Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (11:10): I rise to support this Public Works Committee reference into the Monarto augmentation pump stations upgrade project. This is a much-needed project that has been going for several weeks now in the Murray Bridge-Monarto area. I have certainly noticed the works being done and, I think, generally completed next to the main SA Water tank adjacent the access to the freeway at White Hill.

I commend SA Water for investing $17.2 million into this project. It is much needed and I think into the future there will be much more need for more water augmentation, as we are seeing right across the state with the growing pains of Adelaide, and certainly our area will be directly impacted by the Greater Adelaide Regional Plan. Murray Bridge, Monarto and Callington are certainly front of centre with that.

I want to go back into history for a little while first. We go back over 50 years, when former Premier Dunstan proposed Monarto as the new satellite city for this state. It was a visionary thought, but I think the government at the time should have come another 15 kilometres up the road and expanded on Murray Bridge. I think the idea certainly had merit. It caused a lot of unrest at the time with farm acquisitions. Many farms were acquired for the Monarto satellite city project back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, and then we saw that that all fell over.

As I said to the committee, one bright thing that has happened out of that is we have the world-acclaimed Monarto Safari Park that has come in its place. At the moment, it has some new accommodation not far off being opened. It is a great open area safari park/zoo that gets so many visitors—thousands and thousands of visitors—every year and is doing great work. One thing I will say is I do commend the fact that they are finally getting elephants. It was three, and now it is five. I have been campaigning about the elephants for Monarto for a long time, and I am really pleased they are coming.

A lot of the issue with water in Monarto stems from what happened after what were farms were sold back as blocks. Generally a lot of 100-acre blocks—or 40-hectare is the metric term—were sold to people, and these became essentially lifestyle blocks in the Monarto region. What has happened with that development is that there have been a lot of fragmented water lines right throughout the Monarto area. A lot of indirect lines have been put in place, where you will have one metre and then there will be a lot of offtakes from that one line. There could be six, 10 or a dozen people off that one line, and they have an arrangement in place to either have their own private meters or just split it on a percentage basis. So it is not ideal.

As I said earlier, noting the issues we have with being so far behind with SA Water connections now right around the state, it needs a massive uplift. I think it is about a billion and a half dollars to get us where we need to be with the proposed growth over time, especially with the Greater Adelaide Regional Plan and the part that Murray Bridge through to Monarto and Callington will play over the decades to come. It will play a significant part in that growth plan. We probably have room for up to 8,000 dwellings with the appropriate rezoning done inside the boundaries of the Rural City of Murray Bridge.

The one good thing is that whoever the government of the day is, they will have no challenge in finding developers who want to build out there. I am aware of two developers and, between them, they probably want to build 25,000 homes in that area, so that is well regarded. There is a lot of work to do in that area, so I welcome any augmentation works that can be done, such as pump station upgrades and the new pump station that has gone in, which is $17.2 million worth of work. Somewhere down the track, there is probably going to need to be a lot more work done.

The beauty of it is that we are certainly close to the river if there has to be a major upgrade, noting that obviously, from where we are located, there is the Murray Bridge to Adelaide pipe and the Mannum to Adelaide pipe as well, so we are close to the source of the water and close to a lot of the delivery with the major pipelines in place. There certainly will need to be a lot of work into the future over time. This work is much needed and will alleviate a lot of water issues with the growing population already around Monarto and the White Hill area, but there is a lot more to come. I commend the project.

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