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Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Page: 2914


Mr CHAMPION (5:21 PM) —It is a great privilege to give this speech as the returning member for the electorate of Wakefield. I am the first Labor member ever re-elected to the division of Wakefield in the history of the seat, and that is certainly a great honour for me. I acknowledge that in the past it has been a far different electorate as far as its electoral boundaries were concerned; it traditionally favoured the conservative side of politics. In my first speech I made reference to Sydney McHugh, who was the Labor member between 1938 and 1940, but I regret that I did not acknowledge the election of Albert Smith, who was the Labor member between 1943 and 1946 and was part of the Curtin government and a former worker at the Knapstein Brewery. It is still a brewery today but also a rather good winery in the Clare Valley and I certainly suggest members visit if they get the chance. At the brewery is a very good picture of Albert Smith when he was a worker there. He made an important contribution during the war years—


Mr Fletcher —The winery is much more new Labor.


Mr CHAMPION —It is a brewery again, which is a good thing.


Mr Fletcher interjecting


Mr CHAMPION —No doubt, but a good brewery all the same. Albert Smith’s first speech to the parliament had some interesting points, particularly towards the end. He spoke about interest rates, banks and competition and the importance in particular of lending in the rural areas. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess. I wanted to acknowledge Albert Smith’s role and his very important contribution to the electorate.

In my maiden speech I also talked about some of the issues that I was passionate about, but I regret that I did not go a great deal into rural living and the joys of growing up in the country. I was taken to task by the Plains Producer, which is a very good rural newspaper. It covers the Adelaide Plains and Balaklava and occasionally it tells me where I have got things wrong. The newspaper suggested that I should have remarked in my maiden speech about rural living, so in an endeavour to make up for that I will acknowledge that there is no better way to grow up than in a country town and by going to a country high school and playing football in a country league—generally having those experiences that you only get when you grow up in the country. I do not think I would be in this House if I had not grown up in the town of Kapunda and spent my formative adolescent years there. Certainly I would never have worked on a farm or picked apricots or grapes or any of those things. They were formative experiences in my life that have helped me to be a better member of parliament.

My home town of Kapunda has been through a difficult time in the last week and a half or so because of the terrible murders that were committed in the town. A lot of my friends and former schoolmates are quite worried about these events and obviously somewhat disturbed that these terrible crimes have been committed in a very quiet and peaceful country town. We are happy that the police have made an arrest. That is a good thing and hopefully it will put to rest a lot of the fear that is in the town. But it will be sometime before the town recovers from these terrible events. I would like to extend my condolences to the family and friends of the deceased. On that rather sombre note, I would say that growing up in the country has been a good experience and one that I hope to express a little more in the House where I can.

I want to talk a little about the local elections in the councils in South Australia. As is the case with all elections, some very good people have been re-elected, some very good people have been elected and some very good people have sadly faced defeat. In the council of Light the mayor has been changed. I would like to acknowledge the election of Bill O’Brien, who is a resident of Kapunda. I wish Mr O’Brien all the best and look forward to working with him. We did have a rather pleasant barbecue dinner in Kapunda not so long ago. The former mayor, Robert Hornsey, was also there. I have enjoyed working with him over the last three years. He has been a good mayor and made a good contribution to public life in Kapunda, Freeling and other areas in the district of Light. I noticed in the paper he said that for the first time in 17 years he has an empty diary. No doubt he will get to spend more time on the farm and more time with his lovely wife, Anne.

I would also like to acknowledge three other councillors: Jane Alcorn, Bill Carrick and Ron Kubisch, all of whom are leaving the council. I think they all did a tremendous job. I enjoyed working with them and certainly look forward to seeing them in the community. Special congratulations to Deane Rohrlach, my old principal from Kapunda High, who was re-elected in the Light council.

In Gawler my good friend Brian Sambell was re-elected as mayor. It was a competitive mayoral election with some very fine competition from other candidates. But it was good to see Brian re-elected and it was good to see the election of Brian Thom; my former opponent in this seat, David Strauss, who was the Liberal candidate at the last election; and my good friend Adrian Shackley, who always reminds me that the Gawler River and the environment at Gawler are important things.

