The Marshall Liberal Government is inviting councils to apply for grant funding to improve our public
spaces, create more green open space and support local jobs.
Applications have today opened for the 2019-20 funding rounds of the Marshall Government’s Open
Space and Places for People grant programs.
The programs are being taken in a new direction with a greater focus on preserving and creating
more green and open space throughout Adelaide and regional South Australia.
“This is a great opportunity to green our city and to keep Adelaide as one of the most liveable cities
in the world,” said Minister for Planning Stephan Knoll.
“This fund will help to build better parks, plant more trees and increase public open space.
“Open public and green spaces are so important to the fabric and identity of a local community,
whether that’s in metropolitan Adelaide or a regional town.
“We are looking for projects that deliver this quality public open space, particularly in areas of
growth and renewal.
“Funding will be targeted for projects which also provide a diverse range of open spaces with both
active and passive opportunities and promote urban greening and climate change resilience.”
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said last year the Marshall Government invested
$13.3 million to help fund 31 projects through the Open Space and Places for People programs.
“We are continuing to create more open green public spaces throughout our city and regions to
improve liveability,” said Minister Speirs.
“The Marshall Government is growing Adelaide’s green credentials and through this program we will
help deliver projects that preserve and grow our open spaces.
“We are delivering Glenthorne National Park, opening up our reservoirs for recreational activities
and fixing our metropolitan beaches as we continue to make Adelaide a greener liveable city.”
Grants from last year’s round included:
• $1.9 million for the redevelopment of main street and town centre precincts in Victor Harbor,
Clare, Kingston SE and Strathalbyn;
$1.7 million for Stage One of the City of Holdfast Bay’s Jetty Road upgrade;
• $1.7 million for the City of Marion’s Tonsley Greenway project (a cycling and walking path
connection to the Tonsley Innovation District and the Flinders Hub);
• $842,000 to support the development of safe shared use trails and trail precincts in Mount
Barker, Port Lincoln and Port Wakefield.
• $577,500 for the City of West Torrens’ redevelopment of the playspace at Kings Reserve in
the western suburbs.
The Marshall Liberal Government has built a $12.9billion pipeline of infrastructure works over the next four years to create and support thousands of local jobs.
The massive $12.9 billion pipeline of infrastructure works is the most over a four-year period in South Australia’s history, underpinning the local construction industry and supporting the almost 80,000 construction jobs in South Australia.
The record infrastructure spend comes as the first sod is being turned today on the Paradise Park ‘n’ Ride that will create 78 full time equivalent jobs.
Since March 2018, the Marshall Government has secured billions of dollars for key road and infrastructure projects including;
•$354 million Regency to Pym Project;
•$220 million towards Gawler Line Electrification Project;
•$231 million Torrens Road (Ovingham) grade separation;
•$171 million Brighton Road (Hove) grade separation;
•$98 million to upgrade the intersection of Magill Road and Portrush Road;
•$61 million to upgrade the intersection of Cross Road and Fullarton Road;
•$60 million to upgrade the intersections of Goodwood/Springbank/Daws Roads;
•$35 million to upgrade the intersection of Glen Osmond Road and Fullarton Road;
•$19 million to upgrade the intersection of Main North Road and Nottage Terrace;
•$19 million to upgrade the intersection of Grand Junction/Hampstead/Briens Roads; and,
•$13 million to upgrade the intersection of Main North, Kings and McIntyre Roads.
•$200 million Joy Baluch Bridge Duplication Project;
•$122.5 million Port Wakefield Overpass and Duplication Project;
•$250 million to upgrade the Princes Highway;
•$143 million for road upgrades, including additional overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing;
•$125 million for the Eyre Highway to upgrade South Australia’s section from Port Augusta to Perth –including $32 million to upgrade Eyre Peninsula Roads;
•$87.5 million to upgrade the Sturt Highway from Renmark to Gawler;
•$62.5 million to upgrade the Barrier Highway from Cockburn to Burra;
•$92 million Victor Harbor Road Duplication; and,
•$55 million Horrocks Highway Corridor Upgrade.
“The State Liberal Government is investing a record $12.9 billion in infrastructure to build a stronger economy and create more jobs,” said Premier Marshall.
