Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (11:27): I rise to support this motion by the member for Bragg:

That this house—

(a) notes 18 to 24 March is Harmony Week; and

(b) acknowledges the range of valuable activities undertaken in our community under the theme of 'everyone belongs'.

This happens as 21 March, which happens to be my eldest son's birthday—I better remember that—tomorrow, is Australia's Harmony Day, which celebrates the country's cultural diversity and it coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and that is vitally important.

If it was not for the many, many hundreds of thousands, into the millions, of migrants that have come to this country since the late 1700s, 1800s, we would not be the multicultural country we are. It is just amazing what all these cultural groups add to the diversity of this country alongside the First Nations people.

Coming from a family of early migrants from 1840, coming out from England, to see the amount of diversity that is through our community now is fantastic, and none more so than in the seat of Hammond where, essentially, many hundreds of jobs, whether they be in retail, the service sector or food processing, have been taken up just in my electorate. We would not do our area or our state justice without this vital contribution from these people who are working there and whose families are fortunate enough to come and reside in the area to support these people as well.

It has been going on for a long, long time—many decades now. We have many jobs in the agriculture sector, whether it is in the meat industry, processing meat for Thomas Foods, processing for Big River Pork. I note that Thomas Foods are on the big rebuild of their staff. They have built the beef plant and are waiting on the lamb plant to be built, and they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on building that new plant from that tragedy that happened all those years ago at the start of 2018 with the fire.

We just would not have the work completed if we did not have the many migrants that came out. We have seen waves of different migrants come through, whether they be Afghans; whether they be the Chinese, and especially the Chinese at the time, when there was Kevin Excell and his bike shop who when he sold out of bikes had to just keep ordering them in until the migrant workers steadily progressed through to getting drivers licences and driving cars locally; or whether they be among the many other community groups, such as Filipino, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Sudanese, Africans, a whole range. There are dozens of cultural groups in my area.

It is not just in that food processing area as far as meat is concerned but in the horticulture business. I salute the Pacific Islanders that have come out in recent times. I note that during COVID we were trying to get 100 out from the Pacific Islands, but as they got to the plane they found that 12 had COVID and so had to be left home, but we got the others here, and we sponsored their quarantine accommodation, and they came in and helped with many industries.

I look at companies that I did look after in my electorate but still hold dear: Parilla potatoes or Zerella Fresh, who have upgraded their plant up there at Parilla, with many tens of millions of dollars. It is mainly potato packing but they do carrots and onions as well. They have a lot of overseas people working for them. I know there are a lot of people from Papua New Guinea there. As a lot of groups in the employment sector have found—and I know Darren Thomas from Thomas Foods has said to me, 'I'm not a housing person, I'm a food processor.' But they are all learning that they have to get involved in the housing to make sure that people can live locally and contribute locally.

I note that Zerella Fresh have been building their own houses in Pinnaroo and Lameroo, and that is enriching those areas out in the Mallee so that they can have those workers locally. I know that Thomas Foods have a dedicated staff member on this role of making sure that the appropriate housing is put together so that many hundreds of migrants that they need to service their facilities can live comfortably in the Murray Bridge region. They are facilitating that work, notwithstanding that their lamb slaughterhouse is still up at Lobethal.

Other groups that are in the area include Costa mushrooms, who recently spent $90 million in doubling their facility. There are a lot of recent migrants who work there, and some of them live outside the area; well, that is fine. They are contributing to this great state. Ingham's chicken enterprise several years ago spent $50 million on a feed complex, and every chicken shed that gets built is probably well north of $1 million now. They are over 100 metres long. There is a great contribution from these chicken sheds that are built locally, whether close to Murray Bridge or Monarto or out towards Karoonda.

They have a hatchery not far from my place at Coomandook. I am referring to the valuable contribution of people in these areas, but it is not just these areas of work that contribute to society but the culture these people bring in: the restaurants, the colour and the vibrancy. It is magnificent because it gets you away from the steak and chips, even if that is your staple diet.

A lot of people come into my office because we are the main area for justice of the peace signing and many people come in for various things. I will never forget a bloke coming in with his partner and I think one or two kids. He looked very solemn as we did the justice of the peace service for him. I did all that and said, 'There you go.' He said, 'How much?' I said, 'No, it's free mate. Don't worry about it.' His face lit up. It is so good to have them in the area.

I want to acknowledge the Murraylands Multicultural Network. On Sunday I will be there, and I acknowledge that the minister will be there as well, for a great day of performances and exhibitions by the many multicultural groups across the Murraylands and elsewhere in South Australia. It is always a great day.

I am sure my multicultural friends, as they did last year, will come and attempt to drag myself and the mayor up to dance with them. It may be no surprise that I did get up and dance. The mayor refused to. I said in his ear, 'If you get asked this time, you better get up.' It will be a great day on Sunday, and it is so great as a community to embrace all nationalities and migrants who in the past have contributed so much to the great network of our community and our state and will continue to do so well into the future.

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