Adjourned debate to note grievances (resumed on motion)
Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (15:41): I rise to make a further contribution in regard to the Appropriation Bill 2016. The member for Heysen gave a very eloquent appraisal of what the government is doing with the privatisation of the Lands Titles Office, and I want to add a few words. Conveyancers from my electorate have expressed to me what they believe is the high risk of this information of land title. It is like everything, as in the movie, a man’s, or a woman’s, I should say as well—
An honourable member interjecting:
Mr PEDERICK: A person’s—to be fully politically correct—home is their castle, and home and land ownership is something to be treasured. I believe, as do these people from the industry in my electorate who have come to me, that there is a lot of risk here; whereas, conveyancers were already concerned about the electronic conveyancing, which has been in for a while now. Not only will that happen, but who knows who will pick up the Lands Titles Office records department?
I have been told that what is likely to happen is that it will go offshore. What level of risk does that contain and what will happen and how do you undo that if the system falls apart? As was conveyed to me by one of my conveyancers, and by the member for Heysen in her contribution, Robert Torrens would be turning in his grave after the work he did, which is used here not only in this state but across other jurisdictions in regard to the Torrens Title.
The problem we have in the state is that it is bankrupt and that the state Labor government keeps selling assets, which they said they never would do—
Dr McFetridge: And we had the Treasurer going against privatisation.
Mr PEDERICK: Yes, and the only reason we are going to run into any surplus whatsoever is because of the almost $2 billion privatisation of the Motor Accident Commission. In regard to points around domestic violence—and this is a very serious issue—I note there is a very special week on the sporting fields in the River Murray Football League this weekend. Domestic violence is an issue that needs to be taken up every day of the week. I note that in 2016-17, there is a target to release a domestic violence discussion paper consulting on particular matters
regarding reform and informing the community on current initiatives. Certainly, the 2015-16 highlights reflect the collaboration between the commonwealth and other state and territory governments to develop and implement the national plan to reduce violence against women and their children.
I note that the Multi-Agency Protection Service is receiving $683,000 over four years, but they need much more funding. That funding is to be appreciated because this is a cross-agency operation that works exceptionally well, as I know from the brief time I have been there, the briefings I have had and working with senior police since then and talking to them about its operation. It takes out the silo effect of departments and gets people working across departments. I certainly think the government needs to ramp up the work it does there. When we visited with the Social Development Committee, basically all they were doing was paying the rent and living on love from internal budgets.
River Murray ferries are an ongoing issue. It is good that I have in my electorate a local company in Bowhill Engineering, a fantastic company. They were commissioned to build the first two replacement ferries, and they are building another two ferries, and recently the contract was announced in this place. The problem for me is that the government put my local governments (and the member for Chaffey's local governments, and those of others along the river) into discussions for a couple of years about how they were going to fund the ferry replacement. It had nothing to do with local government.
Ferries are a part of state roads. Thankfully, sense has won the day, and they have been funded. They are being manufactured at Bowhill, who do magnificent work and employ a lot of local people. From talking to the owners the other night at a business awards function, I know that they have come very close to having enough work for about two to three weeks. However, now, with the ferry funding, that leads way out towards 18 months to two years of work on the books. It is to be commended, but it would have been far better if we had not gone through the circus beforehand.
I note the regional loans program that other members have spoken about in here. It is a $4 million loans program which, sadly, after less than two years, after much fanfare in announcing this program, failed to issue one, single, solitary loan for regional South Australia, and that is a disgrace. It just should not happen like that. I am sure there are plenty of people in industries who could have used that money, but once again it did not happen.
During the last year, 4,967 people left South Australia. That is the net figure, not the gross figure. In Tasmania, it was only 79. We are compared with Tasmania a lot, but we are in a far worse state than Tasmania. The Economic Investment Fund has administered $15 million worth of grants, but the cost to administer these grants was $13.8 million. It is just ridiculous. If you lived in the real world, you would never go anywhere near running an operation like that—nowhere near it.
There are some local things happening in the budget. The Murray Bridge wastewater relocation is happening, but that will not be completed until December 2021. That is certainly something that needs to happen in our growing regional city. In terms of the Tailem Bend to Keith pipeline, the just-in-time River Murray pipeline, which my property is connected to, the Coomandook tank will get some additional storage. That is welcome because once water is pumped to the storage tanks, whether it is the Coomandook tank, Binnies Well tanks, or other tanks along that line, that is what helps take the surge out of the pumping so that people can have adequate water and do not get the pulsing down the lines that can put so much strain on pipelines right down to the stock and domestic lines on your property.
I discussed electricity in my previous contribution to the Appropriation Bill. We have the government trying to say every which way but coal. Some people are saying that we are against renewables. I am not against renewables: I have over 14 kilowatts of solar panels. The simple fact is that wind and solar are not base load. Ever since Alinta has been forced to shut down because of policy in this state, the base load has come out of Victoria, and guess where it comes from? It comes from coal. That is why the talk of the second interconnector is on—because it has to be connected to that base load power.
Yes, some of that will be connected to some hydro base load, and I guess you could call that base load out of Tasmania, although they have run into trouble until recent rains, as they were nearly out of water to run their hydro plants. They have had trouble with their interconnector as well. I can remember a summer when the temperature got to only 30° Centigrade and we could not import power from Tasmania. We have to be realistic. It is great to have these great ideas to transition to fully renewable, but we still need base load power and it still needs to be affordable.
In winding up, I want to make a quick comment on KESAB and controlling the size of beef schnitzels. I think—and no pun intended—that there are bigger fish to fry or bigger things to fry. They do great work, and I think we have the greatest deposit scheme in the world in relation to returnables, but we need to be realistic and look at the big issues. People need to be mindful of how they order their food because, if they do not want a big schnitzel, they can order a kid's serve or a smaller serving. How much regulation do we need? We are being regulated on our food sizes, but it seems that—