Premier Steven Marshall to visit Karoonda for drought forum

Premier Steven Marshall, pictured in Adelaide last week, is coming to Karoonda. Photo: AAP/Roy Van Der Vegt.
Premier Steven Marshall, pictured in Adelaide last week, is coming to Karoonda. Photo: AAP/Roy Van Der Vegt.

Premier Steven Marshall will visit Karoonda on Wednesday to hear local farmers' stories about the drought and explain what his government is doing about it.

Primary producers are invited to a 90-minute forum at the Karoonda Football Club to be held at 10am.

Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick and Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone will also attend.

Event organiser Wade Dabinett said there would be plenty to talk about.

"It has been a pretty tough year with a whole range of conditions, not just rainfall," he said.

"Frost played a pretty big impact and there's been a deficiency of stock feed as well as poor crops."

But he said some properties were faring better than others.

He guessed that was one of the reasons state and national news bulletins focused more on the crisis in the eastern states than the South Australian Mallee, and why there had not been quite such an outpouring of support and solidarity in this state.

"You might have had one neighbour with high prices who's going to do alright, but another who's had a tough year," he said.

"You can't throw a blanket over the area and say 'that's been the impact'."

As well as the drought, Mr Dabinett said the conversation would focus on "un-sexy" issues such as road infrastructure and how the Liberals' Globelink proposal – for a freight airport at Monarto and Adelaide Hills road and rail bypass – would affect the Mallee.

He anticipated farmers would seek a commitment to continued funding for research and development through the SA Research and Development Institute, and to removal of South Australia's ban on genetically modified crops.

"Our area has been strong on removing the GM moratorium," he said.

"We (would be) a great place to do some trials.

"Drought tolerance, salt tolerance, frost tolerance – our area could really benefit, but we're not going to benefit if we can't grow it."

The forum is being organised by the Mallee branch of the Liberal Party.

Mr Marshall will also spend time touring the region during his visit, and will spend a night at Pinnaroo.

  • More information: Search for “Premier’s Karoonda farmer forum” on Facebook.

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