WATER INFRASTRUCTURE

Wednesday 09 March, 2016

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (15:30): As we have seen this week, under this state Labor government South Australia's water infrastructure is being partly neglected in parts of my area. It is unacceptable for SA Water to oversee a century-old crumbling pipe system while it delivers record dividends to this state Labor government. With the increased financial strain and financial burden on South Australian families, you would think the least that this government could do is ensure that water infrastructure is maintained and, when it does fail, that those families be at least compensated.

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (15:30): As we have seen this week, under this state Labor government South Australia's water infrastructure is being partly neglected in parts of my area. It is unacceptable for SA Water to oversee a century-old crumbling pipe system while it delivers record dividends to this state Labor government. With the increased financial strain and financial burden on South Australian families, you would think the least that this government could do is ensure that water infrastructure is maintained and, when it does fail, that those families be at least compensated.

I visited residents affected by floods created by the burst water mains on Monday night. I have asked questions of this government in the house, and I will continue to assist residents wherever I can on this matter.

I rise to speak on a recent series of burst water mains that have actually left areas of my electorate, especially in Campbelltown, but also parts of Paradise, under water on late Monday afternoon. That area, and the surrounding areas, have had a history of burst water mains, with this most recent event leaving dozens of homes affected by flood damage: muddy water as deep as, I believe, one metre flowing through some areas.

I would like to thank all of the volunteers. I saw a number of volunteers and workers on Monday night from the local SES, SA Water and SA Power Networks who certainly went out of their way to make sure that the issues with the homes of residents could be addressed as soon as possible, and I know that they continue to work very hard to make them as comfortable as possible. I commend their efforts in bringing this situation temporarily under control.

I also believe that bottled water and temporary housing have been provided for affected residents. I thank the volunteers for working hours well into the night and overnight to stop the water from flowing into their houses, and also for the clean-up. SA Power Networks were also on the scene cutting off power where needed, because there was a risk from that point of view as well. They properly and promptly investigated the issue in an effort to restore power as quickly as possible.

The SES volunteers, and also local residents who used shovels, sandbags, brooms—whatever they had—are to be commended in the way that they fended off the torrent of water that was facing them. These bursts cover quite a large area, and the damage caused by the mains bursts on Monday was quite immense.

We saw footage on television whereby cars were actually engulfed by the huge mass of water. I visited the site in the afternoon, but at night when I visited the site it was something like I have never seen before: mud and water all over the homes of these people—it was absolutely awful. In fact, I am told that nearly 40 homes were flooded externally by the water, with seven homes internally flooded.

There was water that rushed through yards. In some cases, it pulled up plants and much soil, which ruined the aesthetics of the street. This government has a responsibility. This government cannot just sit here, milk profits from SA Water and not do anything about this. This government has a duty to compensate residents and to provide them with temporary housing and any other assistance it reasonably can.

Due to electricity being cut off, many frozen items of food basically became instant throwaways. Of course, we all know the hot weather that we have had this week as well. Many frozen items of food had to be disposed of but, not only that, there were also personal belongings that faced the same fate. Even pets were at risk, which was absolutely awful. The bursts have certainly created a lot of issues locally for residents, who are now on the long road of cleaning up and sorting out insurance claims. I am always here to help as the local member, and I will continue to assist residents wherever I can in regard to this issue.