Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Government Whip) (16:25): As I’ve been sitting here listening to that contribution, I actually looked up the definition of ‘own goal’. It is ‘an unintentional deflection that causes a score to the opponent’s team’. I’m given to reflect that when I look at the topic of this MPI: the failure to provide adequate infrastructure for Australia’s needs. I think the member for Griffith has indeed caused an own goal. My colleagues have spoken about the $100 billion commitment this government had to transport infrastructure in Australia over 10 years. Since 2014, this government has spent more than the $30 billion on road and rail in regional projects.
In Grey, which covers a considerable part of South Australia, it must be said that more than $500 million is committed for major regional transport infrastructure assets within the electorate. A few days ago, I detailed the $88 million that have come through the Roads to Recovery fund to local councils. The government has committed more than $11 billion per annum to transport projects across Australia.
I might point out that fuel excise in Australia ranges around $15 billion a year, and we are now spending about $11 billion. My thoughts are that we should aim to balance that. We should aim to spend $15 billion a year on transport infrastructure. Having said that, I’ve been on this pony cart for a fair while, and this is the highest percentage of that fuel excise that—I think in the last 30 years at least—has been spent on the road and rail infrastructure of the nation. I think that is an absolute win-win. We’re heading in the right direction.
Just to have a little bit of a look at those things that are happening in the Grey electorate and that are committed to—and all of these amounts that I mention are being added to at the rate of 20 per cent by the state government. We are spending $160 million on the second Joy Baluch AM Bridge at Port Augusta. Work is underway on the clearance there already. At Port Wakefield, for the overpass and dual lanes, we’ve put in $72 billion. There’s $44 million for the upgrade of the Horrocks Highway. There is $100 million for the Eyre Highway west of Port Augusta and for contributory roads on the Eyre Peninsula, which have come under increasing loads since the closure of the narrow-gauge railway there less than 12 months ago. We have earmarked $32 million of that amount for roads in that area. There is $64 million for the duplication of the Augusta Highway. When we get the dual lane through Port Wakefield and the overpass on the northern side, we’re going to start running those dual lanes right through to the dual bridges in Port Augusta, which is the Joy Baluch AM Bridge. That’s the kind of infrastructure plan you can have when you have long-term committed governments and understand the needs of people’s individual electorate. As we speak, there is $85 million being spent on an upgrade to the road into the APY lands in the far north-west of South Australia. There is $50 million earmarked for the Barrier Highway.
These are enormous investments—the kinds of investments we have not seen in a generation or longer in an electorate like Grey. So I’m pretty pleased to be part of a government that has recognised those needs. I spoke on the Road to Recovery fund, which has gone up by 25 per cent. That, along with the FAGs to council and in South Australia the Special Local Road Program, is the lifeblood of local councils as they seek to maintain and improve their road network.
There has been $10 million from the federal government to support $25 million for 1,600 kilometres of new dog fencing. This is a generational investment in the pastoral industry in South Australia. There has been $11.4 million for a new accident and emergency unit at the Whyalla hospital and more than $40 million allocated through the Building Better Regions Fund.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The time for this debate has expired.