“We’re not just building roads, we’re also building schools, hospitals and affordable housing – our infrastructure build underpins a host of sectors within our economy and will improve the lives of everyday South Australians.
“There is more infrastructure work in the pipeline than ever before, and this massive investment will underpin thousands of construction jobs for years to come.”
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said the constructive working relationship with the Federal Government had paid dividends for South Australians.
“We are delivering billions of dollars to build for new road and infrastructure projects that will create jobs, reduce travel times and help save lives on our roads,” said Minister Knoll.
“By working constructively with the Federal Government we have secured billions of dollars to bust congestion in metropolitan Adelaide and fix over 1,000 kilometres of regional roads.
“We are also delivering key public transport projects including more Park ‘n’ Rides and the Gawler line electrification project, as well as big regional infrastructure projects like the Port Wakefield Overpass and Joy Baluch Bridge Duplication projects.
“Over the coming years we are going to see a transformation on South Australian roads as we upgrade intersections across the city to reduce travel times and fix our country roads.”
Member for Hartley Vincent Tarzia said the local community would be delighted to see works start on the long-awaited Paradise Park ‘n’ Ride.
“In a massive win for the local community, the Paradise Park ‘n’ Ride will now have 818 car parks, exceeding our election commitment of 775 spaces,” said Mr Tarzia.
“In addition, provision has been made for 20 motorcycle and 32 bicycle parking spaces.
“This massive upgrade will help get cars off the street and encourage more people to catch the O-Bahn service.”
A new app designed to help keep South Australians safe and informed during risky bushfire conditions is now available for smart phone users.
Alert SA is an emergency services smart phone application that provides timely, relevant bushfire information to communities across the state.
Based on the hugely successful Fires Near Me app in New South Wales, Alert SA combines data from the South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS) and the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS)and displays bushfire alerts, warnings and updates as well as Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Ban information.
Users are also able to create multiple Watch Zones, specifying areas across the state which are of interest to them.
The Alert SA app has undergone extensive user acceptance testing to ensure it is reliable and able to withstand large volumes of users during peak periods.
Minister for Emergency Services Corey Wingard said it is pleasing to have the app ready for the 2019/2020 bushfire danger season.
“A lot of hard work has gone into ensuring South Australia has an app that works and will withstand high demand when it is needed most,” the Minister said.
“With a run of hot days on the horizon it is reassuring to know there is another tool in the toolbox when it comes to keeping informed about bushfire risks.
“But it is important to never rely on just one source of information. Other channels should be used including the CFS website, social media, radio and talking to friends and family.”
The South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission (SAFECOM) Chief Executive Dom Lane said the project team will continue to build the Alert SA app.
“We will be adding to the app to include other hazards like floods and storms and those releases are planned throughout 2020,” Mr Lane said.
South Australians can download the Alert SA app now from the Apple App Store or the google Play Store.
The Alert SA website also provides further information about the app including useful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for users.
Health care for patients who are ready to leave hospital but not quite ready to return home will be turbo-charged with a $30 million funding boost as the Marshall Liberal Government continues to reactivate the Repat.
The extra $30 million will provide dozens of jobs during construction works and create facilities for people with dementia and care transition requirements.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said a 12-bed specialist ward for older patients with complex medical care needs will be created, as well as a 26-bed care transition facility, to create a South Australian hub for people living with dementia and those transitioning to home or an aged care facility following acute care treatment.
“Some of the State’s most vulnerable patients with complex care needs are currently being cared for in hospitals, which we know is often not the most appropriate place for their care,” Minister Wade said.
“We are investing more in the reactivated Repat site to create a dedicated ward that provides specialised treatment for older people with acute medical conditions.
“By refurbishing and modifying Ward 20, we will provide a 12-bed ward that will move these complex patients out of general hospital wards so they can receive more appropriate support and care.”
Ward 20 on the Repat site will be reconfigured into two six-bed pods to provide the specialised treatment of complex dementia patients who are assessed as having acute medical conditions.
Funding will also go towards the refitting of heritage wards for the construction of 26 care transition beds, which form part the first phase of works to be completed next year.
This will allow for the future redevelopment of the Specialist Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury Services.
This takes the total investment from both the Marshall and Morrison Governments on the Repat site to almost $110 million.
