Tuesday, 21 September 2021 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 7189/7190/7191
The Hon. G.G. BROCK (Frome) (14:33): Supplementary question to the Premier: it was great news about having the forum with the regions. Does that extend to all regional members of parliament?
The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL (Dunstan—Premier) (14:33): As I was saying before I was cut off by the member for West Torrens, when I was talking more broadly about the regions, every single region in South Australia is important to our government. Every single person in this state is important. No longer are people being neglected. I love visiting Frome, I love visiting the entire state, and my door is always open to every single person who has important projects. I was only in the member for Frome’s electorate—
The SPEAKER: Order!
The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL: —recently, where we had an excellent meeting with significant people within that electorate, including the Mayor of Port Pirie. There are some very significant issues, challenges and opportunities right throughout regional South Australia. I must say that I was very pleased to receive a briefing from the Mayor of Port Pirie about some of the exciting opportunities, but also some of the challenges that exist in regional South Australia. These are the things that we as a government are trying to address, whether these be education related, health related, infrastructure related, services related. The people in regional South Australia deserve a government which is tuned in to their needs.
Of course, we can’t solve every issue overnight, but what we want to do is make sure that the whole state receives support from this government. I will give you a classic example: the Whyalla school. This was a school which I must say was, for a long period of time, promised by the former Labor government, but was it ever delivered? They really missed out, and the reason why they missed out was that it was a safe Labor seat, so they got nothing—they absolutely got nothing. When we came to government, there was a plan to upgrade that school. It needed an upgrade.
The SPEAKER: Order! The Premier will resume his seat. The leader rises on a point of order.
The SPEAKER: Order, members on my right! The leader rises on a point of order.
Mr MALINAUSKAS: Point of order: standing order number 98. The member for Frome simply was asking whether or not the regular monthly meetings that the Premier has now instituted will be extended to other regional members. He wasn’t asking about Whyalla High School.
The SPEAKER: The member for Frome’s question—
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Chaffey is warned for a second time. I am in the—
The Hon. A. Piccolo interjecting:
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Light is called to order. I will rule on the point of order. The member for Frome’s question asked the Premier in relation to the extent of the scope of regional engagement and with respect to every member, I presume including himself, but not limited to himself. I listened carefully to the question. The Premier, in the course of his answer, is addressing, including by way of example, areas of interest in regional South Australia. I am listening carefully to the Premier’s answer. The Premier is in order and he has the call.
The Hon. S.S. MARSHALL: The simple fact of the matter is that the new committee that we are putting up is a subcommittee of our joint party room. It probably would be extended to some of our candidates in regional South Australia as well. But this doesn’t mean that if people aren’t attending they don’t have the ear of government. I have just been providing advice to the house, which most people were listening to.
Those people over the other side want to frustrate, but the reality is that I think most people are genuinely interested in the regions in South Australia. We have a decent question from the member for Frome and I was providing advice to him about my recent visit to his excellent electorate and my meeting with the local government there. I was providing information with regard to a recent visit to Giles, where I attended the USG conference, which was being held, which is held on a very regular basis.
I know, and most people in here would appreciate, that we have a very regular dialogue between key members of the cabinet and the councils of Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla, because the Upper Spencer Gulf, like many other parts of our state, were completely and utterly neglected by those opposite when they were in government. They have a long list of things that need to be addressed and so we work with those areas because we want to see every single person in South Australia and every single region in South Australia achieve their full potential. That’s what we have been doing since we have come to government.
I was giving the example of the Whyalla school. It was very easy for us to basically do an extension to one of those schools, but the Minister for Education came into the cabinet and said that the people of Whyalla deserve the very best school in South Australia, and that is what is being built at the moment. It is a fantastic new school, which will be an inspiration to the students in Whyalla. I know they are extraordinarily excited about the opportunities that will be available to them very soon—in fact, in term 1 next year.