Legislative Council: Wednesday, May 18, 2022


Plant Proteins Project

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:36): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development a question on plant protein.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: On 1 March 2022, it was announced that South Australia was set to be home to the largest pulse protein ingredient manufacturing capability in Australia thanks to a $113 million funding package from the Morrison government and a $65 million contribution from the former Marshall Liberal government. The Australian Plant Proteins project is worth a total of $378 million. My question to the minister is: will the minister give her assurances that a Malinauskas Labor government will honour the $65 million commitment made by the former Liberal government to ensure South Australia becomes a powerhouse in plant protein manufacturing?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:36): I thank the honourable member for her question. The extent, I am advised, of PIRSA's involvement in the plant-based protein program is that SARDI has developed a program of research to support the South Australian grains industry to meet its 2030 vision to position South Australia as a global leader in plant-based food research.

I am advised that the plant-based protein program is underpinned by two key projects: foundational research for a new pulse protein industry, and the plant-based food incubator. The main aims of these two projects are to develop new high-protein ingredients from pulses and grains, understand opportunities for genetic improvement and agronomic management of high-protein pulse crops in South Australia, and provide research and development and infrastructure to support the development of plant-based foods. That is the involvement of PIRSA through SARDI in this very exciting program.