LETTER: Not one Federal dollar for Territory highways

Sir – Territory and Federal Labor should stop playing games with road funding and the lives of Territorians. In the past 24 hours we have witnessed a lack of respect and money for supporting safe highways in the Northern Territory from Labor.

 

Federal Minister Anthony Albanese knows full well that his dying Labor Government has provided not one single dollar for national highway upgrades in the Territory for the next five years.

 

The Federal-owned Barkly, Stuart and Victoria highways got not one cent for upgrades like strengthening and widening, overtaking lanes, flood immunity projects, truck parking bays and rest areas.

 

Other jurisdictions have been provided significant funding boosts for roads infrastructure, so I don’t know why Mr Albanese can’t understand his own budget papers which provide bugger all for the Territory.

 

The Federal Government has slashed $230 million from the Territory’s roads budget and instead of condemning this and supporting Territorians, today Labor MLA Gerry McCarthy has focussed on speed limits.

 

This is likely because Mr McCarthy probably doesn’t understand the numbers in budgets. He can only see the speed limit signs besides the highway rather than the lack of Federal funds and the current state of the road he and his Labor mates left Territorians with.

 

He should immediately call on his Federal Lingiari Labor mate Warren Snowdon to prove his worth to Territorians by reinstating our funding to support better and safer Territory roads.

 

The Northern Territory Government is pushing to set up the NT as the gate way to Asia and it is clear the Federal Government does not support this.

 

September 14 will be reckoning day for this style of political shenanigans from Labor members when Territorians have their say.

 

It is clear the leading cause of road fatalities in the Territory remains drink driving and failure to wear seatbelts, both of which the Territory Government is committed to addressing.

 

Mr McCarthy is playing politics also when he cherry picked statistics regarding road fatalities in the NT. The reality is for the five years before the introduction of speed limits there were 242 fatalities.

 

In the five years after speed limits were introduced there were 258 road fatalities.

 

Most of these were a result of drink driving, and not wearing seat belts. Around twenty per cent of fatalities were on the Territory’s national highways, with the majority in urban areas and remote roads where speed limits are not being reviewed.

 

Adam Giles

NT Chief Minister

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