The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (15:29): It is a pleasure for me to share with the house what happened in my electorate in the Upper Spencer Gulf on Thursday and Friday last week. It was absolutely outstanding to be able to host my government member colleagues—
Mr Malinauskas: The basketball stadium convention, the basketball stadium organising committee.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!
The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: —in Port Augusta and in Port Pirie. It was a fantastic event. We managed to meet with many community members. We managed to organise some visits to some key projects in the area. My colleagues were able to visit the new bridge duplication project in Port Augusta. We were able to go to Sundrop Farms. We were able to go to the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden as well. We were able to have a look at the port of Port Pirie, and I know that was a particularly popular event. Flinders Ports took some of my colleagues out on a pilot boat on the water to be able to give them a view of the area. There was a tour of Nyrstar as well.
But perhaps the most important things we did were the two community meetings, where we were able to meet with community members in Port Pirie and Port Augusta. It is always difficult because all of us would like to meet with as many people as possible, but it is not possible to see everybody on every trip, so I am sure there will be other visits and other opportunities for my colleagues to meet with people there.
It was also a pleasure to be able to have our own normal sets of meetings in Port Augusta and Port Pirie at the absolutely outstanding sporting facilities that exist there. In Port Augusta, we met at the Central Oval sporting facility, which is a jewel in the crown, if you like, in the town, particularly from a sporting capacity. Similarly, we met in Port Pirie at the Memorial Oval facility—
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Leader! It is out of order to interject.
The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: —another outstanding jewel in the crown, if you like, for the Port Pirie community from a sporting perspective. They are two fantastic places.
It was also lovely to be able to be able to share an announcement with the people of the Upper Spencer Gulf about a $22 million package to support the Port Augusta City Council with regard to the demolition of the old Great Western Bridge, something that had been on the cards for many, many years—in fact, before we came into government—for the upgrade of the wharf in Port Augusta.
The wharf runs parallel to the shoreline on the east side of the gulf and is another project that has been on the cards for many years, including since before we came into government, for the development of a brand-new swimming and fishing jetty/pontoon on the east side of the gulf in Port Augusta near the foreshore, so there are some really fantastic announcements.
It was also fantastic in both cities to be able to receive presentations from local government. In Port Pirie, the Mayor of Port Pirie came and spoke with every single government colleague, including government MPs and government ministers. In Port Augusta, the mayor, unfortunately, was out of town for work on the Nullarbor in his job working on the railways with Pacific National, but we were very fortunate to have the Deputy Mayor of Port Augusta and the CEO of the council come and present similarly.
In both instances, they were able to share some of the achievements of their council and some of the challenges that their councils face and also some of the things that each of those councils would like to see state and federal governments do to support them in their work on behalf of local people.
It was a truly fantastic two days. I thank my colleagues for the time and effort they put in to come to Port Augusta on Thursday morning for a set of meetings and visits and Thursday afternoon for our own meetings among ourselves and a community meeting in the evening. Similarly, but in reverse, in Port Pirie we had our own meetings, including with the council on Friday morning. Friday afternoon kicked off with a community meeting and then out and about around various projects.
I am particularly pleased that my colleagues were able to see the challenges associated with the ageing wooden marine infrastructure in Port Augusta and similarly get a better understanding of the challenges in Port Pirie with regard to lead abatement and the work we are doing to significantly upgrade the program that has been in place there from the governments. They were two very good visits.
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