Grievance Debate: Ridgehaven Primary School Student Crossing

Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 15:33 ): Today, I am presenting to the parliament on behalf of the school community at Ridgehaven Primary School. On behalf of that community, as the Liberal Party's shadow education minister, I have today brought to the parliament a petition, signed by nearly 200 members of that community, calling on the government to deliver road safety improvements that will protect the lives of the children at that school. I will quote directly from the text of the petition: 

We draw the attention of your Honourable House to the need for improvements to the student crossi ng at Ridgehaven Primary School ( 479 Milne Road, Ridgehaven ) . Approximately 300 children access the school daily. The current student crossing across Milne Road is poorly signed and offers minimal protection to students using the crossing. Every week, there are near misses and it is only through good fortune that we haven't seen a tr agic accident at this location. 

Your petitioners therefore request that your Honourable House approve funding for improvements to the student crossing at Ridgehaven Primary School  preferably to include pedestrian-activated lights or , at least , a raised ' wombat crossing ' . 

Having visited the site at the request of the school's governing council, I can understand very well why this community is concerned. The current signage is inadequate. Visibility ahead of the current crossing is inadequate. I have many schools in my electorate, and I am visiting many more at the moment as shadow education minister, and I can assure the house that the current crossing does not meet the standards that other schools take for granted. 

I am not the first member of parliament that this school's governing council has approached about this issue. What I can say is this: this should not be a partisan or political matter. This is a common-sense safety matter. Two-thirds of the families at the school have signed this petition, and I expect many more will do so over the summer. 

What I say to these families is that the Liberal Party has heard their concerns. Nothing is more important than our children's wellbeing, and the families at Ridgehaven Primary School have identified a threat to that wellbeing. I say to the government: this should not be a political issue. Let us fix this situation now, let us fix it over the school holidays, so that these families can send their children to school from day one in 2017 with peace of mind about their safety.