Budget Estimates 2017: Trade & Industry Hearing

1 September 2017

Adam Searle’s questions to the Primary Industries, Regional Water, Trade and Industry Panel:

  • The Hon. NIALL BLAIR, Minister for Primary Industries, Minister for Regional Water, and Minister for Trade and Industry.
  • DAVID WITHERDIN, Executive Director, State Operations, Local Land Services.
  • SIMON SMITH, Secretary, Department of Industry.
  • SCOTT HANSEN, Director General, Department of Primary Industries.

The CHAIR: Questioning will now pass to the Opposition. Mr Searle is a participating member.

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: Minister, what assistance has your Government provided to the community of Lithgow to assist in responding to the closure of the Wallerawang power station?

The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: I will have to refer that to the secretary, if that is something that falls in his area.

Mr SMITH: I will have to take on notice the list of specific contributions that we have made in the Lithgow area.

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: Okay. Can I ask you what plans your Government is making to respond to further closures or potential closures of coal-fired power stations, such as Liddell and Bayswater?

The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: That would be a matter of Government policy.

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: You are the Minister. You get to answer.

The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: You were looking at the secretary. I am sorry, I thought you were directing the question to him.

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: No, I am happy for you to answer, Minister.

The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: Again, that is something that the secretary will take on notice to answer. I am happy to come back with some further information, if there is some, in relation to that question as well.

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: Okay. Do you know of anything that your Government has done in that space?

Mr SMITH: Generally, the local responses on regional development issues are the responsibility of the Deputy Premier. The staff who support him in that role are now in the Department of Premier and Cabinet [DPC].

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: This is really about structural adjustment. Surely that is an industry matter, is it not?

Mr SMITH: It is, generally, but on-the-ground activities in support of planning for the economic development of every region of New South Wales is led out of DPC.

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: The reason I ask is that when I asked the Leader of the Government in the upper House this question in April, he said that he was proud of an extensive list of assistance given and he would get back to me, but when he got back to me on 11 May he said that further questions in relation to this matter should be directed to the Hon. Niall Blair, the Minister for Trade and Industry.

The Hon. GREG PEARCE: It has taken you a while to get around to it.

The Hon. DANIEL MOOKHEY: But got him big, though.

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: It is estimates now. I thought I would give them a bit of time to see if they could get their act together. You cannot provide an answer?

The CHAIR: Order!

The Hon. NIALL BLAIR: We have just said that we will take the question on notice.

The Hon. ADAM SEARLE: Thank you very much