Minister Wade said the repurposed Ward 20 will be located alongside the new 18-bed Neurobehavioral Unit and the 78-bed HammondCare Dementia Care Facility at the Repat.
“With dementia rates rising more than 12 per cent over the past five years, we are committed to creating a hub that provides the absolute best care for all dementia patients,” Minister Wade said.
“The Dementia Care Facility, the 12-bed ward, and the Neurobehavioural Unit for the most complex dementia patients will create a cluster of dementia and older person health care services at the Repat.
“By saving the Repat, the Government has been able to provide additional capacity in the health system and help us move the patients currently stuck in general hospitals to more appropriate care.
“We are improving South Australia’s health services to ensure all patients with dementia receive the care they need, in the most appropriate setting.”
Of the $29.8 million capital funding, $9 million is new funding for Ward 20, and the additional $20 million for refurbishments and site works is reallocated from savings from other health projects.
Ward 20 will transfer services at Noarlunga Hospital to take advantage of co-location and provide specialist services for people with dementia.
The refurbishment and modification of Ward 20 is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
CFS and Bushfire Season
Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:38): Today, I rise to talk about the Country Fire Service and the vital role that it plays in keeping our community safe, especially during the bushfire season. In recent days, we have been dealt a timely reminder of just how dangerous bushfires can be, with fires all across the eastern seaboard, as well as here in South Australia, especially in Port Lincoln. I would like to echo the comments made by the CFS and remind everyone how important it is to be bushfire ready and of the steps that we can all take to ensure the safety of our families and our community.
In my own electorate of Waite, we are fortunate to have the fantastic team of volunteers from the Sturt CFS group keeping us safe this bushfire season. Members of the Sturt group stop what they are doing and give up their own time to assist others, day after day, week after week, year after year. The Sturt group recently sent a contingent to New South Wales and Queensland to help fight the bushfires over there. I understand, unless I am corrected by the Minister for Emergency Services, that over 200 South Australians have gone to the Eastern States to assist in that most important task, and that is obviously to fight the fires over there. A contingent from Belair and Eden Hills stations from my Sturt group have recently been in Port Lincoln as well helping the community of the member for Flinders.
Under the leadership of group captain Dale Thompson, the Sturt CFS group have been vocal advocates for bushfire safety and how families can prepare to ensure that their properties are safe as possible this bushfire season. This week Sturt CFS group posted an important reminder on its Facebook page that I would like to share here today. It says:
We are incredibly fortunate in my community to have avoided a major bushfire since the 1950s. We were unaffected by the devastation of Ash Wednesday in 1983 while many other areas were not so lucky.
This has led to many residents thinking our area is not a major risk, but this is not the case—our area has plenty of fuel that would ignite in the event of a fire, and a fire will eventually happen.
The Sturt CFS group is urging residents to clean up their properties to mitigate the risk of a fire.
It's everyone's responsibility to make sure their property is not a fire risk, and failure to properly clean up may put others in danger [and indeed the whole community].
Taking the time to clean up your property is a small price to pay for the safety of your family and neighbours, and if you are unable or unwilling to clean up, there are plenty of people who can be hired to do it for you.
I urge residents in my community to heed the advice of the CFS. The CFS also has a simple survival plan and a nine-step program for surviving a bushfire. These include having a five-minute bushfire plan; talking to your family, neighbours and friends about that plan; having flexibility in your plan; clearing around your property; having an emergency kit ready; knowing when to leave and where to go; listening to the weather and knowing when total fire bans are; subscribing to the CFS warning emails; and checking the radio, website, social media and news updates.
Increasing bushfire safety awareness is important and now more so than ever. As a recent CFS survey found, more than 40 per cent of young people were not bushfire ready, and just 16 per cent of 18 and 19 year olds were adequately prepared for a bushfire. Research conducted by the University of South Australia also found that 55 per cent of people living in bushfire danger zones would choose to wait and see instead of evacuating in the event of a bushfire.
The advice that my community constantly receives from the government and the advice that the CFS provides to South Australia is to leave and leave early in the event of a bushfire, and in those catastrophic fire days as well be on high alert and be prepared. More importantly, to do the right thing for yourself and for the community you live in because we just cannot rely on the CFS to be bushfire prepared. We need to be bushfire prepared as well.
