Page 5238 – 5240                                    HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY                   Thursday, 6 May 2021

The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (15:16): My question is to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. Can the minister advise the house whether, with the reconstruction or the rehabilitation of the Horrocks Highway, the rehabilitation works will include the roads that are part of Horrocks Highway but going through the townships involved? With your leave and that of the house, sir, I will explain further.

Leave granted.

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: I have been contacted by several communities that they have been advised that these works will not be undertaken within the township’s reduced speed zones, such as Laura, Georgetown and Yacka, just to mention a couple of the smaller towns on the Horrocks Highway that might not have that work done in their townships.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (15:17): I thank the member for his question again on the Horrocks Highway and appreciate his interest in this road because we know that for so many years it was neglected by those opposite and at the same time when he was in office.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: They laugh at that, but I think I have outlined in this place many times how we are getting on with and fixing the mess they have left. In fact, we have invested $55 million in projects along the Horrocks Highway, which is absolutely outstanding. From there, we have put another almost $20 million into works, as far as tranche 1 of the road safety program that we have partnered with the federal government on. We are fixing the significant backlog that we were left and we are doing that with some wonderful work that is actually delivering a lot of jobs for the regions as well. What has been identified are the key parts of that road that were left to go to rack and ruin under the previous Labor government.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: It’s a shame and they laugh about it. The member for Hurtle Vale laughs about regional roads and I personally think that’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace because these are important roads.

An honourable member: The member for Reynell.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: The member for Reynell, I apologise. They sound the same when they laugh. But the member for Reynell laughs at regional roads—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

Mr Boyer: They’re laughing at you because you don’t know anything about your own portfolio. You know nothing about your own portfolio. They’re laughing at you.

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —and the member for Wright chips in as well with his bit to say about regional roads.

Mr Boyer: You don’t know a single thing that’s happening in your own portfolio.

The SPEAKER: Member for Wright!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: They just don’t care about the regions and we know genuinely how important they are. I outlined earlier the $100 million of projects we’ve got underway just this month. The work on the Horrocks Highway, the $55 million, was desperately needed because it was in really, really bad shape, but so too were a lot of other roads: the Augusta Highway and the Barrier Highway. I can continue on—the Eyre Highway as well.

The answer is that we are investing $55 million into the important parts of that road that need the upgrade, along with the extra $20 million to upgrade road safety elements of that road to make the shoulders wider to make the road safer.

Ms Hildyard: No-one believes you, Corey. No-one believes you.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: Again, the member for Reynell chips away again and she doesn’t care about the regions.

The SPEAKER: The minister will not respond to interjections.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: She should be embarrassed about that. What we are also doing here for the member for Frome—and I know because I have been contacted by the Liberal candidate for Frome, Penny Pratt, who just can’t believe how these roads were let to go to rack and ruin under the previous government. She is ecstatic with what we are doing in that region. What she is talking about—

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: A point of order, sir.

The SPEAKER: The minister will resume his seat.

The Hon. G.G. BROCK: Mr Speaker, can I ask you to bring the minister back onto the substance of the question. The question was: are the roads within the townships themselves going to be rehabilitated or not?

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order, members on my left! I uphold the point of order. I remind the minister of standing order 98. I have been listening carefully. The minister will come to the substance of the question. Minister.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: Thank you, sir. What I was outlining there was the actual length of the Horrocks Highway being a very long stretch—

An honourable member interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: Please! Please! You need to listen to the answer. I know she doesn’t care but she has to listen to the answer.

The SPEAKER: The minister will not respond to interjections.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: I am talking about the $55 million we are investing in the pieces that are the worst on the Horrocks Highway. In tranche 1, we have put another $20 million in. We have tranche 2 to come and I expect there will be more.

Mr Brown interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Playford!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: We are negotiating with the federal government around that. That’s the $210 million that we are spending on road safety on regional roads. Elements of that in tranche 2, I am sure, will go towards the Horrocks Highway as well. We have put forward our suggestions to the federal government. We are waiting for their sign-off and we will do the worst bits.

Unfortunately, we can’t do every road that the previous Labor government let go to rack and ruin. The mess was too great to fix in one fell swoop. I know they want it fixed. They make a mess, they leave it there for us to fix up, but we are getting on with it.

Ms Hildyard interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Reynell is called to order.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: As I said, it will be $55 million in the first bracket. We have another $20 million in tranche 1 and more money will be coming in tranche 2 and potentially tranche 3 as well. But this is right across the state. Beyond Gepps Cross—and, again, those opposite don’t travel beyond Gepps Cross too often.

Mr Brown interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Playford!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: This is where it’s really important to look after our regions which are very important parts of our community.

Mr Boyer interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Member for Wright!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: We are spending more than $1.1 billion on our regional roads over the next four years and infrastructure in our regions, and that is really important. We will continue to do that. Those on the other side will continue to scoff at it but we know it’s important to build what matters for all of South Australia.