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A Friday Note - 1 December 2017

Dear all,

Some wild weather has hit the state in the past 24 hours. Please be especially careful on the roads.


On Wednesday, the Drink and Drug Driving Bill was passed by Parliament, after lengthy debate in both Houses.

Thanks to the Safety Policy team, Legislation team, in particular Andrew Parkinson, and Regulation team, especially Jean Phillips and Kylie Baynes, who worked tirelessly with Fiona Cartwright’s team on this Bill, together with SAPOL and the Road Safety Minister and his team.

I wish to thank Carol Nightingale and Nicole Middleton in particular for their in-depth analysis of this complex issue and for their investigations with our partners Forensic Science SA, Drug and Alcohol Services SA and CASR, and copious briefing notes for the Minister on these issues.

Thank you to Carol and Andrew for long hours spent in Parliament to support the Minister during the debate.

We look forward to implementing the Bill and improving road safety as a result.

As of midnight on Thursday, November 30 there had been 93 fatalities on South Australian roads so far this year.


From next Monday, Scott Cooper and the Infrastructure Planning and Investment team will report to Wayne Buckerfield, GM of Capital Initiatives Directorate.

This move will enable greater alignment of our transport infrastructure planning with the governance and oversight functions of Capital Initiatives.


I have spent much of this week meeting our leadership group individually to do a bit of a health check, see what the department can do for the executives and their teams and open up the discussion of how we try to manage without superman, Paul Gelston. He hasn’t gone yet and I am missing him already.

The passion for continuing our reform process was overwhelming, infectious and terrific to see. Nearly every executive wanted us to speed things up, get rid of more archaic processes and have more fun to better serve the community.


It was with mixed feelings that we hosted a farewell morning tea for Paul Gelston on Thursday.

Paul still has a couple of weeks left with the department before his retirement and it is a testament to the enormous legacy he’ll leave that more than 250 colleagues were on hand for the event, as well as his family, with whom he will now be able to spend much more time.

Paul Gelston receiving a gift from the department, a ceremonial “sod-turning” spade.


Congratulations to all the staff at ORS for their work at the SASI Sports Awards night.

The event was a credit to the great leadership of Kylie Taylor, Wes Battams and Ilia Houridis and celebrated magnificent athletes working at the SA Sports Institute striving to achieve great results.


Congratulations to the team at Darlington on a highly successful bridge installation last weekend.

The 3000-tonne, 180m long bridge was built off site and moved into place over the Southern Expressway on Main South Road using self-propelled modular transporters.

Not only did they complete this complex and difficult task without a hitch, but 21 hours ahead of schedule.
Check out the move.

The media appreciation and support of all our people for the Darlington bridge move was great recognition for the project and I thank the media for this.

Balance is important and elections tend to focus the media on the extremes – let’s keep going with all the work that we do.


As we move closer to the final commissioning works and handover for the Gawler train line next week, it’s a good time to acknowledge the hard work that continues to be done in ensuring the Torrens Rail Junction project is a success.

Our external partners have praised many in the department for their skill and commitment, in particular Stine Strand who stated;

“she has an impressive range of skills, demonstrating both technical knowledge and people management skills that she has had to utilise to their full potential to close out some very difficult and long standing activities”.


On Monday, the Office of the Commissioner for Kangaroo Island held an expo for the KI community.

The focus of the expo was to give people an opportunity to meet and talk to representatives from various major developments on the island, the Kangaroo Island Council, State Government agencies, KI industry associations and businesses undertaking upgrades and expansion activities as well as the Kangaroo Island Connect ferry.

Zoe Delmenico and Sharon Wyatt from our Development Division Major Projects Assessments attended with a display outlining the major development assessment process and were able to answer queries on many development issues.


Our Flashback Friday photo this week is of who else but Paul Gelston in 1996. He hasn’t changed a bit.

Have a good weekend,
Michael Deegan