Supply Bill 2014 Supply Grievance

Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 20:31 :14 ): I rise to make comments regarding the Supply Bill response grievance debate and talk about some of the local issues affecting my electorate and surrounding areas. I share some of the concerns of the member for Finniss regarding crime on the Fleurieu Peninsula as we obviously share the area. It was a disgraceful thing to see today that two police were injured by a letter sent to the Victor Harbor station. 

On my side of the Fleurieu, regarding crime in the local area, the local police have managed to get three extra police officers working out of the Goolwa station. This support has been long overdue. I know that they have been trying to work out ways internally to manage situations in the area and I congratulate the local police for taking this initiative. It has also given the ability for more accessibility for the station at Goolwa. 

With regard to policing I also want to talk about what I think is revenue raising. There are a couple of fixed-speed cameras on the South Eastern Freeway and they have been budgeted to generate almost $3 million a year in fines, according to the government's own documents. One camera is adjacent to the Crafers on-ramp at Crafers West and the second is at the Mount Osmond overpass. I am getting more and more complaints from heavy vehicle owners. I have taken up the issue with the Minister for Road Safety. 

The truck drivers are telling me that the issue with the Crafers camera is that the truck drivers thought it was a point-to-point camera between there and Mount Osmond and because it is part way up the slope they are still accelerating to get to the top of the rise before they take their trucks back to about 35 or 40 km/h to go down the hill into Adelaide, so obviously some of them have strayed over the 60 km/h. 

Because of the slowness in getting the fines out, before they know it they have four fines and there are drivers or owners who cannot drive. I have had a chat to the road safety minister to see what signage can be better put and whether the camera can be moved to the top of the hill because it does affect a lot of freight coming in from my area. 

I also want to talk about regional education. Recently I received a response from the Minister for Education about requests to assist the Coomandook Area School. The minister's response was quite scathing about my intent to assist the Coomandook Area School and she labelled my intent to help as scaremongering and labelled my efforts as far from constructive. If I had not made those efforts the minister and the Department for Education and Child Development would have continued to ignore the needs and requests of this school. I first raised this issue in this place in November 2013, and I believe that DECD was made aware of the issue long before that. However, it took the minister six months to provide a response to these concerns.

We have also had the state government bang on in here about federal budget savings measures. They will not tell us about the good things in the federal budget, but they forget to back up comments with their own plans to cut $230 million from education over the forward estimates, as well as $1,000 million out of health, I should say. What I will say about regional education, not just in my electorate but right across the state, is that it must become a priority of the state government, and I will continue to raise concerns in this house without fear or concern of how my intentions are perceived or how it reflects on the minister responsible for this important portfolio.

I also welcome news today that South Australia will receive $5.8 million worth of federal blackspot funding. A number of the projects are in and around the Hammond electorate, definitely providing safety and benefit to my constituents. Projects include upgrades to the Mount Compass and Goolwa Road, which will receive $345,000; the Callington to Goolwa Road, $630,000; the Mannum Road, Pallamana, $427,000; and safety upgrades on the South-East Freeway at Callington, $530,000. 

Some of these upgrades are wire rope barriers, a bit of delineation, some tree removal I note on one road (that will get the Native Vegetation Council rocking and rolling), but I think there needs to be some serious work on the Callington to Goolwa Road and certainly on the section between Strathalbyn and Goolwa. It is a road I actually try to avoid and go other ways to get to Goolwa, because you get a lot of people (and I cannot blame them) who want to do a bit of sightseeing on this road and might get down to 60 km/h or 80 km/h, and it causes a lot of stress for people who want to get somewhere in a hurry. So, I think there needs to be some straightening out of this road and also some overtaking lanes put in in either direction. 

I note in the member for Frome and the Minister for Regional Development's regional development fund announcement just yesterday that there will supposedly be $150,000 spent yearly on projects associated with regional areas that host the country cabinet meetings. From what the government is telling us, there will be three country cabinet meetings per year, and if the government sticks to that proposal that equates to $50,000 for a regional project in the area being visited by the Premier. I believe this is nothing more than a headline grabber and something that allows the Premier to walk into a regional
community—and these regional communities have been neglected for the last 12 years—and say, 'Hey, look: here's $50,000 for having me. Thank you very much.' It is almost tokenistic if it wasn't so laughable. So, I hope that this money—if it goes into regional communities—does go to good projects that are worthwhile, but we will have to wait and see.

I also note in The Advertiser today reports about the member for Frome, in making his announcement yesterday for the copied Liberal policy of $15 million per year in a regional development fund—

Mr Gardner: A pale imitation.

Mr PEDERICK: Yes—the minister admitted that the Liberals offered more for the regions before the election. As I have stated previously in this place, the Minister for Regional Development, the member for Frome, could have gotten whatever he wanted in the deal from the Premier, and he has fallen outrageously short in his quest to be the regions' saviour. Including in this he could have won support for our CFS and his beloved recommendations made by the Select Committee on the Grain Handling Industry, and they were excellent recommendations because I was part of that committee.

All of these issues impact regional South Australia and regional South Australians. The Minister for Regional Development has made comments in the past regarding many of these issues; however, he now chooses to refrain from comment, especially when asked questions in this house. It seems the Minister for Regional Development is willing to say anything and do anything to further his political career.

Just in closing, this is just like his new friend the member for Waite. I have had a lot of things said to me in the last eight days about the actions of the member for Waite, so I have not had to say these things. It has been the people involved, the returned men, the RSL, the returned soldiers who have served this country, as the member for Waite has. I will not decry his service to this country; 23 years he was in the SAS, a lieutenant colonel. He knows all about honour and integrity and loyalty because that is what you expect in the military, and it is at the highest level. My brother, who also served for 23 years, but not in the SAS, says they are the 'SAS cats', they are the hot guys, they know what is going on.

Sadly, the member for Waite has crossed the floor so that he can take the 30 pieces of silver, and these are some of the reactions from people in the community I have talked to. One returned man said, 'I was going to send Martin,' the member for Waite, 'a white feather, but, no, I will send him the whole chicken'. Another said, 'We should invoke rule .303.' At another RSL function I attended recently, in the apologies announcement it was mentioned that the member for Waite, Martin Hamilton-Smith, would not be attending because he is not going to blue ribbon seats. 

I hope the member for Waite has thought hard about the decisions he has made in this last week or so because they are going to tarnish his memory, and for his good name of all those soldiering years this will be his epitaph.