Legislative Council: Wednesday, October 18, 2023


Stirling Village Fire

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (15:06): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Regional Development on the topic of the Stirling Village fire.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: Last Sunday, as we know, Stirling Village shop owners had been forced to relocate or close after a huge blaze swept through that shopping centre. An estimated $25 million damage was caused to the Stirling Village, which has a Woolworths, a pharmacy, a Cibo, a sushi store, a Bakers Delight, a butcher and a ready-made meals store.

The Woolworths supermarket was fully destroyed. Businesses in the adjoining mall still haven't been able to access their shops to even see what has been damaged. These shops therefore aren't open, and local people not only are unable to access much-needed produce but aren't working. While Woolworths workers have been deployed to other stores, the closest stores are Blackwood, 12 kilometres away; Mitcham, 14 kilometres away; and Mount Barker, 18 kilometres away. We know that public transport options are very limited.

It is unclear how long the stores will be closed, but I note that local Adelaide Hills Council Mayor, Jan-Claire Wisdom, has contacted the Stirling Business Association to investigate what the needs might be and has offered options such as temporary caravan accommodation for some businesses. My questions to the minister are:

1. Has the minister contacted the Adelaide Hills Council or the Stirling Business Association to assess the needs of independent traders and workers or to offer assistance?

2. What needs have been identified, and what assistance has been offered?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:08): I thank the honourable member for her question. I am sure we are all saddened and shocked to see the fire that occurred at Stirling Village and to see the devastation that it has caused to those smaller shops as well as to Woolworths. I am happy to refer the question to the Minister for Small and Family Business in the other place to see whether she can provide some information in regard to the questions asked by the honourable member.