South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has appointed Corey Wingard as Minister for Transport and Infrastructure.
The appointment follows the resignation of Stephan Knoll from the frontbench, due to an expenses scandal. Knoll, who represents the Barossa region electorate of Schubert, had claimed an accommodation allowance for country MPs who need to stay in Adelaide for parliamentary business before expenses were incurred. Knoll has agreed to repay expenses claimed.
In a statement, Knoll said that his resignation would allow the government to get on with responding to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Wingard, who takes on Knoll’s portfolio in addition to his sport, recreation, and racing portfolios, has been a member of the SA House of Assembly since 2014 and was previously the Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services.
The new cabinet will be sworn in on Wednesday morning and meet for the first time on Thursday.
South Australian Freight Council executive officer Evan Knapp welcomed the appointment of Wingard.
“SAFC looks forward to working with incoming Minister Corey Wingard MP on transport, logistics and infrastructure-related issues,” Knapp said.
“Critical for the new Minister’s attention will be urgently completing North South Corridor planning works, reducing the State’s road maintenance backlog, and populating Infrastructure Australia’s Infrastructure Project List (IPL) with more long-overdue South Australian projects.”
Rail, Tram and Bus Union SA/NT secretary Darren Phillips called for the new minister to abandon the government’s privatisation of transport services.
“Privatisation will see responsibility for keeping public transport safe during the pandemic outsourced to private contractors,” said Phillips.
“Given the diabolical economic implications of the pandemic crisis, with the state being plunged into recession, it is galling that the Marshall Government wants to put the jobs of South Australian transport workers at risk. The privatisation of the tram system saw the number of tram drivers cut by ten per cent.”