LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY (1)

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:41): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister update the house on how the Marshall Liberal government is supporting South Australians by building key infrastructure to boost the livestock industry?

The Hon. D.K.B. BASHAM (Finniss—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:41): I thank the member for Hammond for his important question. The member is committed, like all of us on this side of the house, to building what matters, to provide jobs and opportunities here in South Australia. The Marshall Liberal government is investing $12.9 billion in infrastructure over four years to transform the opportunities in South Australia.

I was delighted to join the Premier, the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport and the member for Hammond out at Murray Bridge late last year for the sod-turning at Thomas Foods International's new meat processing facility. It is exciting to see the work that is being done and to see Thomas Foods committing to rebuild here in South Australia to develop a world-class abattoir with amazing technology being introduced into that abattoir going forward, following the sad fire that occurred back in 2018 that destroyed their former abattoir.

The abattoir is being built on a greenfield site, and the Marshall government is very much supporting them in their needs, investing in core infrastructure to get access to what is needed at this particular location. The government has invested $160 million from the Regional Growth Fund towards roadworks and utilities going out to the development.

I am pleased to announce the infrastructure of the roadworks has been completed and now we are seeing work underway and progressing in relation to electricity, water and gas infrastructure. As well as the state government's commitment, the Morrison commonwealth government is also contributing to the project. This is a very important project for the Murray Bridge region and for the state's economy.

Once operational, the new TFI plant is expected to create 2,000 jobs as well as 4,500 indirect jobs. They will be processing 1,200 cattle per day. They will also be processing 15,000 sheep and lambs per day, which is a substantial increase on the capacity of the old abattoir. As well as that, there are 600 additional new jobs there from the old plant. The government is very much supporting our livestock industries. We have also seen the need to invest in this facility to make sure we can supply the export and local markets and maximise the potential out there for farmers' returns.

Through the COVID-19 pandemic, the private sector has been standing up in regional South Australia. They have been out there very much wanting to commit to our economy. There has been a special round of the Regional Growth Fund that has been overwhelmingly responded to with 228 applicants which totalled $740 million worth of investment wanting to be done. The government has also been investing $25 million into the South Australian dog fence rebuild. This is also a key project supporting our livestock industries. The first stage has been completed and other stages are in the process of being delivered as we speak.

It's very important that we continue to support the livestock industries in South Australia. They are such an important part of the South Australian economy; they have always been an important part. By investing in the infrastructure to facilitate the rebuild at Thomas Foods and the work that has been done in that one in 100-year opportunity to rebuild the dog fence, the Marshall Liberal government is investing in infrastructure that matters.