Penola Bypass

Mr PEDERICK: My question is to the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government. Can the minister update the house on the state government's commitment to build the Penola bypass?

The Hon. S.K. KNOLL (Schubert—Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, Minister for Planning) (15:04): I would like to thank the member for Hammond for his question, and I do note the fact that he has probably driven down there a few times, maybe to go and do a bit of crabbing or whatever down at Port MacDonnell. It is a fantastic and beautiful part of our state.

This is another infrastructure project that has been called for for such a long time. In fact, on this one, the former government didn't even have an excuse because the feds had the money on the table; they just wouldn't accept it. Well, this government went to the election promising to deliver the Penola bypass and, magically, in Tuesday's budget the money appeared and it was there. The people of the South-East are finally going to get an important productive infrastructure project that they wanted. It adds and builds upon a very strong pipeline of infrastructure that we have developed.

A few weeks ago, in press conferences that members opposite had with the media in the lead-up to this budget, they were out there saying, 'There is a valley of death in infrastructure.' They were out there saying, 'Unless there are some new projects in this budget, we are all going to be ruined and the jobs are going to be gone.' We have delivered in this budget for productive infrastructure for South Australia—$500 million extra this year and a $240 million on average increase every year over the forward estimates. It's exactly what we said we were going to do.

This budget actually has some cognitive consistency. We said we were going to deliver a balanced budget with small budget surpluses. We have delivered that. We said we were going to build productive infrastructure that helps to grow jobs—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. S.K. KNOLL: —in our state. It is an entirely consistent budget. We haven't had to try to have our cake and eat it, too, or to try to argue both sides of the fence. We haven't argued before the budget for more infrastructure spending and then started having a whinge about debt after the budget comes out. We haven't said that we don't want you to spend more—

Mr Malinauskas interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The leader can leave for the rest of question time.

The honourable member for Croydon having withdrawn from the chamber:

The Hon. S.K. KNOLL: —and now we want you to spend less. I can understand that you would want to pick one, but you can't have both. You cannot have both. It is why this budget is so good for South Australia. What it says is that the government is going to make the tough decisions to make sure that our operating balance is in surplus but that we aren't scared to go and invest in productive infrastructure that is going to grow jobs in South Australia.

This is how you grow an economy. This is how you grow a sustainable pipeline for the construction industry workers who so desperately need a government that does its job properly. We will continue to fight and progress and push for more of these projects, and to work collaboratively with the federal government to get it done so that in South Australia—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. S.K. KNOLL: —the construction and civil industry workers—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. S.K. KNOLL: —have jobs that they can go to. We will also have an internal logical consistency in understanding how economics works. You cut your cloth to make sure that you have surpluses, but you aren't scared to invest in productive infrastructure. Instead of running budget deficits that have to be funded by debt, we spend the debt money—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. S.K. KNOLL: —on infrastructure projects. It's exactly what prudent financial managers do, and I am so proud of this budget delivering for South Australians.