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.
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.
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.
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.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:01):Today, I rise to show some serious concern for the river communities here in South Australia, not by the floods but by the inaction of the Minister for Water, the Minister for Climate and the River Murray. Today, we have heard that one minute we are favouring buybacks and the next minute we are favouring infrastructure, and the mixed messages are having a really detrimental effect on those river communities. They are having a detrimental effect on the irrigation communities because they do not know whether they are coming or going.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:48):I, too, rise to make a contribution to one of the most important agencies in South Australian government budgets, because we all know too well how important a good, robust health system is. What the member for Schubert has brought to the table seems to have agitated the government members because I think, rightfully so, they were elected on the premise that they would fix ramping. Along the course of the past 12 months we have seen ramping almost double.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:41):I, of course, will rise to make a contribution to the Public Works Committee report with regard to the Truro bypass. It is a stretch of infrastructure that has long been discussed, long been talked about, because we know that the stretch of road that comes away from Halfway House Road up to Truro and beyond to Ebenezer Hill and then up to the Barossa and Nuriootpa is a main thoroughfare for heavy vehicles, it is a main thoroughfare for the east to the west, but it is also a connecting highway from the east to the north.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:18):Boy, has it been a busy Easter ANZAC break-up in Chaffey! It gives me great pleasure to let everyone know that the Karoonda Farm Fair was back on after a significant break. For two days at Karoonda there were many thousands of people who streamed into the Karoonda Farm Fair. They were able to get a real taste of what a country fair is all about. Karoonda is obviously in the Mallee. What I was able to witness there was nothing short of a miraculous recovery for a small country show. I want to commend the committee and the coordination group for such a fantastic event.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:48):I rise to support the shadow's motion this morning. It is an important motion because it is a day of remembrance and it is a day of paying respect, just like I did on ANZAC Day and at functions before ANZAC Day. There were thousands of Riverlanders who were working on fruit blocks who left their families behind and enlisted to fight, and some never returned. Our service men and women showed strength, courage, determination, endurance, mateship and bravery to represent their country and give us the freedoms that we currently enjoy today.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:13): I would like to make a brief contribution to thank the Natural Resources Committee for making the journey up to the Riverland. I am hoping that they gained a lot out of it. The member for Mawson has just given quite a descriptive brief on what they saw and the challenges that the region faced not only through the most recent high-flow event that turned into a flood event but what the day-to-day challenges are: being a food producer, dealing with biosecurity issues and dealing with the vagaries of weather. I think there was a bit of a mixture of all of that in that trip.