The Latest News & Speeches

Government Grants

22 September, 2021

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:25): I rise today to speak about the government grants to support businesses and our multicultural community. We know that South Australian businesses and our community are facing many challenges caused by COVID. The Marshall Liberal government has been a responsible and responsive government since the beginning of the pandemic. We reached out to hardworking South Australians by providing government grants to ensure businesses and community centres stayed open and local jobs were protected.

I would like to highlight how the Marshall government is continuing to support the ongoing COVID recovery. As part of a sweeping joint federal-state government small business support package announced recently, I am pleased that hundreds of local tourism and hospitality businesses, including restaurants, cafes, pubs and travel and tour operators, have already started receiving the new $3,000 and $1,000 cash grants.

South Australian Multicultural Bill 2020

21 September, 2021

The Hon. J.S. LEE (17:30): It is my privilege to rise today to support the South Australian Multicultural Bill and endorse the speech and contributions made by the Treasurer, the Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council. I am also very grateful that the Hon. Rob Lucas, as the leader of the government, has the carriage of this bill in the Legislative Council because not only does he have a great passion and understanding of multicultural affairs, he comes from a multicultural background himself. He also has the historical context of SAMEAC and he has observed the changes of our South Australian multicultural landscape since 1982. He is one of the longest serving members of the Legislative Council in this place.

Probably currently the longest. I am delighted to speak on this bill as Assistant Minister to the Premier, working directly with the Premier in the portfolio of Multicultural Affairs. The South Australian Multicultural Bill is a significant piece of legislation introduced by the Marshall Liberal Government to modernise the South Australian Multicultural Ethnic Affairs Commission Act 1980, commonly known as the SAMEAC Act.

Hon. David Ridgway

09 September, 2021

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. R.I. Lucas:

That this council notes and thanks the Hon. David Ridgway for his service to the Legislative Council and the community since his election to the Legislative Council in 2002.

(Continued from 7 September 2021.)

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:26): I rise today to wholeheartedly support the motion moved by the Treasurer, the Hon. Rob Lucas, and join him and many colleagues in this parliament to note and thank the Hon. David Ridgway for his service to the Legislative Council and the community since his election to the Legislative Council in 2002.

In his remarks the Treasurer recounted his long-term friendship with David for about 20 years and acknowledged David's achievements, community engagements and parliamentary contributions. The Treasurer spoke highly of the qualities of the retired member of the Legislative Council, who has been appointed as the new Agent General in London.


25 August, 2021

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:30): I rise today with a heavy heart to speak about the frightening and devastating tragedy in Afghanistan as the Taliban take control of the country, and the dangerous situation currently unfolding over there. We have all watched the images and reports coming out of Kabul and Afghanistan with horror and anguish, and we can only imagine how incredibly awful and difficult it is for Afghan and Hazara communities here in South Australia, who are all concerned for the safety and wellbeing of loved ones still in Afghanistan.

Nexus Arts

09 June, 2021

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:22): Today, I have the privilege to rise to speak about Nexus Arts and the launch of its culturally diverse audience toolkit and the intercultural arts exhibition called HOME. It was a great honour to represent the Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Steven Marshall, and wonderful to join His Excellency, the very popular and well-respected Governor of South Australia, the Hon. Hieu Van Le, Her Worship Mayor of Campbelltown Jill Whittaker, Uncle Mick O'Brien, the proud Kaurna Elder, and many special guests at the launch of the Nexus Arts' research report and accompanying industry toolkit, called 'You're Welcome: A Guide for Arts Organisations to increase Cultural Diversity in Our Audiences', on Sunday 6 June 2021. 


26 May, 2021

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. F. Pangallo: 

That this house— 

  1. Acknowledges the passing ofVilmosMilisits OAM; 
  2. Acknowledges his outstanding contribution to South Australia and Australianbusinesses;
  3. Acknowledges the international success of his bakery business,Vili's;
  4. Recognises his generosity and support for many individuals, charities,clubsand businesses; and 
  5. Conveys its sincerest condolences to his wife, Rosemary, theirchildrenand their extended families. 

(Continued from 5 May 2021.) 

The Hon. J.S. LEE (16:56): I rise today to wholeheartedly support the motion moved by the Hon. Frank Pangallo to acknowledge the sad passing of a remarkable South Australian, Vilmos Milisits OAM. I join the mover, the Premier in the other place, the Hon. Stephen Wade and other honourable members to pay tribute and respect to Vili and to convey my heartfelt condolences to his beloved wife, Rosemary; their children, Alison and Simon; their grandchildren, Luke and Josh; Helen Rice; and the extended family during this sad time. 

COVID-19 Situation in India

05 May, 2021

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:54): I rise today with a heavy heart to speak about the devastating second wave of the coronavirus currently unfolding in India. India, sadly, has become the second country in the world, after the United States, to tally more than 20 million total infections when the government announced 357,000 new cases yesterday, and over 220,000 people have died from the disease thus far. 

The Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Steven Marshall, made a compassionate ministerial statement in parliament yesterday. Since learning about the terrible human tragedy in India, we have reached out to the Indian community in South Australia. On behalf of the South Australian government, we express our sympathy to everyone in India and community members in South Australia to let them know that we are thinking of them and their families and that we stand in solidarity with the Indian community and will continue to support the Indian community during this difficult, sad and challenging time. 

Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill

31 March, 2021

Second Reading

The Hon. J.S. LEE (19:46): I rise to speak on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2020. I understand that this bill is perhaps the 17th attempt that various members have brought to the South Australian parliament to allow voluntary assisted dying to occur for people facing certain circumstances. I thank the Hon. Kyam Maher for introducing this bill.

As honourable members know, this bill is a conscience vote for Liberal Party members and therefore the views expressed in the Legislative Council tonight are my own views. These views are formed from personal experience I have with my family and experiences that many have shared with me over the years both privately and publicly.

International Women's Day

17 March, 2021

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:43): Today, I rise to speak about International Women's Day. This year, the campaign theme for International Women's Day is Choose to Challenge. A challenged world is an alert world, and from challenge comes change—and many women have done so through rallies and speaking out to the media. 

I am pleased to share in parliament today that it was a great honour to represent the Marshall Liberal government at four International Women's Day events this year. Coming out of a COVID pandemic year we ought to be so grateful that we live in one of the safest places in the world that allows us to have gatherings and to celebrate such important events. 

Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict

17 February, 2021

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. I. Pnevmatikos:

That this council—

  1. Notes the actions and belligerence of Azerbaijan towards the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh in commencing military action on 27 September 2020;
  2. Notes the serious concerns that have been raised from Armenian-Australians regarding the existential threat to the indigenous Armenian population of the Republic of Artsakh by this military action and in any attempts by Azerbaijan to prevent the peaceful resettlement of the indigenous Armenian population following the agreement to a provisional ceasefire on 9 November 2020;
  3. Notes the serious concerns raised by Armenian-Australians and independent international organisations regarding the risk of Azerbaijan destroying sites of global cultural and historical significance;
  4. Condemns the actions of President Erdogan of Turkey and President Aliyev of Azerbaijan in their pursuit of a policy of Pan-Turkish nationalism, which has previously led to genocide and which now threatens the Armenian population of Artsakh with ethnic cleansing;
  5. Calls on the federal government to condemn these attacks and advocate for the safety and security of Armenia and Artsakh in the context of international support for a stable and enduring peace settlement;
  6. Recognises the right to self-determination of all peoples including those of the Republic of Artsakh and calls on the federal government to also recognise the Republic of Artsakh as the only permanent solution to the conflict to avoid further attempts of such military aggression.