House of Assembly - Thursday, 10 November 2011, Page 5963

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (15:22): I rise today to speak quickly about the recently held South Australian Tourism Awards. The South Australian Tourism Industry Council is the state's peak tourism body, and the recent awards recognised excellence in the tourism industry. They are certainly a significant promotional tool for regional tourism and for the state's tourism sector generally.

Eyre Peninsula and the West Coast have a vibrant regional tourism industry, and this has been reflected in the number of award winners in the various categories at last week's event. My congratulations go to Adventure Bay Charters, which were the winners of the Adventure Tourism category, recognised for their southern bluefin tuna tours and, in more recent times, the extraordinary opportunity to swim with the tuna, as well as cage-diving with great white sharks.

The Hon. S.W. Key interjecting:

Mr TRELOAR: It appeals to some, Steph. Adventure Bay Charters were also recognised with silver in the New Tourism Development category. In the Adventure Tourism category also, congratulations to silver award winners, Calypso Star Charters—once again, a one-day shark cage-diving event. Calypso Star Charters also took out the bronze in the Major Tourist Attraction category. Also in the Adventure Tourism category, bronze went to Swim with the Tuna.

Modra's Apartments at Tumby Bay were recognised with a bronze in the Standard Accommodation award category. The Port Lincoln Hotel won the silver in the Deluxe Accommodation category. Tanonga Luxury Eco Lodges were bronze award winners in the Luxury Accommodation category and silver award winners in the Ecotourism category.

Mr Acting Speaker, bear with me; there are just a couple more winners. Also in the Ecotourism category, Wilderness Wanders won the bronze, and Coodlie Park, from near Port Kenny, won silver in the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism. My congratulations go to all these award winners who, from Eyre Peninsula, competed very well in the recent awards.

Very obviously, the electorate of Flinders is the sustainable tourism capital of South Australia, and the adventure tourism capital of possibly Australia. Add to the fact that we are South Australia's seafood capital, and it is clear to see the contribution that the region makes to the state's tourism industry and the economy generally. Well done to all the award winners and congratulations to the whole of the Eyre Peninsula and West Coast tourism community for your efforts in 2011.

I would like to touch on one other subject. Last weekend was the celebration of the 60th birthday of the fishing vessel, Tacoma, a wooden vessel which was built originally in Port Fairy in Victoria by the Haldane family and steamed across to Port Lincoln in 1951 with the entire 19 family members aboard. The family settled in Port Lincoln and were the pioneers of the tuna fishing industry in Port Lincoln.

The Tacoma is a majestic vessel and it looks very good for its 60 years. It is an entirely wooden boat that has been carefully maintained and looked after. It is still owned by the Haldane family and has fished not only tuna, but also, I believe, prawns, salmon and probably other fisheries not known to me. It was my real pleasure on the weekend to join Ross and Rob Haldane and members of the Tacoma Preservation Society.

We steamed out to Taylor Island, which is some 15 nautical miles southeast of Port Lincoln and, in a really nice touch, we unloaded two replica Scottish fishing skiffs from the deck and loaded 14 bales of wool from Taylor Island onto the deck. Taylor Island is one of just three islands, I believe, that still run sheep off the Eyre Peninsula. We loaded the entire wool clip of 14 bales onto the Tacoma and it steamed back to Port Lincoln, and just a few of us who were brave, or quite mad, hopped into the fishing skiffs and rowed and sailed our way back to Port Lincoln.

It was a memorable day, and we were a bit sunburnt and stiff on Monday morning, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. I wish the Tacoma Preservation Society congratulations in their effort to find a permanent home for the Tacoma. The historical value of that ship to Port Lincoln and this state, generally, is immeasurable.