Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (11:40): I rise to speak to the Innamincka and Moomba fact-finding visit. Apart from having a longstanding interest in that area, I worked there 40 years ago and have made multiple trips since. It is a fantastic part of the world. There is oil drilling and exploration, and obviously gas in the Cooper Basin through to Queensland and the Northern Territory.

I really salute Santos for going to great lengths to get this carbon capture and storage process in place. The beauty of it is that they will use depleted wells. A lot of these depleted wells are close to Moomba, fields like Moomba itself, Moomba South, and Big Lake where we did a lot of work on various wells then. Back in the day, there were 11 drill rigs operating and one workover rig, so there were a lot of holes getting drilled. These rigs would each drill a hole 10,000 feet in a month in the old days, so they had to have sites built. When I was earthmoving, we were doing that work.

What we see with this carbon capture and storage are those depleted wells, which, more likely than not, were fractured wells. From March 1983 to March 1984, I was a junior hand working on wireline teams and we did conventional fracturing of gas wells. That certainly opens up the reserves underground, the reservoir. The beauty of that is that those reservoirs, which are now depleted, can be used for this carbon capture and storage project, which helps offset not just carbon emissions but potentially emissions from elsewhere.

It is interesting to note that there is a lot of disinformation around fracturing gas and oil wells. I have been on a trip to America to look at it. Standing here today, there is probably a well either being conventionally fractured or unconventionally fractured to get those vital assets. The state will need gas for at least 30 years, I believe, as we transition to other forms of energy.

I note that the member for Mawson mentioned the Strzelecki Track. We instigated that $215 million project to seal the 472 kilometres of the Strzelecki Track. Yes, there will be some new, interesting times when people can basically drive up there in a mini because now you have the challenge of at least being organised. I always take a satellite phone so if anything goes wrong I can talk to people.

There is a road directly east of Moomba, the Della Road, which was like a highway 40 years ago. Now it is just rutted. It is a main arterial route heading from Moomba to Della, Dullingari, Toolachee and other fields and heads out to Dillons Crossing, where you head north again to Innamincka. That road needs major work. It got to the stage, for safety reasons, when I was there, that they pulled the speed limit back on basin roads to 80 km/h. They are now at 60 km/h. Tourists can chug past at 80 ks and you feel like you are almost speeding going past a road train that is literally rattling along, shaking to bits, at 60 km/h.

It does not do much for productivity and there are many, many hundreds of kilometres to traverse. In the old days of going up there, they used to joke that the pallets of food and even the beer cans had their labels rattled off and they had disappeared by the time they got to the Moomba camp.

The resealing is a project that not only will assist this state well into the future, and not just the oil and gas industry, but it will be another link right through to Brisbane. It will also assist our pastoral industry, to get that stock down south to the processing works or to get stock up there when they are in times of plenty of feed and plenty of rain.

I am disappointed in how the contract has been running out for the Strzelecki Track build. I am very proud that we started that when in government. It is a very stop-start operation, which concerns me greatly. Only 40 per cent is complete. There is a section of Dillons and a section further south near the Strzelecki Creek, south of Moomba, that need a bit more engineering to get up to speed. Both sections are about 20 kilometres. Obviously, you want to get it right before the paving goes in because it will be hit with a heap of traffic: road trains, tourists and others. You need that right because otherwise it will just fall apart. So I am disappointed it is taking so long. It seems to be such a stop-start process.

It is not handy for contractors who have contracting camps that cost $50,000 to move whenever they have to move them. They just leave them up there in the Cooper Basin, and it is just not on. They really should just get on with it and get it done. We cannot have the excuse that has come out that we have had 94 days of wet weather when there have been over a thousand days of dry weather when the project could go on. There are things happening now with the road as it is.

On one trip coming home, I had what was probably the funniest couple of nights of my whole life. I was up there with my 16-year-old son at the time, Angus. We were at Innamincka and parked near the Cooper Creek. We had a great week up there. It started to rain a bit as we packed up and, because you are packing up a camper trailer and all the gear, that takes quite a while. We got to the shop and they said, 'You won't get home because it will be wet at Murdi,' which is about 60 kilometres south of Moomba. I said, 'We're going to give it a crack.' Well, we got down there, and there were about nine road trains pulled up—there is a stretch of bitumen there—and they said, 'You're not going anywhere.' Once they saw us pull the barbecue out of the back of the camper, we ended up being the caterers and had quite an entertaining time for a couple of nights, because no-one was going anywhere.

That is the issue with the Strzelecki Track: it takes nothing to get it too wet in a lot of spots; and there is a lot of freight that needs to go up and down that road and not just for the oil and gas industry. The issue for me is that a lot of that freight is now coming in from the Queensland side. It is bitumenised through Adventure Way from the Queensland border through to Innamincka—a 30-kilometre stretch that has been done for a few years now. I have not seen all the piece that has been bitumenised down towards Dillons Crossing near to Della Road but it certainly will change the face of the basin, and we need people to be alert to outback driving conditions when they go up there and also to respect that it is a working area.

It goes to show how low impact the oil and gas industry is. Once the oil wells go in, there are basically underground lines through to a satellite station and then straight into Moomba. A lot of the time you have to look really hard to even find a gas well. I showed a photo to some young lads one day. I said, 'Well, there's gas.' They could just see a gas well that was protected by about four strands of barbed wire to keep the cattle off, and that was it. The site had been rehabilitated when the hole had been drilled and all the other activities were done to get that production online.

Certainly, in regard to carbon capture and storage and the work Santos has been doing up there for probably close to 60 years or more now, it has brought a lot of wealth into this state and they are looking at what they can do to not only offset the carbon, as I indicated earlier, but get it stored underground.

I wish them all the best with that project and I urge anyone who has never been up there—it is only 1,000 kilometres—to just go for a drive. You have bitumen for 40 per cent of the Strez, past Lyndhurst, and you have bitumen to Lyndhurst, just the other side of Leigh Creek. It is well worth a look. I commend the motion and wish Santos and its partners all the very best with the carbon capture and storage project.

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