Gawler Traffic Managment

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (11:56): I rise to support the motion by the member for Schubert:

That this house recognise s the urgent need to implement traffic management solutions for Gawler to—

(a) p rovide local residents with quality infrastructure to reduce congestion;

(b) c reate a safer environment for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians; and

(c) m eet the rapid growth needs of the local Gawler area.

Before I hear from the other side, as we have with the previous speaker, that I do not know anything about Gawler—well, I do know a little bit about Gawler. I have travelled into and around Gawler all my life because both my sets of grandparents did reside there and my family also had farming land at Angle Vale. I have watched the growth of Gawler. It was once an outlying country town, but it has certainly almost become suburban without too many green areas between that and the city.

I am pleased to see the member for Schubert fighting to get a better outcome for the residents of Gawler and the people who travel through there, because it is a central location. It is very much a commuter location, no matter which way you may be heading through to the more northern areas of the state. Whether it is people going to work or school bus time in the morning, or whether it is school time or people leaving work in the afternoon, Murray Street, the main street, is extremely congested. Even in the middle of the day, there are some severe tight spots along Murray Street. In fact, the whole street can be blocked at times and everyone is down to a crawl.

Gawler's main street is an iconic street. It has had some great old stores there in the past, like Crosby's and Eudunda Farmers with their pneumatic tubes to send their dockets around the store. Areas like Hewett to the north of the town were part of the expansion, and other proposals to expand around Roseworthy as well are putting immense pressure on Gawler and its residents. Certainly, as the member for Schubert said, there should be a better alignment that brings people around on the Tiver Road to give a better outcome for people who do not need to go through Murray Street. I do not believe Murray Street businesses will suffer (this is the main street of Gawler). I do not think they will suffer, because people will have more access into the town to be able to access those businesses and other services.

We certainly do not want to see the burden of whatever route that comes through—and we hope it is the best route to have the best outcome for the district—falling to local government. We want to see the state government play their part in making sure that the right route is put in place. With regard to infrastructure, better management and better use of facilities, I note what the member for Light said about public transport in Gawler.

I note that Gawler has what I understand is a public service, which is like a ring route. I would be interested to know how many people actually patronise that route. I am told it is not many, but I am happy to be informed if it is a lot. For someone to come in here and say that we on this side of the do not advocate for public transport, that is completely wrong. It is just completely wrong.

Mr Whetstone: Desperate.

Mr PEDERICK: Desperate, absolutely. I have advocated for public transport, whether it be through to Murray Bridge or to the south coast through Victor Harbor and Goolwa. In the case of Murray Bridge, I was a candidate 11 years ago, and it was one of the issues that came to the fore. One of the first sets of businesspeople who came to see me were those operating the private bus line at the time. We were debating contracts of bus route rights (or access rights) in this house at that stage. It is a very lucrative arrangement, as a company gets the rights to those routes and essentially no-one else can use them unless they get an exemption.

It came to light that some bizarre things had occurred, such as school buses not being able to pull up at stops so that children could swap over from one bus to the other at Tailem Bend to get into Murray Bridge. There were some really bizarre circumstances where major bus companies needed permission to go into certain areas. I am all for competition, and I think we should have more competition, so I think we should have more public transport. I certainly believe that the south coast and Murray Bridge should get appropriate Metroticketed public transport, and I have advocated for that for the whole time I have been in here and even before I got into this place. That is absolutely vital as areas grow.

We heard the member for Light speak passionately about public transport. I look across the other side at a government that has partially built a train service, in terms of the electrification of rail, where they put in some poles and forgot to put up the wires. Essentially, with electrification, that is exactly what happened. If his comrades on the other side are so passionate about public transport, why do they not get on and finish his electrified train set so that they can go up there?

Perhaps they want to iron out the problems that have been as far as the Seaford line, where we have seen some major outages because of poor cable installation and poor products. These major outages affect people using that public transport. It is ridiculous that we have a situation where electric trains have to be shunted with diesel engines to be serviced because the network to the north, towards Gawler, has not been completed. I think we have to have clean hands on this, so let us see what this government does with that proposal into the future.

I certainly agree that there need to be some far better outcomes in the Gawler area. We need to get the best out come as far as the link road and the bypass. We need to make it not just useful for locals to link from one area out of Gawler and partially bypass some of the main street, but make it take in those future needs as well because it is very much a growing community out there. There are plenty of communities growing around it and it is far better, I believe, to put the proper link road in place so that we look at those future needs instead of going for a lesser model when we could have had the better model leading us into the future.