Survey (Funding And Promotion Of Surveying Qualifications) Amendment Bill

07 Apr 2009 archivespeech

This speech is to indicate that the Liberal Party support the Survey (Funding And Promotion Of Surveying Qualifications) Amendment Bill.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (17:01): I rise to indicate that the Liberal Party supports the bill, which is not extensive and contains only three clauses. The clause in question inserts a paragraph into section 10 of the Survey Act 1992 and provides an additional function, that is, to provide financial assistance for training, and I endorse the Hon. Mark Parnell's questions in that I think it is not terribly clear how this will operate. I think that the parliament deserves to have those questions answered because, in some ways, this is a market failure to provide the relevant qualifications in South Australia.

My colleague the Hon. Rob Lucas asked questions in relation to this issue, and I think that he may well make a contribution either during the second reading debate or at the committee stage. He raised an issue that some of us may not have thought of, namely, that it is unusual to assist in the funding of tertiary education through some sort of fee process. I think all of us agree that it is important to have locally trained graduates, and I ask the government: what were the exact circumstances of the course's ceasing to be offered in South Australia?

As I mentioned, the Hon. Mark Parnell's questions are very important because this regime may well fall over, and I think that the parliament deserves more transparency in relation to what it is enabling the institute to do. I would also like more information. I have a copy of a letter provided to the member for MacKillop (the shadow minister for infrastructure) from the Institution of Surveyors, as well as a copy of the annual report for the year ended 30 June 2008, which leaves a bit of mystery as to what the current market of surveyors looks like, that is, the number of surveyors who operate in South Australia.

I understand that a number operate through mutual recognition and are based in Victoria. Will the government provide advice on whether a monopoly, duopoly or oligopoly operates within this market so that people who require survey services are at the mercy of a specific company or forced to cross the border to find people who can offer those qualifications?

I would also like to know whether there is a set fee for those services and whether those fees can be provided to the parliament, as is the case in a number of other professions, particularly the health professions, where we know that there are certain fees, or are there recommended fees provided by the professional institution? What is the quantity of work—how many surveys are performed per annum?

Can the government provide much greater detail about what the market for surveying looks like in this state that has led to this situation, where we need to undertake the unusual step of providing funds from lodgments to underpin, in effect, a new undergraduate degree course? With those comments, with some reservations, I look forward to the rest of the debate.