Mr PEDERICK: Well, strange things happen. I rise to speak to the Supply Bill 2024 and note that this is to approve $7,706,000,000 so that we can keep the functions of government running until the budget is fully approved and has gone through the estimates process. This is vital for all the Public Service functions in the state, and certainly we will be supporting this bill.

I want to talk about a few things that have happened in my region over the last 12 months or so and some that have been longer term. One project that was completed on 24 September 2023, when it was opened for two-way traffic, was the Old Murray Bridge Refurbishment Project. There ended up being $46 million committed to this project. The Marshall Liberal government committed $36 million when we were in government and then it needed another $10 million to finish the project. This was to give the Old Murray Bridge at least an extra 30 years of life, which was much needed. Various reports came into my office about the status of the bridge so it is good to see that this work went on. McMahons, the lead, and other contractors did such great work.

What was disappointing was the fact that as the local member I did not get an invite to the opening. I had to find on which end of the bridge the ribbon was going to be cut, and I made sure I got there. I would have thought there would not be too much politics in this, but never be surprised at our roles in the community.

The process of revamping the bridge took about 18 months. There were some issues. There were one or two accidents at least over on the Swanport Bridge side which caused some headaches for through traffic. I think some people thought that the scaffolding could come down in a hurry, but it is only when you see pictures later on that you realise how much scaffolding was involved underneath the bridge. This is a great project that will last at least 30 years.

We had the 2022-23 summer flood that came through and wreaked havoc throughout my electorate and other areas right along the river, from the top end of the river, round Renmark, and through communities all the way to the mouth. Different communities put their shoulder to the wheel in different ways. Most people listened to the warnings of where the river levels might get to. I was picking up things from what I was hearing at different meetings and briefings.

At a meeting in Mannum, the Chief Executive Officer of the Mid Murray Council was telling people that unless you build something to about 250 gigalitres a day, which is a lot of water—about half of Sydney Harbour coming past in one day, just for a picture—you are not going to make it. Sadly, some people still did not think they would get wet feet, but they did.

There was a lot of good work done in this time certainly with the emergency management, working with government and mainly working with chief executive officers, and to have their ear at a phone call's notice on their mobiles was magnificent in working through that process. Sadly, that all ended once the emergency protocols disappeared and things went back into good old bureaucracy phase and things slowed down no end.

One of the big things I will remember from my career is when we pushed bureaucracy out of the way for a little while and managed to make things work between government and those of us in opposition—the member for Chaffey, myself, the Hon. Nicola Centofanti, in the other place, and the member for Finniss, in getting things done along the river. Just a bit of reality for a short period.

The issue for me is that since then the actions have slowed right down from any emergency action assisting people with the recovery process with 110 kilometres of levee banks along the river. Only recently there have been some packages of funding announced just for the interim repairs of levee banks. There will need to be a lot more money. I think there is just over $30 million. There will need to be a lot more money into the future. There are people contacting me, wondering where the federal grant process is for desilting channels. I know about that from talking to farmers up around the Wall Flat and Mypolonga area.

The sad thing is that, once the TV cameras have gone away, it seems that the Premier and his ministers have just lacked commitment to the river. One thing that really disappointed me was the complete lack of commitment during the peak flood event by the Minister for Water, who was in London for the whole month of that event. That was vitally disappointing. What is more disappointing is the fact that no-one in the media anywhere thought it was newsworthy to report on that. They were interesting times.

However, I have worked with my community and we have managed to get the select committee up through the upper house, with the Hon. Nicola Centofanti chairing it. We have had hearings out in my region for people to have their say, which was fantastic. Let's hope that we can get the right outcomes for the longer term solutions for the river. It is a bit scary when I have had a couple of people tell me that there is a big flood coming two metres higher than 1956. If that comes down, that could be by the end of 2025. I hope we do not get that, but we have to realise that the storages are pretty full, if not full. The ground is pretty wet in places like Queensland, where they have had some cyclonic activity. It will not take much, once we get that winter break for the cropping season, for things to get wet, fill up and get plenty of water in the system. We will just have to watch this space.

