Infrastructure Projects

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:09): I rise to speak about some of the investment that is coming into the great electorate of Chaffey. We are in unprecedented times and, while we are in those unprecedented times, it is about jobs. It is about creating jobs, particularly in the regions. It has never been more important. With a $12.9 billion infrastructure spend, we are seeing a huge amount of growth in buildings and the repair of roads that were endured and neglected for 16 years of a state Labor government.  

To highlight some of the investment in Chaffey, in particular the schools, the Minister for Education was up visiting in recent times and he called in to the secondary schools. He called in to Waikerie to open the STEM facility there. We visited the amalgamation of the middle and senior campuses at Glossop High School at Berri. It is a great investment. That investment is $17.2 million, creating 28 jobs. It is an outstanding achievement. It is something for which I have worked long and hard for almost 10 years with three principals, governing councils and many hours of meetings. To bring this together is a great outcome for not only the students but the teachers. They can consolidate into one learning area rather than having to travel between the two campuses.  

Loxton High School has seen 12 jobs created, with a $5 million investment providing a new agriculture studies area and a covered outdoor learning area. It is also demolishing the old transportable buildings and replacing them with new contemporary learning areas. It is a great opportunity for Loxton High School to have an upgraded agriculture sector. Agriculture and horticulture is the bread and butter of South Australia's economy, and it is nowhere more important than to the local economy of Chaffey, the Riverland and the Mallee.  

It is very important that as a government we continue to grow, support and build all this investment into infrastructure so that we can have better opportunities for our young and for the future and so that we can continue to grow that sector. Renmark High School saw 12 jobs created with a $5 million investment, which is a facility under construction currently. That is the replacement of air conditioning and a number of buildings and also new student services and reception facilities at the offices.  

I must also say that, last month when I visited Loxton High School, it was great to tour around the school. It is an immaculate school, highly regarded in every way—the academia, the sport—and the town is very proud of it. David Garrett is the principal, and I cannot forget to mention Justine Fogden, who has been instrumental in guiding the school and the build of the ag centre so that it is fitting for that area.  

In recent times, there was an announcement at the Riverland General Hospital of a $3.8 million investment in installing a new MRI facility. That building is currently under construction. As of Sunday, I will be there with the cranes, lowering that machine into the building. It will be a great day for health services in the Riverland to have that MRI facility there so that people do not have to travel and do not have to have that extra burden when they are having medical procedures. It is a great outcome.  

In relation to roads, I had the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport up last weekend. We toured around a number of sporting facilities that have received grants for upgrades to bring those facilities in line so that we can host larger events and bring bigger teams and bigger codes into the Riverland. It will give those Riverlanders the opportunity to see some of those codes in the grandeur of those particular sports. That $70 million package includes the upgrade of the Browns Well Highway as part of the eight regional road upgrades so that we can reinstate speed limits. We all know that the previous government continued to drop speed limits rather than fix the road, so that is great news.  

The $87½ million for the upgrade of the Sturt Highway from Renmark down to Gawler is all about shoulder sealing, surfaces, tactile marking and road signage, making our roads safer but also giving productivity gains, particularly with heavy transport. Those trucks now have upgraded configurations, with road trains and B-triples. It is great to see. This is about investing in the electorate of Chaffey. It is a Marshall Liberal government initiative, and it is great for regional South Australia. 

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