Constituency Statement | Boothby Electorate: Rail

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

I am delighted that my electorate of Boothby will see not one but two major rail projects commenced and concluded in the near future.

As my local residents and businesses know, one of these is the long-overdue Oaklands rail crossing and road separation project, the full funding of which was announced last week by the Minister for Urban Infrastructure. I am grateful to the minister and my state colleagues Corey Wingard MP and David Speirs MP for the hard work they did with me and with our local community to secure the full funding for this project.

The other rail project is the Tonsley rail line extension to Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre, for which $43 million of federal funding was announced by the Prime Minister in May last year, when I was still the candidate for Boothby. The funding was confirmed in this year's budget. The Tonsley rail line extension to Flinders University is an example of the very best kind of infrastructure investment by a government.

Unfortunately, the incompetent Weatherill state Labor government does not invest in infrastructure in quite the same manner. Where they spend billions of dollars on infrastructure, it does not earn a cent of revenue for our state—such as with the $1.8 billion desalination plant that is mothballed or our $2.2 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital that still has not opened its doors. The infrastructure announcements I have worked for will also work for my residents and businesses in Boothby and for my wonderful state of South Australia that is in such desperate need of jobs.

The Tonsley rail line extension to Flinders University will deliver 74 jobs during the build. It will link Flinders Uni's Bedford Park campus with the Tonsley campus, which is home to computer science, engineering and maths, alongside the Flinders Medical Device Research Institute, the Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology and the New Venture Institute. The Flinders Uni Tonsley campus does exactly the kind of work that fits in with the Prime Minister and our government's plan for science, innovation and jobs for the future.

The Tonsley rail line will deliver greatly improved public transport options for students and staff and link them with Adelaide's central business district. It will also deliver greatly improved public transport for patients and their families and staff at Flinders Medical Centre. Week in, week out, I hear horror stories of patients and their families being unable to find a park at Flinders Medical Centre, and it really breaks my heart to think how terrible it will be for our returned service men and women and older residents in my community when the state Labor government shuts down our wonderful Repat hospital. At least with the rail line extension they will have another way to get to Flinders Medical Centre without the stress of trying to park on the site, and I am so pleased to have fought for this option for them. The rail extension will also provide new public transport options for local residents. Our $43 million federal investment will help unlock an additional investment by Flinders University of $800 million and around 2,000 or so extra jobs for local people once the Darlington upgrade is complete and the rail line upgrade is concluded.