Legislative Council: Tuesday, September 06, 2022


Eyre Peninsula Field Days

The Hon. R.B. MARTIN (15:37): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. Will the minister please inform the chamber about the successful Eyre Peninsula Field Days event?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:37): I am delighted to see the honourable member's interest in the Eyre Peninsula Field Days. It is a wonderful event, and I was fortunate to be able to attend. Of course, it was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, so there was a real sense of excitement and participation at the event this year because it had been very sorely missed.

The Eyre Peninsula Field Days is an iconic event. It has been held at its current site since 1978 and is organised and managed by a team of volunteers from the community. I really think members need to be at the event to get a sense of what a huge achievement that is, given the size and scale of the event, to realise that it is organised and managed by volunteers from the community, which is an incredible achievement.

It was held from 9 to 11 August, and I think I was very fortunate that I attended on day one, which was definitely the best day in terms of weather. It was a beautiful, clear blue sky—absolutely the pick of the days. I understand the next two days were pretty rough and windy and wet. Despite those weather conditions, the field days attracted at least 11,000 visitors over the three days, who were interested to see and experience the latest innovations in agriculture throughout the state, as well as having the opportunity to enjoy fantastic food, coffee, produce, lifestyle, fashion parades, 'artyculture' and entertainment, with a special shout out to all the schools who performed as part of the schools' music program.

Around 500 businesses and services were represented across the many pavilions, marquees and stands, including PIRSA, which was represented by seven different exhibitors, namely, SheepConnect, Animal Health NLIS, plant health biosecurity, AgTech, SA Drought Hub, Fisheries and Aquaculture and Regional Customer Services. They were able to provide attendees with the latest information on biosecurity, soil management, farming practices, commercial and recreational fishing, drought prevention, management of pests and diseases and so much more.

There was a strong attendance across both state and federal government agencies also, giving attendees the opportunity to interact with services that are important to them. As I mentioned, the field days not only showcase the best of agriculture but also have a focus on lifestyle and health issues. It was great to be able to meet Australian cricket cult hero Brad Hogg. He was in attendance to raise awareness and share important messages about mental health as part of Grain Producers Australia's new national mental health awareness initiative. There was also the Lions Club providing free skin cancer screenings.

Great food and local produce were a huge drawcard, with the Taste of EP collection of stalls showcasing local food, seafood, baked goods, drinks, coffee, handcrafted goods and much more, having a great few days, I am advised. I am told that L'Anse cafe sold out of their amazing pastries. I must say I am not surprised, because I visited their cafe a few weeks ago in Port Lincoln and they are superb. Seeing so many small and larger businesses busy and enjoying doing what they do best once again is very heartening after the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our regional communities. Some exhibitors reported having their best field days in memory.

I also want to pass on my congratulations to the winner of the Best Overall Display, which was Lienert Engineering; the Best Lifestyle Display, West Coast Homecare; the Best New Release, AgroPlow AAP 102 Deep Ripper; and the Best Australian Agricultural Machine, Weed-It by Rometron Australia. Well done to the sponsors, volunteers, stallholders, businesses, government agencies, patrons and everybody else who had a part in making the 2022 event as successful as it was. I look forward to attending again in the future.