A supplementary question put forward to the Hon. P. HOLLOWAY regarding mining exploration.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have a supplementary question. Will the minister provide the council with any details of interests Mr Robert Champion de Crespigny might have in future exploration or in the expansion of what has taken place, as the minister has outlined in his answer?
The PRESIDENT: Does that question arise from the answer?
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: I will take that question on notice. I really think it a rather offensive question. Mr Robert Champion de Crespigny devotes significant time at no cost to the taxpayers of this state. He has made an enormous contribution to the state. Mr Champion de Crespigny had a company that was involved in the state, but his former company was not involved in mining in the state.
The PRESIDENT: Order! Her Majesty’s loyal opposition will come to order.
Wednesday 25 May 2005
In reply to Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (11 October 2004).
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: The Minister for Economic Development has been advised of the following:
The Chairman of the Economic Development Board does not have any conflicting interests in relation to the matching funding of $1.75 million that was awarded to companies to accelerate mining exploration in September 2004, under the Government’s new Plan for Accelerating Exploration initiative.
As a state we are very fortunate to have Mr Robert Champion de Crespigny’s support. His valuable service with the Economic Development Board has been extended through his appointment to the South Australian Minerals and Petroleum Export Group.
A recent initiative of the Government’s, the role of the Expert Group is essentially one of building confidence by promoting the depth of opportunities in South Australian mining, through the support of well-known Australian business and mining identities including Hugh Morgan, Derek Carter and Ross Adler.
This group has no involvement or decision making role whatsoever in selecting suitable companies for funding under the PACE initiative.
South Australia is undergoing a boom in exploration, as is shown in recent ABS figures indicating South Australia’s share of national exploration at an all-time high.
We have set an ambitious target to increase exploration to $100 million by 2007 in South Australia’s Strategic Plan. Such has been the success of the PACE initiative, that just four months after announcing it in the Budget, the scheme was fully funded and the Government increased funding by 50 per cent.
I wish the previous Government had had as strong a pro-mining stance, as this Government has taken because the benefits to the state of minerals and petroleum development are enormous.