Metropolitan, Rural and Remote Regions Relationship

Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 12:29 :56 ): I rise to support the motion by the member for Stuart:

That this house—

(a) recognises the very important interrelationship between metropolitan Adelaide and the rural and remote regions of our state and

(b) acknowledges that the equitable provision of resources to and the development of both are necessary for our state's economic and social success now and into the future.

That is the motion I support, but I note the amendment to paragraph (b) moved by the member for Frome, which reads:

(b) supports the balanced provision of resources that recognises the interdependence of metropolitan and rural areas of South Australia and takes into account local needs and priorities as a basis for our economic and social success now and into the future.

That is quite interesting, because it really does not change anything of the original motion; it is just the Labor Party trying to put their brand on this excellent motion by the member for Stuart. Perhaps the Labor Party could just concentrate on putting more effort into the regions instead of doing ridiculous changes to motions, and actually recognise what does happen in the regions.

I am bitterly disappointed in the actions of the member for Frome (Minister for Regional Development) in his vote on marine parks. When he addressed fishermen and their families at Port Wakefield, he said that he knew that the locals would help make the best decisions. Certainly, in that case, he did not listen to the locals, and we now have a very poor situation where fisheries right across the state area heavily impacted by these sanctuary zones.

We were only going to take 12 out of the situation and bring it back to 72 no-take zones instead of 84. The minister has got the Labor Party to agree to an impact study in 12 months' time on what happens with keeping the sanctuary zones as they are. Well, that is far too late, because my information is that it is already having a devastating effect on fishing families and communities.

Not that I want to see suicides happen, but I wonder if the breakdown and summary of the regional impact statement will come back and tell us how many people have suicided because of this poor decision, how many people have left the state because of this poor decision, and how many people have just packed up their businesses because of this poor decision. That is when that will really reflect on not just the Labor Party but also the member for Frome, who is the so-called regional development minister.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I just ask the member for Hammond to address the motion and not reflect—

Mr PEDERICK: I am; I am talking about regional development in that last sentence.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: —on other members. Thank you, member for Hammond.

Mr PEDERICK: That is very important for the historical record—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, member for Hammond.

Mr PEDERICK: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for your instruction. I also note that the member for Frome (the Labor Minister for Regional Development) said he has $39 million for the regions. Well, that is fantastic. When we went to the electorate, we put up $139 million of regional policy, and these included policies with regard to giving councils money that would help prop up loans and would have generated somewhere between $500 million and $1 billion of input into the regions. But, no, that obviously was not good enough when the member for Frome was making his decision.

Mr Whetstone: The Labor member for Frome.

Mr PEDERICK: That's right.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! It is not orderly to interject, and it is not orderly to reflect on other members, so I just draw the member for Hammond back to the debate.

Mr PEDERICK: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I would like to acknowledge the massive input that farming puts into this state right throughout our regions. We have dryland farming, irrigated farming, and wine from our great vineyards. Many billions of dollars goes in, and all of this has to be freighted through to Adelaide.

The member for Chaffey quite rightly talked about the potential demise of the Mallee railway lines. If that happens, I believe it will be a very retrograde step. I know that a deal has been cut between Genesee Wyoming and Viterra in regard to keeping those lines open. It is because these lines are in a terrible state of disrepair that trains have to go so slow and work during the night on hot days—because of the temperature rating of these lines. I am really worried, and I have mentioned in this place before about the extra truck movements. There could be 10,000 extra truck movements in regard to this rail going off the lines.

If anyone has been up the Mallee roads, like the member for Chaffey and I have been many times, they will understand how dangerous it is. There are no overtaking lanes. There are 3 many corners. In fact, I have mentioned before that when the road to Lameroo and Pinnaroo from Tailem Bend was being constructed, I think they were paid to put corners in. It just twists and turns, there are S-bends all along the length for many kilometres. It would just add further issues for people who live in the Mallee.

I note that the member for Chaffey talked about the access down at the South Eastern Freeway. It is a corner and a hill coming down from the ranges into Adelaide. I have come down there thousands of times. There have been some horrific accidents there. We have seen the sad loss of life of innocent people when out-of-control trucks have come down the freeway.

I knew (through football) the man from Pinnaroo who tragically died when he lost control of a B-double coming down the freeway, hitting the wall on the other side of Cross Road. I believe that, instead of a 60 km/h limit, for the sake of safety, we might have the same situation as what happened at the long, steep roads in Wollongong and Perth. There may have to be some discussion, and there may have been some discussion at industry level, about bringing the speed limit down to 40 km/h.

At the Wollongong hill—and I cannot remember the name of the exact road; I have met with a truck driver who used to traverse it many times—the speed limit had to be changed because they did not even have a separating barrier between the lanes. The truck driver witnessed a major accident, where a truck went over into oncoming traffic and killed a family plus two friends of the driver's young daughters who were in the car.

The South Eastern Freeway to Adelaide is a freight route and passenger vehicles can obviously use that route as well, and people need to understand that. It is a vital part of our regional economy and a vital part of our interdependence between rural South Australia and the city. Other drivers have talked to me about B-doubles that may have loads of ice cream containers, for instance, and this happens. They might only weigh three or four tonnes, if that, and they can go down a bit faster but, for the sake of safety, it may get to a stage where a 40 km/h speed limit for heavy vehicles is instigated.

On another issue, I recognise what the mining industry does for this state. I certainly recognise the issue of the Strzelecki Track. I used to work in the Cooper Basin 30 years ago. The Strz has not moved forward much since those times. A couple of years ago on a trip up through Innamincka, I noticed that several sections of several kilometres of road are bitumen. I think they are in the wetter spots. This is for overtaking—where they do not have bulldust—B-doubles or semitrailers heading up to the Cooper Basin. It is a bit sad that I am running out of time. However, this is a vital road that needs work. When we were up there it was wet, and we had to go out to the Queensland side and take a 1,200 kilometre detour to get home.

If we want to make sure that oil and gas companies have their operations out of Adelaide, to head up to Moomba instead of coming out of Brisbane, we need to make sure that road is upgraded in the near future, otherwise we will lose many opportunities from this state. As I said, that road really has not improved too much since I was working up there 30 years ago.