Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:13): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister update the house on how the Regional Growth Fund is delivering more jobs and a stronger economy in my electorate of Hammond and across South Australia?

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE (Chaffey—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:14): Yes, I can. I thank the member for Hammond for his question. In my recent tour through his electorate, we saw some prospective projects that were going to be nominated for the Regional Growth Fund. As we all know, the commitment by the Marshall Liberal government is a $150 million commitment over 10 years to put infrastructure projects in place to help regional South Australia grow.

We know that over 16 years they had been ignored, but not under this government, and no better than in round 1, where we have seen huge success with the projects that have been rolled out over there. Again, the regions have shone through. The innovation, the collaboration and the clustering have equated to community benefit right around our regions.

Round 2 has been announced with $4.4 million of investment into 10 projects that will help our regions grow. It is creating jobs. It is creating economic activity. Round 2 will see about 160 new jobs created, but in the creation of those jobs it's about creating sustainability within an economy that is desperate for growth.

What I can say is that in the member for Hammond's electorate we have seen wine projects that have been supported, and it is about the collaboration of wine, distillation and breweries that have come together to grow a business, to grow tourism, but also to grow an industry that is now on the brink of making new records at every corner.

In terms of other world-class wine grape regions, the Barossa Valley has received funding through the Artisans group. Down at McLaren Vale, Chalk Hill has collaborated with the Never Never distillery and a local brewery to come together as another hub of tourism, excitement and attraction in that region. Down at Langhorne Creek, we have seen the Bremerton wine business now flourish to collaborate and grow to create huge opportunity, not only with food, tourism, wine and distillation but it is now a tourism hub that will attract people down to that really bit of a sleeper wine sector that has for long periods of time gone under the radar.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. T.J. WHETSTONE: What we can say is that other projects have included the Barossa bikeway, which is to leverage value for cycling tourism and to link the $80 million existing infrastructure linking Gawler to Angaston. We have also seen the Far North receive some money with the Royal Flying Doctor Service clinic at Marree, a faraway outback community needing improved health services, and the Regional Growth Fund is part of that.

We are also seeing the revitalisation of the foreshore at Port Augusta. For a long time the member for Stuart called out that Port Augusta was needing a bit of a facelift, and that is exactly what the Regional Growth Fund is about to do. Down in the South-East we have seen an upgrade to the largest cattle selling facility—$385,000 allocated to improving loading and unloading infrastructure, which benefits a $1.3 billion red meat industry.

The Regional Growth Fund is doing great things for regional South Australia. I have already spoken about the Goolwa Chart Room, and the member for Finniss is very, very excited about that project, as is the member for Kavel, because as I explained yesterday the Mount Barker water treatment storage facility will open up new economic activity.

The Regional Growth Fund is performing extremely well. We are seeing regional communities coming together for the benefit of those communities and those businesses. We all know that these regional building projects are made possible by the commitment of this government for the regions of South Australia because #RegionsMatter.

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.