In Mallala my good friend Marcus Strudwicke was re-elected. I would especially like to acknowledge Joe Daniele, who has contributed to the area and the council for decades. He is a very strong spokesman for the Two Wells ward of the Mallala council. I would also like to acknowledge Tony Flaherty, who is head of the local RSL and will be leaving council. He is a strong contributor in the town of Mallala.

In Playford a new mayor has been elected—Glenn Docherty. I have already talked to Glenn. He is the youngest mayor in Playford’s history. It is good to have youth and vigour around the place. I am keen to work with him and make sure that the city of Playford is a vibrant place and a place where young families can get a go; likewise, my commiserations to Martin Lindsell, who was the mayor of that city for four years and a former mayor of Munno Para. I think he gave the job his all during that period.

I would also like to acknowledge the election of some of the other councillors. In particular, it is good to see people like Geoff Boundy, Dino Musolino, Duncan MacMillan, Andrew Craig, Joe Federico, Nick Cava, Gay Smallwood-Smith, Julie Norris, Coral Gooley and Max O’Reilly returned. They are all passionate about the city. Likewise, it is good to see some of the new entrants: Marilyn Baker, Nik Skrob, Adam Sherwood and Denis Davey. Denis is a real character. It will be interesting to see all that he brings to that role. I look forward to seeing the poetry about the council meetings.

In Salisbury, Gillian Aldridge was re-elected unopposed, which is the best form of election. She is a great mayor of Salisbury and I would obviously wish her well. Salisbury is a great council. It has a very good group of councillors who always work together.

In Wakefield Regional Council it was good to see James Maitland re-elected. He has been a strong voice for rural health and I think had cause to know just how important that is in the last 12 months. I look forward to working with him and the Wakefield Regional Council, as I look forward to working with Mayor Allan Aughey, who was re-elected unopposed in Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council. I look forward to working with those gentlemen in the future, particularly in the Wakefield group of councils. I have worked closely with that group—with Terry Bell, the director—to make sure that the councils, the state government and the federal government are all focusing on the same priorities in terms of infrastructure and really being a bit entrepreneurial about what we seek from government and making sure what we put up is the best quality project.

With the remaining time I have got I want to talk about the projects I have committed to over two elections, particularly the ones that we are still developing and still finishing off. I have spoken many times about the ones we have completed—things like the Craigmore television retransmission tower, which has fixed a problem for about 15,000 residents who had intermittent television reception. I am glad that we fixed that. It was a very popular commitment and an even more popular achievement by this government.

I also look forward to working with the Angle Vale community on their community sports hub. That town has been waiting a long time for its own oval and for sports facilities. They have done well with pretty substandard facilities that had a question mark about their ownership between the council, the education department and local landowners. That has created some uncertainty over the years. I have been working with sports groups in the area, in particular Colin Sherriff from the Angle Vale footy club; Bob Wharton from the Angle Vale Cricket Club; Peter Dommerdich, James Balacco, Sharine Pritchard and Michelle Wilson from the Angle Vale Soccer and Community Club; and Jeff Boundy, the council leader, who has been a passionate spokesperson for that project. It is good to see it finally getting to the point where we can break ground and actually build this excellent facility, which is a partnership between the City of Playford and the federal government. I look forward to really making sure that that gets delivered. It will have change rooms, a canteen, meeting spaces and public toilets that the local community can make the most of.

Likewise I look forward to working with the Gawler council and the town of Gawler on the Gawler rivers project. It is a very important $5 million project, with $3 million of federal funding, on the North Para and South Para rivers. Basically it is a partnership between the council and the environment and heritage association to re-create a linear park and walking trails along most of the two rivers in Gawler, which really do define Gawler in so many ways. It is an area that is utilised at the moment but perhaps not to its full capacity.

