Legislative Council: Wednesday, June 01, 2022


Regional Housing

The Hon. L.A. CURRAN (15:23): Can the minister confirm what discussions have been held with regional development boards in relation to regional housing, particularly to support regional industries?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:23): I thank the honourable member for her supplementary question. This is an issue that I was certainly very much aware of. Whilst we were in opposition, I remember attending an RDA conference up at Hahndorf, where half the day was devoted to regional workforce issues and the other half to regional housing issues. Unfortunately, as I recall, the Liberal minister at the time who was responsible did not attend. He did send a representative—I think it may have been the Hon. Stephen Patterson, but I'm not quite sure—who stayed for, I think, about an hour. In contrast, I was able to stay the whole day, because I think it is really important to listen to—

Members interjecting:

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: I can hear the Hon. Ms Lensink interjecting, as though it's not important to actually stay and listen to the issues in regional South Australia—the issues that were being raised by the RDAs and yet—

Members interjecting:

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: Point of order.

The PRESIDENT: Order! Minister, sit down.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I will listen to the point of order. What is it?

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: I ask that the minister retract that statement. It's not what the Hon. Michelle Lensink said.

The PRESIDENT: I am not quite sure what we are referring to with regard to what was—

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. Maher: And has the member been offended?

The PRESIDENT: It sounds like she has. Withdraw it and move on. Come on, please.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! Please, minister.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: I am happy to withdraw if the member's harrumphing did not indicate that she didn't think it was important to attend. As I was saying about this very important issue, we had presentations from councils—

The Hon. K.J. Maher interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order, leader! Minister, finish your answer, please.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: As I was saying, we had some very useful presentations from RDAs, from industry experts and also from representatives of councils at that event. The Hon. Blair Boyer stayed there for the entire session that was to do with workforce, too, if I recall correctly. Those sorts of interactions I think are really important, and it is a shame that the then government didn't take the opportunity to listen to some of those creative ideas and listen to what the issues were that were being raised.

Since the election, one of the events that I was involved in was the Regional Australia Institute forum, which also had a heavy focus on housing in the regional areas. I was very pleased to be able to address that forum, talking about what I have learned from listening to stakeholders, listening to community members in regional areas, listening to RDAs and listening to councils, and share what it is that I have gleaned from all of those interactions. We can then look forward to a number of those presentations that were given through that forum being able to feed into the further policy development that we have around this very important issue which, unfortunately, has been ignored for too long.