JOY BALUCH BRIDGE

The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (14:45): My question is to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. Can the minister advise the house: when the tender went out for the fabrication of the steel piles for the Joy Baluch Bridge, which is part of the Port Augusta-Port Wakefield project, did this tender go out to a public tender or to private tender? How long did the companies have to respond? Can he also advise how many South Australian companies tendered for the project? 

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (14:45): I thank the member for Frome for his question and his interest in the infrastructure projects we are delivering for South Australia. There is a lot of detail in that question; I am happy to take it on notice and get back to the member on the specifics. But to his point, and to that project—of course, it is an alliance project. The Joy Baluch Bridge and the Port Wakefield overpass are all part of our $12.9 billion infrastructure spend delivering better infrastructure for South Australia. 

From a road and transport perspective, it’s $4 billion over the next four years—more money going into infrastructure in South Australia over a four-year period than this state has ever seen, far more than was ever delivered by those opposite. For compare and contrast, I note that in 2016 those opposite had about a $200 million spend on our roads and, as I said, we’ve got $1 billion a year pretty much for the next four years. Those two projects are incredibly important. 

We have a number of other projects that we are rolling out right across the rural and regional part of South Australia. We know how important this area is—often neglected by those opposite, and that’s showcased in the road maintenance backlog, which is some three-quarters of a million dollars. 

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Point of order, sir: standing order 98. 

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: He doesn’t like it. 

The SPEAKER: Order! The minister will resume his seat. The member for West Torrens on a point of order. 

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Sir, the minister, by implying motive to us, is debating the answer to the question. I quote standing order 98: 

(a) In answering a question, a Minster or other Member replies to the substance of the question and may not debate the matter to which the question refers. 

The SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. The member for Frome’s question contained at least four discrete parts. The minister has indicated that he will take some aspects of the specifics on notice, and he has provided some context. I am listening carefully to the minister. The minister has the call. 

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I was going into some detail about the infrastructure spend we have, of which a big part is the project that the member talked about, which is the Joy Baluch Bridge. I know it’s something the member for Stuart, the Minister for Energy and Mining, has advocated for for a very long time—it was overlooked by those opposite. We know this is a very important freight part of our state, and of course if that bridge were to go out it would cause a lot of concern for industry within South Australia. So having the extra two lanes on that bridge is very beneficial, as are the other infrastructure projects we are delivering for South Australia. 

We will continue to deliver for the people of this state, generating jobs along the way, which we know are incredibly important in a time of COVID, but also ultimately continuing to deliver better services for South Australia.