The only place in Australia where you could legally see what your Lamborghini, Ferrari or Aston Martin was capable of – a 300km stretch of the Stuart Highway north of Alice Springs – will have its speed limited to 130km/h by the new Labor Northern Territory government, following its landslide win on the weekend.
The decade-old brakes on/brakes off policy ends the open speed limit on 330km of the highway introduced by the ousted Country Liberal Party.
Former chief minister Adam Giles first opened a 200km section in 2014, extended it again in 2015, then in July this year added another 60km after a $3 million upgrade.
But Labor plans to reinstate the 130km/h limit as soon as it can, 10 years after it last introduced it. In justifying removing the speed limits, Giles argued that more people died in the six years since the 130km/h limit was in place than in the previous six years when it was unrestricted.
The former government’s trial into unrestricted speeds found that in 11 crashes there were no fatalities and 85% of drivers travelled between 133-139km/h. It planned to create a 1200km unrestricted stretch.
Labor says its 130km/h limit was part of the policies it took to the election and plans to reintroduce the limit as soon as possible, based on expert advice from the Police Association and AMA.
That means only part of the German autobahns are the only street roads in the world where there’s no speed limit.
It also means an end to moments like this: 60-year-old, two-time Bathurst winner John Bowe taking a Bentley Continental GT Speed to 330km/h (206mph) in under 60 seconds on the Stuart Highway.
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