Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (11:14): I rise today in support of the Supply Bill 2023 so that the government can keep writing cheques for the Public Service and certainly keep us gainfully employed. There is a total of $6,553 million, or just over $6.5 billion, of what I am estimating when the budget comes down in a month's time will be around $22 billion in total for getting us through the finances for the 2023-24 financial year.
We have had a very interesting time over summer with the River Murray floods, which I have spoken about in here on multiple occasions. It is interesting, when I reflect on being here in my first term, from 2006 to 2010, and onwards, that we came to the end of 2006 and we had the Millennium Drought, which lasted pretty close to four years. As I have indicated in this place before, the Darling section of the Murray-Darling Basin is the most unreliable as far as flows go, and I can still remember that dirty water flowing down—I was watching it from the Swanport Bridge as I drove over it—to refresh the system and get it back on track.
It goes to show, in the famous words of Dorothea Mackellar, that it is the country of drought and flooding rains. We recently came out of a flood that has been the biggest in living history for a lot of people—thankfully, short of 1956—and it has caused a lot of angst but also a lot of renewal in river communities. It has caused problems in farming communities with levee banks being breached; it caused a problem for people with shacks, businesses or homes on the river. I reflect especially on the businesses on the lower end of Randell Street in Mannum, who were engulfed because there just was not an engineering solution to save them down by Beachy's pub.
In this week of saluting volunteers, I really want to commend the work of volunteers and those paid contractors, council workers, mayors and CEOs right up and down the river who took on the huge job of doing their best to support their communities and keep them safe. I have reflected on it here before, when we saw the massive operation at Renmark. It really showed how much Renmark is an island when 150,000 tonnes of clay were moved in to save that town.
Work was done right up and down the river, right through all the council areas, whether Berri, Barmera, Loxton, Waikerie or Renmark, which I have already talked about. Mid Murray, with its 440 kilometres of riverbank, a 220-kilometre long section of river—a large council geographically, but with a small rate base that has worked itself butt off, to be frank—had contractors and volunteers doing their best for their community to save what could be saved. It cost millions of dollars to put in levees, especially in Mannum, and I understand it was several million dollars to remove them.
I have had discussions with the government, certainly with the council and certainly with Senator Murray Watt's office on the federal scene—and I have a direct contact there, which is good—to make sure that all the councils, especially Mid Murray, are not left in the lurch as far as the funding for their management of the recovery time.
The recovery time is an interesting time. We have people who are quite proactive. Some people have spent a huge amount of money, many hundreds of thousands of dollars, and are just getting on with the job to make sure that their business keeps going. One family, the Martin family—I worked with Ash Martin when we were chasing clay to protect Mypolonga—said, 'We're going to sow our pastures in April at Wall Flat, just north of Mypolonga,' and that is exactly what they did. They got on with it, made sure they worked with the departments and got the big Millewa pumps that were being used to pump out those swamps.
We see areas like Mypolonga, where it is about 700 or 800 metres out to the original levee bank of the river, but that is all covered in water. They are getting sheet piling in and getting that levee back into some sort of state so that those areas can be pumped out appropriately as well. South of Murray Bridge with all those swamps down that way, from Riverglades through to Jervois and Monteith, there is certainly a lot of work done by locals and volunteers. The Army were involved for a while, building up those banks to make sure they could save what they could. It certainly was a very interesting time.
I appreciated the direct contact I had with Chris Beattie, the head of the SES; John Schutz, head of the environment department; and other heads of departments. We had real dialogue in real time, whether it was text or conversation, about making sure we could find ways to protect buildings, protect farmland and basically just get clay to where it needed to be. It was quite a good working relationship, but we still need to make sure that someone pays the bill. I will certainly be chasing that up as time goes on, because recovery is going to take a long time.
