Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme
Posted on Monday, 4 September, 2017
Mr RAMSEY (Grey—Government Whip) (10:54): To the member for Makin, it's a pity they hadn't put the money up then—that's all I can say. But I thank the member for Wakefield for bringing this motion forward. He must be very pleased with his work. But before it got into the House we'd acted on it, which we can have a laugh about. I hope, now, that he tells his electors how wonderful the Turnbull government is and what it is doing for Adelaide; in fact, what it is doing with so many other schemes and so many other projects. So, Member for Wakefield, you would be very pleased with the Turnbull government's contribution to South Australia. As the member for Boothby pointed out, by golly we need it in South Australia. We have had 16 years of regression under this government. You know and I know and the member for Boothby knows that we're going to lose another seat in the federal parliament, and that is an absolute response to the way our state has been run. But the coalition government is there and it is making a difference.
This project is a terrific project. We live in the driest state in the driest continent on earth— that is, inhabited continent, let's get it straight. We need to make the most of the water that we do have. We have wonderful fertile plains to the north of Adelaide, even though the sprawl of Adelaide is gradually reducing that as well, it must be said. We put $2½ million into the feasibility study, which I think is very important. It may have been brought on the member for Wakefield's impatience in trying to get this deal over the line. But, in fact, good government always makes sure that it is backing good projects, and that's what that $2½ million investment was about. Now we are investing $45.6 million—and there will 3,700 full-time jobs. That's a lot of jobs. I have just come out of the celebrations in Whyalla, where we've probably saved a few more jobs than that. But it is a reason to be proud and pleased with the work that we do, particularly in this case coming out of this place. The project will deliver up to 12 gigalitres of new, treated water to the northern Adelaide plains.
It is worth noting that during the 2016 election campaign, the ALP actually promised to cut the $500 million National Water Infrastructure Development Fund by more than $200 million—goodness me. The first investment out of this fund will fund the northern irrigation project, and you wanted to cut it in half—not you, Mr Deputy Speaker, I hasten to add; the member for Wakefield and his colleagues were going to cut it in half. In fact, in the 2016 election the ALP said they were committed to reduce uncommitted funding by 50 per cent. You can't get anything done if you keep pulling the money out. That's what happened to Defence and that's why this government has had to move in to South Australia and rejuvenate the Australian shipbuilding industry because of what you did to Defence—not one ship in six years. We are there working with the South Australian people, investing in the Northern Connector and investing in the Darlington interchange and the Torrens Road to River Torrens project. To me, in a quick add-up, that looks to be about $1.4 billion.
Interestingly, there has been a lot of conversation about GST receipts in recent times. South Australia is in receipt of $1.45 for every dollar our taxpayers put into the GST.
An opposition member interjecting—
Mr RAMSEY: If you would like to talk to your Western Australian colleagues, let me tell you this: I have great sympathy for you there, that the system is not working right when they get 35c in the dollar. When the South Australian government, in its electoral mode, comes out and criticises the federal government for virtually every mistake they've ever made; every failure they have they lay at the feet of the federal government, I hope you, Member for Wakefield, will stand up and say, 'Well, actually, Malcolm Turnbull and his team are doing a pretty good job because they are the ones that are investing—
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Rob Mitchell ): Member for Grey will refer—
Mr RAMSEY: this $45 million in making sure that the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull—
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hello!
Mr RAMSEY: I beg your pardon?
Mr RAMSEY: It's twice I've called you. The member for Grey will refer to members by their proper title.
Mr RAMSEY: The Prime Minister?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, not Malcolm Turnbull but Prime Minister.
Mr RAMSEY: Okay. Is it okay if I call him Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull?
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Yes, but you didn't the first two times and that's why I pulled you up.
Mr RAMSEY: Okay. When you speak to your electors, you can say that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his team are doing a great job because they are delivering this project for South Australia.