The Latest News & Speeches

Fall of Saigon Commemoration

05 May, 2022

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:53): I rise today to speak about the 47th Black April commemoration.

The Vietnam War had changed the world forever. Known as Black April, the anniversary of the Fall of Saigon marks a dark time for South Vietnamese people, when the capital of the Republic of Vietnam was captured by North Vietnamese forces, marking the end of the Vietnam War. An estimated 2 million people initially sought refuge in refugee camps in South-East Asia and later resettling in Australia, the United States, France and Canada.

As honourable members know, Australia's military involvement in the Vietnam war was the longest in duration of any war in our country's history. It lasted from August 1962 until May 1975.

As the new shadow minister for multicultural South Australia and for communities, I sincerely thank the Vietnamese Community in Australia together with the Vietnamese Veterans Association of South Australia for the invitation and the privilege to join the community to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon on Saturday 30 April 2022.

Former Labor Government's Mismanagement

14 February, 2022

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer) (16:38): moved

That this council condemns the record of the former Labor government including:

1. Appalling financial mismanagement;

2. Economic growth below the national average growth;

3. Unacceptably high levels of unemployment;

4. More people leaving the state than coming to the state;

5. Increasing costs to households and businesses; and

6. Wholesale slashing of government services especially in areas of health and education.

The Hon. J.S. LEE (19:46): I rise to support the important motion moved by the Treasurer, the Hon. Rob Lucas, to condemn the terrible mismanagement of the former Labor government and echo the same sentiments expressed by my many Liberal colleagues.

This motion serves to remind South Australians that the Labor Party had the wrong priorities when they were in government, and how the people of South Australia have suffered and were completely let down by an incompetent Labor government.

SA Multicultural Festival

18 November, 2021

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:44): It is with great pleasure and privilege that I rise today to speak about the magnificent SA Multicultural Festival, which was held on Sunday 14 November in the heart of our beautiful city at Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga. This biennial flagship event was proudly presented by the Marshall Liberal government through Multicultural Affairs, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, for all South Australians to come together to taste, experience and celebrate our state's cultural diversity.

SA Italian Association

27 October, 2021

Adjourned debate on motion of the Hon. F. Pangallo:

That this council—

  1. Acknowledges the 70th anniversary of the South Australian Italian Association (SAIA);
  2. Recognises the contributions made by the SAIA to the advancement of multiculturalism in South Australia through the preservation and promotion of Italian culture, heritage, services and experiences within the Italian community and the wider community of South Australia;
  3. Acknowledges the enthusiastic work by the SAIA in fostering strong business and cultural ties between South Australia and Italy;
  4. Congratulates Dr Daniela Cosmini and Professor Diana Glenn on the publication of their book La Seconda Casa (The Second Home) marking and documenting the important history of the SAIA;
  5. Recognises South Australia's continuing strong business, trading, diplomatic and economic ties with Italy; and
  6. Identifies that Italian is the largest non-English language spoken in South Australian homes, and calls on Flinders University to immediately reverse its decision to cut the teaching of Italian.

COVID-Ready Plan

27 October, 2021

The Hon. J.S. LEE (15:35): I rise today to speak about the important announcement made yesterday, 26 October 2021, by the Premier of South Australia, the Hon. Steven Marshall MP, releasing South Australia's COVID-Ready Plan.

I would like to acknowledge and thank the Hon. Stephen Wade, Minister for Health, for his hard work and for his valuable information update about the COVID-Ready Plan during question time today.

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.