There are a few things that have happened in no particular order around my electorate. I want to acknowledge the work of Neutrog Australia up at Kanmantoo. They unveiled plans just this month to build a $3½ million laboratory and education centre at Kanmantoo. They are a vital service to the community, especially the chicken industry in getting rid of the chicken manure and having it put into fertilisers, such as Sudden Impact for lawns and roses, and that sort of thing. I must admit that I do not grow much in the way of roses but I do grow bit of what I call lawn and it does magnificent work. This is a process that some people have protested against, but people need to realise that when you live in a working agricultural region you are not living in a totally pristine environment. That is exactly how it works. It is good to see that Neutrog is progressing with that project.

Just yesterday I was pleased to receive a message from the Minister for Education's office. I really appreciated that phone call about Murray Bridge South Primary School receiving $1.12 million in federal funding for a toilet facility upgrade and shelters for playground areas outside. Certainly, the south school in Murray Bridge really does appreciate that funding. I was talking to the principal, Michelle, this morning and they appreciate that that came through the process. I understand they had to apply through the department at the state level first and that then progressed to the federal level. To Minister Boyer: thank you. It is good to see that funding being spread not just through suburban communities but through rural communities as well.

Monarto Safari Park—what a gem. This is the one true gem that came out of the failed city of Monarto proposal in the early 1970s. We ended up with a lot of 100-acre blocks instead of farmland, but we got the Monarto Safari Park. We have five elephants coming after raising $2.4 million in donations. It follows investment that we made from this side of the house with the federal government at the time of around $16 million to get the new visitor centre built. That work started in February 2021.

I was very proud to stand alongside my federal colleague Tony Pasin, the member for Barker, about a week after the election in that time. So, from opposition I was there and we opened up the visitor centre. I must say, when Elaine Bensted rang me about the elephants coming she knew I would not be more pleased. I have been lobbying Elaine for a long time about getting elephants up there at Monarto, and I know there is huge work being done building their compound as I speak, putting in watercourses and the right fencing; they use leftover ferry cables and that sort of thing for the fencing.

Elaine always said to me: 'They kill more keepers than any other animal.' I said, 'Well, I think we've still got to have them.' I was so pleased. It was just a bit bizarre that I was heading for Thailand for a bit of leave and ended up on an elephant safari one day, but it was just magnificent. I was glad to donate a little bit alongside many other people. Initially, we were getting three elephants and now we are getting five. I am sure that will just add to the huge attraction that Monarto is. Notwithstanding that, Gerry Ryan, the chief of Jayco, is building a 78-room hotel which I am sure will open in the next few months. It has taken a long time to build it and it will add to the visitor experience in the Murraylands. There are going to be about 22 spots for glamping as well. You can go and live out near the lions—you will not be quite with the lions, because that would not be too healthy—and it will be magnificent.

In the Greater Adelaide Regional Plan, Murray Bridge has been identified as a satellite city with up to 8,000 new homes being built. I have no doubt that that can happen. Certainly, with a little bit of internal rezoning a lot of those houses could probably be built as it is. With Gifford Hill over where the new racetrack is, there will be at least 3½ thousand homes and maybe 4,000. We have so much potential with everything that has been going on in the last few years out at Murray Bridge with both the tourist developments and the industry developments. There is plenty of opportunity. From what I have been told, two developers are knocking down the doors to build 25,000 homes in that area, in my area, and that is just magnificent news—but we have to get through all the zoning proposals and processes.

