Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart) (10:52): I, too, rise to join my colleagues in support of the member for Bragg on this issue. Two of the three properties that are being discussed at the moment are actually in the electorate of Stuart, and they are the significant primary production agricultural properties of Munduney and Moralana. I know that Martindale is in the electorate of Frome.

I would just like to put a few thoughts forward on behalf of the people of Stuart and, probably more broadly, the people concerned about agriculture and primary industries. This is one of our most important industries. South Australia has no future if we do not stay strong and get stronger in regard to agricultural production. It concerns me that the university will relinquish properties that were bequeathed to it to support, grow and improve training in that area.

In regard to training in that area, it is not good enough just to move towards a world of virtual training. It is not good enough to move towards a world where we learn what we can in classrooms from books and from the internet and take visits out to other properties. I think the university has had for a long time now a wonderful resource in owning these properties, which did actually make money. It is not as though they were a burden; it is not as though they were a problem; they did actually make money for the university.

The opportunity to do that training, to control it yourself, to be involved in it, to set programs and tasks exactly as you would like to in the university, instead of having to use other places and other means to undertake the practical side of the training, I think is very, very important, and I think it is a shame to let that go.

This really does flow on right from the nuts and bolts of the pastoral industry, from cattle or sheep all the way through to important grain growing practices that would be learnt at Munduney and other areas. There is a lot more to this. I know, from having lived in the Outback for seven years, that you can learn all the book work, accounting, staff management, you can learn all the skills that you might need for your business or practice, but until you actually do them when it is 40° to 45° and you are having to sit by the air conditioner, you are hot and sweaty and trying to keep your computer and paperwork and all of that sort of thing together, it is not the same.

If we are going to train people to be future pastoralists, for example, they do not really know what it is like to be doing their book work if they learn it all in a classroom in Adelaide. They need to be learning what it is like to do their book work out on a station, out in a remote place, out where it is anywhere from 40° to 50° on any given day. So, I think that some of those nuts and bolts practicalities may have been missed in the system here, and it is a shame to lose those properties where you can control every little bit of the training.

I will also comment briefly on the social implications of this bill. I can give a very real world example of the community of Spalding, which has just lost its school bus. Who may or may not come to live at Munduney after it is sold may or may not make the difference on whether that school bus is available for the Spalding Primary School. Right now they are just below the cut-off. If a new family comes they will be just above the cut-off, if they have kids for that school.

I do not expect the University of Adelaide to be making its commercial decisions based on the Spalding school bus, but I use that as an example of the importance of these properties to the community and to South Australia far more broadly than just the technicalities of what the university might think it can or cannot teach its students and how it might be able to do it in another way and release the capital and use that capital in some other way.

I am not pretending that this needs to be the biggest issue for the University of Adelaide but it is a very important real world example. If the community of Spalding loses its school bus, then for the kids who live between Spalding and Clare, or Spalding and Jamestown, or any other community, they will say, 'Well, there's no school bus here. We will go to the other town.' The next thing you know they lose their school, they lose the shop and Spalding is potentially in all sorts of trouble.

I will not labour this point because people in this place have heard me talk about this a lot: school buses are critical. I just use that as a really good example of the impact of selling these properties, and there are lots of other examples. One other example that I will comment on is my concern that lots of pastoral properties, pastoral leases, are being taken out of pastoral use. Technically, pastoral leases in Outback South Australia are being used for non-pastoral purposes. I do not object to that per se. Some of those uses are quite sensible and quite practical and I support them, but it is a trend that concerns me.

For a strong pastoral industry, as with many other industries, you need a critical mass. It makes it so much easier if your pastoral property is surrounded by pastoral properties. You will then be much more efficient and your operations and all of the other operations will work much better together. So, every one that is taken out of pastoral use hurts the rest of the industry. That may or may not happen with Moralana. I am not suggesting that is automatic, but here is one that while it was owned by the University of Adelaide was guaranteed to be in pastoral use and now, down the track in years to come, it may or may not. So, it is a small step but it is an issue that concerns me. Those are two social, community, but very real world issues that are attached to this.

I will leave it there. I support the member for Bragg and my colleagues who have spoken on this issue and I would like everybody to consider the broader issues associated with this decision, other than just the pure efficiencies, from the university's point of view, in meeting its curriculum objectives and simultaneously freeing up cash for other purposes.


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