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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Page: 10969

Mr RAMSEY (GreyGovernment Whip) (15:57): I'm delighted to speak on this MPI. I thought it was a Dorothy Dixer. Thank you, member for Grayndler. I've been gratified by the expenditure and investment in infrastructure that's been going on in Grey over the last five years, since we came to government. One of the sticking points, as you would well know, Mr Deputy Speaker Hogan—this seems to happen when I talk about Port Augusta; you're in the chair and it's your hometown—is the duplication of the Joy Baluch AM Bridge. There is $160 million from the federal government and a deal with the state government to get on with it and do the job that probably should have been done some years ago. In recent times—only three months or so ago—once again in conjunction with the new government in South Australia, was the announcement of the $90 million dual-laning of the highway through Port Wakefield and the overpass to the north to open up the bottleneck that happens around that Yorke Peninsula turn-off. That will really free up the traffic on that main highway, I must say. In the longer-term, I think I'll be pushing for dual lanes all the way from Port Wakefield through to Port Augusta as the traffic load continues to increase, but, at the moment, these are huge improvements and investments.

There is the rerailing of the Adelaide-Tarcoola line. It includes $80 million worth of steel orders to support the Whyalla Steelworks. It's a project of about $180 million, replacing 600 kilometres of rail with heavier rail through to Tarcoola, which means we can put another eight tonnes of axle-load on a wagon. That is a quantum. It's an increase in the productivity of the nation. It is investing in national infrastructure.

I'm very pleased to announce—I've said this before in this chamber—that the redistribution in South Australia has granted me some new and interesting areas. The electorate of Grey now reaches right down to within 30 kilometres of Adelaide, down to Two Wells and into the Adelaide Plains Council. The Adelaide Plains Council is going to be a major beneficiary of the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme. There will be $45.6 million from the federal government to provide an extra 12 gigalitres—this is not coming out of the Murray, even though it may have originally—of recycled water to increase the horticultural output of the Adelaide Plains. It's a national infrastructure project of great import.

I heard others speak about the NBN. I can report NBN in the electorate of Grey is 99 per cent enabled. As the former communications minister Malcolm Turnbull said when we first came to government, 'We will concentrate on those areas that have the worst service first, and get them wired up.' That's exactly what's happened.

We've had over $40 million worth of investment come through the Building Better Regions Fund, BBRF, and its predecessor in the five years since we have been in government. That's ticked off a whole lot of projects across the electorate of Grey, including: more than $8 million into the Peterborough sewer system, a fish unloader out of Thevenard, aged care facilities in Whyalla and Port Broughton, and a whole host of major sporting facilities—very important pieces of infrastructure for those local communities.

The Coober Pedy community benefited from a hybrid power station. Through ARENA, $18.4 million from the federal government went into the project. For the solar reserve project, once again in Port Augusta, $110 million is still committed and waiting for a business plan to be completed. This will collect the sun's rays and store them in molten salt. So it provides baseload generation or dispatchable power to the South Australian network, which is very much needed, it must be said.

The Regional Growth Fund, it was announced last week, will provide $10 million support towards the development of a new port on Spencer Gulf, on Eyre Peninsula. For a number of years now, South Australia has been victim to a monopoly shipping organisation. We badly need this competition in the system, and I'm pushing for the development of that port. Although not exactly infrastructure, through the Regional Jobs and Investment Package, we've seen an investment of over $20 million in the Upper Spencer Gulf to provide jobs for people.

In South Australia, generally, just as I close, the investment in the north-south link through Adelaide is absolutely national infrastructure of vital importance. In case anyone on the other side wasn't listening, there's been a decision by this government to invest in major naval shipbuilding industry in South Australia. If that's not national infrastructure, nothing is. (Time expired)