FRASER INSTITUTE ANNUAL SURVEY OF MINING COMPANIES

Mr PEDERICK: My question is to the Minister for Energy and Mining. Can the minister update the house on recent results from the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies?

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (15:07): I thank the member for Hammond for the question and, yes, I can. We have heard a lot today about the confidence that the South Australian community has in our government. The Fraser Institute have a very important survey that they put out. The annual Fraser Institute survey assesses how mineral endowments and public policy factors affect mineral exploration and investment across the globe. It's a key tool used by the international resources industry to identify prospective jurisdictions and decide where they direct exploration investment. That's incredibly important because it goes directly to jobs, to employment, and much of that is in regional areas.

I am pleased to report to the house that of 77 jurisdictions ranked in 2020 South Australia has once again scored in the top 10 jurisdictions globally. South Australia ranked eighth globally in the Best Practices Mineral Potential Index, a great result. This signals to the international exploration community that SA is a strong place to do business. It means that we are predictable, methodical and reliable. It means that we don't pull surprises on our biggest growth sector without meaningful consultation and engagement first.

Importantly, South Australia ranked sixth in political stability, up from 18th in 2019. That's despite the efforts of the Labor opposition trying to turn our biggest growth industry into its own political plaything. The report shows that the Marshall government's improvements to the Mining Act and programs are amongst the best in the world. Our reforms to the Mining Act have provided greater protections for landholders, improved buffer zones—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: —more time and financial support, access to free advice and new protections for farm biosecurity. There are also new programs, like the Accelerated Discovery Initiative, which is seeing explorers test new concepts and exploration plays in SA and looking for the next big project.

ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge, phase 1, is a world-first initiative, bringing together geologists, mathematicians and data scientists to find new deposits. ExploreSA: The Gawler Challenge, phase 2, is seeking to advance these towards being drilling prospects. CORE Innovation is bringing together start-up hubs and high-tech industries to advance the sector.

The 2020 survey shows that, despite the stunts of SA Labor, we have been getting on with the job of governing the state. The 2020 survey has indicated that South Australia is one of the leading jurisdictions at the cutting edge of thinking and policy around resource development. The Leader of the Opposition should be ashamed of what his team is doing in this chamber, trying to make this industry—

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Point of order, sir.

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: —just a political plaything of their own—

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for West Torrens rises on a point of order.

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: On debate, sir, and a reflection on a vote of the house.

The SPEAKER: I take on board the first part of the point of order, which goes to standing order 98. I am not so sure there is any point of order in relation to the second limb. I am conscious of the question. I draw the minister's attention to the question, which is quite specific and referred to the results of the Fraser Institute assessment, and the minister is addressing that. The minister has the call.

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. We are proud of the Fraser Institute's assessment of South Australia. We accept that this is an achievement of the industry, with the support of our government, despite what the opposition is trying to do to play political games with this industry.

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Point of order, sir.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for West Torrens rises on a point of order. The minister will resume his seat.

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Standing order 98: the minister is implying a course of action by the opposition to make an argument. That is debate, sir, and it is inappropriate in answering a question.

The SPEAKER: In relation to the point of order, the minister is entitled to draw from the results of what I understand to be a Fraser Institute assessment and, in doing so, to put those results into some sort of context. I have the point of order as to debate. The minister will be responsive to the question. The minister has the call.

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Imagine how much better these results would be if we had bipartisan support for this industry across South Australia.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Point of order, sir.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for West Torrens on a point of order.

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: This is clearly now debate, sir. Implying motive again to the opposition is debate.

The SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order. Insofar as the minister departs from observations in relation to the Fraser Institute's assessment and makes broader observations as to an ideal world, the minister might have departed perhaps too far into an area that might contravene standing order 98, so I uphold the point of order. The minister has the call.

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Imagine how much better these results would be if things were different. We know exactly what we need to have changed. We are focused on making sure that our largest sector in South Australia, the agriculture sector, continues to thrive. We are focused on making sure that our largest growth sector in South Australia, the resources sector, continues to thrive.

We are putting policies in place, we are putting legislation in place and we are putting regulations in place. Despite the best efforts of those opposite, we are continuing down this path because it's what's best for South Australia: creating jobs, creating exports and creating secondary and third-tier industries that support these important sectors. The Fraser Institute recognises the good work that we are doing in South Australia.