Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Government Whip) (10:51): Yesterday I had the great pleasure of attending a press conference just north of Gepps Cross in Adelaide with the Premier, Steven Marshall, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Stephan Knoll, and the member for Narungga, Fraser Ellis, where we announced the winning tenders for the duplication of the Joy Baluch Bridge at Port Augusta and the Port Wakefield overpass, both very significant and important projects in my electorate. CPB contractors are the headline contractors. Aurecon, GHD and, most importantly, McMahon Services, a South Australian based construction company, will be doing the bulk of the work under an almost unique agreement with CPB. They will also be assisted by Intract, an Indigenous employment agency run by John Briggs. We will be hoping to make sure that we provide some jobs for Indigenous people, long-term training and a skills path through to permanent work through the project.
The Port Augusta bridge, the Great Western Bridge, was closed in 2017. It is an old, wooden bridge across the top of the gulf and the Joy Baluch Bridge sits alongside of it. The Great Western Bridge had been used for pedestrian traffic for many years when it was decommissioned. That put foot traffic onto the Joy Baluch Bridge. It’s a 1970s or 1980s design. It only has a narrow walkway on it that is not protected from traffic. I have been worried incessantly about kids going over there on pushbikes. If two gophers meet on this walkway, one of them has to back up. Clearly, that’s not sustainable. The speed limits have been dropped on the bridge. And I might point out that all the emergency services in Port Augusta are on the east side and periodically the bridge gets cut through an accident or whatever. That means a 30-kilometre round-trip for the emergency services to get to the other side of Port Augusta—and you can’t use that alternative road if it has been raining. This is a very important second link for Port Augusta. It is on the national highway and it gives us two bridges over the gulf.
Two hundred kilometres to the south of that is Port Wakefield, which is the point where the road peels off to Yorke Peninsula. We have traffic jams there every holiday season; people line up for two, three or four hours. There is an intersection there called ‘crash corner’. There have been fatalities there again in the last six months. It has been a hot spot for many years.
I pointed out at the press conference that I actually took to the 2007 election a commitment from the coalition to fix up this corner. Unfortunately, we didn’t win that one—and, in their defence, the Labor Party never offered to do it. It has taken 12 years to get it back on the agenda—to get a government in Canberra aligned with a government in South Australia and bring off these great projects. (Time expired)