Bolding has been added by me.
Page 902 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Thursday, 19 June 2014
MILLSWOOD RAILWAY STATION
Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (14:37): My question is to the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure. With 1 July looming and no sign of any upgrade of the work at the Millswood train station, will the minister confirm that Millswood station will reopen by 1 July, as promised before the state election?
The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN (Lee—Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Minister Assisting the Minister for Planning, Minister Assisting the Minister for Housing and Urban Development) (14:38): Thank you to the member for Mitchell for his question and his kind concern about transport matters; it's not something that we're used to from members opposite. In fact, I am particularly glad they are showing such interest in our election commitment, given that it was one of the very few election commitments involving transport. I say few because we were the only side to put any commitments to the electorate, leading up to the election, that involved the transport portfolio. They completely ignored transport services and public transport services in the lead-up to the last election. Sixty million passenger transport services provided every year, 200,000 people nearly every day catching it, and not one policy.
Mr PISONI: Point of order: the question was specific to Millswood railway station and the government's promise before the election to have it open by 1 July.
The SPEAKER: Yes, the point of order is made. The minister is not receiving any protection from the chair because he is acting as a provocateur.
Mr van Holst Pellekaan: He's filling an obvious gap.
The SPEAKER: He is, yes. That's a good point, member for Stuart. Minister.
The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Can I also thank the member for Unley for injecting himself into this debate, given that neither he nor anybody else raised anything to do with Millswood despite it being adjacent to his electorate.
Ms CHAPMAN: Point of order. The minister is defying your ruling.
The SPEAKER: No, actually I did not make a ruling.
Ms CHAPMAN: You did, that you would not give him any protection. You said that you would not give him any protection and he—
The SPEAKER: And neither I am giving him any protection. Minister.
The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN: I apologise, Mr Speaker. I, unfortunately, got that wrong. I understand that it is actually in the member for Unley's electorate, not adjacent to it. Mr Speaker, we are very concerned with providing better public transport services to South Australians. The
responsibility falls to us because nobody else is game to take it up in this chamber, apparently. We made this commitment very specifically because we want to make sure that we continue to expand our services to people who might want to take up the option of using rail services in South Australia. We are committed to providing a 12-month trial at the Millswood train station. We will meet that commitment.
Can I just say, it is not our intention to provide a reopening of this train station before the necessary works to make sure that it is safe and appropriate for people to use. So, we will be meeting the commitment and we will be meeting it in such time as it is safe and appropriate for people who want to use those services.
The SPEAKER: You would like more then: a supplementary.
MILLSWOOD RAILWAY STATION
Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (14:41): I can't stop laughing, sir. When will this work start, so that it is safe and disability friendly at the Millswood station?
The SPEAKER: Minister for Transport.
The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN (Lee—Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Minister Assisting the Minister for Planning, Minister Assisting the Minister for Housing and Urban Development) (14:41): It's not just a matter of it being disability friendly: it's a matter of it being suitable for all patrons of public transport to use. I am advised that the current platform is some 38 centimetres, which is 15 inches, I understand, lower than where it should be for a train to be servicing that station. I am advised that departmental officers, or indeed officers who may have been engaged by the department, have been out there undertaking early works to determine how best to raise the platform. These works that are necessary to enable us to return services to the Millswood station to be undertaken.
At the same time, we are also working on developing a timetable which will provide not just stopping at the Millswood train station but also some other benefits to users of the Belair rail line. We will do that as expeditiously as possible, but we certainly won't be hurrying the process and risking the safety of people who may want to use these services. This project will be delivered. That's our commitment. We will deliver our commitment, just as we will continue improving public transport services throughout metropolitan Adelaide, because nobody else in this chamber, particularly over that side, seems to be interested in doing the same.
The SPEAKER: Before we come to the member for Mitchell's second supplementary, I warn the member for Unley for the first and for the second time, and I call to order the members for Hartley, Mount Gambier, Morphett and Stuart. Member for Mitchell.
MILLSWOOD RAILWAY STATION
Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (14:43): Given this was meant to be finished by 1 July but you are having to push the date back, has there been any scoping on pricing for the raising of the platform to allow passengers to get on and off for a 12-month trial period?
The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN (Lee—Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Minister Assisting the Minister for Planning, Minister Assisting the Minister for Housing and Urban Development) (14:43): Once the detailed engineering and design works have been done for the platform raising and the removal of the existing shelter and replacement with a new shelter, lighting and other upgrades that are required, we will bring back a final pricing. We did release an amount of some $400,000 or so. We would like to be able to deliver the upgrade and the opening of the station within that budget, but we will have to wait and see the extent of the works that are required.
The SPEAKER: I have allowed the member for Morialta to interject with impunity today because, having reviewed Hansard yesterday, he did have something of a point about the Premier's answer but, as they say in the classics, 'Sometimes one man must suffer for the people.' The member for Colton.