Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (11:32): I just want to make a few brief comments on the Flood Recovery Projects—Northern Areas project. Certainly, we saw the need for a great deal of work to be done on the Stuart Highway, especially in regard to flood damage. There were scenes at Glendambo of that A-triple road train bogged at the side of the road on the bitumen, which was a bit interesting. There was certainly some extreme weather that went through that area.

Last year I had the good fortune to head up to the Finke Desert Race, so I saw all that highway and saw some of those roadworks being done. I must say that the contractors were doing a fantastic job, doing a full rebuild and reseal. Sometimes this is not done soon enough on our highways, and sometimes there is too much patchwork done, but it was fantastic, the work I saw being done there—I think it was Fulton Hogan, from memory, doing the work. That is a vital road link, the Stuart Highway, from Port Augusta through to Darwin.

I certainly support the measures put in place. You get these rain events and a lot of them are offsets of cyclones, and this certainly was, I believe, where we saw this major flooding. It has been quite wet at times in the upper north, but certainly the works I saw were excellent and I hope they hold up for a long time to come—many years to come, in fact. It is an isolated area to get to work, but when you have a decent pavement to drive over it makes all the difference. I certainly have driven over all that length of the Stuart Highway towards Finke and almost, but not quite, to Alice Springs.

I certainly commend the work that has been done and it is good that it was done in a timely fashion, because that is a really valuable freight route through to the north of Australia, through to Darwin, and good work has been done.

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