Friday, 08 April 2011 09:19

Supply Bill Grieve - Morphett Electorate

Reprinted from Hansard, House of Assembly, SA Parliament - 6 April 2011 

            Dr McFETRIDGE (Morphett) (19:30):  The Supply Bill is one of those interesting pieces of legislation that comes into this place and gives the government sufficient funds to continue on until the end of the financial year, and what an end of the financial year it is going to be this year. Today, we heard about the $1 billion blowout in the cost of the hospital. I look forward to seeing how the government is going to explain that away, because I know that they did not tell the truth during the election campaign. Even on the day before the election was called, John Hill was talking to Leon Byner on FIVEaa and said it was $1.7 billion, when he knew, in November last year, that it was $1.8 billion.
            They could not tell the truth then, they are not telling the truth now and what is going to happen? South Australians are going to pay. They are going to pay and pay and pay. Our children are going to pay, our grandchildren are going to pay and I am really worried that our great-grandchildren are going to continue to pay for the follies of this government.

            Having said that, I now have great trepidation and fear for my electorate of Morphett, which I love dearly. I am very privileged to be the member for Morphett. I have been for over nine years now and I look forward to serving my constituents for many more years to come. My electorate down there is a safe Liberal seat, held for 32 years now by the Liberal Party. It is a pleasure to be the member down there and continue on the great work of the former member, the Hon. John Oswald. I am afraid that there will not be any money left in the till to spend in my electorate of Morphett on really essential programs.
            We saw how the last budget attacked the Glenelg Community Hospital—a fantastic community hospital. My son was born there; it is no longer doing obstetrics and gynaecology. We have seen that hospital provide one of the best programs, one of the most economical and beneficial programs provided by a community hospital to assist the public hospital system; that is, Recovery at the Bay. It was saving the health system hundreds, if not thousands and thousands, of dollars a day, by having patients from the Repatriation General Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre come down to the Bay.
            If they were not quite ready to go home, they were coming down there at a cost of about $120 a day. So, there were about $1,000 per patient per day savings on an acute bed in one of our major hospitals. That was saving the government a lot of money. There were up to 10 patients in there at any one time in the Glenelg Community Hospital. What do we see? The government cut that program from down there.
            Fortunately, the Glenelg Community Hospital is not like Moonta, Ardrossan, Keith and Blackwood, where they are relying on the funding from the public sector to enable them to keep their cash flow going and do the great job they are doing for their communities. The Glenelg Community Hospital is bursting at the seams with day surgery down there. Specialists are coming in and working for their private patients down there and they are doing a fantastic job.
            They did not need that program. It was a little bit of cream on the cake. It was not something they were concerned about, but it just shows the ideological stupidity of decisions being made where you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. They were paying $120 a day for those patients, now they are going to put intermediate care beds in some of our larger public hospitals at a cost of hundreds and hundreds of dollars a day. It is a crazy situation. 
           We are seeing nonsensical, illogical, completely non-economical solutions—well, they are apparently called solutions—to imaginary problems in other community hospitals where the government keeps insisting they are funding these private hospitals. They are only private inasmuch as they are not owned by the government, but they are community hospitals and they have been doing a great job.
            But go past Glenelg Community Hospital, in my electorate of Morphett—let's drive from Parliament House down there and go through the 17 sets of traffic lights on North Terrace through the trams. I love my trams, but those 17 sets of traffic lights down on North Terrace cause some issues. They are reasonably well coordinated, most of the time. Sometimes you can get stuck and it will take you 20 minutes to get from West Terrace down to Parliament House, but they can coordinate those traffic lights. Yet, at the Africaine Road and Tapleys Hill Road intersection at Glenelg North, according to this government, they cannot put in traffic lights and have them coordinated. The first letters to me said that it would cost $300,000; now they are saying it is going to cost $500,000-plus to put in one set of traffic lights at the intersection of Africaine Road and Tapleys Hill Road. I just remind the house that 7,500 cars a day, 400 buses a week and hundreds and hundreds of cyclists were crossing the King Street Bridge until recently when it was closed for repairs. Much of that traffic was going down Africaine Road to try to get onto Tapleys Hill Road, and about 45,000 cars a day use Tapleys Hill Road.
