Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 19, 2022


Forestry Industry

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:28): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development regarding new forestry plantations.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: To support the establishment of new plantations for our future wood supply, in partnership with the state and territory governments and industry, the federal government is providing $86 million over five years from 2021-22. This funding is to be distributed into the national forestry hubs upon agreements negotiated with the relevant states and territories. My questions to the minister are:

1. Have you or your government had any engagement with your federal counterparts regarding this program?

2. Is an agreement between South Australia and the federal government under negotiation?

3. If yes, when is it expected to be concluded?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:29): I thank the Leader of the Opposition for her question. I think, if I recall correctly, the $86 million must have been the announcement that the member for Barker claimed was potentially coming all to the Green Triangle when it was first announced. I remember that very well, because I had media coming to me—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Minister—

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: I had media coming to me scratching their heads, saying, 'So is $86 million coming to South Australia?' I said, 'The announcement'—

The Hon. N.J. Centofanti interjecting:

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: Of course, at the time there was virtually no detail around the announcement from the former Liberal federal government. They made an announcement, and then we were seeking all sorts of information in regard to it. When there was a change of state government I became Minister for Forest Industries and sought additional information about this program. The answer was, 'We really don't have very much. There is a media release.'

That was the answer at that time. The only information being provided, if I recall correctly, was that it was a media release. Unlike the opposition, who had virtually no policies on the forest industries going into the last state election—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! The minister can continue her answer without your help.

The Hon. R.P. Wortley: They ought to be ashamed of themselves, really.

The PRESIDENT: Enough!

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: Unlike the opposition, who went into the state election with virtually no forest industry policies whatsoever, I'm very glad to see added and increased interest because of the Malinauskas Labor government's specific interest in this. As we know, the former state Liberal government didn't even think that forest industries were important enough to have—

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order, the honourable Leader of the Opposition and the Hon. Mr Wortley!

The Hon. N.J. Centofanti interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The honourable Leader of the Opposition!

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Minister, sit down. They are not interested in the answer. The honourable Leader of the Opposition, your third question, please.

The Hon. N.J. Centofanti interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Your third question, otherwise I will move on.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Nobody is listening to anything. Third question, let's go.