Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:52): I too rise to support the motion and also the amendment put forward by the member for Morphett today. PATS is obviously a very important part of the health system for people who live in the regions and who are seeking medical treatment. It was brought to my attention in my first term as the member representing the people of Chaffey that the reimbursement process has serious flaws.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:21): I rise today to showcase some of the achievements of constituents in the electorate of Chaffey over the last couple of months, claiming state, national and international awards, and it has certainly kept me busy acknowledging these achievements. These awards include the 2013 Advantage SA Awards which I attended in Murray Bridge last Friday evening.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:22): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Minister for Water and the River Murray on the subject of the environmental water provision required for the desalination plant funding.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:26): I, too, rise to support this bill to protect the title of our paramedics here in South Australia. As the member for Morphett and the member for Stuart have said, the paramedic profession in Australia is currently not regulated, despite consistent calls for it to be included as part of our national registration and accreditation scheme for health professions.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:09): I, too, rise today to support the bill introduced by the Minister for Energy in September this year. South Australia has been a lead legislator for the National Energy Retail Law and National Electricity Law, and I am pleased to be able to support the bill which represents an initial step for the eventual widespread introduction of the use of smart meters and related technologies. It is a welcome relief to finally see the state Labor government doing something about this issue because after 12 years in government it has failed to take any action to implement smart meters, despite the widely recognised benefits of the technology.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:52): I rise to follow on from the member for Morphett. I have some real concerns when it comes to individuals who put in countless hours in providing health care and services, particularly in the regions. Of course, I rise to speak about what I am experiencing in the electorate of Chaffey—the Riverland and the Mallee.
The Hon. S.G. WADE (14:35): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries a question relating to the establishment of the almond centre of excellence.
The Hon. S.W. KEY (Ashford) (14:31): My question is directed to the Minister for Science and Information Economy. Can the minister inform the house about the initiatives that encourage people who live, work or visit the City of Adelaide to use the new free wi-fi network service when it is up and running early in the new year?
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:01): I will just make a brief contribution to support the expiry of the Wheat Marketing Act. I will not go back over other members' contributions. In December 2012, the commonwealth passed legislation to abolish the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme, effectively fully deregulating bulk wheat exports, and so this meant that the Wheat Marketing Act 1989 was largely redundant legislation. The only useful purpose of the Wheat Marketing Act 1989 was to provide the head of power authorising the collection of voluntary contributions to the grain research fund administered by the South Australian Grains Industry Trust.