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Thursday, 16 August 2007
Page: 138


Senator SCULLION (Minister for Community Services) (7:32 PM) —Perhaps we could have a fair dinkum comparison. In my experience the Gibb River Road is the same sort of terrain with pretty much the same sort of vegetation. The Gibb River Road is not quite the same length, but it is pretty similar. A number of people go along that road, with a variety of different equipment—whether they are Indigenous people, tourists or just travelling around Australia; it is a very popular destination—and there is no permit system on that road. People just make the normal provisions for safety. We know the order of the road. You can find out the state of the road from the police station. There are a number of weather observations, particularly during the wet season, about which roads are cut. There is the website from the weather bureau, as you would be aware, that you can access to work out where you can get to. I know that you, as a well-travelled senator from the Northern Territory, would be aware of those issues. It is effectively just like anywhere else. To cling onto the permit system on the basis of safety I think is drawing a bit of a long bow.

If I could go back to my answer just before the break, I understand that you asserted that Baniyala—