Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (14:21): My question is to the Minister for Environment and Water. What is the status of the River Murray flood clean-up program? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, I will explain.
Mr WHETSTONE: The opposition has been advised that nearly 25 per cent of the allocated funding has been spent on the River Murray flood clean-up efforts but just 2 per cent of the total clean-up has been completed.
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) (14:21): I appreciate the opportunity to answer the question. If I can just run through some key statistics, there are some 1,833 properties that originally registered for assistance under the government's clean-up program, and 100 per cent of those have had a phone call from the lead contractor to coordinate an assessment of their property. The lead contractor is continuing to follow up with people who have not returned their call and is identifying opportunities to reach members of the community who are yet to register.
There are 740 people who have indicated that they no longer require assistance; that is, they may have already used the kerbside clean-up and the free disposal vouchers or their insurer has covered their needs, so between them they no longer require that assessment. There are 1,687 free disposal vouchers that have been distributed, and 1,030 of them have been redeemed. That voucher program has now ended, although property owners are still able to have access to the kerbside collection program.
There are 549 property assessments that have been completed, and 538 have been issued to owners. There are 274 demolitions that have been requested and are working their way through approval—which means cultural assessments, power disconnections and owner sign-off—and there are 39 demolitions that have been completed.
The head contractor has completed 39 requests for property muck-out assistance, which is where the owners themselves are unable to get all of the material out of their houses. Often there are volunteers who have been assisting with that, which has been excellent. There are 12,870 tonnes of material that have been collected, and 4,900 of them have been diverted from landfill. There are 516 tonnes of asbestos that have been collected, and 85.2 per cent of the hours worked on the program have been completed by the local South Australian workforce.
The head contractor has also now started the process of removing small debris displaced by the flood event at stage 1. These are items such as water tanks, pine posts, fridges and other small items. As of 5 September, 2,500 items equating to 21 tonnes have been removed. Based on distance, 45.6 per cent of the stage 1 removal program has been completed. The next stage will be the removal or relocation of large items and navigational hazards.
The SPEAKER: Order!