The Hon. V.A. TARZIA (Hartley) (15:20): I rise today to speak on what is the eve of the second budget of the Malinauskas Labor government. What this government needs to remember is a simple concept called OPM, OPM being other people's money. This government were elected on the basis that they would fix the ramping crisis and that they would divert funds away from a community recreation space at the time and put that money into ramping.
Instead, what have we seen 12 months later? What we have seen is that in fact the ramping crisis has ballooned, and what are they doing? Spending $135 million of OPM on an exorbitant swimming pool. It is absolutely flabbergasting. It is absolutely incredible that after all the platitudes, all the lectures and all the pontificating that they delivered to us before the election, now what have they gone and done? They have effectively doubled the ramping crisis and then gone and blown out, to the tune of $55 million extra, on what I can only see as a very large recreational swimming pool. It is absolutely amazing.
It is OPM. It is other people's money, and that is why you have to consider what is in the best interest of the taxpayers of South Australia. Do you know what my residents are telling me at the moment? They are saying that they are struggling to pay their energy bills. They are struggling to get housing. They have been waiting for houses for many months and even years in some cases. They have been on the housing maintenance waiting list for some time.
They are saying that they are struggling to make ends meet day to day with rising interest rates and inflation, and what has this government gone and done? It has gone and taken a price tag of $80 million before the election to $135 million now. Today, we heard it from the minister responsible. It is not like they have actually gone to other levels, other tiers of government, like other governments have done when they make these recreational facilities.
For example, in my own electorate, there is the Campbelltown leisure centre, otherwise known as the ARC. What did we do there? We went to the federal government, we went to the state government, we went to some of the beneficiaries of the new facility. We got a little bit of money from all of them and we put that together. That is called being fiscally responsible. But, no, what have we got? We have this nirvana, utopia, socialist, state-controlled world on this other side of the chamber where the state needs to do it for you the state needs to do everything for you, and the state needs to pay for it.
The state can pay for it, but what happens when it is OPM, when it is other people's money? It is other people's money. The people of South Australia will determine whether this is in their best interest, and they will determine whether this is where the money should be spent at the moment. Let me tell you, the government came in on a mantra that they would fix the ramping crisis, and instead of fixing the ramping crisis it has actually doubled. Instead of diverting money for that community sporting facility that we spoke about before the election, what have they gone and done? They have spent $135 million on an exorbitant swimming pool. It is absolutely flabbergasting. I have no words.
I looked at one of the Facebook comments made on a certain member of parliament's page only recently, where they were just so disappointed. They are so disappointed that the facility that they obviously use almost daily will not be able to be used for over a year. Did people on the other side of the chamber say that to these residents? No, and they will pay the price. They will pay the consequences of misleading the people of South Australia.
I also want to talk about the shadow transport portfolio area. We know that the road maintenance backlog has spiralled out of control. When we found it, it was just shy of $750 million. It has now blown out to $3 billion. We do not want to see any delays in this budget to the part of the north-south corridor that this government left to the last possible point in time. We want to see the cash stumped up to make sure that the north-south corridor is completed, because we have already seen a $5 billion blowout on that particular project.
We want to see the priorities of the RAA met—for example, commit to fix the backlog, publish actual spending on road maintenance each year and ensure that we are rebuilding the road network that has been damaged in the recent flooding events that we have seen in South Australia. Of course, we also need to progress critical upgrades to our road network.