Legislative Council: Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Answers to Questions

Regional Road Conditions

215 The Hon. S.L. GAME ().8 February 2023).

1. How does the government respond—and what actions will it take—regarding Grain Producers SA's 'Worst Grain Road' 2022 report?

2. Given the multibillion-dollar primary industries and agriculture sectors' reliance on using these rural and regional roads, does the minister think the state of these roads is acceptable?

3. How many of our newly built roads, particularly on Eyre Peninsula, are already falling into disrepair—and at what cost?

4. Why are recently built roads on Eyre Peninsula requiring rectification works so soon after establishment? How long after the new works were complete did the upgrades begin breaking down and were road closures required to complete repairs?

5. What is the actual state and federal government expenditure on Eyre Peninsula roads after the state government's announcement of the rail closure in March 2019?

6. What was the amount budgeted to be spent by the state government on Eyre Peninsula roads with the closure of the rail line and what upgrades were proposed?

7. Does the road infrastructure built or upgraded in response to the Eyre Peninsula rail closure require rectification works and, if so, what was originally budgeted for?

8. Did the budgeted amount above (7.) propose that the upgrades for Eyre Peninsula would include improving road shoulders and edges on existing roads, and building three overtaking lanes (excluding the federal government contribution to the Eyre Highway from Port Augusta to WA border)?

9. What is the total cost now for rectification works and expected total cost of the Eyre Peninsula road upgrades? Do these upgrades relate to the same three overtaking lanes and edges referred to in 8?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries): The Minister for Regional Roads has advised:

The state government has maintenance responsibility for eight of the top 10 grain roads identified as the worst by Grain Producers SA.

Road rehabilitation works have been actioned on Owen Road and Templers Road, with these works expected to be completed April 2023, weather permitting.

Pavement repairs were completed on the Barrier Highway (between Saddleworth and Burra) in December 2022.

In the 2023-24 financial year, road safety improvements are planned for three sections of the Mallee Highway (between Peake and Jabuk) totalling 22 kilometres (kms).

The remaining state government-maintained roads—Upper Yorke Road, Worlds End Highway, Flinders Highway and Frances Road—are candidates for future road improvements, including pavement rehabilitation, shoulder sealing or hazard protection.

The state government maintains a sealed road network of approximately 13,000 kilometres. The roads within this network cater for longer distance travel and support a broad range of industries. All roads are regularly reviewed through the Department for Infrastructure and Transport's maintenance contracts and repairs are undertaken to maintain the current functionality of these roads.

Three new overtaking lanes at the following locations on Eyre Peninsula were open to traffic in mid-2022.

Lincoln Highway (northbound), near Louth Bay.

Flinders Highway (southbound), at the junction with Tod Highway.

Western Approach Road (southbound), at the junction with Pine Freezers Road near Port Lincoln.

The contractor closed the lanes on:

the Lincoln (northbound, near Louth Bay) and Flinders highways due to the early onset of cold and wet weather. The new seal started to strip with the lanes closed to protect the pavement until repair works could be undertaken. The repair works were undertaken in December 2022 and January 2023 when weather conditions improved. Repair works were also undertaken on the overtaking lane on Lincoln Highway (southbound, near Schramms Road, south of Tumby Bay) due to seal stripping, however the road was not closed.

Western Approach Road due to hot weather and grain carting, excess bitumen was coming to the surface in the outer wheel path, which is known as 'bleeding'. Repair works were undertaken in January 2023. An alternative final surface treatment may be required subject to further assessment.

On Lincoln Highway there are currently speed restrictions in place until shoulder works are undertaken, which is expected to commence soon.

The contractor for the construction of the three overtaking lanes is responsible for completing all works.

Approximately $226.95 million has been spent on road upgrades and safety improvement projects on Eyre Peninsula through the Roads of Strategic Importance (RoSI) program.

$51.25 million has been committed under the RoSI–Eyre Peninsula network program. Road upgrades consisted of:

Overtaking lanes:

Lincoln Highway: two new overtaking lanes between Tumby Bay and Louth Bay.

Flinders Highway: at the junction with Tod Highway.

Western Approach Road: near Pine Freezers Road, including an upgrade of the Pine Freezers Road junction.

Tod Highway: south of Cummins (planning only).

Pavement works and intersection safety improvements:

Pavement renewal works (commencing late February 2023) along various sections of Lincoln Highway (locally known as Liverpool Street (Mortlock Terrace to Porter Street)) and Porter Street (Edithburgh Street to London Terrace), Western Approach Road, London Street and King Street.

Upgrading the intersections along Lincoln Highway within the Port Lincoln CBD (locally known as Liverpool Street and Hallett Place) with a focus on improving pedestrian crossing safety (currently in design and expected to commence late 2023).

The following works form part of the $155 million South Australian Rural Roads Safety Package.

Safety works:

Hazard protection/installation of safety barriers along curves on Birdseye Highway between Cleve and Cowell. Complete.

Shoulder sealing:

Birdseye Highway–Cleve to Rudall (approximately 21kms) and high priority areas between Cowell and Cleve. Complete.

Tod Highway–high priority areas between Lock and Karkoo, Wanilla and Flinders Highway (approximately 25kms). Complete.

Lincoln Highway–high priority areas between Whyalla and Birdseye Highway (approximately 16kms). Complete.