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PO Box 959
Berri SA 5343

Phone (08) 8582 4230
Fax (08) 8582 4231

Media inquiries
contact Brad Perry 0433 265 816

River communities welcome decision to disallow critically endangered listing


The Federal Government’s move to disallow the listing of the River Murray as "critically endangered" has been welcomed by the State Liberals’ Shadow Water Minister Michelle Lensink and Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone.

The former Federal Labor Government included the River Murray on a list of threatened ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act the day before the federal election campaign officially began.

Irrigators, industry groups and businesses along the river corridor have expressed concern about the decision to include the River Murray under an ecological listing.

Senior Liberal members tour the Riverland and Mallee

South Australian Deputy Liberal Leader Vickie Chapman and Senior Shadow Cabinet Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith have set their sights on the Riverland and Mallee with an extensive two-day tour next week.

The two senior Liberal Party members are touring the region on December 16 and 17 hosted by Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone.

With a full itinerary, Ms Chapman and Mr Hamilton-Smith will be visiting stakeholders across a number of industries including manufacturing and trade and the pair will be touring small and large businesses that play a crucial role in Chaffey’s economy.

Agriculture a priority during Shadow Minister visit

Shadow Agriculture Minister David Ridgway will conduct a two-day tour across South Australia’s food bowl next week exploring opportunities in agriculture, horticulture and primary industries.

Hosted by Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone, Mr Ridgway will travel extensively across the region on December 9 and 10.

With less than four months until the 2014 State Election, Mr Ridgway, who is also the Opposition Leader in the Upper House, has a full itinerary meeting with representatives from a large range of food industries.

"Chaffey is the engine room for food production in South Australia with the Riverland producing more than 50 per cent of the State’s total wine crush," Mr Ridgway said.

Labor Government fails to furnish chemotherapy unit

After slashing the budget for the Riverland General Hospital upgrade, the Weatherill Government is relying on the local community to raise tens of thousands of dollars to furnish the brand new chemotherapy unit.

A new four chair chemotherapy unit was announced by the Labor Government as part of the initial $41 million upgrade.

"The budget for the hospital upgrade was cut by $5 million and we were promised there would be no reduction in services," Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said.

"As a result a large number of community groups are raising money to put towards the $26,000 approximately needed for four chemotherapy chairs.

Blame game but still no trigger points on $2.2b desal plant

Sadly for South Australians, Premier Weatherill’s Water Minister continues to play the blame game over Labor's $2.2 billion desalination plant.

However, Minister Hunter refuses to provide any options about managing the facility for the benefit of all South Australians.

Shadow Water and River Murray Minister Michelle Lensink said Mr Weatherill's Labor Government has failed to provide trigger points and certainty for all South Australians.

"Mr Weatherill's $2.2 billion desalination plant needs to have trigger points for operation when we don’t have access to cheaper water sources," said Shadow Minister for Water and the River Murray Michelle Lensink.


Riverland Free Wi-Fi Network Questions

The Hon. S.W. KEY (Ashford) (14:31): My question is directed to the Minister for Science and Information Economy. Can the minister inform the house about the initiatives that encourage people who live, work or visit the City of Adelaide to use the new free wi-fi network service when it is up and running early in the new year?


Almond Centre of Excellence questions

The Hon. S.G. WADE (14:35): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries a question relating to the establishment of the almond centre of excellence.

Bangalore Homestead Questions

The Hon. S.G. WADE (14:27): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question relating to the Bangalore homestead.

Health Care (Administration) Amendment Bill

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:52): I rise to follow on from the member for Morphett. I have some real concerns when it comes to individuals who put in countless hours in providing health care and services, particularly in the regions. Of course, I rise to speak about what I am experiencing in the electorate of Chaffey—the Riverland and the Mallee.

Statues Amendment (Smart Meters) Bill

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:09): I, too, rise today to support the bill introduced by the Minister for Energy in September this year. South Australia has been a lead legislator for the National Energy Retail Law and National Electricity Law, and I am pleased to be able to support the bill which represents an initial step for the eventual widespread introduction of the use of smart meters and related technologies. It is a welcome relief to finally see the state Labor government doing something about this issue because after 12 years in government it has failed to take any action to implement smart meters, despite the widely recognised benefits of the technology.


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