Legislative Council

QUESTION: Adelaide Parklands

November 17th, 2016

On the 17th of November 2016, Mark asked a question of the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation regarding the Adelaide Parklands.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: I note with concern the growing trend of private and commercial
development on the Adelaide Parklands, land that is dedicated and held in trust for the people of our
city and state for their enjoyment and use. This alarming trend is affecting the rights of all people to
access and enjoy the Adelaide Parklands.

Some recent examples include the development of 1,080 private apartments, a five-star hotel
and retail and commercial development on the old RAH site; the SACA development on park 25 that
I spoke about yesterday; Pulteney Grammar School's master plan to 'develop the campus on both
sides of South Terrace, over coming years'; the Casino expansion and office tower block
development on the Festival Plaza; a proposed building by the Adelaide Comets soccer club which
will double the footprint of existing buildings in park 24; and others. I also note the Adelaide Park
Lands Preservation Association's Eminent Persons' Statement of 5 July 2016, which says:

We believe that any alienation of our Park Lands for private purpose is a gross breach of that trust…We
therefore urge the South Australian Government and the Adelaide City Council to honour their trust, and reject notions of private residential and/or commercial property development within the Adelaide Park Lands.

Some of these signatories to that eminent persons' statement are former state Labor ministers and
premiers, including the Hon. Rev. Dr Lynn Arnold AO, a former premier of this state; Ralph Clarke,
former deputy leader; Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, former Labor minister and former Lord Mayor of
Adelaide; Kym Mayes, a former Labor minister; and the Hon. Chris Sumner AM, a former Labor
minister and member of this house.

My questions to the Minister are:

1. When will this Labor government stand up for the rights of all South Australians to
continue to enjoy and access all of Adelaide's Parklands by protecting this public land from further
private and commercial development?

2. Given the resounding success of the recent nuclear citizens' jury, will this
Government consider holding a citizens' jury on the future of the Parklands, so that ordinary South
Australians may have a say on what they think is an appropriate use of their Parklands?


The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation,
Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change): I thank the
honourable member for his most important questions, unfortunately misdirected to the minister—

The Hon. M.C. Parnell: Have a go anyway.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Well, I might, but it was not directed to the minister with portfolio
responsibilities for the Adelaide Parklands. It is interesting that the Hon. Mr Parnell, who I always
thought was a reasonable sort of chap who wanted to encourage people to utilise parks more, would
stand with those people who want to see an end to any increase in use of those Parklands by
increasing amenities to encourage people to utilise those Parklands more, to give them the
opportunity to visit more, and to open up those spaces for increased pleasure time activities by
regular citizens.

There are a group of people, of course—and there have been historically a group of people—
who just want to see the Parklands locked up and left underutilised with no investment into them
whatsoever, let them run down, and really provide—
Members interjecting:


The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: —absolutely no attraction to the vast majority of people who, with
a little bit of intelligent facilities that people actually want to see, would go out and use these
Parklands much more actively and much more often. That is precisely what we've been doing in our
national parks—our peri-urban national parks. We have tried to encourage people to go out and use
these parks more often and more frequently, with a little bit of investment—
Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! No debate. No debate while the minister is—
Members interjecting:Thursday, 17 November 2016 LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL Page 5531

The PRESIDENT: Minister, take a seat. Will the honourable Minister for Police please desist
from debating or interjecting across the room while a colleague—
The Hon. P. Malinauskas: I want to say he started it but that would just be blame.

The PRESIDENT: You would not like it if you were trying to give an answer and the Leader
of the Government starts interjecting (which he often does) while you are on your feet.
Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: It doesn't matter; the honourable minister has the right to answer this
question in quiet. Minister, continue your answer.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Thank you, Mr President. I am, just to recap, incredibly surprised
the Hon. Mr Parnell would align himself with a group of people who want to see some elite access
kept for an exclusive use of their own, whether they be people who keep locked-up tennis courts, or
whatever, in the Parklands for no-one else to use but themselves. We have a different view. We think
the Parklands are a fantastic asset for our community. They should be utilised more, and if it means,
to get that extra utilisation and to get people out there enjoying those open spaces, that heaven forbid
we should put some facilities in place to encourage them to stay and use them a little bit longer, then
that is what we will look at doing.

We will be driven in this by community demands. They are the people we want to see in the
parks, utilising the parks and using those parks around the clock, if possible, like they do in other
cities. To do that, you need to make them safe, and you have to make them attractive. That's what
we are having a discussion with the community about.
Members interjecting:


The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: Supplementary arising from the minister's answer. My
question derives from the minister's answer, where he said they will be 'driven by community
demands'. Does he agree that the citizens' jury might be a good way to determine the views of the
community that he seeks to represent?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation,
Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change): They may be,
but of course in my previous answer to a question this day I also mentioned that in our consultation
to get more people into our peri-urban parks, we have consulted with about 11,000 people. That is
another way of talking to the community and asking them, 'Actually what do you want to see in your
parks that would encourage you to spend more time in them, bring your kids and have more fun?'
and to have a better re-use factor, if you like, to encourage people to come back more than the
occasional usage that they are using at the moment. And people tell us; surprisingly, when you ask
people what they want, when you ask people, 'How would you like to see the government spend this
$10.4 million in our peri-urban parks?' surprisingly they tell you. It will be a silly government that did
not take advantage of that very free advice.

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