territory by the federal Labor government and the contempt with which the Northern Territory is held. Their fellow travellers opposite, the gaggle of clones over there, sit there and cop it sweet. Do they go in to bat for us? Do their federal 8798

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