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Thursday, 17 June 2010
Page: 5808

Mr PYNE (9:30 AM) —In my three-minute statement today I rise to talk about the plight of the residents of Skye, in my electorate, in relation to being connected to mains water. I know it sounds surprising that in a suburban electorate such as mine there are still households that are not connected to mains water, but in fact in Skye there are 140 households that have never been connected to mains water for various historical reasons. It is high time that the state government made the $3.7 million investment to make sure that those households are connected to mains water.

There are two particularly important reasons for doing so. Firstly, the suburb of Skye borders the Adelaide Hills. It is in the foothills, an area in the Adelaide Hills that has been subject to fire danger in the last few decades. In fact, in 1983 the Ash Wednesday bushfire touched the foothills of my electorate. My own household was evacuated during the Ash Wednesday bushfires back in 1983. The suburb of Skye is in a dangerous zone for fire, and the Country Fire Service relies on mains water to fight dangerous bushfires. If a bushfire were to get into Skye, it would be very hard to stop it spreading to other neighbouring suburbs. For that reason alone it is important for the state government to invest in putting the households of Skye on mains water.

Secondly, the water that the Skye residents have relied upon for about 40 years has come through a system of pipes which are now aged. The evidence is growing, according to the Skye action group, the SA Water appeal group, that there is a higher level of E. coli in the water that is being used in Skye than in other parts of metropolitan Adelaide. That situation may only get worse. It is exacerbated by the fact that most Skye residents have septic tanks rather than being connected to the sewer, because of how the suburb was developed. As a consequence, leakage over the decades has created a danger in terms of their use of bores and the local pipe system. So that is a second very important reason why it is important that the residents of Skye be given access to the SA Water mains water system. For that reason, the state government should act to spend the $3.7 million necessary to connect them.

I have written to the Minister for Water, Paul Caica—whose seat is in fact in the electorate of the member for Hindmarsh, who is in the chamber—asking him to take that action as the Minister for Water. I look forward to a positive response from him. (Time expired)