Road Maintenance

Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 14:30 ): My question is to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. Can the minister inform the house what measures are being taken to ensure new sections of the Mallee and Dukes highways, alongside the Tailem Bend motorsport park, do not melt again when the temperature rises above 35º?

The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN ( Lee—Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Minister for Housing and Urban Development) (14:31): I thank the member for Hammond for his question. Indeed, the member for Hammond alerted me to this problem quite some weeks ago now, I think, perhaps before the end of last year. As members would be aware, there is a very significant development occurring at Tailem Bend for the new motorsport park, and that has required some works to be done to the highway, particularly for a new entrance and exit for that new facility as well as, I think, a slip lane for turning movements so that they can be safe and protected.

The contractor who was required to do that work did not lay the appropriate seal on that part of the road, so the surface of the road, when it got to a high temperature, was what they call 'bleeding'. There was excess bitumen out of the asphalt, which was bleeding out of the rest of the aggregate which comprises the other part of the asphalt.

My understanding is that following the member for Hammond's raising this issue with me, I raised it with the chief operations officer of the department who was following up with the contractor. I have to come back to him with an update as to whether the rectification has been done, although I am assuming that given the member for Hammond is asking me a question right now, and given that he travels on that road very frequently, that perhaps it hasn't. So, leave it with me, and I will come back to the house with an answer.

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:32): Supplementary: can the minister then explain why, when I explained to him earlier in the piece that there was 'bleeding' bitumen as such, the final line marking was painted on that surface, which was faulty?

The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN ( Lee—Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Minister for Housing and Urban Development) (14:33): It may be that the department had not yet reached out to that contractor before they took the next stage of the work, which was line marking, as well as not repairing it. But I will seek a full briefing—

Members interjecting:

The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN:—and come back to the house, as well as the member for Hammond.

The SPEAKER: The leader sounds to me like he is interjecting—because it is contrary to standing orders to interrupt in any way, even if it's a conversation with another member.