18th February 2020

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (15:23): I would like to rise to speak about the greatest electorate in South Australia, and that is the electorate of Chaffey, to talk about mobile phone blackspots. I am very happy to say that on Thursday two mobile blackspots in the electorate of Chaffey will be turned on, and it is great news for the people at Murtho on the Murtho Road in those surrounding areas at Murtho South. We will see that first tower have the switch flicked, as well as at Wunkar, which is one of the great grain growing areas on the border of the Riverland and Mallee.

These areas have long called out for digital connection, which is part of the state government's commitment, as part of the $10 million Black Spot program, in collaboration with the commonwealth government. It is part of the commonwealth government's round 4. They, too, have collaborated with the telcos to be able to bring some of those regional areas into digital connection with a mobile phone service. This gives connectivity and it gives our primary producers the ability to be connected to their markets, to their brokers and to their logistics chain, making sure that they have the same advantages as many other regions around South Australia, which is great news.

Also, there is a third tower at Murtho North. For those of you who do not know where Murtho North is, you might know where the Woolshed Brewery is on Murtho Road. I can assure you it is just adjacent, which is great news for those horticulturalists in particular, as well as the ag and tourism sectors. When people come up to the ancient forest at Chowilla, they have connection. Those horticulturalists have connection not only to do business but also to run their telemetry and to make sure that they have those aspects of safety on farm. It is an absolute credit to the Marshall Liberal government for recognising what a previous government never recognised. We now have a backlog of more than 500 towers in South Australia, so it is great news for the Riverland.

I also want to mention the 2019 Riverland and Mallee Vocational Awards. The Riverland and Mallee have around 900 apprentices and trainees currently in training, which is great news. These awards were established by the Rotary Club in Berri about 35 years ago. The awards on 8 February saw strong attendance with the finalists. Proudly, Jessica Matulick, the trainee from my electorate office, was named the 2019 trainee of the year. Congratulations to Jess. She has been such a wonderful asset to my office over the last 12 months. She will be moving on and heading to university. I wish her well. I think she is headed to Flinders to do physiotherapy, and she will be an absolute asset.

The apprentice of the year and data and voice communications industry award went to Aidan Kenyon, which is great news. Aidan is an outstanding young fellow in the Riverland. The vocational education and training post school student of the year was Caitlin Polack, which was a great outcome. The school-based apprentice of the year was Charlie Holtham, sponsored by his father's business, Hotondo Homes, through general carpentry.

The vocational education and training student of the year was Jack Monaco, who did his training at TAFE SA at Berri. School-based trainee of the year was Emily Westley, from Glossop High School's governing council through business. The hairdressing industry award went to Chernoa Morrow. Cindy's Hair and Beauty is a great supporter of that award. Congratulations to Chernoa. The printing industry award was taken out by Teagan Nourse, with Tri State Graphics being the supporter. The automotive industry award went to Adam Schultz from Waikerie Crash. Kym Webber is the owner-proprietor down there at Waikerie Crash. Kym would be elated at having a star pupil.

The electrical/air conditioning industry award went to Craig Turner at SA Water. The engineering industry award went to Ty Wagenknecht at G.J. Dix and Sons. The food processing industry award went to Alex Rollbusch at none other than Rollbusch Quality Meats. Nigel, his father, is doing an outstanding job. The building and construction industry award went to Briley Gibbs at Ben's Constructions. They are all worthy winners in what is the nation's largest regional apprentice and trainee awards. Congratulations to all the winners, the runners up and the finalists; they should be very proud.

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