The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, representing the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, a question about future plans for SARDI.
The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: At a recent industry function, I spoke to some industry representatives, where they informed me that the Minister for Investment and Trade, the Hon. Martin Hamilton-Smith, had advised them that in February the government would be making an announcement about the future of SARDI. As members would know, there were some discussions when, I think, minister Gago was minister for agriculture, food and fisheries around SARDI being transferred to the University of Adelaide. Minister Hamilton-Smith would not confirm with these particular industry stakeholders whether it would be the University of Adelaide or Flinders University.
He also went on to say that this would be a way of clearing some 400 public servants off the government's books. Interestingly, I have spoken to some of the key stakeholders. As members would know, Primary Producers SA put together an eminent persons group with people like Don Plowman, Mr Dennis Mutton and others who are retired but were happy to give advice. That eminent persons group and Primary Producers SA have had no contact from the government. My questions are:
1.Will the government be announcing the transfer of SARDI to the University in February?
2.Which university will SARDI be transferred to?
3.Why have the key stakeholders not been consulted in this process?
4.Is the Minister for Agriculture happy with the Minister for Investment and Trade talking about his portfolio with industry stakeholders?
The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:25 :25 ): I thank the honourable Leader of the Opposition for his most important questions, directed to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries in the other place, about SARDI. I undertake to take the questions, minus the opinion evident in his questions, and seek a response on his behalf.