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Motion: River Murray Flood


The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (21:19): I rise today briefly on behalf of the Greens to speak in support of this motion. The 2022-23 River Murray flood emergency was the worst recorded flood since 1956. Emergency Services Minister, Joe Szakacs, estimated that 4,000 properties were inundated by floodwaters and spoke to the media earlier this year in January and was quoted as saying:

It is entirely reasonable to say this will be one of the most—if not the most—significant natural disaster in the state's history.

Following the 2019-20 bushfires, the state government undertook a full independent review into that catastrophic event, looking into how the state responded and recommendations for future bushfire seasons. We do need to ensure that we are best placed to respond to natural disasters in the future and, given the state of Europe and the United States after an El Niño summer, there is no doubt that those events will come.

We need the government to be accountable for their actions and committed to transparency and open communication. I note the words of the Hon. Nicola Centofanti in moving this that, by openly evaluating the government's response to a flood, it helps build trust and confidence among affected communities. The Greens support this inquiry and support those comments not because we believe there is someone to blame but because we know there is room for improvement in our processes. Given the government has ruled out an independent inquiry, this is the next best step forward.

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