Meetings with stakeholders this week have instilled some confidence that the future of the Minlaton Clinic will be resolved positively; I am aware community members have been very concerned about the delivery of health services in the region, and this concern is understandable.
As stated many times, improving local health services was a major motivator for me seeking election in 2018, and I emphasise that near four years later regional healthcare remains the number one focus for me such is the imperative need for accessible, reliable health care for the social and economic growth, and the very survival, of rural towns and districts.
In COVID-19 news, it was pleasing another 50 schools are to become vaccination hubs, among them Moonta Area School and Maitland Lutheran School (joining already announced Kadina Memorial School). The more people vaccinated before the scheduled borders opening on 23 November the better, and plans include access of these pop-up facilities by staff and students over the age of 12 (with consent) and after-hours by community members (please contact the individual schools for opening days and hours etc.) I also advise it has been announced that booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the community from 1 December, which I know will be welcomed by many, particularly people with low immunity health-related conditions. These third shots, to be for the Pfizer vaccine (regardless of which vaccine you’ve had for the first two doses), will be available at all SA Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Congratulations to our winners who featured in the 2021 SA Tourism Awards on 4 November – Redwing Farm near Weetulta which won the Hosted Accommodation category, and Ardrossan Museum and Information Centre, Bayside Glamping at Marion Bay and Tarnesey Farm near Wallaroo for being named Bronze medallists in the categories of Visitor Information Services, Unique Accommodation and Excellence in Accessible Tourism respectively. It is no small feat to feature in these State awards thus well done to the above operators, and in the case of the Ardrossan Visitor Centre, the volunteers who run this wonderful establishment.
I also was very pleased to attend the Sir Richard Williams RAAF Centenary Celebrations last weekend in Moonta, featuring a parade, aircraft flypasts, stalls and displays and the unveiling of a magnificent statue of Sir Richard. I was proud to be a personal sponsor of the latter, and to have played a part in securing $26,000 from the State Government to ensure work on the bronze statue could proceed. Well done to all involved in this event.
In roads news, I am pleased to see the Carslake Road/Port Wakefield Highway works as part of the $11 million Dublin Saleyard Access project are now complete with no speed restrictions. Improvements to freight productivity can now be fully realised.
It has been terrible to see the damage from two separate storm events in recent weeks, across the Adelaide Plains, and Wakefield Regional Council area. Clean up and assessment is continuing and damage to field and glass house crops has been extensive. Such events are particularly heart breaking near the end of a growing season and I was pleased when $50,000 of assistance was provided by State Government as an initial payment to be distributed via AusVeg to support the coordination and collection of shattered glass, plastic and waste from Adelaide Plains farms.
Farmers seeking further advice and assistance can call the Department of Primary Industries and Regions on 1800 931 314, and can also seek free financial counselling from Rural Business Support on 1800 836 211 and free advice from the Family and Business Support Program at www.pir.sa.gov.au/fabs
For further news, including grants information (Heritage Grants and Ageing Well Grants recently opened) please visit www.fraserellis.com.au or phone the electorate office on 88322 455.