Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (15:02): My question is to the Premier. What has the government done thus far, and what is it intending to do, to support the many people whose jobs and families have been impacted by the closure of the Port Thevenard wharf?
The Hon. S.C. MULLIGHAN (Lee—Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Minister for Housing and Urban Development) (15:02): As the member for Flinders would know, we have received a briefing from Flinders Ports about what is going on with the Port of Thevenard and, in particular, the failed piece of infrastructure that they have experienced in recent weeks. Indeed, they put out a press release dated 8 August, a couple of days ago, saying that reparatory works have commenced at the port.
We, obviously, have been following this quite closely. I think from the member for Flinders’ perspective, not just because it is in his electorate but of course many of his constituents either own operations or work in operations that rely on the use of those export facilities in order to get product to market, the inability to use this infrastructure is causing several businesses severe dislocation in their operations, particularly in getting their various products to market.
Of course, the government finds itself in a position where we have limited direct ability to insert ourselves into the process, given that Flinders Ports owns, manages and operates this infrastructure, but certainly I, as well as the Mayor, Allan Suter, and the member for Flinders himself, have made it abundantly clear to Flinders Ports that not only do they need to repair this infrastructure as quickly as possible and get it back open for the benefit of all those operations but, while they are working on that process to fix this infrastructure and get it back open for use, they need to be reaching out to all the operations that otherwise rely on that infrastructure and make alternative arrangements with them.
I must say that we, as a government, have not been kept abreast by Flinders Ports on their dealings with those operations that rely on that infrastructure. However, I do understand from some of the verbal advice I have received from my department that some of those discussions have been underway over previous weeks. As to the specifics of that, I am not sure exactly what they have done and implemented, but I am more than happy to find out all those details, whatever details we can, and bring that back and provide that to the member for Flinders.
I do share his concerns that this is not just a great inconvenience for those operations but this is costing them money and it’s putting full-time, ongoing and casual jobs at risk, jobs which are used by those operations to flex up and flex down as they seek to get their products to market.