Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:29): I rise to speak about some of the fun and frivolity over the March long weekend up in Chaffey. If the March long weekend is a taste of things to come, Easter has a showstopper about to launch upon us. We all know that the Chaffey electorate is a great place to live and a great place to visit. The March long weekend that has just gone was a great example of how much there is to do and see throughout the Riverland. Also another great show of the resilience of our towns has been to recover and get on with life after the floods. From auto street parties to harvest festivals, there was something for everyone.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:47): I rise to put overwhelming support to this motion. It is critically important that we do acknowledge our emergency service personnel, whether they be paid or whether they be volunteers, no matter what colour uniform they wear or what part of the river communities they come from. Everyone rallied, and they rallied exceptionally well.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:26):I rise to give full support to the Bookmark Creek project. It is a $6.1 million component of the $36.7 million Sustaining Riverland Environments. I did present to the committee and I thank the Chair and the committee for allowing me to express my support and also to give a little bit more understanding of what Bookmark Creek has meant not only to the people of Renmark but also the natural environs that surround Renmark.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:46): It would be pertinent for me to stand up and talk about the recent floods. After today's performance by the Deputy Premier, I think it is an absolute disgrace that she can laugh her way through half of question time, absolving herself from responsibility and from answering questions about what has happened. It is one of the worst natural disasters in the state's history and she walks off smiling. What an absolute disgrace! However, I do want to pay tribute to the Minister for Emergency Services, who made himself available at every opportunity to answer questions about those concerns that MPs in this place had around responding to those high flows and then the flood event.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:36): I think it is very important that the majority of people in this place stand and acknowledge the great work that volunteers do, whether it is in their electorate, whether it is statewide or internationally. I think they have a very, very important role to play but, in saying that, they make our communities a better place to live. They provide a better environment for the time that they give and the service that they provide to the common person here in South Australia.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:32):I rise today to show a level of concern in regard to question time today about the preparedness of this government for what is deeming to be one of history's high-flow flooding events in South Australia's history.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:38): It gives me great pleasure to talk about things that are happening in Chaffey during spring, and what better to talk about than some of the flower and rose festivals that have graced the regions over recent times.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:18): I rise to give you a headline for tomorrow's paper, sir: the Riverland is not under water nor is the water running up the main streets, as many of the media have indicated along the course of the last week. The Riverland is bustling with activity; it is a hive of activity with river flows. The environment is looking magnificent. Our flood plains and our wetlands are currently experiencing a one-in-20-year drink, and it is magnificent to see.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:23): I, too, rise to support this motion. Many of us as MPs have had constituents who have visited us through the course of the journey with the request about speeding up the process of trials on the benefits of medicinal marijuana, or medicinal cannabis I should say, and for many reasons.
Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:40):Tomorrow, Thursday 29 September, marks National Police Remembrance Day, and I will be attending the Police Academy at Taperoo to observe the significance of what National Police Remembrance Day means to our police force and our police community. They come together to reflect on the memory of our police officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice in their service.