Tangible support for farmers needed

A big thank you to all those people that responded to my call for feedback on genetically modified crops.

Much of the information provided was of a very practical nature and it will help me when I initiate the discussion within the state opposition on the best way forward.

The policy position should be guided by the best available science and an assessment of the financial benefits and costs.

In providing feedback several people touched upon the drought conditions that are being experienced in some parts of our state and especially areas on the Eyre Peninsula.

Last week over a few beers I had a long conversation with one farmer whose family had worked the land near Cowell for three generations. He told me the conditions on his farm were the worst he had seen.

Other farmers had similar stories while others, reflecting the patchy impact of weather conditions in our state, were doing okay.

Along with the Member for Flinders, Peter Treloar I recently added my support for tangible assistance for farmers and communities effected by drought.

South Australia missed out on the latest round of federal funding for drought effected areas.

Federal funding was provided in Queensland and New South Wales in addition to state government’s providing significant support. I acknowledge the duration, intensity and spread of drought conditions in those states is serious but parts of our state are doing it hard as well.

At the time of writing the state budget had not been handed down so I hope there will be funding to assist areas hit by drought.

I did call for the Regional Growth Fund to be used to assist drought effected areas or, at least, give those areas priority support through the fund.

On a final note, good on the Raynor family and especially Edie Jane Raynor for her plea for a GP to serve the Kimba community. 

The delivery of medical services remains a challenge in parts of regional and remote Australia.

Although as a nation we have graduated more doctors most work in our major cities and larger centres.

It might be time to consider providing Medicare provider numbers based on population ratios as is done in other countries.

EDDIE HUGHES

Member for Giles