Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:47): My question is to the Minister for Regional Roads. Is the Strzelecki Track upgrade on time and on budget, and can the minister provide an update on its progress?

The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Stuart—Minister for Local Government, Minister for Regional Roads, Minister for Veterans Affairs) (14:47): I thank the member for the question. The Strzelecki Track is fully funded. It is on budget at this stage and it is also on time. However, as the member understands, there has been a fair bit of rain up there in that area in the last few months in particular, but certainly, as with that and other roads in the outback, the department are doing the best they can with the contractors going up that way. I am very happy with the progress on the Strzelecki Track.

Just recently, I had the opportunity to be in Lyndhurst to talk to the people there. They are looking forward to the completion of the Strzelecki Track. The member will understand this and I am just going to reinforce it to the whole house: the Strzelecki Track is a very important part of the direction for South Australia in particular, coming down from Queensland. It has been a challenge with a lot of the stuff going forward.

To the member, the other issue is that we have some good contractors up there, and what I will do, if I can, is read something out for the member's information. The Strzelecki Track is part of the $215 million funding for the Strzelecki Track upgrade. It is 472 kilometres long; it's a very long stretch of road.

An honourable member interjecting:

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: You know that. The unsealed road requires maintenance grading on a regular basis. This is subject to flooding quite often, and the current road that hasn't been sealed at this stage. To the member for Hammond, there is a lot of corrugation on that road there. As I say, I have regular contact with the pastoralists in that area. I have regular contact with the outback roads committee, which meets on a regular basis. I have regular contact with people at Lyndhurst, and I have contact with people at Marree and so on. The response from people in that area up there means that they have had more attention in the last 14 months than they have in the last four years.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Hammond!

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Hammond, you are warned. Order!

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: Regarding the communication and the information—

Mr Pederick interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Hammond, you are on a final warning.

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: —I have given to pastoralists up there, they have not had as much attention and communication with a government for many, many years. It is an issue that I am very passionate about personally, very passionate. The member for Hartley made a comment a minute ago about road safety, as did the Minister for Police. One of the things we have to be very careful of—and I know there have been some accidents on the outback roads—is how we drive on these roads there. The pastoralists in that region in particular are very passionate about what they are doing. Quite often, if the road gang is not there, the pastoralists will come out and assist and do some of the work.

I am happy to give the member for Hammond a full briefing on all the roads in the outback. On the Strzelecki Track, as I indicated before, the communities up that way have never had so much communication from a member up there. They are very passionate about it and they are very thankful for the attention they are getting.

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