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Oaklands Crossing - Post 2015 Budget Speech

An update in Parliament about what has been happening with the Fix Oaklands Crossing Campaign.

Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:13 ): I rise today coincidentally to speak about the train line again and also to talk about the Oaklands crossing. I had a wonderful forum in my electorate last month with over 100 people registering and attending to discuss this issue. It was interesting to hear the Minister for Transport talk about some of the work done in the southern regions of Adelaide, including the electrification of the train line and also the Southern Expressway. Of course, the Southern Expressway, which runs through the heart of my electorate, did not get an on-off ramp in my electorate to service the people of Sheidow Park and Trott Park which was extremely disappointing.

Also, as to the electrification project, it was noted that a bridge proposed to go over the notorious Oaklands crossing intersection of Diagonal Road and Morphett Road was left out of the plans and at a time when you would think that a project like that could have been done given that the plans were put forward by the government. It was not done and it was disappointing, and that is what these people came along to have a discussion about.

In fact, we have set up a Fix Oaklands Crossing group at the website www.fixoaklandscrossing.com.au for anyone who wants to register their concerns and interests there over this problem, which has been an ongoing problem for more than 30 years, causing continuous delays and congestion, wasting time and decreasing productivity in the area, having a great community impact not only on the people of the electorate of Mitchell but also Elder, Bright and the surrounds. It goes as far as Morphett. Of course we now know, as well, that it has environmental impact and creates a lot of rat-running through a lot of the suburbs. Interestingly, a petition on this was done by the previous member, with a lot of help from the council. A number of signatures, in the thousands, was collected but it was not tabled in parliament, which was quite interesting in terms of what the strategy was with that.

I mentioned that a number of years ago the government did spend a couple of million dollars doing a report and coming up with some fancy drawings and plans for this said overpass, but still nothing has come to fruition. I know it is mentioned in the 30-year plan that the government has, that is the 30-year plan that cost $36 billion. It does not have any costings in that plan, which is a concern of mine, and it is very much in the out years of that plan. So we are trying to get the government to actually come forward and let us know how much it will cost and what the time line will be to resolve the problem at this notorious intersection.

I talked about the petition earlier, and I should say that whilst people often think this intersection—which borders on the electorates of Mitchell and Elder—is a Mitchell issue as well as potentially being an Elder issue, when we sampled some of the people who had signed the petition it was interesting to see that 20 per cent of those in the sample size we extracted came from Mitchell and 25 per cent came from Elder, but 30-odd per cent of people came from the southern metropolitan region, taking in quite a number of other suburbs in the area. I think 5 per cent came from the north and 15 per cent from the east, and another 5 per cent also came from regional areas. So what we have identified from this, with the petition and the sample that we looked at, is that whilst this is deemed to be a localised area for Mitchell and potentially Elder as well, it is really a more far-reaching issue for the whole of South Australia.

We also know that Marion shopping centre has outlined its expansion plans, and we have had the state aquatic centre, the swimming centre, go in there, as well as the cultural centre for the Marion council and a big Service SA and Centrelink complex. They are all in that precinct. Over time that has all grown quite considerably, yet nothing has been done at this intersection. With the growth of the retail precinct, the biggest metropolitan retail precinct in the state and one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere, this is something that could potentially force the government to bring it forward. I have written to the minister and have asked him to come and have a look at the issue first-hand and talk to the people who live with this issue day to day, so hopefully he will do that. We have also engaged the council to get it involved in trying to find a solution.

So it is very interesting, and probably a little bit alarming now, that we talk about the train line and have had the discussion today about the electrification and the cabling that has come down on the Seaford line. There was one incident 12 months ago where, I am led to believe, a report was given to the minister but no action was taken until just a couple of weeks ago, when a second incident happened where the electrified cable came crashing down.

The minister has said that the department has some good systems in place, and I am led to believe that it does, that when the cable severs it comes down and the electrification is shut off, but that is not before the line hits the ground, when it still carries that high voltage. So if the line comes down and hits someone, it is not until it actually touches something and earths that the power is shut off. So it is still incredibly dangerous, and that is not to mention that if the line is severed, with these faults that have been identified in the line, and comes down it could potentially lacerate someone as well. It is very alarming.

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