02 November, 2022

The Hon. J.S. LEE (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (15:52): It is a great privilege today to rise to speak about the Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia, also known as CHASA.

It was an honour to be invited by CHASA to attend its 12th Wine and Wild Food Dinner held on Friday 28 October 2022.

I wish to place my special thanks and congratulate CHASA President Graham Stopp, Vice President Rob West, Secretary Vicki Fabris, Treasurer Con Pantelios, and the entire CHASA team and supporters for presenting an informative, intriguing and, above all, a delightful and sumptuous dinner.

The event proceedings went on smoothly throughout the evening thanks to a very enthusiastic and diligent master of ceremonies, George Kontopoulos, who kept us all well informed and entertained.

The event featured a wonderful Welcome to Country by Aboriginal Elder Mark Koolmatrie, a proud Ngarrindjeri leader, and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Mark who was recently awarded the KPMG Indigenous Land Management award at the South Australian Landcare Awards.

Mark is passionate about engaging Indigenous people and landholders in a process of relearning Indigenous values and land management practices and preserving a more resilient landscape for the future.

Mark is dedicated to looking after Country and “operating the old ways in the new world”, a message that perfectly complements the philosophy of CHASA and the Wild Food Dinner.

As Honourable Members know, hunting is a traditional activity that has been practised for millennia in countries around the world.

CHASA understands and respects that some people are opposed to hunting, but believes that, with a modern philosophy, hunters can continue this ancient tradition sustainably and help conserve our precious environment.

The Conservation and Hunting Alliance of South Australia works with hunting organisations and the South Australian Department of Environment and Water to restore wildlife habitats, guide hunting seasons, develop hunting education and ensure wildlife is only hunted at sustainable levels.

CHASA recognised a strong Liberal presence at the dinner, which included the Hon. David Speirs, the Leader of the Liberal Party, along with many of my esteemed parliamentary colleagues, including the Hon. Terry Stephens, the President of the Legislative Council; the Hon. Nicola Centofanti, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council; the Member for Heysen, Josh Teague; the Member for Chaffey, Tim Whetstone; the Member for McKillop, Nick McBride; and the Member for Mount Gambier, Troy Bell, was also in attendance.

Sadly, though, only one Labor Government member was present at the CHASA dinner, the Hon. Tung Ngo—good on him for representing the Premier and Labor ministers who were all noticeably absent.

The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. David Speirs, delivered a brilliant speech on the importance of conservation and environmental sustainability.

CHASA has been working successfully with the Department for Environment and Water, and National Parks and Wildlife South Australia on the Flinders Ranges Bounceback program.

It was an initiative to protect the native species that have persisted in the region and make it possible to reintroduce some species that were becoming locally extinct.

It was certainly a culinary delight to taste some of the wildlife native food made with all locally-sourced ingredients.

'Wild food is healthy' was the theme of the dinner. Special thanks to chef, Andrew Fielke, for creating something very special for the wild food dinner.

The delightful menu allowed us to travel to many parts of the world. It started with something from the ocean, a touch of Japanese for the first course, roast shark and Akoya pearl oysters.

Then we had rabbit sausage rolls for the second course, perhaps an Australian, English or European favourite meal.

That was followed by a culinary experience from India or South Asia that featured Massaman venison curry with jasmine rice and roti bread.

We also had something sweet to finish with for dessert, a chocolate wattleseed mousse with Illawarra plums from the bush.

I would like to also acknowledge Angas Family Wines for supporting the CHASA dinner.

Once again, thank you to the CHASA board for their efforts in promoting and preserving responsible and sustainable hunting practices so that we can all enjoy the benefits of hunting and enjoy our unique natural environment for generations to come.