Published: 20 August 2015



With regards to the section of the Bass Highway between Smithton and Marrawah -

(1)  How often is the road's conditions assessed?

(2)  When was the current condition of the road last assessed?

(3)  Does the Government have any concerns about the state of this road?  If so, what are those concerns?

(4)  Does the section of road meet the National Land Transport Network Standard?  If not, why not?



Mr President, I thank the member of Murchison for her question.

(1)  The road's condition is assessed by various methods.  Routine maintenance patrols are done on a weekly basis  to assess defects in the road ranging from potholes, seal-edge breaks, shoulder wear, traffic furniture, drainage, vegetation issues and other matters.  Automated pavement condition surveys are used to collect road condition data.  Roughness, rutting and cracking data is collected every three years, and skid resistance data is collected every two years.  The road's reseal renewal priorities are determined by an annual visual assessment.

(2)  A routine maintenance patrol inspected the road earlier this week - that is, the week beginning 17 August 2015 - and no defects were identified.


Mrs Taylor - No defects?

Dr GOODWIN - No defects were identified.

       Seal renewal requirements were last assessed in November 2014.  Roughness, rutting and cracking data was collected in February 2015, and skid resistance data was collected in April 2014.

(3)  This section of the Bass Highway is managed in a fit-for-purpose approach that recognises its lower strategic important in the context of the Tasmanian strategic State Road Network.  It is a Category 5 road in the Tasmanian State Road Hierarchy because of the traffic and freight volumes carried on it, whereas the National Land Transport Network is a Category 1.


The routine maintenance contractors, Stornoway Maintenance, undertakes inspection and maintenance of the road to meet prescribed service levels that maintain the road in a safe and serviceable condition.  Road improvements and maintenance are considered in the context of the needs of the entire State Road Network, with prioritisation for higher category roads required because of limited funding.  There are sections of the road that traverse swamps that are subject to ongoing movement resulting in variable settlement and structural deterioration of the road at these locations.

These localised areas of poor drainage tend to result in increased road roughness, which is treated by periodic smoothing repairs to address ride quality.  The Brittons Swamp section is an identified candidate for major pavement surfacing renewal works and will continue to be assessed on a year-to-year basis relative to statewide priorities.


(4)  This section of the Bass Highway does not form part of the National Land Transport Network, which is a Category 1 road, and is therefore not improved or maintained to that level.  For the Bass Highway, the national network ends at the junction with West Park Grove in Burnie.  It is not within the financial means of Tasmanian taxpayers to maintain all state roads to a Category 1 standard.

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