Project Renew

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (15:02): I certainly can—a very good question. I thank the member for Heysen for his interest and passion for our volunteers, and we note the great work that they do. Also, I acknowledge the member for Heysen's interest in building South Australia right across the board, something that the Marshall Liberal government is very passionate about.

As we mentioned a number of times in this place, we are building South Australia from an infrastructure point of view, from a safety point of view, and also looking after our emergency services. We want to make sure that we are taking everyone on the journey. In the recent budget, the member for Heysen would have noticed another $2.5 million to continue our Project Renew. This has been a wonderful success, especially out amongst all our CFS volunteers, whereby we have been able to upgrade a number of facilities right across the state as a way to say thank you to our volunteers for the great work that they do. Again, this is part of our positive plan to build South Australia.

It was a pleasure to be at Echunga with the member for Heysen just the other day, having a look at one of the projects we delivered there: $33,000 to improve the wall of the station that was actually falling down. We also put a bit of a safety fence, if you like, around the big tower there. It was great to see Mark Clothier, the brigade captain, and to catch up on a chilly afternoon with the member for Heysen. His young son came out as well to have a look at the fire trucks. It's amazing how fire trucks always excite communities and inspire volunteers into the future. That's one part of the investment.

It was also great to join the member for Morialta for a couple of Project Renew announcements: $34,000 for a roller door replacement. This roller door, very sadly, had been in a state of disrepair for a while and would often get jammed and it was very hard for people to open, so we are fixing that by replacing the old sliding door with a roller door, as I said, at a cost of $34,000. Doug Munn, who is the retired group officer, served for 40-odd years in that region, if memory serves me correctly, and he is still involved. He is another one of our great volunteers.

We then went on with the member for Morialta to Summertown, where we saw the brigade captain, Andrew Schinnic, and $24,000 went there to repair an external wall. They had a generator put in not so long ago. Unfortunately, water was getting in on the side of their building and potentially damaging their generator. This generator is obviously very important in the case of an emergency up in the Hills, so it was with great pleasure that we put money towards fixing that project. Again, it was another one of those little projects, as part of Project Renew, that has been so well received right across the community.

Of course, in the CFS we have 13,000 volunteers. Again, I want to take this opportunity to thank them for the wonderful work they do. But the success of this project has meant that we have actually looked across to the SES. In the most recent budget, it would be noted that another $1 million has gone towards upgrading SES facilities as well. Again, it's a way to say thank you to the volunteers.

I have said it in this place before and I will say it again: you can't pay the volunteers for the number of hours that they give back. I know that on this side we are incredibly grateful to everyone for what they do, so to go and recognise them and make sure that we are giving them facilities that keep them safe and upgrading where they go to do their wonderful volunteering work and helping out their communities to make them just that little bit nicer is a really great outcome.

As I have travelled around the state, I have noticed that so many of these facilities were left to run down over 16 long years. So to be injecting funds to help build that part of our state is so important because we want to build South Australia right across the board, from the infrastructure projects at the top end that the Minister for Transport talks about through to safety and security, through to sporting, police and other emergency services—we are investing heavily in those. To be investing in our volunteers is one of the best things that this government can do.

Authorised by Corey Wingard MP, Member for Gibson. Level 2, 1 Milham Street Oaklands Park SA 5046. ©Copyright / Legal / Login