The Marshall Liberal government takes bushfire safety very seriously, and of course we respect our CFS. This has been reflected in some of the recent funding announcements we have allocated to emergency services, including $5 million for the CFS project Renew, and provided a further $9.2 million to increase our state's aerial firefighting fleet.
More importantly, locally, on 23 November I once again will be hosting my CFS fundraising barbecue at Coles, Blackwood, together with my colleague the federal member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint, and the member for Davenport, Steve Murray, to raise funds for our local CFS group. I encourage everyone to come down, buy a snag, have a chat to the CFS and support a great community and a great organisation.
Road safety improvements in the Mitcham Hills Road Corridor are one step closer with the award of a planning and concept design tender to SMEC.
The State Government released a tender last month for planning and concept design works to upgrade the corridor, to improve safety and bust congestion.
The following junctions within the Mitcham Hills will be a focus:
Old Belair Road and James Road
Main Road and Russell Street
Shepherds Hills Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street
Community consultation will form an important part of the planning and concept design phase to ensure local residents and commuters have an opportunity to have their say on possible traffic solutions.
In the coming months the community will be invited to provide feedback through letter drops, surveys and information sessions.
Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said the local community would play an important role in the design process.
“If you regularly travel on Old Belair Road or James Road to get to work, to get the children to school or to get to the shops, then we want to hear from you so that together we can make the commute safer and easier for all motorists,” Ms Flint said.
“We know that local hills residents struggle to get onto Old Belair Road from James Road in morning and evening peak hour and that’s why we are fixing this intersection as part of our broader commitment to the Mitcham Hills Road Corridor.”
The Mitcham Hills Road Corridor will be upgraded thanks to a $40 million joint funding agreement between the Morrison and Marshall Liberal Government.
Member for Waite Sam Duluk said there was strong support within the local community for an upgrade to the intersection of Shepherds Hill Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street, as well as other junctions along the road corridor.
“Local residents consistently raise the issue of safety and congestion at the intersection of Shepherds Hills Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street with me and as someone who travels through the intersection every day, I know how dangerous and frustrating it can be,” Mr Duluk said.
“I look forward to working with our community to help inform the upgrade of this intersection, as well as the Main Road and Russell Street junction, as part of our $40 million joint state and federal commitment to fixing roads in the hills”.
After the planning and concept design phase has been completed, upgrades to the Main Road and Russell Street junction, the Shepherds Hill Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street intersection, and Old Belair Road and James Road will be delivered to improve safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
Mr DULUK (Waite) (15:31): Twice in two days I agree with the member for Giles. I rise to speak about dementia, a disease that we all hope never crosses our paths. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many of us will have to face dementia or will know someone who will be crippled by dementia at some point in our lives, whether it is a loved one or ourselves who fall victim and are inflicted by this disease.
Dementia is a term used to describe the symptoms of a large group of illnesses that cause a progressive decline in a person's functionality. It is characterised by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills that affect a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's, as many know, is the most common form of dementia. It is prevalent in our community and it is the second leading cause of death in Australia. In Australia, and very much so in South Australia, we have an ageing population, so we need to ensure that we have services in place to adequately care for anyone who has this illness.
Raising awareness assists to remove stigma and allows people an understanding of what someone is going through after a dementia diagnosis. People with dementia deserve to live with meaning and purpose, and we all have a role to play in ensuring that they do. No matter what stage they are at in their life, everyone deserves to be treated with respect and care. People living with dementia, along with vulnerable elderly people, should not be ostracised and should be part of the community. We were all outraged in this place and across the state by the lack of care at the former Oakden facility, which closed in the dying days of the former Labor government.
Since then, SA Health has been working towards implementing recommendations following the release of the Final Report of the Oakden Report Response Plan Oversight Committee. One of the key recommendations was to include the development of a neurobehavioural unit to provide specialist care for people living with the most extreme behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. I am proud to say that the neurological unit is being built on the former Ward 18 site at the Repat. It is part of the Marshall Liberal government's commitment to reactivating the Repat.
I was very proud to be part of the announcement of works for the construction and redevelopment of the Older Persons Mental Health Service at the Repat and the creation of South Australia's first dementia village. It was great to be at that launch with the Premier, who I know has been a key part of ensuring the reactivation of the Repat strategy.
