The State Liberals are demanding the Weatherill Government clears the backlog of prescribed burns in South Australia, ensuring the Riverland and Mallee are well prepared before another sweltering summer arrives.
During a recent Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee hearing, the Environment Department revealed that only 38 per cent of prescribed burns were undertaken in autumn 2017 with just 20 of 53 prescribed burns completed across the state.
The State Liberals have welcomed the Premier’s announcement of a new South Australian trade office in France, pointing out it mimics their own policy to increase the state’s overseas trade offices.
“The SA Liberals have already committed to opening four new trade offices in Japan, Malaysia, Dubai and the United States if elected at the 2018 state election,” said Shadow Minister for Trade and Investment Tim Whetstone.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:28): I am very proud to stand up and acknowledge the great work that Flinders University is presenting in the Riverland, and last Friday I was lucky enough to visit the Riverland General Hospital at Berri to witness the opening of the new simulation centre. Professor Jennene Greenhill, Director, Flinders Rural Health here in South Australia is a proud proponent of the simulation centre, which will enable students and clinicians to work in the Riverland General Hospital and maintain a state of clinical skills through artificially experiencing real-life situations.
State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall will engage with the local community and industry with a focus on jobs and the economy during a visit to the Riverland this month, including a public forum to be held at the Berri Town Hall.
Hosted by Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone, Mr Marshall has an extensive itinerary during the August 15 visit.
Almost two decades of free legal advice from the Riverland Community Legal Service comes to an end today with the Weatherill Labor Government’s funding cuts forcing the Berri based service to shut its doors.
The State Government made a $6 million funding reduction to community legal centres which comes into effect tomorrow and the Riverland is the hardest hit, with services to be consolidated to an office based more than three hours away.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:06): Today, I rise to voice the concerns of the Riverland community about the structural changes to legal services in the region and the severe impacts these decisions will have. Late last month, the state government announced a restructure of community legal services across the state and, sadly, the Riverland was hit the hardest. The Riverland Community Legal Service is based in Berri and provides a valuable service for those who cannot afford legal advice, particularly for issues which are often complex in nature and require face-to-face contact. It currently employs five staff and is a well-utilised service for the disadvantaged in our community. I am extremely concerned about these proposed changes.
The roll-out of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, the impact of electricity prices on irrigators, water allocation planning and Natural Resources Management levies will be amongst the key topics discussed during a tour of the Riverland by Shadow Minister for Environment David Speirs.
Hosted by the Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone, Mr Speirs will meet with key stakeholders, in relation to water security and irrigation needs, as well as discussing environmental projects, on June 28.