I was pleased to speak in Parliament last sitting week on the success of the Yorke Peninsula Field Days and again offer my congratulations to all involved in its staging. From a personal point of view, having a stand in the Cyclone Pavilion offered a very valuable opportunity to meet directly with a number of people and I thank all for taking the time to visit with me.
GM crops, the Port Wakefield overpass project, snapper fishing and my call for a ferry service from Glenelg to Yorke Peninsula were dominant topics.
Regarding a new ferry service, Sealink has confirmed interest in operating services between Glenelg and Port Vincent and I have made a formal submission to the underway State Government-commissioned review into the feasibility of an envisaged $110 million redevelopment of the Glenelg Jetty precinct, proposing that ferry service infrastructure provision be included in any upgrade plans. My call has been publicly supported by Yorke Peninsula Council and Yorke Peninsula Tourism, and meetings will be held in due course with numerous stakeholders. It is early days, with the feasibility study report into a significant Glenelg jetty upgrade not due for completion until the end of the year.
Of the decision to ban fishing for snapper for three years from 1 November, this is a terrible situation and I feel genuine empathy for all fishers and businesses impacted by this outcome. Ultimately, stocks are so dire that drastic action was required, and it is clear that stronger action should have been taken years ago. I will be closely looking at proposed offset measures such as on-shore restocking programs ($500,000 has been allocated for snapper fish stocking in Spencer Gulf), adequate fee relief for commercial fishers and vital support ($500,000 pledged) for our charter boat sector. Paramount also are improvements to the science and methods of fish stock counting so I particularly welcome the $1 million allocated to address this, and the pledge that should scientific evidence show improvements in snapper stocks before 2023, re-opening the fishery sooner will be looked at.
I remind anyone moved to advocate for increased state-wide recognition for Koolywurtie-born aviation pioneer Harry Butler that submissions to the Adelaide Airport Preliminary Draft Master Plan closes on 28 October. For more information see separate news article on this website (news 11/9/19). Also, on the website is information on how to have your say on the State Government’s Jetties Strategic Plan and the Draft Planning and Design Code.
Another valuable initiative led by Copper Coast Council is the recent establishment of the Upper Spencer Gulf Copper Coast University Hub Steering Committee, to progress potential tertiary course offerings in Kadina to stem the tide of young people and mature aged students forced to leave the region for university studies. As a member of that committee I strongly encourage all to participate in underway surveys to gauge interest and to demonstrate community need – the survey links can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9MM6R88 (Industry Skills Analysis) and at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UniHubCC
Finally, I draw readers attention to the Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants Program offered by the Federal Government and announced last week. This is a great initiative open to eligible regional show societies for the maintenance and upgrade of existing infrastructure and the building, purchase, rent or construction of new infrastructure related to the running of an agricultural show on regional showgrounds. Grants of up to $500,000 are available; for more information visit: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/infrastructure/ag-shows