Of course, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing in the other place, since the time he was a shadow minister and right up until today and I know well into the future, is going to ensure, together with my federal colleague Nicolle Flint, the federal member for Boothby, that the Repat is reactivated. I really must thank the Morrison federal government for providing much of the funding that is being seen and spent at the Repat site. Unfortunately, my other two colleagues who have been critical in supporting the reactivation of the Repat, the member for Elder and the member for Davenport, could not be there on that occasion.
This was the first significant demolition of works at the Repat as the precinct continues to be revitalised, with construction beginning inside the current C Block building. The C Block building will be the permanent base of the Southern Older Persons Mental Health Service community team. This is the first step towards providing the very best older persons mental health and dementia care in South Australia. The community mental health team is currently operating from a temporary location on site, while the first lot of construction works to refurbish and repurpose C Block is underway.
Families with experience of caring for someone living with extreme forms of dementia were consulted about what service should be included. Having people with lived experience participate in what new facilities are going to look like in South Australia is vitally important. The village has been designed to maintain a sense of self, home and community for people living with this terrible condition. There will be flexible spaces that allow families to be together, good connections between indoor and outdoor spaces and the creation of shared space that supports that safe interaction.
Agreement with the preferred private partner for the dementia village is to be finalised by the end of the year. The Marshall Liberal government is putting the best services possible in place for those living with dementia because we know that it is so important. More importantly, it is so important for us and for my community that we continue to reactivate the Repat as we do. It is fantastic to see the Repat being used as a hub for caring for those with dementia in our community.
Mr DULUK (Waite) (19:30): Today, I also rise to speak to the Land Tax (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill.
Mr DULUK: Sir, please, I have barely started and look at them going at me already.
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Waite has the call.
Mr DULUK: Sir, as you know, in the lead-up to the state election, our side—the Marshall team—said that it would be a reformist government, and I think in many senses we have continued down that very path. We said that we would bring a reformist agenda to government, one that is focused on the economy, one that is focused on creating jobs, which I know those opposite are so interested in, yet when we have good job statistics, as we recently had the other day, they do not celebrate them. In fact, they do not like good stats because it takes away their ability to counter—
Mr Malinauskas interjecting:
The SPEAKER: Leader of the Opposition!
Mr DULUK: —their poisonous attitude in their conversation with the people of South Australia.
The SPEAKER: Member for Waite, be seated for one moment. The Leader of the Opposition spoke to this part of the second reading speech unhindered pretty much. It was pretty good behaviour from the government side, and I ask the Leader of the Opposition to return the favour to the member for Waite.
Mr DULUK: Thank you so much, sir, for your protection. As you know, they hate good news. They hate it that job numbers are—
The SPEAKER: Order, member for West Torrens!
Mr DULUK: —positive for South Australia, as they were most recently. They hate that we are out there creating jobs, which we are. They hate it that we are out there reforming the VET sector and the TAFE sector, as the Minister for Education is doing, putting money back into the system, investing in jobs. They hate that. They hate good news.
We have had 16 years of Labor here in South Australia and we need to reform, and land tax is part of that reform we need to undertake. That is why we want to deliver tangible benefits to South Australians. We made a commitment to the people that we would lower taxes and other costs—and we are doing that. We have abolished payroll tax for so many small businesses in South Australia. Do those opposite thank us for that? No, it is something they never did, something they did not want to do. They do not like people who employ people. They only like the unions. That is what the Labor Party is in for.
We have put back the remissions on ESL and returned cost-of-living savings to households across South Australia. We remain committed to capping council rates, reducing electricity prices and cutting water bills, but there is plenty more to do and, as part of that, far-reaching land tax reform is very important. Major reform is never easy. It is not even popular and it is often controversial. However, that does not mean that we should take the easy road, as it says in the Good Book. We have an opportunity for true economic reform—
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:
The SPEAKER: The member for West Torrens is called to order.
Mr DULUK: —reform that will benefit South Australia's economy, reform that will benefit businesses large and small, reform that importantly will actually support mum-and-dad investors and, ultimately, reform that will benefit the community. Governments must have adequate revenue to provide essential services, but I believe in growing that pie—
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:
The SPEAKER: Member for West Torrens!
Mr DULUK: —to provide those essential services, rather than increasing taxes to deliver those essential services or privatising government assets, such as the Motor Accident Commission, which goes straight into general revenue, or ForestrySA, which goes straight into general revenue—which those opposite did so easily in their last term of government.
