Mr PASIN (Barker) (16:34): I spoke in this place last week about recent bushfires, and, in that speech, I mentioned how proud I was to represent such a resilient and generous community. Today, continuing on that theme, I specifically want to talk about the donations of hay that are emerging from the Limestone Coast and the south-east of South Australia.
Unlike much of the rest of the country, which is in drought, the Limestone Coast has had a relatively good year in terms of fodder production. Combined with the generosity I spoke about earlier, pledges of hay for bushfire affected regions have not been a problem.
The problem lies in getting the hay there. In South Australia, we have farmers in the Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island and Keilira in my electorate needing fodder for their stock. But, unlike New South Wales and Victoria, the South Australian state government has no transport subsidy program in place to help them get it there.
The Mount Gambier Hay Run has already participated in a huge convoy of hay to New South Wales. The organisers have a further 15 truckloads to give to farmers on Kangaroo Island, but they’ve encountered some issues when it comes to covering the cost of fuel and transportation. Our community, as I’ve said on numerous occasions in this place, is continuing to give, and we will ensure this fodder makes it to those who need it. But, quite frankly, the South Australian state government needs to step up and help.
This is how you prove regions matter.