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Monday, 24 June 2013
Page: 6782


Mr BRIGGS (Mayo) (10:42): I rise today to raise a very matter in my electorate, particularly relating to Mount Barker. That is the Mount Barker Christmas Pageant. The Mount Barker Christmas Pageant is the second biggest in South Australia, only after the pageant which is run in the city. It is the biggest in regional South Australia. Yet, through circumstances relating to the ability to store the pageant vehicles and floats, the pageant is now in some question this year. Recently, when this information became public when the committee decided that they could not proceed with the pageant because of the lack of certainty around the storage arrangements, I convened a meeting in my office with the pageant committee, the local mayor and the hardworking state member for Kavel, Mr Mark Goldsworthy, to work through what options are available.

The issue really relates to the state government buildings where the state government is putting a new Park and Ride service in Mount Barker, which has raised some contention. The storage facilities there are no longer suitable, and while there are alternatives out at Flaxley—the old agriculture department research centre out at Flaxley, which the council would like to use for various things including storage of the pageant vehicles and floats—there seems to be some interruption through the bureaucracy not giving certain answers. The three of us—me; the member for Kavel, Mark Goldsworthy; and the Mayor, Ann Ferguson—have written to the Premier, Jay Weatherill, asking him to intervene and to hurry the process along. His Minister for Transport and Infrastructure likes to talk a lot but does not usually get much done. This instance is another case of that.

We have gone straight to the top, straight to the Premier. We are sure the Premier will be shocked when he finds out that the second-biggest pageant in South Australia—a fantastic event that local families and local people can get out and enjoy, usually the first weekend in December—may not proceed. I have participated in the pageant every year since I was elected. It is a great opportunity to get out and celebrate what is so great about the best part of Australia, the Adelaide Hills. It would be a real shame if this event cannot go on.

The voluntary committee which runs the pageant do a terrific job. They are fantastic Australians who work tirelessly to put this pageant together. They have come to this conclusion not without serious consideration and it is time for the state government do the right thing by the people in Mount Barker and the Adelaide Hills and ensure that these facilities are made available so that the pageant can provide entertainment for many years to come.