Dan wants Yorkeys action

YORKEYS Crossing is back in the sights of the state government after Member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan pleaded for an upgrade in State Parliament recently.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said he haswritten ‘many letters’ to a succession of transportministers about what he described as a very important piece of infrastructure around the outside of the regional centre of Port Augusta.

BRIDGE: Member for Stuart recommended a Yorkeys Crossing upgrade in State Parliament recently.

He described thedirt road as a bypass when the main roadthrough town is unavailable.

He said it is especially hazardous afterrain.

“In fact, onMay 24, we had a three-car accident on the bridge over the gulf, the Joy Baluch AM Bridge, whichput the entire National Highway Onethrough the centre of Port Augusta out of action,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“Mr Speaker, National Highway One, as you would know, is our national road that services heavytransport for the entire nation. It goes across a bridge that has one lane in each direction over thegulf in Port Augusta.”

“When that bridge is out of action, our national freight route is out of action,and we are left with, as a backup, Yorkeys Crossing, which is a serviceable road for passengervehicles at low speeds but not nearly good enough as a backup for our national transport task.”

The MP explained how the road hastreacherousnature, which is amplifiedeven after as little assix millimetres of rain.

“We have had the bridge in Port Augusta out of action many times –Iwould estimate 10 times inthe six years that I have been a member of parliament – and we are, unfortunately, incrediblyclose to a very serious problem with regard to our nation’s freight efficiency,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“If we have anaccident on the bridge in Port Augusta that knocks it out even just for 24 hours, can you imagineall of the freight travelling between Adelaide and Darwin, and between Sydney and Perth, unableto use Highway Oneand having to use Yorkeys Crossing, which goes around the outside of PortAugusta?

“Traffic within Port Augusta grows every year. Traffic around Port Augusta—intrastate traffic—grows every year, and our nation’s freight task is estimated to double over thenext 10 years…

“ I do not advocate for acomplete bypass of the City of Port Augusta; that would be a mistake. The long-term solution weneed is to have two lanes of traffic all the way through Port Augusta, and that would requireupgrades to two bridges: the one over the gulf and the one over the railway line, further eastwithin Port Augusta.

“Every time Iapproach this government about this issue and ask them to pursue it, the answer I repeatedly getis that the government has done a cost-benefit analysis and just does not see it as worthwhile.”

“…That cost-benefit analysis is flawed because it does not include in the cost side the risk toPort Augusta, to South Australia and to our nation if the bridge happens to be knocked out for asignificant amount of time.

“This is also a health and safety issue for the people of Port Augusta because all of the emergencyservices are on one side of the bridge and large residential development areas are on the other. Itis an incredibly important issue with regard to our nation’s transport task. It is a very importantissue for Port Augusta, for our state and for our nation.”

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