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Grain Industry

Mr HUGHES (Giles) (14:30): My question is to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development. How many farmers have started fires while harvesting in the last 10 years?

The Hon. S.S. Marshall interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The Premier is called to order. The minister has the call.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD (Gibson—Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing) (14:31): I thank the member for the question.

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: I did want to jump in and grab this because—

The Hon. L.W.K. Bignell interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Mawson is warned. The minister has the call.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: I have been working very closely in this area, being the Minister for Emergency Services, and I'm working with the CFS. The number for the last 10 years, I can't give you; I do apologise for that. But what I can tell you, and the member for Lee will be interested, given he—

The Hon. V.A. Chapman interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The Deputy Premier is called to order.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —roams the wonderful regional electorate of Lee.

The Hon. S.S. Marshall interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Premier!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: I know there were actually two in the last couple of months started by a harvester. One of them was in Maitland, in fact. Again, the CFS responded very quickly and we got them out, thankfully. Not too much damage was done and no property damage there. Yes, two in the last two months, so it can and does happen.

Mr Malinauskas interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition is warned.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: I want to stress the point again that farmers right across the state do everything they possibly can to stay as safe as possible. There are always one or two that don't and that is what we are going to make sure—that those people are not hurting themselves or their neighbours.

Under the harvesting code, farmers do an absolutely outstanding job. In fact, I know on the West Coast they have a great code over there where they all look out for each other, and it works wonderfully well. But what we want to make sure of is that that 1 per cent, if that's how little it is, doesn't impact on everyone else. All the farmers who are doing the right thing will be absolutely protected and applauded for what they do and supported to do even more things. That was part of the conversation I was having at breakfast this morning—

Members interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Order!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —with the grain growers of South Australia. Some of the technology that is now in these harvesting cabs can actually be looked at—

Mr Malinauskas interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Leader!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: —ways we can be sharing—

The Hon. S.S. Marshall interjecting:

The SPEAKER: Premier!

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD:that information, the information on weather and winds and all those sorts of things that have an impact, so the opportunities here are great. We will continue to work with the Country Fire Service, who are searching for as much information as they can to make sure that their diagnosis, their analysis of conditions during a hot weather day or an extreme weather day, can be shared amongst all farmers. Farmers do an outstanding job and the ones who are doing that outstanding job will not notice any difference.

The Hon. S.C. Mullighan interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The member for Lee is warned for a second and final time.

The Hon. S.S. Marshall interjecting:

The SPEAKER: The Premier is warned.

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: But like on the other side and the member for West Torrens, every now and then you get a rogue. You get an odd one who can't do a very good job and you want to make sure that they are getting the help and support they need through the CFS.

An honourable member interjecting:

The Hon. C.L. WINGARD: No, the member for West Torrens is potentially the rogue that I'm talking about. But farmers do a great job. I can't stress that enough. We want to work with them, work with the grain growers, and the answer to the question again: in the past couple of months there were two. Two fires were started by a harvester.

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