With consultation closing on 24 June, there's still time for interested constituents to email me feedback ([email protected]) on the draft bill I have released to amend South Australia's Mining Act to correct the imbalance between farming and mining on agricultural land.
This has been an issue which I have taken up throughout my time in Parliament and one which I am not willing to let fade away into the background. My Bill is an attempt to legislate the recommendations which came from the Select Committee established last year of which I was a member, and its intent is to establish a Mining Land Commissioner with various functions (enforce regulations, complaints resolution, administer a code of conduct for exploration etc) and obligation to conduct introduced land use mapping (aligning with Recommendation 2). Please refer to the home page of this website to read the Bill and to lodge feedback.
The State Budget
It was wonderful to see a State budget handed down with a focus on health, particularly regional health, but it was disappointing to see so little allocated for our region. That said, I remain confident Ardrossan Hospital Accident and Emergency Unit will receive the crucial funding it needs to stay open, and I also welcome the upgrade for Wallaroo ambulance station, the $100m Economic Recovery Fund, and funding for the Horrocks Highway.
The delivery of the election commitment to double the Cost-Of-Living Concession for the 2022-23 financial year will also be very welcome for many who are finding their household budgets stretched to the limit with rising fuel, food and rent/mortgage costs.
The amount per eligible household is:
- Homeowner-occupiers: $449 (doubled from $224.50)
- Homeowner-occupiers who are self-funded retirees with a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card: $224.60 (doubled from $112.30)
- Tenants: $224.60 (doubled from $112.30)
Current recipients don’t need to do anything to receive the increased Cost of Living Concession while new applicants have until 31 December 2022 to apply. Payments will be made in August 2022 and March 2023. More information is available by visiting Cost of Living Concession
or by calling the Concessions SA Hotline (9am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday) on 1800 307 758.
I also alert parents of school-aged children they now can access a $100 discount off their school’s Materials and Services Charge, which is additional good news. This subsidy is for the 2022 and 2023 school years; any parents who have already paid their 2022 Materials and Services Charge are eligible for a refund (or rebate on other school charges); I encourage contact with your school to further discuss. For families who haven’t yet paid the charge for 2022, the school will automatically apply the $100 discount.
To further assist household budgets, I have called for the PATS fuel subsidy to be increased urgently, given the high petrol prices are leaving constituents who require medical treatment in Adelaide that is not available locally, significantly out of pocket.
I also again intend to speak in the chamber next sitting week about the ongoing doctor shortages in our region.