Question put forward to the Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Status of Women)regarding forestry SA and the Glencoe Nursery.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:36): I have a supplementary question. Does the minister agree that if they had never sold the forests in the first place, this entire package would not be necessary?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, Minister for Forests, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Status of Women) (14:36): Nonsense. That is how little the Hon. Michelle Lensink understands about this. Part of the problem in terms of the industry at the moment, and the challenges that the sawmilling industry faces, are related to global matters. Problems with cheap logs coming in from overseas, the softening of building developments in China, the problem with the value of the Australia dollar—all of these things have affected our industry right across the nation.
One of the other issues of concern for our South Australian milling industry is that, unfortunately, there has been a lack of investment in the milling infrastructure for decades. So we have now hit difficult economic times, a part of international trends, and we have an industry that is poorly equipped to diversify and gear itself up to other milling markets because of its generally old and outdated infrastructure. So it is just a nonsense. The honourable member does not know what she is talking about. This package is invaluable, because it assists the industry—
The Hon. G.E. GAGO: Thank God it wasn't. It assists the industry to invest in that infrastructure that, as I said, is quite out of date.