We have seen the issues with insurance. Insurance companies get very nervous when something actually happens that people are insured for. I saw it once years ago when I had a shed blow down. I rang my insurance company and they said, 'There was no wind that day.' I said, 'I'll tell you where two other sheds blew down.' That cleaned up that argument, but it was a battle and I still did not get all my money.
Plenty of us pay plenty of money for insurance, but there were issues where some companies would just use postcode-based theories, really, on whether they would insure people or not. I can assure you, if someone is living at Rockleigh a River Murray flood is not going to affect them. They are far more likely, as sadly we have seen in recent history, to be hit by fires than flood. However, we will keep working through all those processes.
I note that a lot of those restrictions have come off, but it is making it interesting for some people with shacks—the thousands of shacks that were affected along the River Murray—and homes and businesses along the River Murray, regarding what their insurance costs are. Some local members, including the member for Chaffey, the Hon. Nicola Centofanti on the river and others of us, have connections to the river. David Basham, the member for Finniss, now looks after the Milang, Clayton Bay and Lower Lakes area heading out to the mouth.
I want to reflect on some of the things that were brought to my electorate, and I am going to talk about its old boundaries. The electorate of Hammond used to go all the way to the Victorian border at Pinnaroo, then head up on the Dukes Highway. A few kilometres north of Coonalpyn is the boundary, which used to be about 18 kilometres south-east of my home. It then went down around the Lakes, around Clayton and Milang, across the Cambrai way, and then up almost to Mount Barker, as it still does. I note that, with the redistribution coming into this election and the population drain in regional areas, which is what happens, sadly, now we look after Murray Bridge, Mannum, Langhorne Creek and Strathalbyn and surrounding communities.
Certainly, in that four-year period, it was great to see funding secured for projects like the $20,000 Milang butter factory upgrade restoration project, and that was for the facade. Also, $400,000 went into the great upgrade of the winery at Bremerton Wines. It was already a great place, but it made it a better place to go and do wine tasting and taste those great wines and great foods from the area.
We also had Lake Breeze Wines, which were recipients of a $300,000 grant from the Marshall Liberal government. We were actually in their function room on Friday, where we had the Langhorne Creek Wine luncheon, and some of the responses I got from some of the winemakers I cannot repeat, but they are quite happy to see this season gone. This was a tough vintage, a very tough vintage. Apart from the fact that there is a lot wine in storage—three or four years, depending on where you are—a lot of fungicide had to be used to keep grapes going and a whole lot of other management practices, but, sadly, a whole lot of grapes were picked and put straight on the ground in some areas, which certainly happened in the Langhorne Creek area as well.
It was a great event. I want to acknowledge my great friend who I have had for over 40 years, Mark Cleggett—'Clank' is his nickname—who received Viticulturist of the Year. He was quite taken aback when he received that award, amongst all the other awards that were presented on that day, whether it was to Bleasdale or Kimbolton Wines and other people in the wine sector.
Certainly, it was great when we were in government that the Eastern Fleurieu School at Langhorne Creek was promised $3 million to get new classrooms, and we are monitoring that project as that moves forward. Callington Recreation Community Centre was granted $197,500, which is a great centre right on the edge of the oval. There is another oval next to that one as well to work with the cricket and football and all the social activities that happen there.
Monarto Safari Park was granted $4.55 million as part of a $16 million project with a new entry precinct, which Tony Pasin, the member for Barker, and I got to open. I want to acknowledge Gerry Ryan from Jayco for building the 78-room hotel, which I hope will be open later this year. I think there will be over 20-odd glamping sites to go with that, so it will essentially be another 100 rooms coming into the area of high-quality accommodation. Being right out there amongst the lions, I am told they will keep the lions caged, which is a good thing. It will be great to see that open up into the future to complement all the other levels of accommodation in the area, including the 100 rooms at the motorsport park and the 100 rooms at the Bridgeport Hotel in Murray Bridge.
