The State Liberals have defeated a Weatherill Labor Government move which would have diminished the importance of primary industries in South Australia.
“Primary industries represents almost a quarter of the South Australian economy,” said Shadow Agriculture Minister David Ridgway.
“It’s just as important to the State as mining or manufacturing, yet Labor treats it with contempt.”
Last year, a Parliamentary inquiry into grain handling unanimously recommended the formation of a committee whose sole responsibility would be dealing with primary production.
Labor members on that committee, the then-backbenchers Leon Bignell and Tony Piccolo, supported the recommendation when the inquiry reported its findings in September 2012.
“But it seems to me that both Mr Bignell and Mr Piccolo, now Ministers, capitulated in Cabinet,” Mr Ridgway said.
“Their Labor colleagues have fought against and resisted the formation of a standing committee on primary industries, culminating in a vote by Labor in the Legislative Council yesterday which tried to fob primary industries off to the existing Environment, Resources and Development committee.
“That’s clearly not good enough.
“Mr Bignell and Mr Piccolo were on the original inquiry. They agreed there should be a special committee dealing exclusively with primary industries. It appears they’ve now run up the white flag and surrendered to their city colleagues.
“However, unlike the Weatherill Labor Government, the State Liberals understand the importance of our regions.
“South Australians deserve a Government with better priorities to get our State back on track.”