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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3112

Mr Morris asked the Minister for Transport, upon notice, on 26 October 1977:

(   1) Has he received a request to upgrade the road from Darwin to Boulia, and the building of a new road link to Tibooburra, New South Wales.

(2)   If so, what are the names and employing agencies of each of the individuals who made representations to him seeking the road link, and when were the representations made.

(3)   Has he agreed to undertake to upgrade and construct the road link. If not, why not.

(4)   What is the projected cost of the road link.

Mr Nixon - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Representations were made to me and to other Ministers in late 1975 and early 1976 mainly by the North South Highway Committee which is based in Mildura with a branch at Broken Hill. In 1977 I have received representations from the North South Highway Committee, the Federal Inland Development Organisation, Mr P. S. Fisher, M.P., Dr E. N. Stack, Mayor of Darwin, the National Party of Victoria, Cr. L. S. Andriske, Mayor of Mildura, and the Boulia Shire Council.

(3)   In view of the interest in the proposed road, I commissioned the former Bureau of Roads to investigate its possible development. The Bureau's report, which I tabled on 5 May 1976, found that development of the proposed North South Highway was not justified at that time. In the circumstances I nave not agreed to undertake to upgrade and construct the road link.

(4)   The Bureau found that the estimated cost in 1976 prices to develop the road from Mt Isa to Broken Hill was $160m to national highway standards, $65m to beef road standards and $40m to unsealed standard with minimal waterway crossing improvements.

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