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Wednesday, 24 October 2018
Page: 11037

Ms KATE ELLIS (Adelaide) (10:48): I've previously made clear my deep concerns about the safety of students from Adelaide High School when they are coming to and from their school, as a result of the traffic situation. I have written to both the federal and state governments to raise these concerns and to urge action as a priority. This week, we saw in the Adelaide Advertiser results of a study which was undertaken by Carnegie Melon University in conjunction with the South Australian government to identify the schools where road safety issues for students were most concerning. According to the report that The Advertiser ran this week, Adelaide High School had a number for the danger for students and pedestrians that was more than three times higher than that of any other school in South Australia: 172 people were hit by cars near Adelaide High during 2014, 2015 and 2016. It is clear that action is required urgently. It's worrying to note that the chairman of the Pedestrian Council of Australia was quoted in the paper earlier this year as saying:

… all of Australia should be worried about South Australia.

All of this parliament should be worried about the students of Adelaide High School.

I have no doubt that this is a situation that will be fixed. There will be changes made to the traffic lights. There will potentially be changes made to the traffic islands. The question is: is it going to take a tragedy before those changes are made? I'm calling on this government to ensure that it does not. We are talking about the lives of South Australians and, most particularly, we are talking about the lives of young South Australians just trying to go about the business of getting an education. It is clear this is unsafe.

I have received a response from the South Australian minister, Stephan Knoll, who has acknowledged that there are changes that could be made and that they will look into. But he says:

As you will appreciate, any project proposed will be the subject of a prioritisation process to ensure available funding is allocated to the projects where the greatest benefit can be provided to the community as a whole.

I'm calling on the South Australian government to prioritise the lives of Adelaide High School students and I thank the Adelaide High School community—the teachers, the principals, the governing council—for working so hard to ensure the safety of those students in the current circumstances and for continuing to advocate for change. I know it's not easy. There is nothing more important than the safety of our community, and I urge both the federal government and the state government to stand up and immediately act to make these roads safer.