True economic reform will achieve this important end. I appreciate that there are many voices in the debate on the nature of the reforms that we should pursue, but there is one thing that has unanimous support—that is, urgent reform is necessary to send a clear message that South Australia is open for business, that South Australia is indeed the best place in the nation to invest in property and that South Australia is the best place to run a business large or small.
As we seek to grow our economy and repair 16 years of Labor mismanagement, the stakes are too high for any missteps. There is no doubt that the proposed land tax aggregation changes have caused significant angst and uncertainty amongst the community. I am the first to admit that the land tax journey to this place since the state budget announcement has not been an easy one and I, too, was an early critic of the process undertaken. At this point, I would like to thank the many constituents who have contacted my office, as indeed they have yours, sir. I include industry bodies such as the MTA, the UDAA and the MBA—
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis: UDIA.
Mr DULUK: —UDIA—who have contacted me seeking a better overall land tax reform package. I acknowledge many of their concerns. I know that the bill before us that we are debating this week and the additional amendments proposed yesterday by the Treasurer seek to address many of the concerns raised about thresholds, rates and trust aggregation. I am glad to see that we are proposing to adopt a more Victorian aggregation system as opposed to a Queensland one and also a provision where companies that act in a development capacity are treated as trusts in their proposals.
We must not lose sight of our objective to create a competitive advantage over other states. This was certainly the mantra when Sir Thomas Playford was premier of South Australia: to make South Australia a low-cost jurisdiction. It is something that South Australia has lacked since the Bannon Labor disaster of the State Bank. I know that members opposite do not like to talk about the State Bank disaster.
The SPEAKER: Order!
Mr DULUK: Since the State Bank disaster, this state has not enjoyed a competitive advantage in almost any industry, especially in state-based taxation across the nation, mainly due to the monumental catastrophic devastation that the State Bank had on South Australia so that it was unable to grow over that period of time. When it comes to tax policy, I really think that South Australia has been too dependent on the other states. We have been too dependent on grants from the commonwealth, and this needs to change.
We need to grow our pie in South Australia. We need to grow our economy and grow jobs. I know that this government is committed to growing jobs: Labor only pay lip service to jobs growth. We need to grow the pie so that we can become a competitive, low state tax jurisdiction. Sir, I am driven, as I know you are, by conservative principles that lower taxes give us a competitive advantage so that we can grow our economy. I want South Australia to be known as a state with a fair and competitive tax system, a state that is an attractive place in which to invest and live.
For South Australia to achieve its population and economic growth targets, we must make sure that there is a competitive advantage relative to other states in terms of affordable housing, and we must also ensure that the tax burden is not disproportionately applied across the community. We must strive to achieve a fair and equitable system. South Australia's existing land tax regime is unfair and broken.
What we are really dealing with now are the so-called reforms of former treasurer Foley. The member for West Torrens was in the parliament and the government at that time and presided over the mess we have today. When he was treasurer in the former Labor government, he did nothing to fix this land tax mess we are in. He sits there, and he has been the best friend—
Mr DULUK: —of the Property Council for the last six months.
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Finniss gesticulates. I ask the member for Waite to cease provoking the opposition, and I ask the opposition not to respond to that provocation.
Mr DULUK: Sir, as you know, the member for West Torrens served Her Majesty diligently as treasurer in the former Labor government. In that time, he did not once seek to reform land tax, but we are doing it. This government, the Marshall Liberal government, is doing it. We all know that, across South Australia, a top marginal rate of 3.7 per cent is too high and uncompetitive. Those opposite who do not want to support this bill are basically saying that it is okay to have a top land tax rate of 3.7 per cent.
The SPEAKER: Order! Member for Playford, be quiet!
Mr DULUK: If Labor oppose, they are saying, 'We want the highest land tax rates in the country.' They want the highest land tax rates in the country. It is unfair that South Australian investors pay the highest top marginal land tax rate in the nation. Land tax should be as broad as possible and as flat as possible. It is important that land held for investment purposes is treated the same from a tax perspective no matter what the ownership structure is. I think that is so important.
