Home' The Bunyip : October 22nd 2014 Contents Page 4 "THE BUNYIP" GAWLER, Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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For a progressive
Authorised by Jim Buckoke, Gawler SA 5118
$46m spent, not all wasted
THE State Government has defended
millions of dollars in spending on the in-
complete Gawler rail line electrification
after a report released last week revealed
a write-down of $46.6 million on the
The auditor-general's annual report stated a
review undertaken in the past financial year
found that $28.6 million of the spending on
the Salisbury to Gawler section were "deemed
to be obsolete or are not likely to provide any
future economic benefit".
Another $18 million spent on the city-to-
Salisbury portion of the project, which in-
cluded design, scoping, project supervision,
tendering and mobilisation costs, was also
deemed "obsolete" and "likely for the most
part to be reincurred" when work on the line
electrification starts again.
But both Premier Jay Weatherill and Mem-
ber for Light Tony Piccolo have told The
Bunyip that not all the funds have gone to
"Much of the capital works, the early de-
sign, scoping, engineering and detailed tech-
nical works will be useful when we deliver this
project in the '17/18 financial year," Mr Pic-
He said the State Government remained
committed to the electrification of the Gawler
line "unlike the Liberal Party who offered no
public transport policy whatsoever during last
Premier Jay Weatherill, in Virginia last
week, told The Bunyip the project was inter-
rupted by the global financial crisis and later
by the Federal Government pulling funding
from the project, but the State Government
"always wanted to complete the electrification
of the Gawler line".
"Our intention is to restart the project,
when we do, the extent to which those previ-
ous works is going to be used will be deter-
mined at that time," he said.
"It would be best if the project didn't need
to be (put on hold) but there were circum-
stances outside our control."
Despite the Federal Government pulling an
estimated $76 million funding from the proj-
ect last year, their state Liberal counterparts
called for an apology from Transport Min-
ister Stephen Mulligan for wasting taxpayer
"This on again, off again, merry-go-round
was started by the State Labor Government
when it 'indefinitely suspended' the Gawler
rail electrification project in 2012," Shadow
Transport Minister Corey Wingard said in a
The issue was raised in parliament last week,
where Mr Mulligan said, according to the cur-
rent advice, the budget for the electrification
project is $152 million.
"The advice I currently have and the advice
I provided in respect of a question asked of me
by the deputy leader during estimates was that
our budget for the Gawler line modernisation
project is $152 million," he said.
Government defends Gawler rail mess
PREMIER Jay Weatherill has
urged local pensioners to tweet
about Federal Budget concerns
while visiting Virginia last
Speaking at a forum organised
by Member for Taylor Leesa Vla-
hos, Mr Weatherill talked about
the State Government's measures
to soften the blow of the Federal
Budget cuts on pensioners.
"If you are an older South Aus-
tralian, there will be cuts to the
indexation of your pension, there
will be cuts to the income supple-
ments that you get as a pensioner,"
he told The Palms Residential Vil-
"There will be cuts to when
a health card can be available
for you as a pensioner and there
will be cuts to important conces-
sions that you get at the moment
to subsidise your council rates."
Mr Weatherill said the State
Government has had to remove the
emergency services levy remission
in response to the Federal Budget
cuts to services across South Aus-
tralia, but assured pensioners will
be exempted from the move.
"We had a choice and we're still
grappling with that choice of what
do we do with these massive cuts
to health care," he said.
Mr Weatherill said the govern-
ment is taking the fight up to Can-
berra, and local residents could too
by jumping on social media.
"Some of (the measures), they're
already in substantial retreat," he
"But we're trying to keep the
Former Federal Health Minister
and northern suburbs MP Mar-
tyn Evans also spoke at the forum
about planning for future health
Much of the capital
works, the early design, scoping,
engineering and detailed
technical works will be useful
when we deliver this project in
the ’17/18 ﬁnancial year.
choice and we're still
grappling with that
choice of what do we do
with these massive cuts
to health care.
NEWS IN BRIEF
THE Barossa Council is urging residents
to vote in next month's local government
election to ensure their voices are heard.
Postal voting packs will be posted to en-
rolled voters this week.
As well as the option to return your ballot
paper by post, ballot boxes will also be avail-
able at the Nuriootpa, Lyndoch and Mount
Pleasant council branches.
Ballot papers must be received at the Elec-
toral Commission of South Australia or coun-
cil branches by no later than 5pm on Friday,
Bob Sloane has already been elected unop-
posed as the Barossa's new mayor, but there
are 13 nominated candidates standing for 11
elected member positions.
For more information, visit barossa.sa.gov.
au and follow the election links to view the
list of candidates.
LIVESTOCK auctioneer Brian 'Budgie'
Schiller will wear a pink tutu and match-
ing leotard while calling the Dublin sheep
auction next week if $5000 is raised for
breast cancer research.
Belinda Lee, from Dublin's Black Sheep Café,
has been raising money for breast cancer awareness
all year, and this month being breast cancer aware-
ness month she is hoping to hit the $5000 mark.
"We're hoping people will donate a bit of
money to get payback on him because he is a
stirrer," she said.
"I am raising money with one of my friends,
whose mother died of breast cancer, when she
was a tiny little baby.
"This is a big one this month because it is
breast cancer awareness month."
Donations will be collected by Belinda Lee
(0437 949 888) preferably before the Dublin
livestock auction on October 28.
Premier Jay Weatherill visited Virginia last Friday to speak about
the Federal budget's impact on pensioners. PHOTO: Alec Urquhart
For a future-focused Gawler
Authorised by E.W. Clarke, 8 Allwood Drive, Gawler East 8523 1252
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