Boating Facilities Levy

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (12:52): I rise to support this motion by the member for Chaffey, which in the first part acknowledges the importance of having safe and adequate boating facilities across South Australia for boat owners and fishers but also condemns the state government for leaving $8.6 million of the boating facilities levy unspent in 2015-16. This has been an ongoing issue for years with boating facilities funds.

I obviously have many, many kilometres of river in my electorate, from Goolwa right through to Bow Hill. I have been given various reasons over time as to why these boating facilities funds are not spent. One reason, which went on for at least 18 months, was that they did not have gender equity on the board. Gender equity is fine, but to hold up boating facilities because they could not fill a board position, no matter who they needed on that board, I find ridiculous, to be frank. I find it ridiculous that that happened in that instance.

The member for Colton asserts that the money is allocated. Why was it not allocated in the year it should have been spent? That is the question. This is the frustration for the Boating Industry Association, for boaties right up and down the river and around the coast and for councils and communities: that these funds, which are taken from boat users, are locked up and not made available for facilities that are crucial so that people can enjoy their recreational pursuits along the river and out to sea. It is a real frustration that this money is not spent in a timely fashion. It is another excuse the government uses to store up their budget, having a bit more in the coffers. I certainly commend the member for Chaffey for bringing this motion to the house, and he has my full support.

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