Legislative Council: Wednesday, February 22, 2023


Riverland Flood Response

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (14:29): I seek leave to provide a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development about flooding on farmland.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: On 8 February, I asked a question of the minister about farmers left inundated by River Murray flooding after the government levees breached. Much of the families' frustrations stemmed from no fortifications happening on the government-owned Long Flat levee prior to the breach and a 'total lack of communication' since. In response to my question the minister replied that, and I quote, 'There has been a large amount of community engagement to date.'

According to the Stock Journal last week, the community forum in Long Flat was arranged by locals with help from Livestock SA because, and I quote, 'This wasn't going to happen if we waited so as a community we decided to do it ourselves.' My question to the minister is: can she inform the chamber why the Lower Murray community was left out of the widespread community engagement?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:30): I thank the honourable member for her question. The event that was held a couple of weeks ago—unfortunately I was unable to attend due to a prior commitment that I had made. I am glad to say that the chief executive of my department, Professor Mehdi Doroudi, the Chief Executive of Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, was able to attend along with, I believe, other members of my department staff.

I have had a number of interactions as, indeed, has my department and other avenues of government. It is very important that we continue to engage and where there are any opportunities to improve engagement further then I am more than happy to be involved with that.