News

Parliamentary inquiry into River Murray floods gets green light despite Labor’s opposition

The Opposition has successfully moved to establish a Parliamentary inquiry into the recent River Murray floods to help learn how South Australia can better prepare for future flooding events - despite the Malinauskas Labor Government inexplicably opposing the move.

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MEDICINAL CANNABIS MOTION

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:40): I rise to support the member for Mount Gambier's motion. It is an important motion. Medical cannabis is playing a much more significant role in medical treatment of people on a day-to-day basis. We know that patients can legally access medical cannabis through prescription, and there are 600,000 Australians who are currently using cannabis for medical purposes; however, only 4 per cent is obtained by prescription.

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Urgent inquiry must be expanded to investigate re-opening of Waikerie birthing unit

The Opposition is calling on Peter Malinauskas to guarantee a review into the re-opening of the Waikerie birthing unit - following the start of an external inquiry into the closure of the same service at Whyalla, robbing expecting mothers of their right to give birth close to home.

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QUESTION TIME - RIVERLAND MALLEE COORONG LOCAL HEALTH NETWORK

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (14:48): My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Will the minister provide additional resources to the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network to improve security and protect nurses and hospital staff? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, l will explain.

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APPROPRIATION BILL 2023

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:11): I, too, rise to make a contribution on the most recent budget handed down. As a regional MP and as a representative in this chamber, I stand here quite disappointed. There were a few small nuggets of hope, but from what I have seen in this place for a number of years now, and as one who has been here longer than most, it was a budget handed down by a Labor government that was quite typical of what Labor do.

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INTERNATIONAL PARAMEDICS DAY MOTION

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:50): I rise to support a very good amended motion by the member for Schubert—because on this side we are not about spin. We are about acknowledging the great work that our paramedics do, our frontline workers, our frontline paramedics who come in all shapes and sizes; whether it be an ambulance officer, whether it be a medical facility staff member or whether it be a volunteer it is a critically important space in any community. Whether in a metropolitan community or a regional community, I have witnessed over many years the valuable contribution that all paramedics make.

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GRIEVANCE DEBATE - WINE INDUSTRY

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:25): I rise to give an industry outlook, particularly in the Riverland, with the wine industry in the doldrums that it is currently in. Sadly, I speak on the perilous condition of the wine industry at the moment, and a lot of it is derived from the red wine sector and, yes, it has been the loss of the Chinese wine market that the wine industry had been geared up for. The majority of wine grapes in South Australia are red wine grapes and a lot of that red industry has been geared up for the China market.

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Parliamentary inquiry into River Murray floods a must

The Opposition has moved to establish a Parliamentary Select Committee into the 2022-23 River Murray floods, after the Malinauskas Labor Government ruled out conducting a crucial independent inquiry into the disaster.

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GRIEVANCE DEBATE – STATE BUDGET

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:20): I rise with the pending state budget coming up tomorrow. I hope my fears will be alleviated when the budget is handed down because my fear is that the Minister for Trade and Investment may be Champion by name but he is no champion for trade and investment here in South Australia and neither is his government.

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UN WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY MOTION

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (17:02): I, too, rise to make a contribution to the amended motion, and I think it is important that we do have that contribution to put government priorities into perspective. For a long time, I have been a very strong advocate for reducing the use of single-use plastics in particular. South Australia has a long history of reform in single-use plastic, and I think it all started way back with the container deposit, which really set a platform for South Australia to be the leaders nationally in reform.

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