As a regional and rural electorate, the Mayo community has many unmet infrastructure needs, and public transport to many areas remains limited. I have been working hard with all levels of government to fund and develop our public infrastructure.
- Relentlessly pressing the Federal Government to reinstate much-needed Supplementary Road Funding for South Australia
- Expanding public transport services throughout Mayo, but especially bus services to the south coast of the Fleurieu and Strathalbyn
- Advocating for major improvements to Victor Harbor Road and Main South Road
- Advocating for lower sea freight costs (and other assistance with cost of living) for Kangaroo Island
- Advancing plans to extend the railway line from Seaford to Aldinga
- Upgrading the Granite Island Causeway with a new and permanent, long-term solution
- Continuing to upgrade the South Eastern Freeway, beginning with additional sliplanes between Crafers and Stirling
Supplementary Road Funding
South Australia has 11% of Australia’s identified local roads and 7% of its population, but only receives 5.5% of Federal local roads funding. To account for this inequity, South Australia used to receive Supplementary Road Funding from the Federal Government.
However, in 2014, the Abbott Government cut this funding, shifting the burden onto our local councils. South Australia now has some of the worst kept roads in the country. I and my Centre Alliance colleagues successfully negotiated the restoration of this funding for two financial years, but the Federal Government has yet to make a permanent commitment to restore South Australia's funding. I will continue to fight for the permanent restoration of funding for Mayo and South Australian local roads.
- Successfully negotiated the promise of continued funding for Supplementary Road Funding for South Australia, of $40 million for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 Budgets ($20 million each financial year), which will provide another estimated $4.6 million for local councils in Mayo
- Successfully negotiated the reinstatement of $40 million of Supplementary Road Funding for South Australia in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 Budgets ($20 million each financial year), providing over $4.6 million for local councils in Mayo
Speeches and Questions in Parliament:
- Road infrastructure - Budget 2019 (3 April 2019)
- Question to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development – Reinstatement of Supplementary Road Funding (4 December 2018)
- South Australian road funding (10 May 2017)
- South Australian road funding and road safety (28 November 2016)
I have also asked Questions in Writing on the following topics:
- The Urban Congestion Fund
South coast bus services
Even before being elected, I recognised that the large populations across the south coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula face major problems with a lack of public transport services. After being elected, I undertook a public campaign and consultation process and negotiated directly with the State Government on the needs of our communities.
- Undertook broad public consultation and provided detailed findings to the former State Minister for Transport and Infrastructure
- Negotiated with the then State Government to dramatically improve the regularity and interconnection of south coast bus services between Goolwa, Middleton, Port Elliot, Victor Harbor, Mount Compass, and metropolitan Adelaide, especially for weekday commuters
Speeches in Parliament:
- Sharkie wins bus service switch to Seaford (19 February 2018)
- New south coast bus service offers best of both worlds (19 October 2017)
- MP explores hybrid model for South Coast bus service (18 June 2017)
- Better city bus link plan for the South Coast (13 June 2017)
- Huge show of support for commuter bus service from Victor Harbor to Adelaide (25 January 2017)
Victor Harbor Road and Main South Road
Victor Harbor Road and Main South Road are arterial roads from southern metropolitan Adelaide to the Fleurieu Peninsula and need to be further upgraded. I welcome the Main South Road upgrades announced and being delivered by State Government, although some infrastructure design issues still remain unresolved. I have called on the State Government to undertake a feasibility study on upgrading Victor Harbor Road to double-lanes, but am also actively encouraging the State Government to act now to improve safety of one of South Australia's most accident-prone roads.
- Secured a commitment from the Federal Government that they would consider co-funding a duplication of Victor Harbor Road if the State Government were to put forward a business case with cost estimates
Speeches in Parliament:
- Question to the Deputy Prime Minister - Upgrading Victor Harbor road (14 February 2018)
- Victor Harbor road funding and road safety (28 November 2016)
- MP keeps fighting for upgrades to Victor Harbor Road (18 April 2019)
- Stop kicking the can down Victor Harbor Road (4 July 2018)
- NXT calls on Feds to fund their share of Victor Harbor Road (15 February 2018)
Addressing freight costs and high cost of living for Kangaroo Island
The costs of living on Kangaroo Island are high, and one of the main reasons is due to the high freight costs across the 'watergap'. High freight costs also affect Islanders seeking to ship their products - whether by water or by air - to off-Island markets.
The current contract between the State Government and Sealink is up for renewal in 2024 and will provide the best opportunity to secure a better deal on freight for the Island. However, I am committed to exploring other options that lead to a reduction in the cost of getting freight off the Island, or otherwise compensate Islanders for their unavoidably high cost of living. For example, I have long campaigned for a Zone Tax Offset which would help compensate Islanders for the challenges they face in being so remote.
- Successfully secured a Productivity Commission review into tax relief for remote communities, including offshore islands such as Kangaroo Island
- Rebekha welcomes review into tax help for Kangaroo Island (28 November 2018)
- Call for Government to reduce KI airport debt burden (3 July 2018)
- Rebekha challenges Government to deliver tax relief for Kangaroo Island (9 June 2018)
- MP meets Minister to talk tax relief for KI (25 August 2017)
- Driving down Island transport costs (17 November 2016)
Upgrading the South Eastern Freeway
The South Eastern Freeway is becoming increasingly busy from freight and commuters, with freight between South Australia and the eastern States expected to double within the next 20 years. A long-term plan that continually upgrades this arterial road is thus absolutely critical. The next step is to deliver on the repeated promise from State and Federal Government for a third sliplane between Crafers and Stirling.
- Secured a commitment from the Deputy Prime Minister to commence and complete an effective third lane on the SE Freeway between Crafers and Stirling
Speeches and Questions in Parliament:
- Question to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development – Upgrade of SE Freeway between Crafers and Stirling (4 December 2018)
Extending the railway to Aldinga
The successful Seaford railway extension needs to be extended further south through to the densely populated areas of Aldinga and Aldinga Beach. The next step is for the current State Government to commit to the extension and to compulsorily acquire the land to safeguard the route that an extension would take.
Upgrading the Granite Island Causeway
Victor Harbor's economic livelihood is strongly reliant on tourism, and Granite Island is an iconic tourism attraction. The Granite Island Causeway is feeling its age and repeated closures have made it clear that we need a new structure built to modern standards. I have urgently encouraged the State and Federal Government to undertake the work necessary to safeguard Victor Harbor's economy and heritage.