            The S-bend of Africaine Road and the S-bend of Tapleys Hill Road, by the end of the airport runway, is a very dangerous intersection. It needs a long-term solution for a long-term problem. We are not looking just at a short-term solution for a long-term problem with the banning of right-hand turns by the government.
            The King Street Bridge closure has exacerbated an already dangerous intersection. We have seen one young man seriously injured there. He is still in hospital. The total cost of the ambos, the fireys and all the others turning up is about $900,000. That is twice what it would cost to put traffic lights in, but what do we see from this government? Lazy solutions, short-term solutions for long-term problems, banning right-hand turns at that intersection.
            The City of Holdfast Bay first wrote to the minister in 2005 about traffic lights, so the minister cannot say he did not know or was not warned about it. I wrote to him about it in December last year. We have had nothing but a recalcitrant approach from this government. It is ignoring my constituents in Morphett, and I know they will continue to elect Liberal representatives for many years to come because they know what a Liberal government could do for them, and they are being ignored by the Labor government.
            To get to Glenelg you have to go down ANZAC Highway. It is a goat track to Glenelg; ANZAC Highway is an atrocious road now. It is one of the major thoroughfares in this city, yet it is rutted and potholed. They have done patches and pavement repairs which cause traffic to weave all over the place on those three lanes going down to Glenelg. Damage is being done to cars, not immediate damage from going down massive potholes but continual damage because of the state of that road. For a major thoroughfare, the condition of that road is atrocious.
            What will we see? We will see continued patching up. It should be a thoroughfare of pride for South Australia. The nice bits are the overpass and a couple of other bits that have been patched up. That is fine, but the majority of it is an absolute goat track. In fact, if you want to see the parochialism of this government, just go to what used to be my boundary at Somerton Park. It changed after the redistribution. You can see where the electorate of Bright finishes and the electorate of Morphett starts because that is where the new road pavement finishes. South of that boundary it is new and paved; north of it is the old potholed Brighton Road. That is how parochial this government is.
            Oaklands Road is just as bad; it is an atrocious road. They should rename it Rodeo Drive. It is like riding a bucking bronco going down that road. There are potholes, ruts and corrugations. It is an atrocious road to go down. Between Africaine Road, Oaklands Road, Morphett Road and ANZAC Highway there are some serious issues that my constituents want fixed and want fixed now. 
           The other big issue down there is Oaklands crossing. What did the government do at Oaklands crossing? It completely stuffed it. We have the new aquatic centre, which is almost ready to be opened, one of the biggest shopping centres in the southern hemisphere, the Noarlunga train line and the intersection of Morphett Road and Diagonal Road. The railway station was moved closer to the crossing so that stuffs up any chance of grade separation later on, which would have been the ideal solution for that problem. Once again, short-term solutions for long-term problems: move the railway station, make it look a bit nicer—it looks quite nice—but wrong spot, wrong solution.
            They put in a temporary bus bay and then a pedestrian crossing. It stuffed up the whole intersection. Do you want to see any of this? Go onto my website, go to my YouTube clips and you will see Africaine Road and Oaklands crossing. You will see what a dog's breakfast and how dangerous they are. It is something this government should be ashamed of. I am ashamed that this government is ignoring the taxpayers of Morphett and allowing this to continue. I have had no indication whatsoever from this government that there are going to be any changes or improvements.
            Back in central Glenelg, there is the lack of funding for a state event which is New Year's Eve. We get a miserable $25,000 and 70,000 South Australians turn up on New Year's Eve, but the ratepayers of Glenelg are supposed to handle that. Apart from that funding, we do not get any funding for widening the walkway of the lock gates, so a mum with a pram has to wait for somebody with a bike to come the other way and, if the lock gates do not work, it is a whole shemozzle, and at the moment that creates extra problems with the King Street bridge out.
            We have not seen the H-class trams for a long time. Where are the H-class trams, Minister for Transport? What have you done with those iconic trams? Are they still rotting in some old car park down at Lonsdale? I haven't seen them out there. They are iconic trains; they can run these historic trams all over the world, but not in South Australia, apparently.
            This government has no foresight; they have no vision for their future. They certainly are not looking after the electors of my electorate of Morphett. It is a safe Liberal seat. I will be making sure I keep it that way, and this government is doing a lot to help me because they are doing nothing to help themselves.


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