Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (19:36): I rise to make a contribution about the Appropriation Bill, or the budget bill, for 2024. I note that the total budget when you add in the Supply Bill is around $28.5 billion, which is a significant amount of money to resource the state—noting, I think, somewhere around $9 billion of that goes into health.

What we have seen is with Labor's promise to fix the ramping—and it was a promise. They said that they would fix ramping at the last campaign coming into the election in 2022. They had Ash the ambo out; they had plenty of boxes of chalk out, chalking ambulances. It was essentially—well, not just essentially, the corflutes said, 'We will fix the ramping crisis.' That is what Peter Malinauskas and the Labor Party said coming into the 2022 election.

It is interesting that here we are, a couple of years and a bit more down the track, and we see that the ramping crisis has tripled—tripled. But I have not seen Ash the ambo and I have not seen any chalking, so it just goes to show where the unions sit.

We have talk of hundreds, and running over a thousand, extra health staff who are supposed to keep people off the ramps, get people through hospital and get them treated, but we have seen that over 500 people have had to let go their elective surgery. It is disgraceful. If you hear it from the minister, Minister Picton, you would think that everything is rosy. But, as members of parliament, we deal with people who are wondering why their hip operation has been put off, why a knee operation has been put off, whatever elective surgery it is. It is hurting the community. The next thing is we will see concrete trucks pulling into the emergency departments to build bigger ramps. That is what will be needed into the future, because they are not fixing the ramping crisis.

What I saw in this budget for Hammond was, essentially, close to nothing—close to nothing—which was disgraceful compared to when we were in government with the Marshall Liberal team for four years. We poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Hammond, and I was very proud to be part of the government that delivered that money.

As far as direct funding into Hammond, as far as infrastructure builds, there is a few million dollars for the levee banks. We have had to drag this government and the federal Labor government kicking and screaming to get that levee money to rebuild the lower Murray swamp levee banks, the 110 kilometres of those levee banks. We have had to drag them kicking and screaming to get some money.

Overall, it is $31.4 million, and that is only the initial money to work on these banks. That is going to be expended in the next couple of years. It has taken so long. I have seen the frustration of farmers who have had to spend so much of their own money fixing their levee banks and desilting channels, and they are over it.

There was plenty of action when the floods were on, apart from one person—apart from one person. The Deputy Premier, Minister Close, was missing for the whole peak flood event, and she is the Minister for Water.

The Hon. B.I. Boyer interjecting:

Mr PEDERICK: It's a fact, mate; it's a fact. She was missing for the whole month. They do not like it on the other side, but they were pretty happy to swing when Scott Morrison was in Hawaii. You have the minister responsible for the River Murray. There was a peak flood which came in at close to 200 gigalitres a day and no minister to be seen.

At least the emergency services minister was around, the Premier was around, the Minister for Housing was around, but they, too, ripped in, got some photos for social media and ripped out. But they were there. At least they were there, which is more than I can say for some. It was a major calamity for all residents on the River Murray, whether in my electorate or further upstream.

What really bothers me in this budget is that there has been a $172 million cut to regional road funding in the capital works program. Where we have seen some funding put in, a lot of that money is going into between the tollgate and Crafers for the freeway works, for putting in the diversion works for if there is an accident down at the bottom of freeway.

I was listening to the member for Unley's contribution today about the third arrester bed. I think a third arrester bed would work. I know Minister Koutsantonis says it would not work at the bottom of the freeway, but I listen to the truck drivers. I saw one the other day. They literally stopped a bloke, made sure he stopped, because his brakes were smoking. He was past the other two arrester beds, and thankfully he pulled up. Then he had to deal with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the tow truck. It would not have been worth his time of day.

I really think it could be done, somewhere near Mira Monte and The Monastery at the bottom. It would not take a lot of work, but everything seems to take a lot of money. I know there are thoughts of money going into planning, pulling back the Cross Road stop, where the traffic stops on Cross Road for that intersection at Glen Osmond Road, the freeway and Portrush Road. That would certainly assist.

What really troubles me is when we have had some really good projects that would help with freight productivity, the High Productivity Vehicle Network Project, where the planning just seems to get extended on and extended on. We need to get the Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass in place. I am seeing all the work at the Halfway House corner on the Sturt Highway and the proposal to build the Truro freight bypass that was put up by the former Liberal government federally.

We certainly backed it in with $202 million to put in that freight bypass at Truro, but guess what, the federal Albanese Labor government pulled it, just like the Hahndorf bypass project, for which we put in state money of $250 million. That is $450 million of projects that would have alleviated the stress of heavy transport travelling through Truro and Hahndorf. Hahndorf has a million visitors a year, and they all have to travel through the main street, as I did the other day, coming from Charleston-Balhannah way to head back to the freeway towards Murray Bridge.

What do we end up with out of those projects? Labor have come back in and said, 'Hang on, we can do a little bit at Hahndorf. We can put up some money, and we will do the Verdun interchange, and we will do the Mount Barker interchange.' I can certainly say both are good things that need doing, but they miss the complete point of bypassing Hahndorf.

The member for West Torrens, the minister, says, 'We didn't want to compulsorily acquire some land.' He did not say that to the hundreds and hundreds of people whose land has been compulsorily acquired for the north-south connector, the Torrens to Darlington, with the tunnelling project. That is another thing: we have a project that, yes, does need to be done, but this was budgeted at just short of $10 billion and now is running with a $5 billion overload at $15.4 billion. Yes, it has to be done, but it is sucking all the finance that could be assisting in our regional roads around the state.

