Northern Adelaide Food Park

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS(14:53:55): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Automotive Transformation a question regarding the government's position on the duplication of Elder Smith Road at Mawson Lakes following the announcement of the northern food hub.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: Recently, the Premier announced the location of the northern Adelaide food hub at Parafield Airport, with transport links to the site off Main North Road and Elder Smith Road. Shortly before this announcement, the government released its updated Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan, with the medium (five to 15 years) to longer term (15 plus years) priority allocated to Elder Smith Road duplication and extension remaining unchanged.

This determination was made despite the fact that traffic volumes on Elder Smith Road have increased by more than 300 per cent since its construction in 2006 and that the road is operating at saturation levels during the peak hour. The City of Salisbury has long identified the duplication extension of Elder Smith Road as a priority action for the area, identifying a full upgrade of the road in the council's 2014 priorities document and in its recent response to the government's northern economic plan directions paper. Indeed, a provision for a road reserve and a recently gazetted Globe Derby surplus lands DPA has already been made to enable Elder Smith Road eventually to connect to Port Wakefield Road and all the way through to the recently announced northern connector.

I understand the council wrote to the government requesting the consideration of a more urgent upgrade to Elder Smith Road, to which the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure responded that, although heavy queuing exists in both the morning and afternoon peaks for all approaches, the intersection is operating correctly. These issues are already occurring before the significant increase in traffic we will have along this road upon the establishment of the northern food hub. The Northern Economic Plan states that a clear aim to prioritise targeted infrastructure projects is a way to:

strengthen and foster productive and accessible business and industries, as well as lay the foundation that can support medium and longer term economic activity.

Elder Smith Road clearly will be a crucial transport link for heavy transport vehicles accessing the food hub, and also potentially transporting goods out to locations via the northern connector. My questions are:

1.Will the minister commit to the duplication and extension of Elder Smith Road as part of the development of the recently announced northern food hub and construction of the northern connector?

2.Will the minister work with the City of Salisbury and other surrounding councils that are impacted to address the issues already facing users of this road prior to the development of the northern food hub?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER(Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)(14:57:13): I thank the honourable member for his question and his interest in matters to do with the Northern Economic Plan generally and the food park specifically, and I thank him for his past strong support of some of the actions the government is taking to address some of the problems that will be faced by northern Adelaide in the coming years as the automotive manufacturing sector winds down at the end of 2017.

As the honourable member has pointed out, one of the things that is being looked at as part of the Northern Economic Plan is a food park in northern Adelaide. The site was announced a couple of weeks ago and appears in the Northern Economic Plan. I also add that we are taking up a suggestion, which the honourable member made a few weeks ago, in relation to our tele town hall, in which we talk directly to residents in northern Adelaide. The honourable member asked us to look at whether we would extend it further than the three council areas we engaged originally, and I am pleased to inform him that, yes, we are looking at it now, so that was a good suggestion that we have taken up.

In relation to his specific two questions, I will answer the second one first: will we continue to liaise with the councils that are impacted by various projects? Absolutely; we work very closely with the Salisbury council, the Playford council and the Port Adelaide Enfield council on things that are affecting the development of the Northern Economic Plan and projects included in that.

In relation to specific roads, that is not my area. I am sure the honourable member would love me to make a very specific commitment right here and right now in another minister's portfolio area, but I am afraid, as I am sure he expects, I will have to disappoint him and not do that. But what I will commit to is that I will raise those matters with the Minister for Transport, who has a responsibility for those things.


The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS(14:59:12): I appreciate the answer; but does the minister concede that it is important, though, that Elder Smith Road is a very crucial part of the hub that has been announced and needs to be prioritised?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER(Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)(14:59:27): I know that possible future uses are not always taken into account when upgrades are looked at for roads and infrastructure, so I will certainly raise that with the Minister for Transport. I know all projects in the Northern Economic Plan are being looked at right across government. There is a cross‑government group that looks at all the projects that are being considered under the Northern Economic Plan, of which this is one.