The South East drainage network remains underfunded according to Member for MacKillop Nick McBride and he further believes there is inequity in State Government funding policy.
His first speech of the new parliamentary term lasted 30 minutes and he detailed his concerns in many fields.
“This drainage and associated bridge, culvert and regulating structures need ongoing maintenance and management,” Mr McBride said.
“Work is needed to both service the needs of landholders for drainage and to retain water in the landscape.
“We need funding to ensure our transport network that crosses these drains is maintained and fit for purpose.
“This network and drainage system has been living off a budget of around $2.75m a year.
“It is looking after hundreds of kilometres of drains.
“The drainage network and the maintenance doubled on them through the early 2000s, when the northern drainage scheme was finished and completed and then was added to the South East Drainage Network that has to look after what was the southern part, and the funds have not been forthcoming to maintain.”
Mr McBride then posed three rhetorical questions.
“What is the difference between a bridge going out of Burra, where the Department for Infrastructure and Transport will maintain that bridge, and a bridge that sits on a road going out of Millicent?” he asked.
“Why is it that a small organisation, such as the Millicent-based South Eastern Water Conservation and Drainage Board, has to look after hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure on such a budget?
“Why is the Department for Infrastructure and Transport not responsible for all these bridges and infrastructure as it is throughout the rest of the state?”