Mr DULUK (Davenport) (15:51): It is hard to believe that there are only 27 sleeps until Christmas and 34 sleeps until the new year. The days, the weeks and the months—and even the years—pass so quickly. It is almost three years since I was elected to parliament and had the privilege and pleasure of joining you, Deputy Speaker, and other colleagues in this place. Like many people, I find myself at this time of the year reflecting on the year that has passed and looking forward into the future for what may come. The end of 2017 also brings the end of this term of parliament and it is an opportunity for me to reflect not just on the year but on my time as a member of the 53rd parliament.
Being a member of parliament is a unique job. Just like any other role, there are good days, there are bad days, but every day is, without question, a privilege. It is a privilege to represent the Mitcham Hills community and help bring attention to the needs of our area, such as the need to invest in and upgrade the local road network, or the immense value in adding a nature play space to Wittunga Botanic Garden. It is a project that will bring many benefits to the area and one I am very pleased to see is now being funded. Congratulations to Nature Play SA and the Botanic Gardens of South Australia on their hard work and support for this project.
It is a privilege to advocate on behalf of the interests of my community, such as the families affected by the government's decision to close the Autism Intervention Program at Blackwood Primary School and Blackwood High School, or those who have been affected by the closure of the Repat, including the hydrotherapy pool. I am very proud of the Liberal team's commitment to retain the Repat site as a health precinct for our community. It is a privilege to support grassroots campaigns such as Totally Locally, a community-led initiative to encourage people to support local businesses and locally produced goods and services.
It has also been a privilege to help pensioners secure their concession entitlements, a young family with their Housing SA application, a mother gain access to disability services for their child, a visually impaired school student to secure DECD funding assistance while completing an international exchange program, local residents who had their street mail Australia Post box reinstated, a student have his invoice waived after TAFE repeatedly ignored his request for assistance over a bungled invoice, and residents lost in the bureaucratic tug-of-war between Onkaparinga council and the environment department.
Life as an MP is certainly never dull. We are an important interface between the public and the government and the operations and machinations of government. We often play a critical role in helping people navigate their way through bureaucratic red tape. The opportunities I have had, the people I have met and the insight I have gained into the day-to-day issues and challenges that people experience have provided me with a deep appreciation of the policy settings South Australia desperately needs to improve the daily lives of my constituents and indeed of all South Australians; the need to remove red tape and to simplify processes; the need to invest in a health system that cares about people, not just buildings, one where we do not wait until people fall off the cliff but, rather, provide a helping hand so they can avoid the edge in the first place; the need to provide an education system where every child has an opportunity to excel; and the need to protect our most vulnerable members and treat them with the respect and care they deserve.
There are now only 109 sleeps until the next state election. There are 109 sleeps until every South Australian aged 18 years and over has an opportunity to have their say on the future of the state and on the future of their children and grandchildren. There are 109 sleeps until the people of South Australia have the opportunity to pass judgement and deliver a verdict to this incompetent Labor government.
They say that we get the government we deserve. Personally, I think that South Australia deserves the best, and that is why we need a Liberal government come 17 March. That is why I will be fighting every day for my community and to be their voice in the 54th parliament