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Fruit, veggies and meat back on supermarket shelves in Darwin

January 23, 2024 3:58 pm in by
Natasha Fyles via Facebook

Fresh fruit, vegetables and meat are back on supermarket shelves in Darwin, with truck drivers being praised for their efforts.

Parts of the Stuart Highway were cut off and damaged by flood waters after the severe weather with road crews escorting trucks through.

Chief Minister Eva Lawler says freight company Centurion Transport has delivered about 60 trailer loads in the last 24 hours with another 70 to 80 trucks coming through today.

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“So if you go to Coles or Woolies supermarkets around Darwin they will now have fresh fruit and vegetables,” Ms Lawler says.

“It is about saying thank you to the truck drivers because a lot of them had come up from Adelaide or were in Alice and have had to then wait on the side of the road to get through.”

Centurion’s Darwin Manager Andrew Ailmore says some truck drivers were stranded for between 30 and 40 hours along the highway.

“[The truck drivers] were all at roadhouses so they all had stuff to eat and facilities,” Mr Ailmore says.

“Last night, they were pulling the trucks through one by one.”

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But Ms Lawler says the highway needs to be managed with repairs ongoing.

“We’re shutting down the road at about 6 o’clock at night, that gives then time for the contractors to go through and grader, to upgrade any of the sections that they can and then open the roads for the morning.”

Centurion has been transporting rail freight by road as a 2 km stretch of the line is washed out and extensively damaged between Tennant Creek and Katherine.

Ms Lawler says Aurizon is ready to start repairs to the rail line once flood waters recede.

“They’ve got you know sleepers and the equipment ready to go but we’re thinking it could possibly be about 2 weeks [for repairs].”

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She says they initially thought only 500 metres of the line had been damaged.

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