Independent Announcement

Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:55): Earlier today, I announced that I will be running as an Independent at the next State Election. My electors from across the entire community recognise the important role an independent has in holding the Government of the day to account, and that is what I have done and that is what I will continue to do.

So what have we achieved to date as an Independent?

We have saved the Mitcham Service SA centre after multiple ambiguous announcements from the State Government which created uncertainty around the future deliver of services at the Mitcham location, the electorate came together, fought, rallied and the Government announced and backtracked on their decision to close the centre in my community but, of course, also in Prospect and Modbury as well.
We protected our bus services and local public transport. Back in June 2020 when the State Government foolishly announced that it would remove key Blackwood bus services from the electorate, we as a community mobilised, we ran campaigns, we got loud, we got heard and we defended the right of public bus users in my community. Once again the Government announced that they would no longer pursue these cutbacks to the bus network.

We have preserved the historic Waite Gatehouse. Once again when the State Government foolishly announced that it would be demolishing the State Heritage listed gatehouse in late 2020, my office mobilised the community which resulted in the Government backflip on the decision of allocating of over $1 million to move, reconstruct and repurpose the building as a community volunteer centre and a museum within the Urrbrae historic precinct.

Of course, myself and my office were instrumental in expanding the sports voucher scheme. We successfully lobbied the State Government to expand the scheme from not only being excessive with the primary school age students to include families of middle school students from 2022.

And right now, and hopefully across this House to unite and come together to expand that sports voucher scheme for Scouts and Girl Guides to included in the sport and recreational subsidy program. There is no reason why many Scouting family across our State are being denied to this scheme.

Of course, it is not just what one does in this place that is important, it is what one seeks to do and what one will do. We will continue to fight on many key local community infrastructure fronts. Since the State Government scrapped its election promise on GlobeLink, I have continued to advocate for both rail and road freight to be diverted out of the Adelaide Hills and Mitcham Plains.

I am very pleased to welcome in the State Budget this year, the joint State and Federal Government to deliver a $202 million bypass at Truro and, importantly, a $10 million planning study and bypass case for the Greater Adelaide Freight Bypass. We will continue to lobby against plans to increase freight usage on Cross Road and our suburban communities and I urge the members for Unley, Elder and Badcoe to join me in that fight to ensure that Cross Road does not become a freight corridor.

It is important to defend and look after civil liberties in this place and the strength of our economy and I think many constituents in my area are tired of the underperforming economy and civil liberties being eroded. As an Independent, I will, of course, always challenge the need for some of the extreme measures that we have seen recently in relation to restrictions and lockdowns to ensure that we always get that right balance between appropriate health measures and the rights of individuals.

Many times in this parliament over my course here, I have expressed the need for sensible economic decisions to ensure that our Budget always has the appropriate fiscal management. As outlined in an Auditor-General report from 2015, a sensible net debt for school target was set at a maximum ratio of 35 per cent to ensure that we are financially responsible and maintain our AAA credit rating. Today, that same measure is running at 129.6 per cent.

We was always must be mindful of future generations' ability to repay debt. It is prudent we carefully control our deficit levels in the future and appropriately managed public debt. We have to look after our small business operators. We have to ensure that many people are not affected by regressive land tax changes and we must ensure that South Australia keeps its share of GST revenue.

I am focused on the real issues for South Australians that need to be addressed. Public schools and hospital funding, ramping, fruit fly outbreak and timber shortages have all been issues I have raised in this place. Of course, since being in this place, I have worked constructively to work for our community to ensure that we have fantastic community centres, well-funded sports grounds ensuring that our health precincts remain vitally accessible, such as the Repat, which I have been so keen to see thrive. Of course, it is about listening to what the community needs and wants and how we can best deliver that and I know that I can do that for my community.