Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:58): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Can the minister please update the house on what the Marshall Liberal government has achieved in regional South Australia since the last election?
The Hon. D.K.B. BASHAM (Finniss—Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development) (14:59): The Marshall Liberal government is delivering strongly for our regions. It is helping create jobs, encouraging investment and building economic resilience. The government has established the $160 million Regional Growth Fund over a 10-year period.
There have been some great projects in the member for Hammond's electorate, Parilla potatoes being one of them and Beston foods another, great investments in his electorate. The Regional Growth Fund has supported 80 projects since we were elected. The government has invested $65 million and a bit more into these projects. Of these projects, 37 have been completed and are already supporting the jobs and the economic opportunities in the regions.
When one considers the impact of COVID-19 on the economy over the past two years, this is a remarkable achievement being delivered by private business investing in these regional businesses and regional communities, supported by the government. In contrast, when we came to office there was $12 million worth of regional development projects that had never been delivered. They were projects that the government committed, had a press release about and a launch, but nothing ever happened.
The Marshall Liberal government is also investing $10 million in the Mobile Black Spot Program fund to actually make sure we get better coverage right across our regional areas with improved phone coverage. There are 54 new mobile phone towers, extending coverage to regional communities—54, a complete contrast to what happened previously under the former government. This investment is so important for the regions to have that connectivity.
The government has also developed a Regional Development Strategy, working with the regions themselves to work out how we drive those regions forward. We are working with and meeting with the leaders of government. The chief executives of government are coming together with representatives from all the RDAs and other council organisations to support the regions, to have those conversations, making sure we are connecting with those communities, making sure that we are delivering for those communities.
The former government centralised services and decisions in Adelaide. We are making sure those decisions are being made in the regions. It's so important that we see the regional health boards being established, the landscape boards being established, giving those decision-making processes back to those communities that actually understand their communities.
The government has also put in $2½ billion in new measures over the past two years and funding over the forward estimates of $875 million supporting those regions. We have supported our regional businesses, delivering on those top priorities ignored for a long time by the former government. They include $25 million to the SA dog fence, a piece of infrastructure that has been so important for South Australia for many years and neglected for many years.
We have put $21 million into drought assistance funding. We have abolished the GM moratorium to make sure farmers have the choice. We have invested $24.5 million into the marine scalefish fishing reforms. We established trade offices around the world to make sure we can get our products to market. Again, in the member for Hammond's electorate we are supporting Thomas Foods with their rebuild following their disastrous fire. This government is supporting our regions. Our policies are supporting the regions. Our regions matter.