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Connect - 1 October 2021
Message from the Chief Executive
I'm at mile marker zero on the Strzelecki Track. The track had its origins in the late 1800s as a route through the interior that connected up the stations to support the pastoral industry.
Originally trafficked by camel trains and bicycles, it played an important role in opening up the economy here through the initial period. Of course over the years the track's use has changed but it continues to play an important economic role both for tourism as well as agriculture and the hydrocarbons and mineral sector.
That's why now we're starting to upgrade the track, and we're here to have a look at how it's going. This is a massive project, building almost 500 kilometre s of sealed road that goes through some incredibly remote country.
And it brings with it some particular challenges - finding suitable resources to build road base and of course water, which here we're drawing from the aquifer that runs underneath a creek bed.
And then there are the extremes of weather conditions. Right now it's dry, arid, hot but this is the land of the flooding rains and it can rain sometimes hundreds of kilometres away here and result in flooding and closure of the track. Working along the track with the team, they've been thinking hard about how to build an asset that will endure these weather conditions.
And it's going to be quite a feat because we're crossing a lot of flood plains and creeks. Whilst good engineering standards and design work will form a part of the solution, we rely heavily on tacit knowledge.
The team here have learnt through their hard-won experience how this track can behave and how weather can impact on it. We've had some setbacks already with big floods. but we've chosen to learn the lessons from that and rebuild the track to be able to withstand those extreme events.
The team here bring personal qualities to delivery of this program that I see elsewhere in our department a strength and a resilience that's borne out of an accumulated knowledge and understanding of the particular area that they're working in and the assets that they look after, and a determination to ensure that we do the right thing in delivering solid, durable outcomes.
National Safe Boating Week
With the recent short burst of spring warmth, a lot of peoples’ minds have turned to boating.
It’s no coincidence that the first week of October is National Safe Boating Week, which focuses attention on safety on our waterways.
Whether sailing, fishing, cruising the Murray, water-skiing or whatever, the important constant in the boating experience is having the skills, requisite training and licences, mandated safety equipment and a safety-first attitude each time you head out on the water.
A visit to the Marine Safety SA website is highly recommended. It’s a credit to our Marine Services team and an excellent resource for anyone planning on boating.
New electric railcars
I’m excited to see the first two of 36 new electric railcars arrive in Adelaide as we progress to electrified services on the Gawler rail line.
The new railcars will continue to arrive over the next 12 months to form 12 new three-car electric trains which will increase the capacity of the rail network by 15%.
The electric trains will be environmentally friendly and cost-effective, helping us on our way to a cleaner, greener Adelaide Metro train fleet.
The State Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a shining example of cross agency collaboration and I am proud of our Department’s continued contributions.
The latest collaboration with SAPOL and SA Health is providing a team of Compliance Officers to support implementation of the new home quarantine arrangements that will enable more people to return to South Australia.
Since starting in late August, our COVID Home Quarantine Compliance team has been making an average of 150 checks and assessments a day. A fantastic effort, widely acknowledged by SAPOL.
My thanks to all involved with the COVID-19 Home Quarantine group, which is making a valuable contribution to keeping our community safe.
Some members of the COVID Compliance group.
Public transport savings on show
An interesting feature on the new Adelaide Metro website helps users calculate the savings made when taking public transport rather than driving a car to work.
Many people are aware that they make savings when leaving the car in their garage, but seeing the dollar value in black and white is a very motivating reinforcement and an excellent addition to the website.
The page also includes links to the primary information offered by the site, such as timetables, fares, ticket options and so on, making it a very useful target page for customers.
Digital licences pass ID test
Our digital drivers licences have won some important recognition with acceptance as proof-of-identity for the financial sector.
This is something of a breakthrough given the strict legal and regulatory environment in which banks and financial institutions operate. The National Australia Bank has worked through the issues and from today its branches will accept SA digital licences as proof-of-identity, with other institutions likely to follow.
In honour of the SANFL Grand Final on Sunday, today’s Friday Flashback shows the 1921 grand final between Port Adelaide and Norwood. For the tightly packed crowd in attendance, it was a stand-up event, meaning a solid day out for patrons. Port Adelaide won the game by eight points.
SLSA PRG 280/1/35/198
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