The SA Liberals are still refusing to allow the Gawler Electrification project to progress despite receiving advice from independent Parliamentary Officers that their actions and refusal to support the final report is stopping the project from proceeding.

On Tuesday, 9 January on ABC Radio Adelaide Mr Pisoni claimed “there’s no way that Peter Treloar and I can stop this project”.

Advice from independent Parliamentary Officers and an extract from Public Works Committee Practices & Procedures completely contradicts these claims and Mr Pisoni must now apologise to South Australians for misleading them.

If David Pisoni can’t understand how the parliamentary committee process works, he is clearly not up to being a minister.

This latest infrastructure embarrassment comes just weeks after David Pisoni was forced into a humiliating back down on his plans to block more than $700 million of infrastructure projects - he has been caught out misleading South Australians. 

On 14 December 2017 on ABC Radio Adelaide, David Pisoni promised to pass all 14 projects being considered by the Public Works Committee including the Gawler Electrification:

Pisoni: I can’t speak for the Labor Party but I can certainly speak for the Liberal Party and we’ll certainly be supporting all of those projects.

Despite receiving independent advice and promising to support all projects being considered by the committee, David Pisoni and the Liberals are still blocking the final stage of the committee process.

Mr Pisoni has again shown he is only interested in spreading misinformation and playing politics with infrastructure, rather than supporting improvements to public transport and boosting jobs through new projects.

Background 

An extract from the 19th Public Works Committee, Practices & Procedures as agreed by the PWC at its meeting on 22 May 2014 states:

The Committee resolved that when there is no scheduled PWC hearing, any draft reports will be electronically distributed to Members for consideration. Any comments and support to table the report must be communicated to the secretariat. After incorporation of any agreed changes into the draft, the document shall be regarded as having been adopted and the Presiding Member is authorised to sign it on behalf of the Committee and the report tabled.

Further advice from an independent Parliamentary Officer states:

While this practice is a pragmatic approach to expedite the adoption of PWC reports outside Committee meetings, it is premised on the basis that there is unanimous agreement by all members of the Committee.

David Pisoni has a record for making misleading statements including:

  • Falsely claiming ‘old buses’ caused an accident on the O-Bahn Network
  • Calling on the Government to cancel road works it already cancelled during the Clipsal 500
  • Falsely claiming 30 international students had been unfairly dealt with on the Darlington project
  • Falsely claiming the Noarlunga rail extension didn’t use South Australian steel
  • Falsely claiming the Government was planning to privatise the train network
  • Falsely claiming new trams, with the latest technology, were being purchased by New South Wales for $3.2m
  • Falsely accusing the Government of delaying new laws to increase penalties for assaults on passenger transport workers 

Quotes attributable to Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan 

Despite receiving independent advice that his actions are holding up the project, David Pisoni is still refusing to allow the Public Works Committee report to progress which would allow construction to start.

This pathetic, political posturing by David Pisoni and the Liberals is putting jobs at risk.

The State Government has been ready to award the contract since 14 December last year. Works could have already started if it wasn’t for David Pisoni and the Liberals playing politics.

How could the South Australian public ever trust anyone who has proven over and over again a contempt for the truth and a willingness to block, frustrate and oppose investment in important infrastructure?