Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 15, 2023


Strengthening Industries Program

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (15:17): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development about the Strengthening Industries Program.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: According to the PIRSA website, the Thriving Regions Fund Strengthening Industries Program supports primary or regional industries impacted by significant supply chain disruptions, market access constraints or changes to the operating environment. Through this program, the government recognises the importance of industries that support our regions to thrive.

The PIRSA website goes on to say that PIRSA will assess applications to the Strengthening Industries Program individually and make recommendations to the minister accordingly. However, nowhere on the PIRSA website is there a link to an application process. My questions to the minister are:

1. What industries has the minister or her department communicated with to ensure they are aware of the programs?

2. Given there are no apparent public links to the applications, how do those various primary or regional industries apply to participate in the program?

3. Why haven't the details regarding the application process been made public?

4. Why is this program, which is apparently designed to support our regions to thrive, such a secret squirrel business?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:19): Given that the honourable member is referring to what is publicly available on the PIRSA website, it is really quite remarkable that she is then suggesting that this is somehow secret. I really don't think the PIRSA website is password protected and firewalled. I am pretty sure that anyone who wants to go on the PIRSA website can easily do so.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! I would like you to finish your answer, please, in silence.

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN: Any contact details for PIRSA will get your application through.