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Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Page: 6185

Ms RISHWORTH (4:39 PM) —I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government for some great initiatives in this year’s budget. I want to talk about a number of infrastructure projects in my electorate and then ask the minister a question. In particular, I would like to commend the minister on the budgeting for the rail extension to Seaford. I have talked about this a number of times, because this project is absolutely critical for the residents of Seaford and the southern suburbs of Adelaide.

This project will be a 5.5-kilometre rail extension from Noarlunga with a bridge over the Onkaparinga River to Seaford. This bridge has been a sticking point for many years. This rail corridor has been in the pipeline for about 30 years, believe it or not, and there have been promises, promises and promises about this, from many governments. The sticking point has been the bridge over the Onkaparinga River, because it is a very long bridge. I am very pleased that not only has the government committed to building this bridge, which is 1.2 kilometres long—0.1 kilometres longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge—but it is also going to commit to build a dual track-way to Seaford. This is really important.

We are talking about stimulus. I have been informed that this project alone will create over 400 jobs in the next four years, which is incredibly important to local people. What is more important to local residents in my electorate is that there is a time frame for this, because previous governments said, ‘We know there’s a need, but we’ll do it later.’ There is a very clear time line here and it is ready to go. Construction will start in 2010 and be completed in 2013. This is really important.

I would also like to thank the minister for coming down to my electorate to meet with the Seaford District Residents Association. Ron and Harold—Harold could not be there; he was very disappointed, Minister, that he could not meet with you—have been advocates for this project for many, many years. They were very pleased to have the chance to spend time with the minister to talk with him about the project, but they were more impressed to see action on this project, which is really important.

The previous member for Kingston wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper the other day, saying that he had asked for the rail and that he should get the credit for this. But unfortunately he asked and nothing was delivered to him. I was very concerned to hear that the Leader of the Opposition has said that all these projects are up for review. I tell you, the residents in my electorate do not want the Seaford rail extension reviewed again; they want action on it. This is an incredibly important part of the budget. This is something that is going to leave a legacy for tomorrow and really create jobs today.

In addition, I was very pleased to see in the budget the improvements to the Victor Harbor Road-Main South Road intersection, something that will be funded under the new nation-building plan. I had a briefing the other day about this project. This project will reduce waiting times at that intersection from eight minutes to 40 seconds. That is a huge improvement in terms of urban congestion and certainly has been welcomed by people. This is good not just for people in my electorate of Kingston but also for the many tourists who use the Victor Harbor Road-Main South Road intersection, who love the Fleurieu Peninsula, who love to go on holiday there, but are frustrated with the waiting times. I am very pleased that the expected completion date of this is 2010. Once again, this is local jobs.

In the brief time I have, I also commend the minister for working with local councils in my area. The extra funding that has been provided for them has been welcomed. It is going to mean solar panels on community centres, footpath improvements that are desperately needed by local residents in my electorate and a whole range of different garden and reserve improvements, including play equipment for the local kids in the community.

My question to the minister is: could you tell us a little bit more about the infrastructure that is happening in South Australia?