House debates

Thursday, 28 October 2021


Grey Electorate: Infrastructure

4:35 pm

Photo of Rowan RamseyRowan Ramsey (Grey, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

When I'm Canberra I have a habit in the morning of turning on my mobile to tune into the livestreaming of 639 ABC, which is North and West South Australia. It talks about the issues that are going on back in my electorate. I was pleased to hear this morning state transport minister, Corey Wingard, waxing lyrical about the sealing of the Strzelecki Track. The first 50km have been completed. This was funded directly by the state government, with $10 million. Since that time we've had another $205 million invested in the sealing of the Strzelecki Track, with $164 million of that coming from the federal government, and I thank the minister for transport for that generous support of this very important arterial road in my electorate. It stretches from Lyndhurst, somewhere near Leigh Creek, and goes right through to Innamincka and through to the Queensland border. It is the life supply line for the Moomba gas fields, which will be there for many years to come, with the advent of modern drilling and fracking.

The Strzelecki Track will be one of the great tourist routes of inland Australia. To give you some idea about it now, the road has been taking something like 13 to16 hours for a semitrailer to get from Lyndhurst 370 kilometres up the track to Innamincka. So it's a very rough and ordinary road, but it is going to be a bituminised. It will provide a great livestock route, particularly for those growers and producers in South East Queensland that are in a brucellosis-free area and will be able to bring their livestock to brucellosis-free sale yards in South Australia. So there are going to be a lot of benefits coming out of this road.

But it is just a part of the amount of infrastructure spend that we have going on in the electorate of Grey. I don't mind talking long and hard about these achievements. I have never seen this kind of support coming in for the electorate of Grey, in my lifetime. Before that, I don't know, in real terms! There is $160 million from the federal government—and all of these figures are being topped up by another 20 per cent from the state government—for the Joy Baluch Bridge in Port Augusta, which is now well under construction. I think it is ahead of construction time schedules. That development looks fantastic as I go through the town now. There is $80 million for the Port Wakefield Overpass, and I think those works are scheduled to open up around Easter next year, but we hope to have some increased traffic flows going through Port Wakefield perhaps even by Christmas. There is $100 million for the upgrading of the Eyre Highway; $50 million for the Barrier Highway, from Adelaide to Broken Hill; and $44 million for the Horrocks Highway, which goes north of Roseworthy right through to Wilmington. There has already been significant work done on this road, with widening, in particular. There are great works going on around Gladstone, where we have a level crossing, but being on the Horrocks Highway is already a much better driving experience, and there are more works to be done. There is $5 million for the Adventure Way, which is the top end of the Strzelecki Track from Innamincka to the Queensland border. There is $113 million being spent on a new access road in the APY Lands. Parts of it are sealed and parts are it are not, but it's an all-weather road.

There is $130 million for upgrades on the Augusta Highway. I talked about the overpass at Port Wakefield, and already we've pegged the new roadway through to Nantawarra with what will be the dual highway that will eventually stretch all the way to Port Augusta, 200 kilometre away. This is a route that is picking up increasing traffic on the back of the resources boom and the continuing expansion of northern and western South Australia, the economic zone, and it's a boon to all of us.

There has been $114 million committed to a number of other highways recently around the electorate. There was $8.8 million dollars committed down at Dublin for a turn-off to the SA livestock-trading yards. I called in there the other day to have a bit of a look at how the works were going. It's all open now, and there are a number of semitrailers and road trains that go around there each week, through this very important trading route.

It's been a great time for the electorate of Grey. It's been a good time to be the member. Obviously, these are good announcements to make back in one's electorate, but I think it is so important to see this rebuilding of the roads. It's a generational rebuild, and it will give lifeblood back and support the economy of South Australia and Australia for the next 40 or 50 years.