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.
As the Riverland and Mallee mourn the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone has advised that a book of condolence will be available for the Chaffey community to sign from Wednesday, September 14th at the Chaffey Electorate office.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:33): I rise today to speak about a very important day, World Suicide Prevention Day, on 10 September, and 9 September is R U OK? Day, which is another great initiative for mental health and suicide prevention. I would like to speak today about some statistics and give an understanding of the impacts that mental health and suicide have on the global population and, more importantly, what that means to us in South Australia.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:45): I rise to speak about an issue that is quite concerning, particularly in the regions, and a conversation that South Australians at large have—that is, the impact of mental health and the ongoing pressures it has on day-to-day life, particularly with the impacts through adversity—whether it is in day-to-day life, enduring the social aspects, the pressures in life or some of the social pressures on people.
Murray-Darling Basin communities and those interested in delivering the Basin Plan have a lot to be worried about following Labor’s announcement that Sydney-based barrister, Richard Beasley, will be appointed as South Australia’s new River Murray Commissioner.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:28): I will continue my appropriation contribution with a little bit of a history lesson on the Murray-Darling Basin. It is of concern that we have a Labor government that is now going to contribute $2.1 million for a commissioner to do the work that the minister should be doing. I cannot understand, cannot believe, that a Labor government continues to avoid doing the hard work in the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:53): I, too, rise to make a contribution to a very good motion by the member for Narungga. He obviously understands and recognises the shortcomings when providing a good medical service in the regions of South Australia. For far too long we have seen people of the regions having to travel extensive distances with the shortcoming of having those services in our local hospitals or in our local towns due to the shortage of medical practitioners.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:09): I would like to talk about a couple of great events that happened in Chaffey in recent weeks. Illuminate Adelaide, the In Depth series at Renmark, what a great showstopper it was. The In Depth lightshow is a multimedia event on the banks of the River Murray in Renmark. Through the collaboration of Illuminate Adelaide, the Tourism Commission and the former Liberal government, the lightshow transforms the river into a storytelling experience. I was joined by the cofounders, Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge, both very passionate, as well as the lead artist, Craig Walsh. Together with local artists and members of the community, it tells the story of the region's history, culture and unique environment.