Blue Hills, Robinvale

MR CRISP (Mildura)  — I raise a matter for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. The action I seek is the sale of Crown land at Robinvale. I wrote to the minister in early September 2016 regarding this land. It is known as Blue Hills, and it was set aside when Robinvale was established for future development. It is excellent horticultural land, and the forefathers set it aside for the future. The future is now.

Robinvale is a major centre for table grape production, and currently the markets are excellent for table grapes. The Australian dollar has settled to a level that makes them very competitive in their trading. The drought has passed, and with free trade agreements from the commonwealth government the industry is in a strong place, so there would be no better time for the state to take the land set aside for the future and allow it to be developed for table grapes.

There will be considerable benefits to Robinvale in undertaking this work. The table grape industry creates jobs. It is still very labour-intensive, and when you create jobs you create economies and you create communities. As I said, the time is right, so I look forward to the minister laying out a pathway to bring this land, which is on annual lease, to market so the community of Robinvale can benefit from the expansion to meet the markets they have secured.

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