GOYDER UPDATE – 6 OCTOBER 2016

Thursday 06 October 2016
GOYDER UPDATE – 6 OCTOBER 2016

The weather certainly dominated thoughts and actions recently, and everywhere I travelled after the storm and during the floods, there was evidence of communities pulling together to ensure people’s safety and to protect property as best they could.

The efforts of local SES, CFS, MFS, SAPOL, and council staff over such an extended period of potential calamity was just fantastic, and no thanks are enough for their dedication to service, and care, in trying conditions.

Road closures in and around Port Wakefield over the long weekend significantly impacted usual tourist trade, and I sympathise with local businesses left to deal with this unexpected financial loss as well as any stock losses from power outages.

Road closures in and around Port Wakefield over the long weekend significantly impacted usual tourist trade, and I sympathise with local businesses left to deal with this unexpected financial loss as well as any stock losses from power outages. For grain growers, we can only wait and see the extent of damage to crops that were on track to produce a bumper harvest. PIRSA has established a hotline for impacted primary producers, open 24/7 until further notice: (08) 8207 7847. A general Recovery Hotline is also available – 1800 302 787 – for information on recovery services and support, including advice on available relief grants.

My thoughts have been with residents dealing with damaged homes and flooded property, and with impacted horticulturalists on the Adelaide Plains where an estimated 1500 hectares were under water after the Gawler River burst its bank. The full extent of the devastation there is still unknown, with losses estimated at more than $50 million.

I commend South Australian vegetable grower body AUSVEG SA and the South Australian Produce Market for teaming up to establish the SA Growers Flood Appeal to rally support for these growers, with monies raised to fund seedlings and other start-again costs for affected growers.  Contributions can be made by calling (08) 8349 4493 or by donating via Foodbank’s website (see separate article on this website for more information). 

I also commend the Wakefield Regional Council on offering free disposal of domestic-sized loads of storm-damaged items at its waste depots in Everard, Owen and Port Wakefield.

Yorke Peninsula’s Spencer Gulf coastline bore the brunt of the initial storm, in particular the Port Rickaby, Port Victoria and Wallaroo jetties. The announcement by the Government of supporting jetty repairs by making $3.5 million available is fantastic news and the quick, positive response is appreciated.

Coastal erosion is also an issue, particularly at Point Turton where 14 homes are at risk and where I have met with local residents to survey the damage from the previous storm in May (and thankfully, the September weather events haven’t appeared to have made this situation worse). I am liaising with the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, the Hon. Ian Hunter MLC on this issue, and specifically, the recommendation that a protective seawall be constructed.

I encourage constituents to report to me any issues experienced during (and since) as a result of the state-wide power blackout, the storm and/or the flooding. Feedback on areas where improvements could be made to better prepare for the next significant weather event or natural disaster is particularly sought.

Information on emergency relief grants (and all current grants) is available on this website. Go to the Links tab, and click on Grants/Funding. (I am currently developing a new website which will have improved navigation). As always though, if you need assistance phone/email the Maitland electorate office: 8832 2455; goyder@parliament.sa.gov.au

On 4 & 5 October I was pleased to host a tour of the Goyder electorate by State Liberal leader in the Legislative Council David Ridgway, Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Shadow Minister for Tourism.

This two-day itinerary included visiting Primo Smallgoods at Port Wakefield, Greenwheat Freekeh near Dublin, Viterra at Wallaroo and the Minlaton Show, and taking part in the Rex Minerals Hillside Mine public meeting in Ardrossan hosted by Hillside Mine Community Voice.  

Valuable discussion sessions were also held with local members of both the Australian Grain Growers Co-operative and the Yorke Peninsula Alkaline Soils Group, and with Yorke Peninsula Tourism Marketing Manager Brooke Liebelt, and I thank all who met with us for their important contribution.

Steven Griffiths MP JP