Michelle Lensink

Port of Thevenard

A 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) in relation to the Port of Thevenard.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:55): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Regional Development a question about the Port of Thevenard.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: In July this year the Mayor of Ceduna expressed his disappointment when the Port of Thevenard missed out on critical commonwealth regional development funding which would have provided for a new fishing loading facility, and construction would have provided up to 170 local jobs. My questions to the minister are:

1.Has she met with the Mayor of Ceduna to offer assistance with this application for commonwealth regional development funding?

2.What work has her department undertaken to provide any assistance and will it provide assistance with future funding rounds this year?

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) (14:56): I thank the honourable member for her questions. The South Australian government was extremely disappointed—and I am sure I have actually spoken on this issue in this place before and outlined the government's support, including financial support for this project, but I think the honourable member must have been asleep at the time. Not to worry; the Hon. Michelle Lensink often nods off in this place, but I am happy to go through it all again.

As I said, I am sure that I have already expressed disappointment that this project did not receive RDA funding in the second round. This was a project that the South Australian government supported. It provided significant state funding to assist it. I cannot remember the exact amount now but it is on the record. The council was well aware of that support and we certainly recommended that project to the federal government during that round. I recall, I believe, that I received a presentation from the council around its proposals and, as I said, this was a project that the South Australian government supported. We thought it was a very sound proposal that offered some very strategic leverage for that district. We had put money forward as part of the funding program and I was extremely disappointed that it did not go ahead.

I have written to the mayor expressing that disappointment and urging him, if they were to reconsider resubmitting their proposal—and I am not sure whether that is a good thing or not. There has certainly been no evidence to date that failed projects in the past get up in the next round. It is usually advisable that the council reposition its project in some way to try to perhaps leverage it in a different direction. In any event, that is a matter for the council. As I said, I do not think there are any examples of previous failed projects that have got up in later rounds. Nevertheless, we have indicated that, if the council did propose to put that forward, we would certainly encourage him to be writing again to the South Australian government to receive assistance.

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