Speech to Parliament
20 November 2014
Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:41 ): I rise today to speak on an issue that is troubling many people in my electorate—the unfinished or ignored section of the Southern Expressway.
The noise wall that is on the Southern Expressway that impacts on the residents of Sturt and Darlington is considered a very big eyesore and unfinished. There is a big fear that it is being ignored by this Weatherill Labor government. The Corten steel barrier is supposed to blend in with the environment as quoted on the Southern Expressway duplication information website. It states:
Corten steel noise barriers will be installed at the northern end of the project site (between Seacombe Road and the Darlington escarpment) as an urban design feature signifying the entrance to the expressway and the inner metropolitan area. They will range in height from 3 to 4 metres and have a natural and anti-graffiti finish that will readily blend with the surrounding landscape and is easy to clean.
Mr Picton interjecting:
Mr WINGARD: It is probably no surprise that the member for Kaurna interjects on this, the government having spent $400 million plus on the project that pretty much services his electorate and ignores the other parts of the southern region. I think perhaps he does not care about the people in the electorate of Mitchell and/or the suburbs of Sturt, Darlington, O'Halloran Hill, Sheidow Park, Trott Park and Reynella. He is only worrying about his patch and not really concerned about anyone else's.
There is supposedly a graffiti proof wall that is currently covered in graffiti which is very interesting, and it sits up to 25 metres in the air. Sadly, this is not a good neighbour-style fence; it has posts and rails. The residents are forced to look at these posts and rails every afternoon in their backyards, overhanging their backyard.
A number of residents have contacted me, including Andrew from Sturt, who said, 'It's a real blight on our surroundings and doesn't blend in at all.' Deanna of Sturt said, 'A real estate agent has valued my house and literally said because of that eyesore of a fence you'll lose $15,000 to $20,000 in valuation.' Kevin, and the residents of Graham Road, Darlington, said, 'We are all without exception concerned, alarmed, frustrated, disappointed and disgusted with the hideous rusty steel sound wall that has been left at the end of Graham Road.' John of Ralph Street in Sturt said, 'It's ugly, grotty and if this is the best SA infrastructure can do, we've gone down the gurgler. Coming from the South into the city, it says, "Welcome to rusty Adelaide".' They are not happy with it. It hangs over their backyards and they do not think it is acceptable.
Also noted in the original plans were a number of tree plantings that were supposed to block some of this rail and post rusted fencing. Those proposed tree plantings have not appeared as originally planned, so I and the residents are intrigued to see what is happening with this vegetation. The residents have made a number of inquiries to my office, as I said, and they have put a number of suggestions forward. In fact, we wrote to the minister on 22 August with a number of these suggestions about the ugly-looking fence that overhangs their yard.
In a meeting with the minister and his adviser on 25 September it was verbally agreed that they would come and have a look, with members of the associated areas, at some stage in the week commencing Monday 6 October. The minister's office was going to contact us to arrange a date and time where we could get the people together, have a look and discuss this issue. Unfortunately, the contact was not made and the residents are still chasing this meeting.
Correspondence has gone back and forth and, sadly, the residents of these suburbs in the electorate of Mitchell have been ignored. So we are holding a community meeting at Parson Street, Sturt on the evening of 4 December. The minister is invited to attend, issue his statement, speak to the residents and let them know what is going to be done about the unfinished portion of this fence, and why vegetation and other opportunities are not being taken to make this look far more appealing to local residents.
I also encourage the department to consider the options proposed by the residents in August and advise why a feasibility study cannot be done as to completing these works. I did get to meet the CEO of the department today and we discussed a few other safety issues there, such as signs that are incomplete on the Southern Expressway at the one-way off ramp that goes into Old Reynella. I did ask why the signs were not complete and he informed me that they will be done by Christmas, so I look forward to having those done. The on-off ramp at Reynella is still lacking signs, which is a little bit of a safety issue. I think in recent days they have just completed the other speed limit signs, so we look forward to having this problem rectified.