Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (16:11): I rise to say a few words after we have had the budget speech today, the biggest budget in this state's history. I just want to talk about a project that I worked on as an election commitment pre the last election in 2018 and that is the new emergency department at the Murray Bridge Soldiers' Memorial Hospital.

It was with great pleasure that on Wednesday 21 October—alongside the health minister, the Hon. Stephen Wade; some very excited health professionals; local mayor, Brenton Lewis; and many people from the region—I saw this new emergency department open. It is vital not just for Murray Bridge but for the whole Murraylands and Mallee electorate and the Upper South-East regions because people from all around the region are drawn into the catchment of the emergency department at Murray Bridge.

The old emergency department, which had not had any significant upgrades for about 40 years, only had one resuscitation bay, three treatment bays with no separation security—basically curtains between the treatment bays—a waiting room with no airlock, a very small doctor's office, no nurses' station and no undercover ambulance bay. In fact, there was just one small office people could go into if they needed a safe place and there was only one way in and one way out if things turned dangerous, as they can do sometimes.

It is great to see that, with the $7 million investment, we now have two resuscitation bays, seven treatment bays, two procedure rooms, two consulting rooms, a relatives' room, a waiting room with airlock, a nurses' station and an undercover ambulance bay with thoroughfare. Certainly, I commend all the health staff and I commend the doctors at Bridge Clinic who have worked the emergency department on behalf of the state government, especially Dr Martin Altmann, Dr Peter Rischbieth, their whole team and all the health professionals around them who worked to get this project up.

As I indicated, it is such a leading edge environment now, vitally needed for the fast growth in Murray Bridge, the second fastest growing regional city in South Australia after Mount Barker. This will do such a great job in looking after the emergency health needs of our people into the future for at least the next 50 or 60 years.

This took a lot of planning and a lot of work. It will make work a lot safer for all the health professionals involved. It is a magnificent building. It was well put together and has been integrated with the other sections of the hospital. As I said, it is such a great boon, not just for residents of Murray Bridge but for those within the surrounding area, for emergency health needs well into the future.

At 16:15 the house adjourned until Wednesday 11 November 2020 at 14:00.

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