Legislative Council: Thursday, July 06, 2023



The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:48): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development about problems reported by growers.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: In today's Stock Journal there is a report on the spread of gazania, commonly known as African daisy.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I would like to hear the question. Continue please, deputy leader.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: Trials conducted by PIRSA in 2014-16 show some promise of controlling the spread, but viticulturalists, horticulturalists and croppers report that this invasive weed is becoming resistant or hardened to current herbicides and difficult to treat. Several growers have raised issues with the opposition this morning and informed us that despite their best efforts gazania is spreading rapidly and that the priority has shifted from eradication to control. The herbicides commonly known to try to control gazania are harsh. They have a bykill on crops and can affect farmers' skin. My questions to the minister are:

1. Are PIRSA and SARDI conducting any gazania-specific trials and, if so, where are they occurring and what is their scope?

2. Has the minister's office spoken directly to growers concerned about gazania and, if so, in what regions are those growers located?

3. Does the minister or her department have a clear picture of the scale of the gazania's invasive spread and the impact it is having on production?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:50): I thank the honourable member for her question. I am delighted to find she has clearly acquired a desire to read the Stock Journal and have some interest in regional agricultural areas. That is certainly something to be commended.

SARDI and PIRSA, of course, have a strong track record in terms of research and trials. We are very fortunate to have world-renowned researchers here in South Australia. In terms of the specific question that the member has raised, I will take that on notice and bring back an answer.

In terms of the second part of the question about whether I have been approached, to my knowledge I haven't received any correspondence on this matter. Certainly, none has come across my desk so far. If there has been anything in very recent times, it hasn't yet made its way through the normal processes to my desk. To my knowledge, no-one has approached me about this matter.