2nd June 2020

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (15:12): I would like to speak about some of the activities that have recently happened in the great electorate of Chaffey. As we head into the school holidays, many people will be on the roads holidaying and travelling into the regions of South Australia. Obviously, having previously dealt with border closures and COVID, people now have the opportunity to explore the regions of South Australia. What better place to visit than the Riverland.

Many families will be heading up to the Riverland and my message to them is to head up, enjoy the hospitality, but do not bring your fruit and vegetables. Leave your fruit and vegetables at home because we know the Mediterranean fruit fly outbreak in metropolitan Adelaide will have an impact on the Riverland if people bring fruit and vegetables into the food bowl of South Australia.

I also want to talk about the speedy internet that has now been rolled out across South Australian schools. I am pleased that 24 schools in the Riverland now have access to high-speed internet thanks to the Minister for Education, the member for Morialta. Many schools in my electorate have, over the past years, expressed their concerns. We know that the speeds were slow and the learning capability was restricted by the lack of internet access. Slow internet inhibits the teacher's ability to teach students, but hark, there has been change. There is a new government with a priority for education in South Australia, and schools now have fibre-optic cable. It is great news for Barmera Primary School.

It is great news for Berri Primary School, Blanchetown Primary School, Cadell Primary School, Cobdogla Primary School, Glossop Primary School, Glossop High School, the Kingston-on-Murray Primary School, Loxton High School, Loxton North School, the Loxton Primary School, the Monash Primary and Preschool, the Moorook Primary School, the Morgan Primary School, Ramco Primary School, Renmark High School, Renmark North Primary School and Renmark Primary School.

The Renmark West Primary School, where my children went to school, has now received this fantastic facility, as have the Riverland Special School, the Swan Reach Area School, Waikerie High School and, of course, the Waikerie Primary School. This is an outstanding outcome for regional schools, particularly in Chaffey, because we know that under a previous government they did not even recognise the regions were out there and so it is great news for those schools.

I would like to congratulate two outstanding students from the electorate who this year have been successful recipients of the Dame Roma Mitchell Scholarship. Glossop High School year 11 students Sebastian Mapley and Toby Kassulke have been awarded and recognised for their academic drive and dedication to their schooling and for providing the foundations for Aboriginal students to prepare for their careers.

The awards are a part of the government's Aboriginal Education Strategy. It is wonderful to see Riverland Aboriginal students acknowledged not only for their efforts and hard work but for the hope it gives to other Indigenous students in the Riverland, of which there are many. It is a great outcome. Of course, this is not the first time that Glossop High School has been the recipient of this prestigious award. It is a great reflection on the program and the support that it is providing on behalf of the teaching staff and their school.

The Riverland continues to provide outstanding achievements. We know that currently the citrus season is upon us and prices are very buoyant. The markets are open and they are enjoying what is being classified as the world's best citrus. For those of you who are listening, please get out there and try some of the new varieties of mandarins that are out now. There are seedless varieties with high colour and high sugar that are just outstanding. There are new varieties, the curacao and some of the M7 navels, just to name a few. These are outstanding varieties and they really are an experience.

I might also reflect on the great work the representative groups within horticulture are doing at the moment. They are working with government to make sure we keep Queensland fruit fly at bay and that phylloxera is kept at bay because we know that the threats against biosecurity in the horticulture zones have never put more pressure on our borders.

The zero tolerance approach is working. We have not had continual outbreaks in the fruit bowl of South Australia. The electorate of Chaffey is breathing somewhat easier today than it was at this time last year because we know that the impacts of biosecurity are profound not only in horticulture but right across all the primary industries in South Australia.

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