Legislative Council: Wednesday, April 10, 2024


Quorn Water Supply

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (14:43): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development about animal health and water safety in the regions.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.S. LEE: On 12 March 2024, an ABC News article highlighted the plight of residents in Quorn with regard to its water quality. It was reported that locals in Quorn pay the same price for their water as Adelaide residents, but the mayor says their water is undrinkable. Resident Janet Nisted was quoted as saying, 'The dogs don't like the water here. They won't drink it.' On the use of water for showers, another resident commented, and I quote:

Soap doesn't lather, shampoo doesn't lather, your hair feels like straw and your skin is dry and itchy.

Quorn is known to be a tourism town with movies such as Gallipoli and The Tourist being made on location there. However, businesses are facing significant challenges and hardship with the water quality. Local business owner, Deryck Carruthers, is considering closing one of his businesses due to the corrosion caused by the high sodium levels in the water. The article also states that Quorn is the only regional town putting up with poor quality water. My questions to the minister are:

1. What action will the minister undertake to address adverse effects of water quality in regional towns which impact on community health, animal health and also regional economic development?

2. Has the state government conducted an investigation into this matter to help affected communities with their water quality to maintain animal health, agriculture and tourism opportunities as the lack of clean water will drive people away from the region?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (14:45): I thank the honourable member for her question. To my knowledge, the issue of drinking water for animals hasn't been raised within this context previously, but I will certainly check with my department about that. In terms of the broader issue, which I think we are all aware of, I will refer that to the Minister for Water and bring back a response.