THE Labor Listens political tour made its way to Mount Gambier this week as part of State Opposition leader Peter Malinauskas commitment to visit South Australia’s regional communities.
Joined by Labor MLC Clare Scriven, the two parliamentarians met with residents and stakeholders with a focus on understanding issues impacting the region.
Forestry was among the main issues raised with the Labor representatives, who held a meeting with industry representatives yesterday morning.
“We found that water allocation and access to skilled workers were among the two pressing issues within the forest industry here in the region,” Mr Malinauskas said.
“The agenda was pretty broad but the thing I want to do more than anything is develop a greater familiarity with the outcomes and concerns of the industries because it is an important economic pride land.”
Mr Malinauskas said he wished to hear directly from the ministry about the issues South East people face, adding that health and education were recurring concerns in regional South Australia.
“The entire points of Labor Listens events that we are having is to make sure that we do have a better understanding of the regions as well as the cities,” Ms Scriven said.
“Issues that we have found throughout the regions is health and education.”
Ms Scriven said the forestry meeting was a “productive meeting” for the two Labor representatives to have a greater understanding of the local industry climate.
Both Mr Malinauskas and Ms Scriven touched on the motion introduced by Member for Mount Gambier Troy Bell calling for an inquiry into exportation of wood fibre and other matters regarding the timber industry within the Limestone Coast.
Mr Malinauskas said Labor would consider the motion carefully and that it had “incredibly important local economic drive around it”.
Ms Scriven – the Shadow Minister for Forestry – declined to comment, citing the motion had yet to be introduced to Shadow Cabinet.