We want to really revitalise these parklands, provide walking and cycling connections between Dead Man’s Pass, Clonlea and the river junction. We want to make sure that it is accessible to elderly and disabled residents of Gawler and that you can ride your scooter on it. We want to make sure that people can walk and ride along it and that there is erosion and pest control and revegetation of degraded areas. It is a particularly picturesque part of Gawler. There is nothing more beautiful than this area in the twilight, and I look forward to many more people being able to use it as a result of federal funding and the partnership that we have built with the council and the heritage association of Gawler. It is a very popular project and something we are very committed to.

Likewise, in the election we managed to get a commitment on a feasibility study to waterproof Greater Gawler. The northern suburbs of my electorate have been pioneers in the reuse of stormwater. Salisbury council has been a world leader, and certainly a leader in Australia, in the reuse of stormwater—cleaning it up through wetlands, pumping it into an aquifer and then reusing it for a range of industrial and other uses, mainly to water the parks and gardens but also for manufacturing. Often the water is cleaner and less contaminated in many ways for industrial use than the water they get out off the mains, so it has been a great boon to Salisbury. The previous government did provide some funding to roll it out in northern Adelaide to the cities of Playford and Tea Tree Gully, and that is something we supported. It certainly allowed the City of Playford and the City of Salisbury to build very efficient and popular aquifer storage recharge systems.

The conventional wisdom had been that you could not do this in Gawler because it had a fractured aquifer. But, working with the Wakefield group of councils, we had a look at it and decided that we would utilise some of the expertise that has been used in Salisbury. Chris Kaufmann, who is a water engineer, and Terry Bell have been looking into this and they have come up with a project with the district of Light, which is adjacent to the town of Gawler, which has an aquifer that is suitable for aquifer storage recharge. Basically, they are trying to create a proposal to supply about 2.5 gigalitres of non-potable urban water through this scheme by about mid-2013. That would be a very valuable project to enhance urban waterways and to enhance the flood protection that has been done by the Gawler River Floodplain Management Authority. But, more importantly, it would help us plan for growth in this area and, in particular, it would allow, through the purple pipe system, irrigation of council reserves, sports fields, caravan parks, the golf course, the industry at Kingsford estate and, most importantly, new subdivisions and dwellings.

We think that that is particularly important because in the district of Light Roseworthy is one of the places identified for major metropolitan growth in Adelaide’s 30-year plan. It is particularly important—and people say this all the time—that we should put in the infrastructure before we put in the houses, and this project is attempting to do that. I will be working on the project in the future.

You do not get re-elected without a lot of thankyous, and I will attempt to make them as quickly as possible. I have got to thank some union secretaries: Peter Malinauskas from the SDA, Sonia Menickella, Jon Gee, the Regional Secretary of the Vehicle Division—


Mr Fletcher interjecting


Mr CHAMPION —I knew that would get the opposition going—Bob Donnelly, the state secretary of the CEPU, John Camillo from the AMWU and Jamie Newland from the Maritime Union of Australia. I also have to thank the NUW. All those unions helped with my campaign. I am very proud to have their help and I have always been proud to be a unionist. I think it is a good thing.

I also thank my campaign team and, in particular, my campaign manager, Aemon Bourke. Aemon was a particularly committed campaign manager. He has always been a great friend and I really do appreciate all the hard work that he did. He and his wife, Emily, who was Amanda Rishworth’s campaign manager, are now having twins, so I do not think either of them will be working terribly hard on a campaign in the future; they will be working on their family and I wish them well with that.

I also thank Josh Peak and Tom Carrick-Smith. I thank my office—Mat Werfel, Rob Klose and Andrew Anson. I also thank Jess Nitschke, who has been a great help but, sadly, has left my office now. I also thank some of the people on the ground—Stephen Hollingworth, Craig Withers, Sonia Smethurst, Kym Thodey, Carmel Rosier, Brad Johnson, Brent Gorman, Graham Klose, Deb Filipone, Deralyn Mulroney, Tim Palmer, Malcolm Klose, Jenny Werfel, Alan Nelson, Robert Potter, Sean Hill, Juan Legaspi, Adam Brown, Andy Marshall, Guy Ballentyne and Susan Cunningham, from Clare, as well. I thank all those people. They have been a great help. I think all my colleagues as well. I thank the House.