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Thursday, 20 May 1993
Page: 961

Senator FOREMAN —Can the Minister for Transport and Communications advise the Senate on the status of proposals for further improvements to the Tod Highway in South Australia?

Senator COLLINS —I appreciate the continued interest of South Australian senators in this issue. I am glad to report to the Senate that the news for South Australia is good. The South Australian Department of Road Transport sought from me federal approval and funding to enlarge the Tod Highway project between Karkoo and Wanilla. As those honourable senators from South Australia in particular would be aware, the Tod Highway provides a vital connection between towns in the central Eyre region and Port Lincoln, the regional centre of the Eyre Peninsula. The highway is important in the transportation of the wheat and wool produced in this area. I am also reliably informed that it is an extremely scenic part of Australia.

Senator Maguire —Indeed.

Senator COLLINS —Senator Maguire agrees with that. The further works of $2.3 million, which I have just approved, will take the total approved federal funding for this project to $11 million. These improvements to the highway will directly benefit the important rural and tourism industries of the Eyre Peninsula.

  Work on the Tod Highway project to date has involved reconstruction of crests and horizontal curves to provide adequate stopping sight distances and reconstruction of the road on its present alignment. The latest project approval is a further demonstration of the overall commitment by this Government toward land transport in Australia. In the case of South Australia, through the national highway, One Nation, black spot and other road and urban public transport project expenditures, the Federal Government's commitment for the 1992-93 year is estimated to be in excess of $120 million.