SIGN OF THE TIMES ON WEATHERILL’S WATCH

Sign of neglect

Hon Terry Stephens MLC and Bernadette Abraham Liberal Candidate for Giles drive past a sign of a neglected opal and tourism industry. – too far away from the city for the State Government to successfully manage

In a letter to the editor of the Coober Pedy Regional Times on 29 August 2013, Liberal Candidate for Giles, Bernadette Abrahams drew attention to the dilapidated welcome sign just out of Coober Pedy.

“It is incredibly disappointing,” said Bernadette Abraham in August last year.

The state of South Australia’s regional tourism signs has attracted public attention in an article by Adelaide Now earlier this week, (see who said what here,) citing that the Weatherill Labor Government has once again demonstrated its wrong priorities, this time in promoting itself rather than South Australia’s tourism industry.

Shadow Tourism Minister David Ridgway together with Liberal candidate for Giles, Bernadette Abraham have again spoken out at the neglect of the state’s tourism industry.

Five huge billboards in the city, on The Parade, Henley Beach Road and Anzac Highway announce the Weatherill Labor Government’s proposed new tram networks, which won’t be built before 2043.

The billboards state “The future is…” and then name the particular tram network.

“The Weatherill Labor Government’s fanciful future ignores the realities of the present,” said Shadow Tourism Minister David Ridgway.

“While the huge billboards extol the supposed virtues of an unfunded tramline extension, the Weatherill Labor Government is neglecting signs which should promote the tourism industry.

“It’s not good enough, but quite frankly, it’s what South Australians have come to expect after 12 years of this Labor Government.

“This Government is happy to spend tens of thousands of dollars on political billboards, while it lets tourism signs fall apart.

“The Weatherill Labor Government has got its priorities all wrong.”

One of the dilapidated signs is a sign welcoming tourists to Coober Pedy.

“Coober Pedy is one of the State’s premier tourism destinations,” said Liberal candidate for Giles, Bernadette Abraham.

“But the billboard welcoming tourists to Coober Pedy on the Stuart Highway is broken, faded and missing pieces.

“The sign has been in this dilapidated condition for two and a half years and quite frankly, this is an insult to the people of Coober Pedy.

“This is another example of the Weatherill Labor Government neglecting South Australia’s regions.

“South Australians deserve a Government with better priorities to put our State back on track.”

Signs of neglect (Letter to the editor 29-8-2013)

Regional Tourism signs around the State have fallen into disrepair, with some in the mid north being left to rust away due to years of neglect from the State Labor Government.

“It is incredibly disappointing,” said Bernadette Abraham, Liberal candidate for Giles

“These signs are the gateways to the regions, and are meant to give passing motorists and tourists their first glimpse of the towns and landmarks ahead. They should be illustrating the great attractions our regional towns have to offer, not lying in ruin. It smacks of a lax attitude towards regional tourism under Labor.

“One example is a sign 24km outside of Coober Pedy. Half the sign has been torn away and the rest is a bent, rusting relic. It has been like this for years and the State Labor Government has made no attempt to repair it. They simply don’t care about regional tourism and towns.

“Coober Pedy is one of our most unique tourist destinations; it has underground hotels, museums, churches and dozens of opal mines. It is the ‘opal capital of the world’ and tourism is huge business for the town.

“The current State Labor Government is out of touch with South Australians, especially those in the regional areas. It spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on new festivals like Word Adelaide, but can’t spend a few dollars upgrading and maintaining our road signs to promote towns like Coober Pedy.

“Our regional towns are struggling and the State Labor Government is doing little to help. South Australia has fewer arrivals than any other mainland State, and most of those spend the majority of their time in Adelaide. Regional tourism needs as much promotion and exposure as possible and instead the Government attracts a new airline in Air Asia X to the State which immediately takes a shot at our regional destinations.

“These signs promote only one thing: the State Labor Government’s neglect of regional tourism. Our regional population deserves better.”
Bernadette Abraham
Liberal Candidate for Giles