SOUTH AUSTRALIAN DIGITAL AND HIGH-TECH CAPABILITY

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (14:30): My question is directed to the Minister for Trade and Investment. Will the minister provide an update to the council on how South Australia is growing its digital and high-tech capabilities?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Minister for Trade and Investment) (14:30): I thank the honourable member for his ongoing interest in our digital and high-tech sectors and their capabilities. With closed borders, social distancing and other restrictions COVID-19 is changing the way we do business. Likewise, the Marshall Liberal government is changing how we support our South Australian exporters and key industries, with an increased focus on digital engagement providing up-to-date information and advice.

This includes our new online Export Fundamentals Program, which commenced yesterday, as well as our global in-market webinar series, which covers Japan, Korea, the United States of America, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and China. Including yesterday's webinar with our chief executive, Ms Leonie Muldoon, the second series of webinars has seen over 950 viewer registrations across all our key sectors, generating many business leads for follow-up.

The Marshall Liberal government is working hard to promote South Australia's digital and high-tech capabilities, and I can announce that through the Department for Trade and Investment our government is putting the spotlight on high-tech industries for the month of May. This activity will include webinars featuring thought leaders from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Living Lab, something I am very proud of, and a digital media campaign, as well as a broad promotion of South Australia's capability.

Businesses are invited to share their stories on social media by using #HighTechSA and #amazingsouthoz. Of course, our state has recently attracted MIT, which established MIT's Big Data Living Lab, and we are the home of the Australian Institute of Machine Learning. In addition to these world-leading capabilities and institutions, South Australia has world-class capabilities in data analytics, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

South Australia is one of the best places on earth for an organisation to explore and prepare for the coming transformation of technology and to work through an uncertain world. As part of High-Tech South Australia May 2020, I invite our high-tech companies to share their stories of success and inspiration so that we can shine a light on this important sector and ultimately boost exports, drive direct foreign investment, grow the state's international partnerships and showcase South Australia to the world.

I had the very great privilege this morning of watching some of the very first face masks come out of the Detmold manufacturing facility in Brompton. This is a first for South Australia, and it is a credit to the Detmold Group that it has been able to stand up a factory in just a tick over two months. The facility itself, when it is fully stocked with equipment, will be capable of producing 25 million masks a month or 300 million masks a year. It is, indeed, a particularly impressive bit of high-tech manufacturing.

I also took the opportunity to go to Mawson Lakes to visit Ellex Medical Lasers where, interestingly, I saw the Hon. Kyam Maher's name on a plaque on a building he had opened when he was minister. I was doing a little piece to camera and it did throw me somewhat off my script when I saw his name. However, all jokes aside, Ellex is a wonderful high-tech manufacturer. I looked at some medical lasers they are now exporting to China, 25 of these units a quarter, and they are also looking to be involved in some componentry manufacture to support the production of ventilators in this current global pandemic.

Those are just two quick examples of how high-tech manufacturing is capturing opportunities right now.