Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:34): I rise today to reflect a little bit on one of the most important economic drivers in South Australia, and that is our trade relations with our global partners. On this side of the house, we have always been passionate about promoting South Australia to the world. Just recently, we have had a number of delegates visit here at Parliament House and also out in the business sector. We have seen the ambassador to Lithuania, today we have seen the British High Commissioner, and we have seen the Consul-General visit this place over the last couple of days.

What I want to touch on is some of the ways that the former Liberal government were able to stimulate not only the economy but also our trading and global partners. I also want to acknowledge Pallavi Mishra. She was appointed last year to lead the new Frankfurt trade office in Germany. She was also accompanied by the Agent General, the Hon. David Ridgway, who is terrorising the corridors of Parliament House as we speak, looking at ways that he can promote South Australia to the United Kingdom, as well as our ties to Europe.

One thing that has frustrated me over recent months is that the current government—and all kudos to the current government—are able to ride on the back of the great work that the former government did. I want to pay tribute to a couple of ministers, Minister Ridgway and Minister Patterson, who were both trade and investment ministers and did a very good job. It was great for me to be a part of that team, while in opposition, to help develop some of those policies that those two ministers were able to roll out successfully. South Australia is the beneficiary of that great work today.

The former Labor government did not care for the trade offices. As a former trader, I know only too well how important trade offices, representation, and inbound and outbound trade missions are to the trading economy. While we were doing that, the former Labor government were very focused on China. The world became very focused on China. All of a sudden, we put all of our trading eggs into the China basket, and we are now paying the price for that reliance that we put on China when we should have been diversifying.

For many months, I was criticised heavily by the former Labor trade minister, turncoat Hamilton-Smith, that I was jeopardising South Australia's trade relations. That was certainly not the case. While he was in charge, we witnessed six trade offices closed or downscaled. What we saw while in government was a rebuilding of those trade relations and the confidence needed to have those negotiations and talks with our global trading partners, so that we could again trade with a more diverse model and make sure that we have a very strong trading economy.

I know that there are many trade offices: Malaysia, Japan, reopening China, Dubai, India, Singapore, San Francisco and into Europe, just to name a few of those central hub and spoke approaches to our trading relations. Today we look at the results. We are one of the strongest trading economies in the nation. That does not happen overnight; it takes time for goods and services to be traded and for those numbers to come onto our books. I think what we are seeing today are the fruits of a number of years of the former Liberal government's trade credibility.

The message today is clear: the government must do more for our growth sectors and our traditional trading partners. We need to grow those. But we also need to look at a diverse level of new trading partners with new commodities and new services. Those services, of course, have been many. We talk about agriculture, tourism, wine and education as staples, but we also need to look at some of those high-tech businesses and Lot Fourteen businesses which are now very important to our economy here in South Australia.

One thing I must say is that I will be attending a public wine forum in the Riverland tomorrow. The wine industry is in dire straits. Whether a cool or warm area, the industry is looking for support. They are looking for the government's intervention—not necessarily money, but they are looking for a proactive government to help one of the most important trading sectors, and that is the wine sector.

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