If we do not get it right, we will turn away investment and we will stifle economic growth. So the changes we are proposing—looking at lowering rates over time, looking at increasing tax-free thresholds—will help investors in South Australia and tell people that we are open for business. For years, investors have preferred to place their money in other states because of our historic 3.7 per cent top rate of tax. Over time, I believe we must also look further to reform the thresholds and rates paid for rateable land between the $755,000 mark and $1.1 million. It is important that we further lower the rate in that bracket.
The top tax rate must be reduced. We must release that handbrake on investment. The legislation before us aims to create a fairer land tax regime than the current arrangements. These changes will result in a lower tax burden for more South Australians. These changes will also result in a fairer tax burden on South Australians. The payment of tax should be equal; it should not be based on how you structure your investment. But investment should not be a dirty word; in fact, investment should be encouraged.
We should not view the holding of an investment portfolio, whether it is one property or many, as a negative thing. We should not be singling out property investors, many of whom come from multicultural communities, and bemoaning their hard work, risk taking and resourcefulness. Property investors are not only key cogs in keeping our economy moving but they are essential to our economic growth and prosperity. They underpin our residential rental market and are an important source of rental stock. They are an important driver of residential real estate prices. A flatter, broader tax system is essential to providing incentive and reward to those who take risks. A tax system that makes lawyers superfluous to investment decisions is important.
The Hon. V.A. Chapman interjecting:
Mr DULUK: I apologise to the Deputy Premier for that. A tax system that is world's best practice, a tax system that encourages investment in residential and commercial real estate, and the positive flow-on effects this activity would bring would be of enormous benefit to our economy.
Middle-tier investors should not be disproportionately affected by changes in comparison with smaller investors and the big end of town, and vice versa. Investors should not be disproportionately affected by the approach they take to structuring their investments. Government, industry and investors all agree: reform is essential, but we must reform land tax with a positive impact. Too few have carried the large land tax burden in South Australia for too long. It is time we pursued a pathway of reform that reduces red tape, is easy to understand and is economically more efficient.
I welcome the amendments as flagged by the Treasurer yesterday that see a further flattening of the land tax rate with a new 2 per cent threshold, which sits at $1.1 million at the moment and ultimately increases to $1.6 million by 2023-24. I am pleased to see that self-managed super funds are exempt from land tax and, of course, that the primary residence is exempt from land tax. I know that members opposite would love to charge land tax on the primary residence.
It is actually in the DNA of those who love the politics of envy, which is the Australian Labor Party, to talk about taxing the family home. That is what they want to do. I know that that is what the member for West Torrens has previously floated when he was on this side of the house. The member for Enfield shakes her head, but she knows that that is what the Labor Party wants to do to her constituents as well, and that is put a land tax on the primary home.
I am more comfortable with the trust surcharge aggregation provisions than those first announced, but I note that caution should used in the implementation of these provisions, ensuring that those who legitimately use trust structures are given time to transition under the new rules and are also aware of their obligations in regard to beneficiary nominations. I urge Treasury to proceed with caution as they go about implementing this new regime, should the bill pass the house.
I also welcome the legislated independent review of these land tax changes in 2023, and I hope an independent review will call for further reductions in land tax. If I could finish with a few words of caution, any scope in the budget to fast track these tax cuts must be utilised, and of course there is the Mid-Year Budget Review coming up later this year. The drawn out debate over land tax reform this year, I believe, has impacted to a certain extent market and investor confidence. I encourage my colleagues to remember the Marshall Liberal team's commitment to an open, transparent and accountable government.
The development industry and those who are developers play a vital role in housing affordability and jobs. Land tax reform should respect the contribution this sector makes to the South Australian economy. The current statewide revaluation being undertaken by the Valuer-General began under the former Labor government, which they hardly ever mention in dispatches. But the process by the independent Valuer-General, which began—
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:
The SPEAKER: Order!
Mr DULUK: —when the member for West Torrens was treasurer, may have a significant impact on the tax burden for all property owners. Investors may reach a tipping point in a concurrent process of land tax reform, if not managed carefully. We should not and we must not adopt a system that discourages multiple residential and commercial ownership in this state.
As we move forward with this legislation, we must tread carefully to avoid any unnecessary damage to the property sector and the state economy. To this end, I encourage my colleagues, the Treasurer and the Premier to work with key stakeholders to navigate our government's challenging reform agenda to ensure we deliver the best outcome for our state and for all South Australians. Anything less than that risks taking a wrecking ball to the economy.
