Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (12:48): It is an absolute pleasure today to rise to address this place in the time remaining before lunch. Taking us to the break I feel like Jason Gillespie, but I will do my best.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Governor, Her Excellency Frances Adamson, for her service to the state. Of course, as we gathered there on the first day of this parliament, the enormous contribution and value that she has added to this state should be recognised. She is a tremendous lady, intelligent and classy. She brings so much dignity, decorum and an enormous amount of worldly experience to the role, and she is doing a fantastic job, so I think we should acknowledge that.
The former government I think has a lot to be proud of. We led the state extremely well through financial and economic challenges that, quite frankly, have never been seen before. The former government did very well to save as many lives, businesses and also as many jobs as possible, and we have seen already a significant economic recovery throughout our state as businesses again have opened their doors and workers have returned to work.
The former government also launched the biggest ever economic stimulus package in our state's history, which did help to reboot our economy. We promised to create jobs, build what matters and deliver better services and we certainly did that as well. I do believe that we helped to further secure our growing global reputation as one of the safest and most attractive places in the world to live, work and also raise a family.
There were significant policies that we enacted for the benefit of our state. For example, payroll tax has been abolished for all small businesses with payrolls less than $1.5 million per year. ESL costs for businesses and households have been reduced substantially, the top land tax rate has been slashed from 3.7 per cent to 2.4 per cent, electricity costs have dropped and water bills for the average business have also dropped.
We finally attracted more people from interstate into our state than actually left the state. We did wonders with the jobs and Economic Growth Fund, and also the Great State Voucher scheme was an enormous success. On health, we of course increased emergency department capacity, provided additional resources to our ambulance services and upgraded the Modbury Hospital that was long overdue.
The former government highlights also include plans to deliver the new Women's and Children's Hospital, with a significant budget allocation in the forward estimates towards that bill. In education, the government committed—certainly in my neck of the woods—over $80 million to construct a new 1,200 student year 7 to 12 high school at Rostrevor which is required to meet the growing demand in the area for government secondary schooling. In the last budget, 2021-22, we also allocated what would have been $17.9 billion towards a record infrastructure program, which is estimated to support more than 19,000 jobs during construction.
We should talk a little bit about the north-south corridor that, once completed, will provide a 78-kilometre nonstop motorway connecting the north and south of Adelaide and slashing travel time by well over 20 minutes. Enormous productivity improvements will result once that is completed, and once that project is completed it will do enormous wonders for people travelling through our great city. I also want to take this opportunity to reflect upon some of the other infrastructure and transport achievements.
We know that, for example, the upgrade of metropolitan roads and intersections is extremely important, and we were able to fast-track vital maintenance work and also create a number of jobs through our $373 million road safety package. We also upgraded around 4,800 kilometres of regional roads, through sealing road shoulders, widening lanes, installing guideposts and resurfacing, because we know, unfortunately, that the majority of our serious accidents happen on our regional roads.
I would like to acknowledge the member for Hammond, who is also the shadow minister for regional roads. I look forward to working with him, and he does a fantastic job in his local electorate. We upgraded the South Eastern Freeway and, through the police portfolio, we oversaw new laws to enable on-the-spot licence disqualification or suspension for people charged with causing death by dangerous driving, as well as increased penalties for hoon drivers.
We also upgraded both grassroots and elite sporting infrastructure assets right across the state and continue to do that, and many of those plans the government will hopefully continue. One of the first calls I made was to the shadow police minister, and I thank him for his service in the last parliament, and also to the new police minister as well, who has very capable people around him in the agencies that do a fantastic job.
I also want to make sure that we point out that the record should show that we funded and began major redevelopment of the Hindmarsh Stadium, bringing their venue to contemporary elite sports standards ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2023. I also want to thank the former Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Sport, Recreation and Racing Corey Wingard for his work.
I have spoken a little bit about our local achievements in Hartley. I want to thank all who were involved in my local campaign. I also congratulate the new members who have been elected. It is one of the highest honours that you can achieve in your life. I also want to congratulate and thank all the candidates from the various political parties who nominated for political office. Locally, I would like to thank all who were involved in my election. I thank them for putting their faith in me and for their assistance. It truly does require a village to support a political campaign.
I thank the people of Hartley. With humility, I say it is an absolute privilege and honour to be the member for Hartley. I will keep working every day to make sure that we work as hard as we can to make our local area the best that it can be. Thank you to the community. Thank you to our campaign team, our volunteers and our supporters.
At a personal level, I would sincerely like to thank my wife, Charissa, for her ongoing love and support. Our little boy, Leonardo, who is now just over six months, absolutely every day fills our hearts with love and joy. Thank you, Charissa, for your steadfast, unconditional and unwavering support and for the sacrifices you make so that I can do what I do as a member of parliament. I am very grateful and I love you a lot.
Thank you to all those who were involved in helping me to perform my role as a minister. I particularly want to thank my former ministerial staff, Sam Hooper, Ollie Everett, Allie Mildren and Ben Harvey in the media. To all the agencies: I want to sincerely thank them for the supporting role that they played. We certainly could not have done it without them. We have great leadership and support in those agencies for which I was privileged to be the minister. For example, in SAPOL, especially led by the police commissioner, the deputy commissioner and all the assistant commissioners; in corrections, Mr David Brown; and in emergency services, the head of the CFS, Mark Jones, MFS, Michael Morgan, SES, Chris Beattie and SAFECOM, Julia.
To all the public servants who work hard behind the scenes, whether it is undertaking briefings or preparing budget papers, estimates papers or parliamentary briefing notes: all that work is greatly appreciated. It is a real team effort and it was a real privilege to be able to serve as a minister. When we look back, it will certainly be an unprecedented period of history.
When you look at what the state has endured and gone through, like in other parts of the world, we should be very grateful that we are here in South Australia, in Australia, not only with the tremendous opportunities that we have in front of us but also, I would say, for the overwhelming majority of the time on the issues that mattered the most in health, when it came to addressing the COVID pandemic, we were able to work collaboratively and constructively in a bipartisan manner. We are in a very fortunate position here in South Australia that we can now recover and rebound stronger than we were before.
I might talk a little bit about local promises in the remaining minute that I have. There remain future projects that we continue to focus on and work on to make sure that we deliver for our local residents. We are looking forward to seeing the Magill Village upgrade, in collaboration with the councils of Burnside and Campbelltown, to enhance the Magill Village. That will improve recreation, socialising, shopping and education and also business experiences for local residents.
We are also looking forward to seeing the Thorndon Park superplayground be built, the St Joseph's School Tranmere local upgrade and, of course, the new school being built at what was the Rostrevor campus of Norwood Morialta High School, now Morialta Secondary College. With those remarks, I again congratulate all members and look forward to serving the people of Hartley over the next four years and, hopefully, a bit longer too.