Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Government Whip) (13:56): Some years ago I had been campaigning for some passing lanes between Port Augusta and Whyalla; it’s a distance of about 87 kilometres and it’s a pretty busy bit of road. I had been informed by some people back in the electorate that I had Buckley’s chance of getting any kind of allocation for that. But I was very pleased when, in 2016, my persistence was rewarded and we ended up with a passing lane in each direction. I’m even more pleased to announce today that we are to get two more in each direction—one on the first 30 kilometres of a section of the Eyre Highway through to the Whyalla turnoff, and the other between that turnoff and Whyalla. So we will have four more passing lanes, at $16 million.
This stretch of road has had some very sad accidents and fatalities. I don’t for one minute suggest that passing lanes will necessarily get rid of fatalities but they will certainly reduce driver stress as we line up behind heavy transport, and they will give people an opportunity to get past—particularly those people enjoying our country while pulling caravans at the moment, which can block other people trying to move along a bit more quickly.
I have to say that, with this announcement, we have well over a billion dollars worth of Commonwealth support coming into the federal seat of Grey at the moment. To all those people who have said to me over the years, ‘I wish we were a marginal seat so we could get a bit more,’ I say: ‘You’re on the wrong horse, mate.’ We are backing you and we are backing regional Australia.