Please keep up to date with the current COVID restrictions which are a constantly moving feast. When speaking with the Premier this week I again implored upon him the need for tiered restrictions and found a sympathetic ear. Restrictions should be imposed relative to the risk profile and after 18 months of this pandemic we have a large enough sample size to show that the country is safer than the city. It can therefore be trusted, or even rewarded, with lighter restrictions than our metropolitan friends.
It was very disappointing for all to hear the news the Royal Adelaide Show has been forced to cancel for the second year running due to the ongoing pandemic. At time of writing, things are still looking positive for the Yorke Peninsula Field Days at the end of September and the Kadina Show is going ahead this weekend. It is sincerely hoped that the eastern states can soon get their cases and tracing under control for the betterment of all of Australia.
Small business in our region continues to suffer and I was pleased this week that at least social distancing was elevated to 75% capacity for our local hotels and restaurants.
I remind a further round of cash grants opened today to help businesses and sole traders in eligible industry sectors which have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more over a two-week period as a result of trading restrictions imposed on 28 July (applications close 17 October). This support is on top of the $3,000 emergency cash grants and $1,000 grants for sole traders announced in July. For more information visit www.treasury.sa.gov.au
In better news, I welcomed today's announcement of $90 million being allocated to new water infrastructure projects, including $1.4 million for a project at Seven Point Pork (an upgrade of its existing water recycling plant to produce water for irrigation use) and $8.8m for a 5 km pipeline extension to the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme to supply the "Olive Oil Project" at Two Wells and create capacity for additional connections in the area. Water is a critical resource for a successful agriculture sector and these projects will enhance water security and help stimulate regional economic development.
It is also terrific to finally have approvals for the Fisherman's Bay freeholding project which means titles will soon start to be issued; and that the latest Crop and Pasture Report predicts our farmers are on track for a 7.6 million tonne harvest (second highest in the past five years). Fingers crossed the rain keeps coming at the right times for a good season finish.
I also welcome the funding announced for local recipients from various State Government grant programs, including Port Hughes Fishing Charters and YP Fishing Charters (Fishing for Tourism Diversification Program), Moonta and District Progress Association for its fun maze at Polgreen Park, Point Pearce Aboriginal Corporation to upgrade its Youth & Community Centre, and Salvation Army Copper Coast Corps to upgrade its kitchen (from the Grants SA program). Congratulations to all these recipients.