NORTHERN CONNECTOR

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 14:46 ): I seek leave to make a
brief explanation before asking the Minister for Automotive Transformation
questions regarding the state government's 'Shared vision for northern
Adelaide' directions paper. 

Leave granted. 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: Yesterday the Leader of
the Opposition in another place called on the government to commit to finally
building the long-proposed Northern Connector road. The Northern Connector is a
vital piece of infrastructure that is proposed to make transit time and movement
of freight between Adelaide and the north easier and more efficient. In fact,
when the Northern Expressway was completed, the bridge which takes Port
Wakefield Road over the top of the current south-western entrance to the
Northern Expressway was designed to enable the expressway to connect onto the
proposed Northern Connector. 

When
looking at the government's own Northern Economic Plan directions paper, and in
particular the key opportunities for northern Adelaide, whilst residential
projects such as Buckland Park feature quite prominently, the Northern
Connector—a piece of infrastructure that could create and sustain hundreds of
jobs—is nowhere to be found. Given the minister's own foreword for the
directions paper is entitled 'Northern Adelaide—working together for jobs,
investment and a thriving community' and such a core piece of infrastructure is
missing from this document, my questions are: 

1.Why
were projects such as the suburb of Buckland Park included as key opportunities
in the directions paper, but the Northern Connector, a key piece of
infrastructure for the existing northern suburbs, was not? 

2.Will
the minister commit to including the construction of the important Northern
Connector as part of the government's Northern Economic Plan? 

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister
for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation,
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:48 ): I thank the honourable
member for his very important question and his ongoing and genuine interest in
matters to do with northern Adelaide and the economic prosperity and vibrancy
of the northern suburbs. I am glad the directions paper has created debate and
interest—that is exactly what it was designed to do—so I thank the honourable
member, who I am quite sure has read that paper very thoroughly, so I can
expect more questions about it in the future. Certainly that was one of the
aims of the paper to create interest from community and industry. 



I think
he is referring to the sample in the first few pages which has a map with
potential projects that may occur, and the one that he mentions is a very
important project. In a perfect world governments would be able to do many
projects and upgrade infrastructure. The Northern Connector is a project that
certainly has been talked about and would require the federal government to
work with the state government to make that occur, but I absolutely agree with
the honourable member that the Northern Connector would be an important piece
of infrastructure that would aid in the development of the northern suburbs. I
can assure him that that will be kept in mind as we develop this plan and as we
continue discussions with the federal government. Some of the project mentions
were just that: just a sample. Something not mentioned doesn't mean that it's
not something that is desired or contemplated by governments.