The Benefits of Infrastructure Projects

10 Sep 2018 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (17:32): I'd like to acknowledge and thank the member for Forrest for moving the original motion, because we, as the Liberal government, are doing fantastic things in the infrastructure space. My community in my electorate of Boothby is seeing firsthand the benefits of our government's record $75 billion investment in infrastructure and transport projects. Infrastructure is the No. 1 priority for the Morrison government, and it's the No.1 priority for me in my electorate. Whether it's fixing the Oaklands crossing or making it easier and quicker and safer to get across South Road or along South Road at Darlington, whether it's getting the freight train out of the hills—again, for really important safety reasons—or stopping trucks from coming down Cross Road, this is my focus.

As we heard today in question time, the Morrison government is busting congestion. We are congestion busters, as the Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population told the parliament today. We are doing this so my local residents can get to work more quickly and get their kids to school more safely and so we can all get around our community more easily, whether that is getting to Flinders Medical Centre, which is Adelaide's biggest hospital, getting to Flinders University, which is where I went to university, or just getting to the local shops. When I was the candidate for Boothby and, now, as the member for Boothby, I have fought for and secured funding for a range of different road and rail projects. This is because I listened to my community very carefully about which roads were bothering them most and about which rail lines needed to be worked on.

At the top of this list, without a doubt, was the Oaklands crossing problem. We have had a problem in my community for 40 long years at the Oaklands crossing, and I am so proud that I was the first member of parliament to ever secure a funding commitment—a very significant funding commitment of $40 million—to fix the Oaklands crossing once and for all. I was then able, once elected, to secure an extra $55 million to see this project go ahead. The overall project to fix Oaklands crossing is worth $174.5 million and it is already underway.

I remember doorknocking when I was the candidate, and after I'd been elected: people didn't believe that this would ever be fixed, because it had been a problem for four decades. Well, as my local community and my local residents know, it's being fixed right now. The construction is well and truly underway, and I am absolutely delighted. I'm delighted for the 41,000 motorists who sit at the boom gates every single day trying to get through. I'm delighted for everyone who's trying to get to work, or to go shopping at Westfield Marion, and for all of our wonderful young and not-so-young people who swim at the Olympic-standard aquatic centre. This project helps them get there more quickly and more safely. And I'm delighted for all of the mums and dads—and, I know, a lot of grandparents as well—who do the school drop-off and pick-up every day at a lot of the local primary schools nearby. This is what our government is focused on: fixing these terrible traffic problems for people.

I'm also really proud of the fact that I was able to secure a $43 million commitment to get the Tonsley train line extended up to Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, which will finally link this incredibly important precinct with the city. It will also link Flinders Medical Centre with all of the fabulous health, research and hospital facilities that are now on North Terrace near the train station. It will also help my local residents to get to Flinders Medical Centre in particular, but also to the university, which will take pressure off parking at the site, which is absolutely critical.

At the same time as doing the rail-line extension of Tonsley up to Flinders, we have invested $496 million of federal money into the Darlington upgrade. On the weekend we saw the transportation and installation of the northern section of the Ayliffes Road bridge. This is an engineering feat. It is so exciting. The manner in which they have built and moved these sections of bridge into place has been an Australian first. I encourage everyone to jump on to Facebook and see the videos.

We're doing so much more. I note the former assistant minister here, who did some wonderful work on black spots and the Roads to Recovery program that's fixed so many road problems for people in my electorate. I will continue to fight for the people of Boothby to bust congestion across my electorate.