I know some of my colleagues have talked about the regional road safety program. There was $98 million. Projects were undertaken in near urban areas. There was certainly one at Mount Barker that does not even need doing—and I have raised it in this house before—up at the high school end on Adelaide Road, where I think $40 million or $42 million has been allocated to redo the roundabout. Yes, it is a relatively busy roundabout. I have gone around it multiple times. I have talked to many people from Mount Barker who just shake their head. Certainly, the fish and chip shop owner on the corner is really concerned because they will have to be acquired to change the roundabout. People just cannot get over it, and yet we see projects that need to be completed, like the Truro freight bypass and the proper Hahndorf bypass, being set aside.

Even when we have the community in Hahndorf work hard and put up a different proposal to repave a rubble road around Hahndorf, the government have come back and said—guess what—'It's too expensive. No, we can't do that. We will just stick to the dangerous River Road option, forgetting trucks around Hahndorf and be done with it.' The thinking is atrocious.

In the bigger picture, we have what was the South East Links project that is still in the planning stage with the other High Productivity Vehicle Network Project. They have all sort of been rolled into one budget item, as I can see now. That is the duplication of the Swanport Bridge, which is essential. The first bridge was built in 1979, and the first five kilometres of duplication of the Dukes Highway out towards the Mallee Highway and heading south-east. That is absolutely necessary. There will be a railway bridge incorporated into that as well. So these projects need to happen.

As part of that freight project that extends from Western Australia through to Victoria, there is work to be done on Eyre Highway on the West Coast. As I said, it looks like the freight bypass, from the work going in at Halfway House corner—which down the track I know where this is heading; and that is fine, I am all about productivity—will have to have roads built to match it for triple road trains. So you will be able to take a triple road train from Melbourne around Murray Bridge, Mannum, Sedan, Cambrai, Halfway House, up through Truro, around to the north of Adelaide, come into Adelaide from the north, or head straight through to Port Augusta and straight through to Darwin. I assume that, more than anything, they are probably looking at triple road trains headed into Perth, though I am not entirely sure about that.

So the task is huge, but one thing that is part of that project for getting the freight around on the bypass is getting it out of Murray Bridge. I think that is going to be a challenge in itself. We have had the freight route going through Murray Bridge for quite a while, up around Hindmarsh Road, Maurice Road and Cypress Terrace. It then turns off onto Mannum Road. I know some trucks already sneak out around past Monarto and the Old Princes Highway, around about there, and head up that way. So I think that is a good proposal. It will need a roundabout to go in there that will cost at least $4½ million on today's costings, but there is one factor that needs to be taken into account: that the same road through Monarto leads to the new entrance of the Monarto Safari Park, so there will have to be some pretty good planning done there.

Into the longer term—the close-on 600 kilometres—there is 167 kilometres post Lochiel from the work that we initiated, between Port Wakefield and Lochiel, to duplicate the Augusta Highway; there is about 200 kilometres of the Sturt Highway that needs duplication; and then 200 kilometres of the Dukes Highway, and they are big projects. Even with the exorbitant cost of these projects and the cost of compulsory acquisition, I still think they come in well under the tunnelling project on South Road, which is probably about $10 billion, although that figure is probably getting out of date. Plenty of money needs to be spent on these upgrades.

I note in the budget there is $1 million to support our veterans with programs, and we will explore some of that during estimates. We need to do all we can to support those brave men and women who put their hand up to defend our country. I salute anyone who is prepared to die for their country. We need to make sure that we assist them and look after them well into the future. So we will explore that a bit more during the estimates process.

I talked about the High Productivity Vehicle Network Project. The emergency services is another of my portfolio areas. We do see some funding for the extension of aerial firefighting, which is welcome, and there is $10.1 million there. There is some PFAS remediation and testing through the MFS, $1.65 million; for SAFECOM, there is $435,000 over two years for the state's Volunteer Marine Rescue associations; and there is $2.8 million to relocate the Prospect SES unit to a new facility. But there are many other things that we need to look at in regard to emergency services when we get through the estimates process.

One thing that does intrigue me is the push that we had last year with the Hon. Ben Hood in the other place to get a select committee on all things CFS, including facilities and trucks but also management of volunteers and paid personnel, those who felt aggrieved that they did not get a fair say. I am pleased that that inquiry, even though it did not get up as a select committee, has got up with a standing committee, the occupational safety and rehabilitation committee of the parliament. People can put in submissions, as I mentioned earlier today, until 28 June. I urge people to do so.

One reference got taken out, even though it can be included; people can still refer to facilities management under 'any other related matter' if they write a submission or wish to speak to the committee and probably do both in some cases. They can still talk about facilities, but the really strange thing—as people know, I am a proud CFS member—is that there is a fire station facilities audit for $817,000 over two years. I just cannot understand why, for an organisation that costs hundreds of millions of dollars to run and has people reporting all the time on what is at their facilities, what equipment and what trucks, and the state of their base camps, their sheds, essentially.

Yet, for whatever reason, the authorities do not know the state of the facilities. I think it is outrageous, to be frank. That should be something where you hit a button on a computer and up it comes: the state of the facilities right across the state that our 13,500 proud volunteers work with. I am just stunned. A lot of these things will be explored in estimates. It is a budget that does next to nothing for the regions. I am sure, right across the board from this side of the house, we will have a good look at it during the estimates process.


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