Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:22): I would like to support this motion. I think it is a very important motion. As a former business owner and proprietor, I have seen only too well the importance of not only what family businesses mean to South Australia and to the nation but what they also mean to communities and the contribution they make in terms driving an economy and also employing people and supporting particularly regional communities when it comes to the buoyancy of those smaller communities in particular.
There are many small businesses here in South Australia—too many to name—but I do think it gives me the opportunity not only to speak about family businesses but also to speak about how government has been able to play a role in giving them some level of support over many decades, if not further. The 40 per cent of South Australia's workforce that is employed by family businesses is a $40 billion annual economy. They make significant contributions not only to the economy but also particularly to the sustainability of communities, whether it is a metropolitan community or a regional community.
I will pay tribute to some South Australian businesses in a little while, but I want to acknowledge the former Marshall Liberal government and some of the benefits it introduced to support some of those small family businesses. We saw the tax threshold rise from $600,000 to $1.5 million in terms of wages, and we saw 3,200 businesses across the state become exempt from payroll tax. We have saved businesses over $44,000 a year and provided relief to a further 400 businesses with the reduction in their payroll tax liability. From 2018, the former Liberal government provided more than $500 million of payroll tax relief on top of a range of those COVID-19 relief measures.
The pandemic brought challenges for many businesses and you did not have to be isolated whether you were a family business or a publicly controlled business. What it did was test the mettle and what we have seen is that a majority of those family businesses have come out the other side of the COVID pandemic.
In relation to that payroll tax, we saw exemptions for commonwealth JobKeeper payments, we saw waivers of payroll tax from April 2020 for 14 months, we saw a six-month waiver of payroll tax from January 2021 and up to a nine-month deferral of payroll tax due from April to December 2020. They are some of the initiatives that the former government put in place to support businesses through an unprecedented level of challenge.
What I do want to touch on is some of the South Australian iconic businesses, whether they are South Australian or whether they are quarantined to some of the smaller regional communities. If we look at some of the big businesses in South Australia, we look at the Detmold Group. The Detmold family, through packaging paper products and the PPE products that have come about through the pandemic, has seen their family business really shine.
We have seen the Beerenberg family, the Paech family—Anthony, Sally and Carol—which has been going for 100 years. Anthony, Sally and Carol are not 100 years old, but the Beerenberg name has been going for 100 years with over 100 products. We look at some of the Angove Family Winemakers, a great Riverland tradition, formed in 1910. They are fifth generation: Ted was a pioneer in the wine industry, developing bag in the box or the cask as we now call it, and then was succeeded by John and now Victoria and Richard. Today, their headquarters is not only in the Riverland but also at McLaren Vale with their famous cellar door.
We also have to remember that Angove Family Winemakers are associated with St Agnes brandy. It is a famous distillation facility in the Riverland and it has won many world awards, as well as being leading organic grape growers. Of course, Nippy's is an iconic family tradition in the Riverland right around South Australia. The Knispel family, Alic and Lyla, were the pioneers and then Jeff and Tina and now Ben have succeeded that family model.
They were established in the thirties, packing citrus into the thirties. They progressed through the war and they were once leaders at the East End Market selling citrus. Alic was known as the 'orange king' and then later came into Adelaide, squeezing juice at the kitchen table. As we now know, it adorns many of our freezers in some of those retail shops. I was speaking to Jeff this morning and he tells me that their business model has been quite diversified. He is still paying between $13 million and $14 million in wages annually and, sadly, the public holiday to commemorate Queen Elizabeth II cost that small business $60,000.
They are great community supporters, just like the Mitolo group in the Riverland and at Virginia. Bruno and Angela were the pioneers of the Mitolo group, succeeded by Frank and John and their families, growing potatoes, onions, olives, wine grapes, and they have that famous cellar door at McLaren Vale, Little Wolf Osteria. That business employs over 1,500 South Australians and is a significant employer. Parilla Premium Potatoes, another great family tradition by the Pye family, are large broadacre horticulture growers: potatoes, onions, carrots, particularly broadacre and livestock to further vertically integrate that business model.
Both the Mitolos and Parilla are reinventing the common potato. We now look at different potatoes for different reasons and low-carb products, and they are now exporting globally. We look around the Riverland to the Moularadellis family, Kingston Estates, one of the great wine producers and winemakers in South Australia. Bill is the managing director of Kingston Estates, and they are selling bulk wine to the world.
We have to remember that the bulk wine product is an essential part of the wine industry and an essential part of the engine room in the wine industry here in South Australia. I was having a chat with Bill recently, and he said it is about how do we actually get 20 of the larger wine companies in Australia to increase their exports by 30 per cent. That is the challenge.
Again, I had the opportunity this morning to speak to the CEO of Food SA, Catherine Sayer. She is doing an outstanding job for those family-related businesses, those food businesses here in South Australia. We talked about the Food SA Hall of Fame recipients. If we look around South Australia, there are some great names. We have the Crotti family, Maurice and David, of the famous San Remo brand. I am sure all of us have had a plate of San Remo pasta at some stage, and I am sure we have all had a green frog cake too. They are also the proud owners of Balfours, who are doing a great job.
The Kotses family, Angelo and Mary, are the managing directors of Bickford's. That is a great success story here in South Australia. They continue to go from strength to strength with diversity in their business model, now not only building accommodation and providing cellar-door experiences but putting great beverage products into the marketplace that are second to none.
We think of Thomas Foods. Darren and Chris Thomas are great South Australians. They are passionate South Australians who employ a significant workforce through their abattoirs, livestock and now new business ventures. It really is a credit to them.
Alister and Simon are doing a great job at Haigh's. When we think chocolate, we think Haigh's, and it is a great institution. There is the Macro Group of companies where Ray Borda and his family are doing an outstanding job with meat products and leather products nowadays. We look at Coopers Brewery—Tim, Glenn and their families—one of the great traditions of South Australia. At Drakes Supermarkets, Roger and John-Paul are doing a really good job with succession planning. I have talked about Nippy's, I have talked about Mitolo's, but there is also the Menz family. Phil, Grantley and Richard are doing an outstanding job.
At Barossa Fine Foods, we cannot forget Franz, Barbara and the four boys. They are all doing a very good job putting some of the finest smallgoods on our plates. Of course, Maggie Beer has now become a publicly listed company, and both Maggie and Colin were great pioneers in the food space. Of course, Almondco is another great Riverland success story. It is very much a family-backed business in South Australia. I cannot express how important family businesses are, not only to South Australia's economy but to the institution of providing food and services to the world.