Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (14:52): My question is to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water. Will the minister commit to ongoing supply of essential drinking water to residents living in flood-affected communities? If not, why not? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain.
Mr WHETSTONE: My office has been inundated with calls asking why the government has stopped subsidising the provision of potable drinking water to flood-affected river corridor residents who have lost the capacity to store water.
The Hon. S.E. CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Deputy Premier, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Minister for Defence and Space Industries, Minister for Climate, Environment and Water) (14:52): I am aware of some but possibly not all of the issues that the member is raising, and I want to make sure that we getting all of those concerns passed through to us. There have been some challenges with the way in which SA Water is able to provide additional water, but my understanding is that they are working through that with each of the people who have raised these concerns with them and making a determination about what they are able to do.
I gather that, very recently, there has been some assistance provided to a school and a sports field that had been raised recently with me by the member sitting immediately adjacent to you and that they are working through the question of drinking-water availability. But we will work through that, and perhaps have a conversation after, to make sure that we've got everybody covered.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (14:53): My question is again to the Minister for Climate, Environment and Water. Minister, can you explain whether there was a significant data discrepancy about measured river flows across the border? If so, did you resolve this discrepancy before going on leave? Sir, with your leave, and that of the house, I will explain.
Mr WHETSTONE: On the morning of 8 December, the South Australian government revealed official daily flow data at the South Australian border was 157 gigalitres for the day, but at a press conference on the same day it was claimed that flows were actually around 180 gigalitres that day. The very next day the minister went on leave for a month.
The Hon. S.E. CLOSE (Port Adelaide—Deputy Premier, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Minister for Defence and Space Industries, Minister for Climate, Environment and Water) (14:54): There was a concern at the time about the discrepancy between the flow that was coming through and how that translated into the height of the water. That was a challenge that was particularly acute in some places and in fact was under the anticipated height in others. That was worked through, and it was understood better the way in which the water was behaving so that the flow at the border translating into the height experienced by different communities was resolved over a period of time. In fact, the modelling proved largely to be accurate and able to be relied upon.