Preparing for summer and the bushfire season
As we prepare for another summer and fire season, I wanted to remind you of the importance of ensuring you are ready for the potential of a power outage occurring during extreme weather.
Bushfires pose a very real danger in South Australia and have the potential to disrupt many of the essential services that we all need and take for granted. We believe there are several key things that you should consider in preparing for summer and bushfire season, including:
- if power is lost during extreme weather conditions, particularly in a bushfire situation, there is potential for an extended outage before electricity supply can safely be restored
- ensuring you have a battery-powered radio and that you keep your mobile phone and other devices charged, so you can stay in communication if you lose power
- being aware that solar PV panels will turn off if there is a loss of the grid-supplied electricity
- developing your bushfire plan if you live in a bushfire risk area, or an area served by power lines that run through bushfire risk areas, you need to consider your need for back-up electricity generation.
- consider investing in a car charger for your mobile phone
- Apply to receive updates through our free SMS service P@MP (Power at my place) by calling 13 12 61 or register for free at sapowernetworks.com.au and select the outages option.
For assistance in preparing an emergency or backup plan to manage these challenges we strongly recommend contacting the Red Cross on 1800 188 071 to obtain a copy of their emergency REDiPlan or www.redcross.org.au/get-help/community-services/telecross/telecross-redi
The first significant demolition works have begun at the Repat as the Marshall Government continues to revitalise the precinct.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the redevelopment for the Older Persons Mental Health Service was a key step towards revitalising the site, signalling a steady return to a thriving health precinct.
“We are committed to reactivating and revitalising what we know is a critical part of South Australia’s health system,” Minister Wade said.
“Labor closed the Repat, we’re building it.”
The Southern Older Persons Community Mental Health team is operating from a temporary location on site while the first lot of construction works to refurbish and repurpose the C Block building delivers their permanent base.
The community team will be located alongside the non-government dementia facility and the new 18-bed neurobehavioural unit and, forming the state’s first dementia village.
As a key initiative in implementing part of one of the recommendations of the Oakden report, the neurobehavioural unit is being built in the former Ward 18 building.
The Office for Ageing Well, in partnership with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, has been working to ensure the new dementia facilities and services planned for the site meets the needs of consumers and the expectations of their families, as well as the wider community.
“As part of this, individuals who have lived experience of caring for a family member with extreme symptoms of dementia have been involved in shaping the design for the new 18-bed neurobehavioural unit,” Minister Wade said.
Local Liberal member for Elder Carolyn Powers said: “There is considerable passion for the Repat and our community has fought hard to secure its future as a vibrant precinct."
“The upgrades we are seeing before us are helping to make sure the Repat will continue to help families through difficult times well into the future,” Mrs Powers said.
Member for Waite, Sam Duluk, said the upgrade was an important step in reactivating the Repat.
“The Repat was a key pillar of the southern health network for 75 years and thanks to the Marshall Liberal Government it will continue to play a significant role in the health care needs of all South Australians,” Mr Duluk said.
Director of the Office for the Ageing Well, Cassie Mason, said engaging families with lived experience had been instrumental in plans to develop the neurobehavioural unit as a fit-for-purpose facility.
“As part of the design process, we worked with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) Oakden families and families who currently have loved ones in care,” Ms Mason said.
“The experience, knowledge and perspective these family members and carers have contributed to the design work has been invaluable.
“Thanks to the engagement process, we were able to better understand the unique care needs of people living in the neurobehavioural unit and how we can enable people to continue living their best life.
“This included the addition of flexible spaces that allow families to bond and be together, good connections between indoor and outdoor spaces and the creation of shared spaces that support safe interactions.
“Alongside expert input, the first-hand knowledge from families has ensured the architects have a deep understanding on how to design a facility to support and improve outcomes for people with the most extreme behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
“This engagement is just the first step in creating a well-designed, person-centred Dementia Friendly Community at the Repat site.”
Engagement with a broader group of people with lived experience of dementia, including those living with dementia, will occur as plans for the neurobehavioural unit and broader precinct progress. The design plans will be publicly available following further consultation.
To view the full Office for the Ageing engagement report, visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/NBUConsumerEngagement