We put $36 million into the Old Murray Bridge upgrade, and I note the government put another $10 million in the last budget to keep that going. It caused a little bit of controversy during the flood event. Some people were indicating, 'Perhaps we will just pull all the scaffolding down so we can make it two ways, in case something happens,' because there were one or two accidents near the Swanport Bridge, but that would have been a massive undertaking—even I knew that. We managed to persevere and get through it.
We put $14 million into community infrastructure at Thomas Foods, and that was matched with $10 million by the federal government for roadworks, gas connection, power and water. It is pretty wild that there are only one or two companies or maybe only one or two people in the world who can do these—I am not sure what they are called—I think they are called hot gas connections. They do not turn the gas off and they reconnect. So this does not cost hundreds of thousands; it is north of $1 million to do one of those connections into a business because the SEA Gas pipeline was not turned off.
It was good to see that the early commissioning of the beef plant happened on Friday, and I am hoping to go through there soon to see that project running, remembering that disastrous day back on 3 January 2018 when the old plant burnt down.
We put in $7½ million for track work at the Gifford Hill racecourse at Murray Bridge. There has been much money spent there—over $40 million—to make that racecourse a world-leading operation. I am very proud to have delivered on $7 million for the emergency department at the Murray Bridge Soldiers' Memorial Hospital, which was matched with $3 million to upgrade the operating theatres, so $10 million there.
The Murray Bridge High School upgrade was $20 million. That is fantastic, and some world-leading architecture went into that. Also there is $5 million for Murray Bridge North School, which I believe is ongoing. The Karoonda swimming pool, which now is in the member for Chaffey's electorate, was a six-year saga that should never have been that long. I do not think these were exactly political decisions being made by MPs, but we did have to dig in and remind people in the department that the people in the Mallee deserved a swimming pool. I was told one afternoon that it was not going to happen, and we sent an email back saying, 'I think you need to have another look,' and thankfully they did for that $1.6 million project.
The Murray Bridge swimming pool upgrade was $1 million, another great project for Murray Bridge. We are waiting to see what has happened with the Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass Planning Study, and $5 million of state money and $5 million of federal money went to that. Also, I certainly know the Murray Bridge to South East Links business case, which includes looking at the duplication of the Swanport Bridge, is ongoing, with $5 million going there.
It is not just about the Swanport Bridge, which should have been duplicated when it was built. It was a bit of a shock when I drove up to it for the first time in 1979 and saw that it was only a two-lane bridge and not a four-lane bridge, so only one lane each way. It is also looking at the first five kilometres of duplication of the Dukes Highway to be done in around 40 years, from Tailem Bend out towards the motorsport park and the Mallee Highway turnoff.
The Beston foods Jervois plant upgrade was $2.5 million, and some of that would have gone into the lactoferrin plant, which is the high-value material they extract from the milk to really value-add to that milk product. An amount of $99,350 went to the Tailem Bend netball courts. The Tailem Bend new CFS station was $1.061 million, so just over a million dollars there. The Karoonda Districts Football Club received $258,000. The Lameroo swimming pool regeneration was $850,000. For Zerella Fresh up at Parilla, $2 million for a new packing facility—fantastic facilities, and they have a whole heap of migrants from New Guinea working there.
Also, for the Browns Well Highway and the Ngarkat Highway upgrade, to bring it back to 110 km/h, $42 million; for Kalimna Hostel at Strathalbyn, $3 million, and we are still waiting to see where that goes; for the Strathalbyn and District Aged Care Facility upgrade, $16 million; for the Mannum Community College new STEM building, CAD lab and senior school upgrade, $3.9 million; for the Eastern Fleurieu school Strathalbyn Campus upgrade, $1.8 million; for a new SES unit at Strathalbyn, which we got to open recently alongside the government, $2.65 million; for the new ambulance station at Strathalbyn, $4.6 million; and funding of $1.5 million has just gone through to the Strathalbyn abattoir to get it operational again. This is a significant amount of money, well north of $200 million. Let's see what happens in the budget so that we can keep appropriately funding not just my electorate but the whole state.