FRESH from a busy long weekend, it feels like our region is gradually recovering from the shutdown period. I urge all to try to spend some dollars in our local businesses to speed up economic recovery, and if you are feeling unwell get tested for COVID-19 at an appropriate testing facility. About 1700 tests are still being done daily.
The Marshall Liberal government has invested $1.5million into the “Welcome Back” tourism campaign, designed to entice Adelaide people into the regions and, by all accounts, visitor numbers are on the rise. It was almost pleasing to see the customary Port Wakefield traffic bottlenecks back on the Queens Birthday! Thankfully, works are scheduled to start in a couple of months on the long-awaited overpass and lane duplication project.
There are three projects I am very pleased to see progressed in the past couple of weeks. The $1million upgrade of the surgery wing at Yorketown Hospital began on June 1 and is expected to finish by September.
After three or more years of discussion and planning, works have begun to improve the sand drift situation at North Beach, Wallaroo. Preserving existing vegetation is a vital part of this project.
On June 1 came the news the Copper Coast Council University Centre project had received funding from the federal government which means the new tertiary education hub can now proceed. To be based at the Kadina TAFE facility, this new centre is a game-breaker and means locals will no longer need to move to the city to go to university. I commend Mayor Roslyn Talbot, CEO Russell Peate, the advisory personnel from the Upper Spencer gulf Regional University Hub and all fellow steering committee members for their demonstrated ongoing commitment to this valuable project.
I was pleased to speak in parliament this month in support of the proposed new real-time fuel price monitoring scheme and also the single-use plastics bill that has now gone through the House of Assembly. If the bill passes the Legislative council, the ban on items like straws and plastic cutlery is likely to apply across SA from late this year.
I was honoured to address the chamber to mark the passing of an outstanding community member and local identity within the Narungga electorate, Jeff Cook, of Minlaton. Jeff served the Yorke Peninsula community for 37 consecutive years as a local councillor and also will be remembered as an entertainer and communicator, as a bush poet, musician and singer.
I also welcomed the decision to abandon the roll-out of stage 2 of the heavy vehicle Inspection Scheme after evidence the introduction of annual testing (on top of the successfully introduced stage 1 testing at the change of ownership) would be excessive/cost-prohibitive for regional operators.
Other recent announcements have been the fee relief for regional bus, charter and taxi operators; a new ambulance on its way for Minlaton; and grants for sporting clubs to help pay water bills.
Of the latter, the water grants for sports clubs are being funded from the Community and Jobs Support Fund as part of the State Government's broader $650 million Jobs Rescue Package, and closes 31 July. Further information on the grant and application process is provided on the Water Relief Grant for Sporting Clubs page.
Grain Industry Blueprint
After months of workshops, meetings and reviews, the draft SA Grain Industry Blueprint is out for public consultation and I encourage growers and grain industry stakeholders to have a read and make comment. This Blueprint will provide a strategic framework to enable long-term planning and inform private and public grain industry investment decisions. Visit: http://blueprint.grainproducerssa.com.au .
Consultation closes 13 July.
For further information or assistance on any State matter, contact the Maitland electorate office - 8832 2455 or email [email protected]