Our health system and rural doctor shortages remain a major concern, and I will be raising it again this coming sitting week in the chamber, this time in support of the AMA (Australian Medical Association of SA) and the RDASA’s (Rural Doctors Association of SA) most recent plea to be properly valued for the work they do.
Continued negotiations with SA Health are vital to achieve an acceptable new workforce contract that remunerates our GPs who carry the heavy load in rural GP clinics, and in our rural hospitals and emergency departments.
I completely agree that rural towns will wither and die without health services and rural services cannot be delivered without GPs. As stated in my speech in the chamber, health professionals in my electorate are struggling under the burden of bureaucracy amid a rural workforce crisis and the status quo cannot continue.
In more positive health news, I was pleased to hear the State Government has expanded the free “My Home Hospital” service to residents within the Gawler Health Service catchment area which includes Mallala, Two Wells and Freeling. This means more hospital-level care (such as specific post-operative care, pulmonary embolism, chronic heart failure and infections requiring intravenous antibiotics) is being provided to rural people in the comfort of their home. This is a free service that is another way of easing pressure on busy metro emergency departments. (Patients can be referred via their GP, medical specialist or nurse practitioner; more info at www.myhomehospital.sa.gov.au).
This week in Parliament I will be formally lodging two petitions on behalf of constituents – one calling for the upgrade of the Wallaroo entrance road into Kadina and another drawing attention to the significant impact an increasing Cormorant (shags) population is having on the Stansbury and Port Vincent communities. I commend all in the community who took the time to participate in these petitions, and to advocate for change.
By all accounts the Cormorants at Pt Vincent and Stansbury are impacting locals and tourists and damaging infrastructure and an answer to this ongoing problem is needed. Re the roads petition, I have talked many times about the eyesore that is the tourist thoroughfare into Wallaroo from Kadina in this column. It is high on the wish list, and I also thank all who have returned road black spot nomination forms to my office in recent weeks; your views on what roads need upgrading urgently is very valuable feedback.
Whilst the Port Wakefield overpass project is progressing very well, there is frustration with ongoing roadworks further south along Highway One and the speed restriction signs that remain in place despite works seemingly completed.
The department advises this is due to the new seal requiring “settling” but resumption to 110 km/hr must now be not far away. I encourage constituents to directly contact the road transport authority if you believe there are incorrect roadworks signs in place as there are now fines applicable for this practise. The phone number is 1300 872 677.
There is also ongoing frustration with the decision to allow for traffic lights to be installed at Buckland Park at the intersection of Angle Vale Road and the National Highway to cater for the Riverlea development (funded by the developer). I have advocated to the Transport Minister, and in the Chamber, that these traffic lights threaten significant interruption to the incredible work done via tens of millions of dollars of investment made by successive governments in improving traffic flow along this major freight route, including the Northern Connector.
Whilst it appears this installation cannot be stopped (a decision made in 2010 by the previous Labor government), I have been advised there is to be staged access arrangements (dependent on the progress of allotments development), and that the Department is investigating the installation of advance warning signs on Port Wakefield Road to provide drivers, especially heavy vehicle operators, enough notice that there will be a change of lights at this intersection.
I have this week advocated, again, that these traffic lights -- the only ones between Port Augusta and Port Adelaide -- not be turned on.
There were two deserving local recipients announced last week to receive funding from the State Government’s “Unique Wine Experiences Fund Grant Program”: Barley Stacks Wines ($5,000 to assist with a cellar door upgrade) and Emoyeni Wines ($3,125 to assist with their outdoor lawn area and carpark upgrade). Congratulations to these operators.
I was also pleased to attend the YP Tourism Awards recently and congratulate all the winners and medallists. You are all valuable ambassadors for the Narungga electorate.
A special mention goes to Lynn Spurling who was awarded the major award of the night, the Harry Dowling Award for outstanding, long time service to the local and state tourism industry.
Lynn works tirelessly for tourism as volunteer chair of the Kernewek Lowender Copper Coast Cornish Festival committee, as team leader for the huge SA Masters Games event held in the Copper Coast earlier this year, as a committee member of the Yorke Peninsula Tourism Board, and as tourism and events coordinator for the Copper Coast Council, combining this role with coordinating Visitor Information Centres and her Libraries Coordinator role with council (and at State level).
The full winners and medallists list:
Tourist Attractions : Copper Coast Putt Putt
Festivals and Events: Kernewek Lowender Copper Coast Cornish Festival
Silver: Camelot Garden Stroll – annual open garden
Tourism Retail and Hire Services: Barley Stacks Wines
Silver: The Shed at Redwing Farm
Visitor Information Services: Copper Coast Visitor Information Centre
Silver: Ardrossan Information Outlet
Bronze: #visitcoppercoast Marketing Campaign
Fishing Charter, Tour and Transport Operators: Reef Encounters Fishing Charters
Excellence in Accessible Tourism: Tarnasey Farm
Tourism Restaurants, Hotels, Cafes and Catering: North Beach Kitchen
Silver: Taste the Yorke
Caravan and Holiday Parks: Ardrossan Caravan Park
Silvers: Point Turton Caravan Park, Port Vincent Caravan Park & Seaside Cabins
Bronze: Port Broughton Tourist Park
Deluxe Accommodation: Bayside Glamping
Silver: Redwing Farm
New Tourism Business: Marion Bay Ocean Safari
Silver: Wrecks N Relics
Service Excellence Award: Copper Coast Visitor Information Centre, Bayside Glamping, Marion Bay Ocean Safari
Harry Dowling Award: Lynn Spurling