Legislative Council

QUESTION: Acquisition of former Le Cornu site for public use

July 6th, 2017

On the 6th of July 2017 Mark asked the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question about the former Le Cornu site in North Adelaide.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: Yesterday in parliament, I spoke briefly about a situation that all members are aware of; that is, that the site commonly known as the Le Cornu site in North Adelaide, which has been vacant for over a quarter of a century, has had yet another development application fall over. As a result, it looks destined to remain a vacant blighted site for the foreseeable future. I also mentioned yesterday that the Adelaide city council is very keen to have the use of that land as a public park, pending its more permanent development, whatever that might be. The problem appeared to be that no-one could find an appropriate mechanism for making that outcome happen where the owner of the land was unwilling to cooperate.
I also pointed out yesterday that in my extensive legal research to try to find a solution to this problem, I discovered the Lands for Public Purposes Acquisition Act 1914, which is committed to the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation. Whilst I don't wish to embarrass the minister by asking him whether he was aware of that fact—I am prepared to admit that I wasn't—I have since ascertained, through further research, that the act appears never to have been used, but it does appear to provide at least some mechanism for a less than freehold interest in the land being able to be acquired on a temporary basis.
I have since had some informal advice that perhaps the Crown lands law, the Crown Land Management Act, might also have a role to play, but my question of the minister is quite simple. Is the minister willing to investigate whether any of the acts committed to him, such as the Lands for Public Purposes Acquisition Act 1914, might be able to be used to break the impasse between the owner of the land and the Adelaide city council, so that the land can be used as a public park until a more permanent development is ready to proceed?

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 doing his research. I must admit that, given that I think he said he had been advised - I am glad he didn't say that he had found of his own initiative that the Crown Land Management Act might be an appropriate vehicle. I would find that unusual. Not having gone through the Crown Land Management Act in any fine detail in the last couple of days, I can't actually put my finger on what clause might be of beneficial use to the honourable member -

The Hon. M.C. Parnell: I'm just putting it out there.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: He is certainly putting out the vibe. I am not aware that that is an appropriate vehicle but, of course, I can go off and explore that, if the honourable member would like. The question is: would that be a valuable use of my agency's time, when I think that the remit for this problem is certainly squarely in the court of the Minister for the City of Adelaide and the Minister for Planning? Whilst I will take some soundings of my agency in respect of the legislation the honourable member referred to in his explanation, I think the most appropriate thing to do would be to take the question on notice and seek a response from the minister in the other place as to what he has taken into consideration in terms of legislative instruments that might be able to be used.

I know from casual conversations with the honourable minister that he has been much motivated by this issue over recent months, and I would have thought that, had there been a solution available to him in the legislation in his portfolio, he would have been considering that actively. Nonetheless, I will take soundings from my agency in terms of my portfolio responsibilities, but I think I will end up referring this matter to the minister in the other place.

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