3rd March 2020

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (15:08): I would like to rise today to speak about some of the achievements this government has brought in to the electorate of Chaffey. It all comes on the back of jobs for Chaffey, better services in Chaffey and, of course, reducing the cost of living in Chaffey—and how important that is. Over the two years that the Marshall Liberal government has been governing South Australia, particularly in Chaffey we have seen the reinstatement of the community legal services. Sadly, the previous government withdrew the community legal services in Chaffey, reduced services, and if anyone wanted any community legal help they had to go down south of Adelaide—absolutely outrageous. It is a great initiative, a $600,000 commitment from the Marshall government that has allowed the reinstatement of this service, providing better services into Chaffey.

We have seen the PsychMed Matrix drug rehabilitation centre, a pilot program opened through a $580,000 grant. This is about rehabilitation of victims of crystal methamphetamine, the ice addiction that we know is the scourge of modern-day society and the impacts it is having, particularly on small regional communities. It is a real bugbear. This program has been great. In the first 12 months, 44 clients have been referred to it, 29 of whom have been assessed and inducted into the program and 26 of whom have actively engaged in it.

The permanent quarantine bins around fruit fly and the zero tolerance approach to fruit fly have been an outstanding success, and I must say that I am very proud. It is an issue that I have dealt with and experienced in a previous life, having had my business impacted by a fruit fly outbreak. It costs a lot of money, it costs jobs and it also slurs the reputation of South Australia and the Riverland being fruit fly free.

The Mobile Black Spot Program is a $10 million commitment by the Marshall government to regional South Australia. What we have seen, as the member for Stuart would know all too well, as do I, is the importance of digital connection into regional South Australia. The previous government walked away—there were never any blackspots in regional South Australia—and that is why the Marshall government has put $10 million on the table.

It has been a great outcome for Chaffey. We have seen towers at Murtho, Murtho South, Mount Mary, Bower and Wunkar. Recently, we switched on the Murtho South tower and the Wunkar tower. That is giving them digital connection and competitiveness and safety on their properties, using all that technology on their equipment and in their plant to make sure that they can provide cost of doing business benefits—a great outcome.

We have expanded the chemotherapy services at the Riverland General Hospital. That is a great outcome where those who sadly have been impacted by cancer do not have to do all their travel to Adelaide for low levels of cancer treatment. We now see that that is being dealt with and serviced by those health professionals up in the Riverland at the general hospital. It is a great outcome for Chaffey, as is the MRI machine and the surrounding capital works at the Riverland General Hospital, made possible by $4 million of funding from the Marshall Liberal government. The project will see the installation of the new $1½ million state-of-the-art MRI machine. It is just a great outcome for health in the Riverland.

The state-of-the-art localised Mesonet automatic weather station will be connected to the Mid North weather station network. That is a great outcome, helping our farmers to understand, when they go out to spray, whether they have weather conditions coming, whether they have inversion layers that will impact on their business, on their spray, saving chemicals and saving the impact on their neighbours. There is the $28½ million cooperative loan for the expansion of Almondco's Renmark processing facility that will create 50 extra jobs on top of the already 170 that Almondco employs. It is just a really good outcome, and what I am saying is it means more jobs, better services and reduced cost of living in Chaffey.

Also over the weekend, the Riverland hosted the South Australian Carp Frenzy. Well done to Kym Manning and his team. There were 690 competitors and $14,000 was raised for the bushfire appeal. That really is good. The 5RM sportsperson of the year was Andrew Hume for golf. Paul Othams won the award for contribution to sport, Carolyn Martin was the coach of the year and Tia Dahlitz was the junior sportsperson of the year—a great outcome for Chaffey.



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