It has been a busy month with the State Budget and Estimates, and some pleasing announcements.
The $3.04 million from the South Australian Boating Facilities Fund to upgrade the Marion Bay boat ramp was big news after years lobbying for this investment. The currently unsafe, single lane concrete strip will now be transformed into a two-lane launch facility with stepped central fixed jetty, rigging and derigging area, and sealed car park. Fantastic news for one of our most popular tourist destinations!
I also welcomed the announcement last week that security guards are to be stationed 24 hours a day, seven days a week at Wallaroo and Port Pirie Hospitals and congratulate the whole community for rallying behind this cause since the violent incident at Wallaroo Hospital in February and other Code Black incidents since. The safety of staff and patients at our busy regional hospitals must be paramount over all other considerations.
I was last week appointed to a newly established SA Parliament Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, looking at its development and deployment and potential economic, social and ethical implications for our State.
This committee work is in addition to the research work well underway by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Legalisation of Medicinal Cannabis of which I am also a member.
Both topics are interesting and legislatively complex, and whilst the time to lodge submissions to the Medicinal Cannabis Inquiry has closed, feedback is invited to the new inquiry in Artificial Intelligence which is open until 18 August. (refer article 10 July on this website for terms of reference). I encourage constituents with any views on either topic to contact me at the electorate office.
I also last week welcomed the government’s preferred action plan to change the default speed limit on beaches, another topic that is so relevant in our beautiful patch with wonderful coastlines. We have heard significant community concern about speeding on beaches and to hear of plans to lower the speed limit to 40 km/h as a default and further still to 25 km/h around pedestrians is pleasing. Anyone wishing to share their views on these proposed speed limits is also welcome to make contact with me.
Currently open funding programs include crucial grants for Farm Firefighting Units (Round 2 closes 4 August) and the $5 million Enabling Infrastructure Program for regional projects. For information and guidelines, please visit the Grants tab of this website.