Question Time: Port MacDonnell Breakwater

Tuesday October 29, 2019

Mr BELL (Mount Gambier) (15:01): My question is to the Minister for Infrastructure. Has the minister responded to the Professional Fishermen's Association's request to visit the Port MacDonnell breakwater and address the issues raised? Can the minister commit to a date?

The Hon. S.K. KNOLL (Schubert—Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, Minister for Planning) (15:01): I thank the member for Mount Gambier for his question. I am certainly very keen to come and visit any time that the member for Mount Gambier extends his hospitality. I remember the last time I was down at Mount Gambier I actually did have the opportunity to go down to Port MacDonnell and to look firsthand at the accumulation of seaweed that exists there inside the marina area.

It is a vexed issue because it is one that we need to seek a longer term solution for. Certainly, there are suggestions around dredging to be able to deal with some of the short-term issues, but the reality is that seaweed is going to continue to collect in there because of the tidal flows, and trying to find a long-term solution to that is one that we are working on. I do know that the department has been in contact both with the council and the fishermen in relation to our desire to get at the heart of what's going on down there at Port MacDonnell.

It is an issue that exists there, but it does actually exist in a number of other areas. In fact, the member for Colton took me through West Beach to look at some of the issues there around the collection of seaweed. It is one that we are having to deal with. It does manifest itself at Port MacDonnell, but I do know that the department is actively working on that.

Member for Mount Gambier, I would be more than happy to come down to your electorate and help look through some of the massive commitments that the Marshall Liberal government has put on the table for the people of Mount Gambier, not least of which is the $10 million towards the local sport and recreation hub to help get that off the ground so that the people of the South-East can have a brand-new facility, one that the federal government came to the party on and one that we, early in our term in government, are helping to deliver on. Yes, $10 million of state money that needs to be recognised on every single occasion.

Also, to travel some of the roads on the way to Port Mac that are actually going to see some upgrades happen in the not too distant future to help bring the speed limit back up to 110, as we are driving down we can go past the area where the three new overtaking lanes are going to be delivered, which is an upgrade; just before your electorate, but pretty close, getting pretty close to your electorate. Member for Mount Gambier, I am more than happy to come down and visit.

As to a date, I tend to look one or two days in advance, but I am more than happy to make sure that it is something that gets on the schedule—not needing to wait for me to get down there and see it, as I have seen it firsthand, but making sure that we deliver a solution, given the fact that the season is now upon us, is very important.