Stock Journal asked candidates the following questions:
ELLIS: The biggest issue facing Narungga, and regional SA at large, is the provision of adequate health services in country SA. The most pressing issue is ensuring that we have an adequate number of GPs staffing country SA.
MICHAEL: Access and equality in healthcare. The health network will forever require innovative thinking to maintain pace with the demands of the community but the Liberal government is up to the challenge.
WALTER: The biggest challenge Narungga locals face is inadequate access to healthcare. Under-resourced and not fit-for-purpose existing health infrastructure sees just one paramedic ambulance servicing the entire Yorke Peninsula and a heavy reliance on volunteers.
WHITE: I think there are many challenges facing Narungga and one of the most important is our local health sector. We need more general, specialist and mental health facilities and services in regional areas - not only to relieve the need for travel to the city but also to promote preventative health in local communities too.
WRIGHT: The proximity to Adelaide means the continuous price rise in fuel and transport creates high cost of living. The elderly and alike that require specialist treatments ie hospitalisation, mental health support often got without based on affordability and or the lack of public services to attend such an appointment.
PAULL: I believe it comes down to health - I worry that healthcare services on Yorke Peninsula are simply not up to the task of meeting community need. We need a state government that's prepared to make the investments in health that will enable people in regional SA to live safe and healthy lives.
What do you see as the major issue affecting SA agriculture? How would you rectify this?
ELLIS: The biggest issue confronting our agricultural community is the competing interests of mining on agricultural land. It has been an issue that I have taken great pride in standing up on behalf of my constituents throughout the course of my time in parliament.
MICHAEL: Pathways to market, supporting innovation such as trans-shipment bulk handling at T-Ports Wallaroo and other potential locations on the YP, South of Ardrossan. Investigating the reinstatement of rail networks to increase tonnage through Wallaroo and increase competition to drive better farm gate prices.
WALTER: Agriculture production in Narungga and our state more broadly, is some of the most sophisticated in the state. I'd rather look for opportunities, than issues or challenges. Developing the Narungga economy to be better equipped to deal with agriculture's seasonal variability is vital for prosperity.
WHITE: There are many issues affecting agriculture in SA and Narungga. Of particular importance to me is the need to protect prime agricultural land from developments such as mining, and the need for fairer trade agreements which can't be weaponised against Australia, as has happened with China very recently.
WRIGHT: One of the major issues I see is the reduction in actual farmers land owner working their own land. I feel more support on education for farmers regarding succession planning and working towards a higher level of understanding and options and educating farmers on working together and considering options like creating buyers groups will help this issue.
PAULL: Many of the diverse agricultural sectors across SA in the grains, livestock, horticulture, wine and dairy sectors have talked about worker shortages. This includes seasonal workers for picking, packing, planting and processing, but also long term workers. We need people to see the advanced career prospects in agriculture.
ELLIS: We have been incredibly lucky over the past four years in Narungga with over $200 million in road infrastructure funding invested, and the investments in regional health. We need to continue in that vein after years of underinvestment and I am keen to continue delivering for our region.
MICHAEL: Good regional infrastructure needs to be continually worked on; without a road network we have no access to market. I will fight for development of infrastructure like roads and telecommunications.
WALTER: From a healthcare perspective, telehealth resources have improved immensely throughout the pandemic. Similarly, the quality of our roads fails to align with what is expected of key commodity routes.
WHITE: The government has been crowing about some big regional projects like the Port Wakefield overpass but SA's regional road network continues to be neglected. Before we embark on yet more huge new projects let's spend some time and money fixing up what we already have.
WRIGHT: I do not feel that there is enough funding directed in these areas. I also do not think there is enough support from government in general. When I see and hear of people being turned away from doctor surgeries and being refused basic health services for not being vaccinated I find it appalling.
PAULL: I think everyone can see that our country health system is in crisis, with ambulance wait times, a lack of GPs and problems with availability of specialists. It's an entirely unsustainable way to operate our hospital system, and it needs to change.
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