Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:24): I stand here, 138 days after a devastating hailstorm ripped through the Riverland and marginal Mallee country and decimated a huge amount of country and productive horticulture and agriculture, to put on record my disappointment, which cannot be overstated, at the process for assistance for these impacted growers. The sudden and unprecedented hailstorm left an estimated damage bill of somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million to nearly 260 properties. The full effects of the storm are yet to be felt. Wine grapes, stone fruits, citrus, almonds, potatoes, onions and cereal crops and more were impacted.
The State Liberals have introduced legislation to give lasting peace of mind to shack owners across South Australia and the Riverland.
If passed, the legislation will allow lessees of ‘life-lease’ shack sites to enter into permanent arrangements, fulfilling the State Liberal’s longstanding commitment to allowing South Australian shack owners to enjoy their properties for generations to come.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:18): One thing that never ceases to amaze me in the Riverland is the way that the community gathers to support events. This was evident on the weekend at Loxton's feast of colour, excitement and pride, the 60th Loxton Mardi Gras, which was another outstanding success. It is one of the longest running festivals in Australia and one of the oldest festival in South Australia. Many people associate Mardi Gras with the Sydney event, but in Loxton the meaning behind the name is religious—Mardi meaning Tuesday and Gras meaning grand. It is a family religious festival to eat up big before the austerity of Lent.
Opportunists are taking advantage of the hottest tickets in town for tomorrow night’s New Year’s Eve Big Bash at Adelaide Oval with tickets being sold at massively over-inflated prices.
Despite a sell-out crowd, the Weatherill Government’s failure to declare the match a Major Event has left the door open for ticket scalpers who are free to charge whatever they like for tickets to the game.
The Australian Football League has confirmed the Adelaide Crows will be granted a licence in the inaugural national women’s competition in a huge boost for female football in South Australia and an historic day for women’s sport.
Adelaide was one of thirteen AFL clubs which lodged bids for a licence in the eight team, 2017 women’s national competition which will start in February.
Today’s ABS data has revealed that South Australia has recorded its worst March merchandisable export values in six years, with the State’s overall trade to March 2016 dropping by $37 million compared to the previous 12 months.
South Australia’s slip down the national export ladder is further highlighted in the Federal Government’s ‘Trade by State and Territory’ report showing SA recorded the biggest decline in export volumes of any state or territory across Australia in 2014-15.
The State Liberals are deeply concerned that South Australian irrigators will start the 2016-17 water year on July 1 with just 36 per cent of their water allocation– the lowest opening allocation announcement since 2010-11.
Acting Shadow Minister for Water and River Murray Tim Whetstone said the minimum opening allocation for holders of irrigation entitlements was lower than expected and will impact heavily on communities all along the river.