Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (15:00): My question again is for the Minister for Regional Roads. Can the minister explain how the government came to the $60 million figure for the repairing of the estimated 1,200 kilometres of regional roads damaged by the River Murray flooding? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain.
Mr PEDERICK: The whole 472 kilometre Strzelecki Track upgrade cost over $450,000 per kilometre, while other highway duplication projects equate to roughly $16 million per kilometre.
The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN (Lee—Treasurer) (15:01): I thank the member for his question, and I know he is interested in how quickly these roads can be reopened. The allocation of $60 million was made as an investment so that we can start the work of getting roads open as quickly as possible. I made it very clear when I spoke to the media nearly two weeks ago that the amount of money that the government has announced to date for Riverland support, both in preparation for the flood and also now in recovery for the flood, probably wasn't going to be the end of it.
We won't know how much is required to fix the roads as well as attend to all of the other issues that the Riverland communities are raising with government, and will raise in the future with government, until the flood waters have receded. In fact, there are still roadways which are yet to be completely revealed by subsiding waters, for example, and until the flood waters have receded back to more normal levels such as that is after a flood, we are not going to know the full extent of the damage, and until we know the full extent of the damage we are not going to be able to estimate how much it is going to cost to recover those roads back to a serviceable level, and how long that might take. So that will involve us making further and better estimates about how much money needs to be committed to this in the future.
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