The Morrison Government is busting congestion in Boothby

29 Jul 2019 speech

Busting congestion is one of the main aims of the Morrison Liberal Government, and it is particularly important for my electorate of Boothby that we bust congestion on our roads wherever we possibly can. I am incredibly proud of the work that we have underway and the work that, in some instances, is already concluding in my seat of Boothby, because this is about making people's lives easier. It's about getting people to work and to school more quickly and making it easier for everyone in my community to be where they need to be as quickly as possible.

Yesterday I was at the Oaklands crossing to celebrate the almost full completion of this fantastic congestion-busting project. This is one that I am particularly proud of because, when I became the candidate for Boothby in 2015, I managed to secure the first ever funding commitment to fix this 40-year-old problem for my community. We committed an initial $40 million to fix the Oaklands crossing, and I was very proud to be able to secure a further $55 million during my first term, which saw the project fully funded, because the state government jumped on board as well to provide some funding, as did the City of Marion, so that the, in total, $174.5 million project could be started and completed. I am still quite astounded that we managed to get the full funding and get the project fully completed within about 12 months. I want to congratulate the PTP Alliance for the incredible job they did on this project. The train has been running underneath the road for many months now, and the actual road infrastructure—Diagonal Road and Morphett Road—is in the process of being fully completed. It is a wonderful piece of road infrastructure, I must say, and it has made a huge difference to people's lives.

The Oaklands crossing sees about 41,000 vehicles cross over it now every day. That's a lot of cars. When we had the boom gates there to let the trains through especially during peak hour, the boom gates would be down for a total of two hours a day. That was two hours a day when people were stuck in traffic trying to get to work and to school. There are a number of primary schools in the area, so there were a lot of parents who were needing to get through this crossing every single day to get their kids to and from school, and they were getting stuck. Also right next to the Oaklands crossing is Westfield Marion, which is the biggest suburban shopping centre in Adelaide. It supports a huge number of jobs and is a very popular shopping destination. Before Oaklands crossing was fixed it was a lot harder for people in the community to get to Westfield Marion to do their shopping and
to support local jobs.

Oaklands crossing is also right next door to the South Australian aquatics centre, which is an Olympic-standard facility. It is where we regularly hold national and international swimming meets. Before Oaklands crossing was fixed it was very difficult for people to get to the aquatics centre easily and in a timely manner. For people coming from the city there is a brand-new train station. They can get off the train in what is one of the best train stations in Adelaide and walk across to the aquatic centre.

There are so many reasons why I fought for this project to be done. I would like to pay tribute to my state colleague the member for Gibson and state minister Corey Wingard, who started the petition to fix Oaklands crossing years ago. I was really happy to get on board with Corey's petition when I became the candidate for Boothby and work hard with him to secure our initial $40 million federal funding commitment. Our colleague David Speirs has also worked very hard with us on this project, as has our new colleague Stephen Patterson, the member for Morphett, who has been more recently elected but worked very hard with us on this project when he was the mayor of Holdfast Bay.

That is just one of many fantastic infrastructure projects. Another, really important one is fixing the north-south corridor. To date, $2.7 billion has been committed to the corridor, which sees 78,000 vehicles pass down it each day. South Road, which is the main focus of the north-south corridor, runs straight through my electorate. This is not just about busting congestion for all residents of Adelaide and all South Australians who need to use the north-south corridor; it's really about busting congestion for my local residents, who have all of the traffic flowing through our electorate every single day. Again, it's about getting them to work and to school more quickly and safely.

I'm really pleased to report that the Darlington upgrade part of the project, which was a $496 million federal commitment, which commenced before I was elected to this place, is well and truly underway. We have cars now going through the lowered motorway, which is really exciting. What is particularly exciting about the Darlington upgrade part of the project is that the Flinders Link rail project is now well and truly underway. To my mind, this is the absolutely best example of how government infrastructure investment should work, because it is going to unlock over a billion dollars of private investment, simply because we're extending a railway line. I'm very proud to have championed this project and been involved with fighting for this project, which extends the Tonsley rail line, which finishes at Tonsley, up to Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University. We're extending it about 650 metres. It's a $125 million project that is jointly funded by the Morrison and Marshall Liberal governments. It is going to give every single university student and staff member a brand-new public transport option. It will give patients at Flinders Medical Centre a brand-new public transport option. It will give staff at Flinders Medical Centre a brand-new public transport option. Both the university and the medical centre have had really big issues with parking, so this will take the pressure off parking on both sites. It will also connect both sites with the city. The train station in the city is in very close proximity to all of our brand-new medical infrastructure in Adelaide —the SAMRI, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital—and we will be contacting Flinders Medical Centre, which is now the biggest hospital in Adelaide with the city. We will connect all of those academic and medical researchers with their colleagues in the city so they can very easily walk out the door, get on the train and get into the city to meet and connect with their colleagues, which is really important.

It's also giving my local community a brand-new public transport option, so it's very exciting for my local community, as well. I know people will be very keen users of this, not just to get to work if they work in the city each day but also to get into Adelaide Oval to see our footballers and our cricket players, especially when we have international matches or a crows or a port game as well.

This project will unlock $1.5 billion of investment by Flinders University and create thousands of construction jobs, and then permanent jobs, on the site. Flinders are going to create an integrated health and education precinct. They are going to build new student accommodation, health accommodation, health research facilities and retail facilities, which is absolutely brilliant for the south and for my local community.

I'm going to run at of time unfortunately. I could talk about infrastructure all day, but I've only got another minute, so I will mention a few more congesting busting projects that the Morrison Liberal government has supported. We are going to fix the Cross Road and Fulton Road intersection, which is a $30.5 million federal investment. This is going to make life a lot easier for people who are coming from Blackwood and Belair down the hill. It is a huge bottleneck. We have Urrbrae and Unley high schools right next door. We have The University of Adelaide right next door. We are going to make this easier for everyone in that area every single day.

We are fixing the long-term problem of the Springbank, Goodwood and Daws Road intersection, which is absolutely critical for my local community as well, especially to take pressure off of nearby roads as we upgrade those roads. We are also going to invest $20 million on fixing the James Road and Old Belair Road intersection, which is particularly fraught and quite dangerous, especially for our cyclists.

I'm incredibly proud of what the Morrison government is doing to bust congestion in Australia.