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Friday, 22 May 1970

Mr CHARLES JONES - I thank the Minister for that assurance. I believe it is important. 1 take it from the report that the earth construction works are to be carried out by contract labour or on an outside tender basis.

Mr Sinclair - It will be done by tender. Just who does it will depend on the result of the tenders.

Mr CHARLES JONES - What about the track laying?

Mr Sinclair - It will all be subject to tender. The lowest tender need not necessarily be accepted.

Mr CHARLES JONES - But will the track laying be done by Commonwealth Railways, which I presume has the best track laying equipment?

Mr Sinclair - It will be subject to tender and the results of the tender will determine who does it.

Mr CHARLES JONES - Will the tenders be compared with the price that Commonwealth Railways can do it for?

Mr Sinclair - Yes. Commonwealth Railways is quite free to tender.

Mr CHARLES JONES - I accept that assurance that Commonwealth Railways will at least be given an opportunity to construct its own railway. I come to the schedule dealing with level crossings. Has the Minister given any consideration to installing barriers at each of these level crossings? We know from experience that there is always some galoot who is prepared to give it a go. Probably 9 times out of 10 he will succeed, but on the tenth occasion he may miss out. We had a recent unfortunate tragedy in South Australia in which some 16 passengers on a bus were killed. According to a coroner's report, the driver was under the influence of alcohol. These things happen. On the New South Wales north coast just recently some 16 or 17 young children were killed in a bus fatality. I do not know whether the driver gave it a po. The children were killed in a level crossing smash. There may not be a train along a railway line every half hour. There will probably be only 4 trains a day - 2 each way or maybe 3 each way. In these circumstances people are more inclined to give it a go.

Flashing lights are to be installed at these level crossings, but I am wondering whether television could be introduced. This is done in a lot of places. Even though barriers are in operation, they are operated from a central point, using television. I am wondering whether this would be a practical proposition. Some of these level crossings are reasonably close to Port Augusta. I ask the Minister to give this some consideration. We do not want somebody giving it a go and not succeeding.

Mr Sinclair - There will be an overpass for the principal crossings.

Mr CHARLES JONES - 1 know. But a lot of level crossings are to be equipped only with flashing lights. In my opinion we should not be constructing more level crossings with flashing lights. We should think in terms of barriers. Level crossings should be under the control of a central operator working with the aid of a television set. There should be one person responsible for opening and shutting gates. We should not be constructing more level crossings. The Opposition supports this Bill. We think it should have been introduced years ago to assist the development of this rapidly expanding section of South Australia.

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