Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:51): I rise to speak on a couple of exciting issues that are happening not only within this place but up in the electorate of Chaffey. The Riverland floodplains are awash at the moment with high flows, and the nine year Riverine Recovery Project has released its final report. It is an $88.3 million project which has delivered across multiple phases of the floodplain system, particularly around the Riverland floodplain network. The report shows that the 7.24 gigalitres of water that have been returned to the environment are working.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:19): Thank you, sir, and congratulations on your retirement speech yesterday. I am sad that I did not contribute, but it was all inclusive, as I witnessed. I would like to make a contribution to the commission to establish and maintain the exceptional tree register. The feeling is that it will impose significant and ongoing administrative function, and it is also unknown exactly what councils will do in implementing such a register.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (16:27): It gives me pleasure to talk about some of the happenings in Chaffey over the last week—some of it good and some of it not so good, but first and foremost I mention the Riverland Auto Street Party celebrating Barmera's centenary. It was also celebrating 100 years of the automobile in Barmera.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:04): I, too, would like to rise and make a contribution to the Coorong Environmental Trust Bill. I stand here today somewhat frustrated that we again see another advocacy group wanting to be formed to deal with what has been the elephant in the room within the Murray-Darling Basin for a very long time.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:57): I would like to rise today to speak about something that is very important to all the regions internationally. Tomorrow is International Day of Rural Women. This year's theme is 'Building rural women's resilience in the wake of COVID-19'. This is an opportunity to celebrate and honour women and girls living in rural areas, particularly in South Australia and more particularly in the electorate of Chaffey.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:40): Thank you, sir, and did you know that today is national R U OK? Day, with this year's theme of 'Are you really okay?' It is a reminder to reach out and to start a conversation with friends, with family and with your work colleagues. We know that mental health and mental illness have been a significant contributor to suicide here in South Australia.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:36): I, too, rise to support this motion, a very important motion: Vietnam Veterans Day on 18 August. The Battle of Long Tan conflict lasted from 1954 to 1975. The day is an opportunity to reflect on the involvement of Australia and others who served in the Vietnam War from 1962 to 1972. Almost 60,000 Australians served over the 10 years of involvement, with more than 3,000 wounded and 521 making the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:37): I would like to rise and talk about some of the goings-on in Chaffey of recent times, and the first thing I would like to talk about is a recent visit by the Minister for Innovation and Skills.