Peter's Blog

First sitting for 2018

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (17:25): Thank you, Mr Speaker. I, too, join the chorus of congratulations to you on being elected to the esteemed position of Speaker of this house. You are doing a sterling job so far, sir—well done.

It is a pleasure of mine to grieve on the opening day of the 54th parliament in South Australia. It is indeed an auspicious day because, of course, we have seen a change of government. Congratulations to Premier Marshall and the team on this side, who managed to achieve something we have not had for some 16 years. Congratulations, too, to the 14 new members in this place on both sides; 11 of them are on this side. They have just sat through their first question time, so that would have been an experience, I am sure.

It is an incredible logistical feat to manage the campaign leading up to an election day and then the election day itself. We are all appreciative of the support and help we get in the weeks and days leading up to it, but particularly on that day. I know some people camped out all night overnight in the city, probably to guard some polling booths for the day ahead.

Mr Bignell interjecting:

Mr TRELOAR: That’s right. Once again, I enjoyed solid support in the seat of Flinders, but I would like to make note of the other candidates in Flinders. Julie Watson was the Labor candidate. Well done to the Labor Party for finding a candidate who actually lived there—that was good. Anthony Parker, who is a farmer from Wharminda, represented the Australian Conservatives. Finally, Ian Dudley, who is a schoolteacher from Elliston, stood for the Greens. It was a well-fought and respectful campaign.

Earlier today, we heard the Governor’s speech where the government’s agenda is outlined. What an exciting time it is for South Australians generally, particularly those South Australians who live in the country areas. Many of our issues have been simply swept under the carpet by the previous government for a long time, and we now finally will have the ear of government and the opportunity to put some effort into the country and regional areas in South Australia.

I think the member for Stuart touched on one issue in the previous grievance, which I can identify readily with, but which also highlights the lack of regard the previous government had for the country area, and that was the situation relating to wild dogs. I know some long-lost relatives of mine in the north-east pastoral country are shooting 200 dogs a week, which is devastating to their business. The Governor talked about more jobs and lower costs for households and businesses, and that particularly relates to essential services like power and water and levies and charges the government impose and how we are going to address all those things. The Governor also talked about providing better government service. Ultimately, the Public Service is there to serve the public without fear or favour.

What I think we have seen in the last 16 years is the politicisation of the Public Service. I can understand how that happens. Of course, you have a certain amount of loyalty after all that time. One of the challenges we will have is to overcome that. As a member of the government, I am looking forward to being able to talk to the local schools, talk to the local policeman, talk to the local government employee in any government service without going through all the protocols and without that person necessarily feeling edgy about the meeting.

Policies must be set to support growth in the private sector. Our state’s history shows that that is what works best for South Australia. Ain’t that the truth? I and many others, particularly on this side of the chamber, come from the private sector. We know how important it is for export income. We know how important it is for providing jobs and employment for South Australians, particularly young South Australians.

We will look to increase the export potential of businesses and create new markets. What a wonderful opportunity that is for the seat of Flinders on Eyre Peninsula, based on agriculture and seafood. There is an opportunity there to expand into a global marketplace. Ultimately, what we need to allow those businesses to be is competitive. The Marshall plan for this state and for our businesses is to make them competitive because we are head to head with the Canadians, the Americans and the Europeans. If we are at a cost disadvantage to them, then we will be at the back of the pack.