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Manufacturing Works Review

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 15:19 :45 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation a question.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! Leave is granted.

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN: I understand the Department of State Development is in the process of commissioning a further review of the Manufacturing Works Program to ascertain what the program has actually achieved, with the review expected to be completed by 30 June. I ask the minister: who has been commissioned to undertake the review? Is he confident the review will be completed by the expected deadline of 30 June?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 15:20 :39 ): I thank the honourable member for his, once again, very difficult and very tricky question. I have recently seen some information about the review. I can’t find it immediately, but if I can find it quickly I will come back and let the honourable member know, otherwise I will return very quickly with an answer to his question about the review of the Manufacturing Works Program.

What I can do, though, as a demonstration of my genuineness about coming back quickly to answer his very tricky questions, is: he asked a question yesterday about the South Australian Early Commercialisation Fund being administered by TechInSA. The question was, essentially: is there some sort of fee for service paid to TechInSA in administering that fund in awarding the grants? My answer to that indicated that, no, I didn’t believe there was a fee for service for that particular program; however, the government does provide TechInSA its operational budget and its funding.

Advice I have received since the question yesterday indicates that that is the case, that there isn’t a fee for service, if you like, for that particular program, in terms of a fee for administering that program or administering particular grants in that program, but TechInSA officers are involved in the assessment and the ongoing review of grants from there, as are officers from the Department of State Development.

I can also indicate that I can provide better and further information for the Hon. Terry Stephens’ question about the Aboriginal Heritage Act, which he asked earlier in question time. I don’t want to give too much away too quickly, but I can advise the honourable member that it’s either with the South Australian heritage committee or they have just finished looking at regulations to support that. It is a matter of weeks away before those regulations are finished and we are in a position for them to be brought to parliament to make sure that we have all the things needed for that scheme.

That scheme will, of course, make sure that, in terms of Aboriginal heritage, Aboriginal people are going to be at the front of the process, rather than at the end of the process. That’s one of the reasons it was so important to have the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Committee look at how the scheme will work. The South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Committee consider many items of Aboriginal heritage in the state. They look at when items are to be entered on the central register for Aboriginal heritage. Importantly, the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Committee also provide advice to the minister when there are applications around heritage, particularly under section 23 of the act. That’s why the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Committee has been involved in the regulations that will go to supporting these changes.

I note that I have, a number of times, been invited and been grateful to spend time with the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Committee at their meetings when we put these changes through in 2016 to enable the new legislative regime to take place.

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