Grievance Debate - Chaffey

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:51): I would like to reflect on some of the happenings around the electorate of Chaffey over the past week. 

It has been a great week of diversity, to be out on the road, and particularly to be out on the Browns Well Highway. It was a great occasion out there when, after four years, we finally had the speed limits reinstated back to 110 km/h. Back in 2017, the previous Labor government reduced the speed limit to 100 km/h because they were too damn lazy to fix up the roads. They were too lazy to put safety measures in place to make that road safe to use, particularly for heavy vehicles.  

Out there on Friday I donned the high-vis and had the pleasure of removing the 100 km/h signs on the roadside and reinstating the 110 km/h signs. It was a great occasion, and I thank the Marshall Liberal government for what it has done. We have fulfilled a commitment, a Marshall Liberal government commitment, made prior to the state election to reinstate that speed limit.  

We saw a $15 million project to upgrade the highway commence. It is now complete, with works undertaken on that stretch of road between Loxton and Pinnaroo. What I have witnessed over a long period of time is the upgrading of the aprons onto those roads, seeing that $15 million going into resurfacing, making sure we have seen over 100 kilometres of shoulder sealing, the pavement upgrade, the rehabilitation works, the new line marking, replacement of guideposts and, of course, 10 kilometres of safety barriers along that road.  

The reinstatement of that 110 km/h is absolutely music to the ears of the local constituents, the farmers, the heavy vehicles. We have seen two rail services cease in that area and we have seen a significant amount of heavy vehicle movement on the Browns Well Highway. It is also very widely known and used as a permit highway for wide loads, high loads, and loads coming from the east to the west that continue to use the Browns Well Highway.  

As I said, as a government we promised to improve the safety of this road and reintroduce the 110 km/h speed limit, and that is exactly what we have done. So, hooray for this government for the great work it has done. The farmers and their communities are now travelling on a first-class, safe road. The upgrades are a very welcome improvement to the roads of Chaffey.  

I also visited Morgan on Friday and was honoured to unveil the Windows of Time exhibition at the Landseer Morgan Museum. This exhibition is an absolute work of art with artwork that has been undertaken by three lovely and dedicated volunteers, Rose Craig, Kerry Thompson and Diana Angel. Those women have dedicated a significant amount of time for each panel at 3.75-metres high by 1.5-metres wide.  

The murals take the form of windows in honour of Morgan's Methodist Church now the Morgan Uniting Church, which was the first built in the Riverland. The four existing works depict Morgan's rich heritage from the area's traditional custodians, the arrival of Western European settlers, the construction of the steam railway and the bustling riverboat era. Morgan was South Australia's leading port on the river. Once upon a time, it was bound with the hustle and bustle of moving freight around the region and today we see this depicted on some of these murals.  

The murals also depict the bustling riverboat era and the growth of the horticultural sector. We all know about the Morgan to Whyalla pipeline. Power came into that area in recent times. The unique Riverland environment and its significant connection with the River Murray is captured in the murals. It took six years to create these five quilts—3,250 hours—a significant investment. It is great to see Morgan unveiling the exhibition. I also thank Deb Alexander, the former tourism coordinator at Mid-Murray, for her great work.  

We also had a visit to Chaffey by His Excellency Mr Shingo Yamagami, Ambassador of Japan to Australia, along with Mr Junji Shimada, Consul-General of Japan. They will be visiting the Berri-Barmera area and the Loveday Internment Camp, which will be presented by local historian, Rosemary Gower. We all know how passionate Rosemary Gower is as an historian, particularly at the Loveday Internment Camp. I thank Rosemary and I look forward to His Excellency and the Consul-General visiting the wonderful electorate of Chaffey. 

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