Stuart Electorate Producers' Markets

31 Mar 2021

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (15:59): I rise today to talk about one of the very important institutions in my part of the world—that is, producers markets. We are finding there are more of them over time, but there have always been markets of various types in the Mid North-Southern Flinders district of our state.

The Wirrabara market is a sterling example of exactly how these communities can come together. I think that market has been operating for what must be nearly 15 years since it was established. The committee, which is largely the same people who started the market, continues to do an outstanding job with regard to running it.

Producers in the area around Wirrabara, the Bundaleer Gardens area and a few other pockets of the Southern Flinders Ranges, who have traditionally produced outstanding local goods, have the opportunity to bring them to these markets. We are talking about fruit and vegetables, baked goods, olives, fish, poultry and preserves—a wide range of local produce and, of course, goods produced with those local ingredients.

What has happened over the last few years is that we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of these markets, such that we have one on every Sunday of the month, except when there are five Sundays in the month. There are four markets operating—Wirrabara, Crystal Brook, Port Germein and Port Pirie—and they all dovetail in very well and each has a different Sunday of the month to establish itself. The producers then have the opportunity to go to a different town every weekend.

This is a very important opportunity for those producers because, while of course there is the obvious opportunity to bring their goods, sell them and earn an income from that, it is actually much more than that. It is a way of engaging with existing customers and potential customers, and it is a way of marketing what you have to offer so that you can grow your trade into the future, in addition to what you might actually sell on the day. It is an opportunity for those producers to share outstanding knowledge and skill with regard to how local produce can be used in fantastic different ways and then consumed by people. It is just a tremendous thing.

We have had trash and treasure markets, of course, and they continue. We have a fantastic undercover trash and treasure market in the Coles supermarket at Port Augusta, so I am not excluding any of those other types of activities we have throughout our region, but I do want to focus today on the producers markets. Every one of those four markets—Wirrabara, Port Germein, Crystal Brook and Port Pirie—is a truly outstanding gathering and more than just an opportunity for people to come and procure outstanding local produce.

They are very much important social gatherings as well, and when I go to one of these markets the barbecue is the first place I like to go for an egg and bacon sandwich and then a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, which is a tremendous way to start it off. My wife, Rebecca, likes to go straight to the various fruit and vegetable stalls and other stalls and buy what she wants to have in our kitchen at home. She loves cooking with local produce.

There are a lot of people who go not intending to buy produce but who do buy produce, as they find they just cannot resist. There are people who go intending to buy a small amount and buy more than that. There are also people who go not intending to buy produce and who do not buy produce, but they find that the fellowship and the friendship, from tiny infant children being carried by their parents all the way through to the most senior members, grandparents and great grandparents in our community, come together at these markets for tremendous socialisation. It is also a lovely way for people to stay in touch with the local seasons, as the weather is different as we work through the year, the produce that is available is different as we work through the year.

I encourage any member of this chamber or any member of the public to come to one of the markets in our part of the world. They are truly outstanding and I thank the volunteer committee who put them on for all of us who enjoy them so much.