Local commitments top of mind for Knoll
In his first speech to parliament since the March state election, Member for Schubert Stephan Knoll has reaffirmed his pre-election commitments to his electorate, and paid tribute to the people which make it, in his own words, “the best electorate in the country”.
Mr Knoll noted the Barossa’s immense community spirit and thanked his constituents for allowing him the privilege of representing the electorate for a second term.
“I am so proud that they have given me the opportunity to continue to be their local MP and this new Liberal government is going to deliver what it said it would deliver,” he said.
Several key projects were promised for Schubert in the lead-up to the 2018 state election, and last Tuesday night, during his Address in Reply, Mr Knoll highlighted that work had already begun on some of these.
The sealing of a seven-kilometre stretch of Lyndoch Road, Gomersal, was high on the agenda, with the Liberal government committing funding of $500,000 to deliver important economic benefits to the Southern Barossa.
“It is a road that holds strategic importance for the thousands of people who live in the southern Barossa who have seen the northern ends of the valley kick along in leaps and bounds, with tourism increasing and cellar door numbers swelling, and who feel that they need a piece of the pie,” Mr Knoll said.
“The answer is genuinely that people do not drive their way anymore.
“The sealing of this road will unlock millions and millions of dollars worth of investment at the southern end of the valley and open up some of the most beautiful and picturesque parts of the Barossa again to the tourist trade.
“It is something I am extremely proud and eager to see delivered as soon as possible in conjunction with the Light Regional Council.”
A new Barossa hospital has been a perennial issue across several decades and Mr Knoll said he was under no illusion that his electorate expected anything less than a result.
“The business case study into the Barossa hospital is one that I am going to be watching with extremely close interest.”
A $100,000 commitment towards establishing two dog parks in the Barossa – one in the north, and one in the south – is already underway, with Mr Knoll’s office and Kelly Adams, Nuriootpa, working with The Barossa Council to identify suitable locations.
“I look forward to taking my little Spoodle, Molly, down there for a walk,” he said.
“Molly will not enjoy her time at the dog park. This will be the first time she has been taken for a walk in a long time. That said, she needs to understand how I have helped deliver her a better future.”
Mr Knoll also touched on broader commitments which would deliver benefits not only for Schubert, but the entire state, through the Liberal Government’s commitment to South Australia’s regions.
“The two biggest issues that regional MPs will bring to this place are roads and mobile phone blackspots.
“As the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, I know very clearly that it is my job to deliver.
“That is why I am extremely proud of our Royalties for Regions scheme and our regional road and infrastructures fund as ways to deliver that.
“The enormity of the task ahead of us sits very heavily on my shoulders, but all regional South Australia needs us to deliver, and that is why this regional road and infrastructure fund is so important.”
Improving access to mobile phone data and telecommunication services was key to unlocking the small business potential of regional SA, and the government’s $10 million commitment in this area would help to deliver this.
“I could use this as an opportunity to belt the former Labor government for being so pathetically recalcitrant that they ignored regional South Australia, but I will not,” Mr Knoll said.
“But there is work that needs to be done and these measly sums of money are going to deliver product benefits that will far outweigh their cost.
“If we want regional South Australia to thrive and grow, then this is the way to do it, to give hope to a young generation that they can actually start and grow businesses and have a broader range of professions they can tap into in regional South Australia.”