Eyre Peninsula Grain Growers Rail Fund

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:25 :03 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the minister representing the Minister for Agriculture a question about the Eyre Peninsula Grain Growers Rail Fund.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: I think it was in about 2006 that this fund was established, and it raised in excess of $2 million from growers in what was a much larger fund, with industry and government contributing to the rest of the fund. The fund was to assist with the upgrade of the Eyre Peninsula rail system. Of course, we had good seasons in 2010-11, which meant that the fund exceeded its target by approximately $500,000. The regulations that established the fund allowed the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries to apply the surplus to projects that benefit the Eyre Peninsula grain growers.

I am advised that the minister of the day—I think it was the Hon. Gail Gago at the time—surveyed Eyre Peninsula grain growers to ascertain their preferences on how the balance should be distributed. However, I am also advised that the results of this survey have never been released. I have recently been contacted by a number of growers who paid into that fund to seek further information on exactly what the results of that survey were. My question to the minister today is: will the minister provide a copy of those survey results to this chamber?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:26 :25 ): I thank the honourable Leader of the Opposition in this place for his most important question to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. I undertake to take that question to him in the other place and seek a response on his behalf.

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