The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 15:57 :35 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question regarding the abolition of the Pastoral Board.
The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: Following questions to the minister in this place on 28 October last year regarding the abolition of the Pastoral Board, the pastoral industry is yet to receive any indication on future arrangements for its services. The announcement of the abolition of the board by the Premier in September 2014 is yet to have any concrete details provided to industry or to the parliament about the winding up of the board, any transition arrangements and its replacement. In fact, the Pastoral Board is still continuing to meet on a bimonthly basis, with meetings still scheduled this month and in April, according to the Across the Outback publication produced by the South Australian Arid Lands NRM Board. On 28 October I asked the minister in this place:
…will the minister indicate in the absence of Pastoral Board employees which personnel will actually inspect pastoral properties in relation to stocking rates and rent renewals?
To which the minister responded by saying, 'These things are still to be determined in terms of discussions.' It has now been over three months since questions of this nature were raised in the council and over four months since the Premier announced the abolition of the Pastoral Board and neither the industry nor the parliament have received any greater detail about the government's proposals for the replacement of services which are currently being provided by the Pastoral Board. My questions:
1.Will the minister advise the council what, if anything, will replace the services provided by the Pastoral Board?
2.Who, in the absence of Pastoral Board employees, will inspect pastoral properties for stocking rates and rent renewal examination in the future?
3.When will the industry finally receive surety regarding services currently provided by the Pastoral Board?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) ( 16:00 :00 ): I thank the honourable member for his most important question. I can say at the outset that I have had some good meetings with pastoralists and, as I said previously I think to this chamber, also with Mr Dan van Holst Pellekaan, who has brought delegations of pastoralists to my office to discuss these matters. It is still early days in terms of working out what sort of system will replace the current system because, as I said previously, it is up to the parliament to determine what will happen when the omnibus bill comes before the parliament.
Whilst I don't want to prejudge those outcomes, I am already working with pastoralists and the pastoralist industry to come up with a better outcome. I have said all along that there have been public and other communications about the inadequacies of the current system, and we as a government want to address those and come up with a better solution. The only way of doing that is working with and talking to the pastoralists themselves. I am very pleased to be working with the member for Stuart on that project.
I have also said that I have an open mind about how we can improve the system, and I have asked for their suggestions, and I will continue to work with the member for Stuart and the pastoral industry to come up with a solution that will satisfy them and the parliament, and hopefully when the parliament sees the omnibus bill it will support the abolition of the board.
The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 16:02 :15 ): As a supplementary question, when does the minister anticipate that that outcome will come to fruition?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) ( 16:02 :23 ): As I said, we cannot prejudge the determination of parliament. When the omnibus bill comes before the house—
The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink interjecting:
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: The Hon. Michelle Lensink said that I just did. Incorrect: she didn't listen to the answer. She started the day off very badly. I said that I don't want to prejudge the deliberations of this parliament and the determination it might make, but in the preparation for that determination I have started work on a better system to offer to the industry, and hopefully parliament will see the sense of that.
The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 16:03 :00 ): Further supplementary: will the minister clarify when he anticipates that the determination that he intends to bring forward will come to fruition? I think he misread my previous supplementary.
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) ( 16:03 :10 ): I apologise to the honourable member quite sincerely. If he could keep control, as parliamentary whip, of his colleagues from interjecting across the chamber, I may be able to actually listen and attend to his supplementaries. As I said, I am working with the pastoral industry and the member for Stuart. We have met on two occasions in recent times to discuss these issues, and we will continue to meet and come up with a solution.