It again has been a busy month in the Goyder electorate, culminating in another successful Yorke Peninsula Field Days at Paskeville this week.
I enjoyed meeting with so many visitors to our stand, and commend the Field Days committee on a very well run event.
I was pleased that Liberal Leader Steven Marshall was able to attend for a day, and that Deputy Leader Vickie Chapman MP was also in the electorate the previous week, Vicki’s visit including a forum at the Minlaton Town Hall on 20 September. This was a valuable opportunity for locals to discuss issues, and to also meet with Liberal candidate for Narungga Fraser Ellis.
The State Liberals continue to release policy in the lead up to the March 2018 election, with announcements this month including initiatives in the fight against drug addiction, extra powers for police to counter terrorism, cuts to the Emergency Services Levy, improved infrastructure strategic planning, speed camera auditing, retaining the Repat Hospital, and assistance for primary producers to deal with access to their land from mining companies.
Of the latter, Liberal Party consultation has identified the clear need for landholders to have an independent advocate holding statutory authority powers to ensure their rights are effectively represented and enforced where necessary. If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal government will increase funding to the office of the Small Business Commissioner to help farmers understand their rights, and will prescribe an industry dispute code to save them costly legal bills.
Many local veterans will welcome the effort to retain the Repat site as a health precinct. This commitment follows the significant “Investing in Country Health” Liberal policy announced by Steven Marshall in July, which will help fix the backlog of maintenance in country hospitals and, importantly, empower Health Advisory Councils to ensure local funds meet local needs.
There is current concern about the future of Wallaroo Hospital, including the impact of the recent decision to remove surgical services at Yorketown Hospital and transfer them there. In response to concerns raised, a public forum is planned for 30 October at Wallaroo (7 pm), with guest speakers including Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade MLC and local GP Dr Graham Morris. I applaud the efforts of Fraser Ellis who initiated the planning for this forum, and encourage everyone concerned about rural health services to attend and make your voice heard.
I was pleased to hear Jamestown Hospital is to receive a $250,000 upgrade of its operating theatre.
In other news, I am advised construction of the roundabout at the junction of the Copper Coast Highway and the Yorke Highway is to commence on 9 October and be completed by January 2018 – but I still have serious concerns about how effective it will be -- and that work has been scheduled to begin in November on the pipeline to connect Warooka and Point Turton to SA Water’s mains water supply network.