Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Regional Development

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (15:09): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development on regional development.

Leave granted.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI: The federal industry minister, Ed Husic, confirmed last week that the federal government has pulled $113 million from an SA-based plant protein project, which would have seen three manufacturing sites as part of the project: one in the northern metropolitan suburbs and two in our regions. This proposal was intended to be a major job creator for the regions, and the state government's contribution to the project was $65 million.

In a previous answer to a question on the plant protein project, asked in this place by the Hon. Jing Lee, the minister brought back a reply from the trade and investment minister who said that, and I quote: 'The state government grant is contingent upon federal support and remains in active discussion with the relevant parties.'

My question to the minister is: will she as the Minister for Regional Development, and the Malinauskas government, commit that the state's contribution to the project of $65 million will still be used in the regions towards other projects to stimulate growth and economic development in country South Australia, or will the funds simply be put back into general revenue?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:11): I thank the honourable member for her question. As she mentioned in her answer, this particular issue has been with the Department for Trade and Investment. I think it is fair to say that, given that news came through only last week, there isn't as yet to my knowledge a definitive answer to the question. I will refer the question to the Minister for Trade and Investment and bring back a response.