One thing we do have to break the nexus of is this environment and food protection area. I have been banging on about this since 2016 when the flawed legislation went through this place. It just blocks out land that certainly could be set up for housing. There are enough rules and regulations around housing and zoning to make sure you do not get poor outcomes. We have an issue at the minute. People came to lobby me about Mypolonga—and Mypolonga, I can remember growing up, was a huge area for citrus and stone fruit. I can remember going up there as a kid and seeing dried apricots. We had the old cases and half cases of fruit, all sorts of fruit. It is a shadow of its former self. People can see the opportunity to build right next to the river. So there will have to be some adjustments to the environment and food protection area, and I am certainly in touch with Minister Champion and his office with respect to that, but there is so much opportunity there.

The Tailem Bend dragstrip—and sadly Tailem Bend is not in my area anymore—officially opened on 21 October 2023 when the Premier came down, and I made sure I was there. It was unofficially opened on 22 September 2023, and I was very pleased to be part of the Marshall Liberal government that supported that project with $1 million. The drags are just magnificent.

Sadly, I can remember way back when in about 1979, when the initial dragstrip opened, they were a bit short of cash and so it was nowhere near the place that we have there now; the dragstrip ran the other way towards Melbourne instead of away from Melbourne. That is bringing tens of thousands to singular events. I noticed there was a smaller event there on the weekend, notwithstanding the events on the motorsport park. As I have said in this place before, there is nothing like taking out your own cars, or a V8 ute in my case, to have a whirl around the motorsport park. If you are going for a whirl, that is where you do it, and plenty of people do with the self-drive driving.

I want to acknowledge the $600,000 upgrade of the Strathalbyn netball and tennis courts. This is a vital area for sports in the Fleurieu region, a real centre with many courts in place for great big area events, let alone the weekly events that occur in that area. It hosts many teams. I am very pleased to be part of that process and I take my hat off to the people who campaigned for years to get a lot of that funding.

There are some concerns that I have in regard to things around the place like the Strathalbyn and District Health Service with the nurse-led clinic. That is the emergency service that is now in Strathalbyn. With absolutely no disrespect to the nurses at all, it is essentially a band-aid clinic that is hardly an emergency department because you have to book in to go there. The argument is that Mount Barker is 20 minutes up the road and you can just go there, but that is a major concern and we need to have a better outcome into the future.

With regard to the Kalimna Hostel at Strathalbyn, I know the former member for the Strathalbyn area, the member for Heysen, and I worked to make sure there was $3 million put away for where Kalimna was supposed to get to. My understanding is the money is still there. This was an aged-care-type facility or a residential care-type facility in Strathalbyn, and we certainly need to get the right outcomes. This was community land—money raised by the community to buy the land and then money raised by the community to put the buildings in place—and we need to get the right outcome for those people who put their own private money into this building and land over many years.

There is a new shopping centre coming into Strathalbyn out on the Wistow side, out on the Mount Barker side, and that had mixed reviews on who supported it and who did not. I certainly supported it. Some people thought it might upset the heritage value of the town, but it is a long way from any of the heritage area and the simple fact is: people need to travel up the Long Valley Road to get to the new supermarket if they do not want to go to the Woolworths in Strathalbyn, and they have to travel up there to go to the new supermarket there at Mount Barker. I think it will be a great thing for a growing area at Strathalbyn when this shopping centre is built.

Certainly, in regard to the Long Valley Road, I do not know how long the roadworks are going to be there for—I think they are going to be there forever. I think the road crews came into a bit of a shock when they ran into some natural springs that have upset some of the road building on overtaking lanes. We need to find out when that gets finished.

I am running out of time, but a project that I was happy to be part of the opening of because it used to be in my area was the Karoonda swimming pool opening. I was there with the member for Chaffey. It was one of those proud moments, when you have worked with community for almost a decade—very close to a decade—just so that a community can have the swimming pool they deserve, not just for the kids at school but for the whole community. That was a pivotal moment to get that opened up.

I will be interested in other debates during this Supply Bill debate, but we certainly support the Supply Bill so that we can keep the state running into the future until we get to the outcomes of the budget debate and estimates.

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