Northern Connector

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 15:18 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Employment questions regarding Northern Connector jobs.

Leave granted. 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: The government has announced that the Northern Connector motorway will be built from concrete. In the same announcement, however, it noted that, of the 70 workers on site currently on the project, only seven are former automotive industry workers and, further, once construction begins, of the 480 jobs annually on the project 'at least half will be filled by northern suburbs residents'. Given this, my questions to the minister are: 

1.How many of the current predicted workers on this project are holders of 457 visas? 

2.Why is there only a mere 10 per cent of the current workforce on the Northern Connector that have been sourced from the hundreds of former automotive industry workers? 

3.Why is the government committing to only half the predicted workforce to come from the very adjacent northern suburbs? 

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:19 ): I thank the honourable member for his question and his advocacy for the northern suburbs of Adelaide. As I stated earlier, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for your mates in Canberra closing down the auto industry. We wouldn't be here: everyone knows it, and we wouldn't be here. 

The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins interjecting: 

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: I would challenge the honourable member to show us what his mob have done to have such an ambitious target to fill it with half of workers from a specific area. Only 10 per cent, he complains, are— 

The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins: How much of it is funded by your government? 

The PRESIDENT: We will just wait for Mr Dawkins to finish. Have you finished? Thank you. Minister. 

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: Quite frankly, the Hon. John Dawkins is a disgrace suggesting that an ambition of 50 per cent is not something we should be doing. We will commit to having the ambition of 50 per cent—I don't care what he says. If he thinks it should be less than that, that is not something we will aim for. We will look to fill it with auto workers. As he said, already it is 10 per cent of former auto workers, and I am pleased that my colleague the Minister for Transport has such an ambitious target for the people of this state and for the people of the north.