Skip navigation

Greens' Adelaide Park Lands Bill Passes Upper House

30 August 2023

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (21:13): I thank all honourable members for their contributions: the Hon. Michelle Lensink, the Hon. Frank Pangallo, and the Hon. Mr Hanson. In responding to the comments made primarily by the government, it is important to consider the genesis of this bill. This is the second time that I have introduced this bill; I did so in the previous parliament, and in fact the catalyst for that was a proposal from the then Liberal government for a redevelopment along the Riverbank, which would have potentially allowed for some commercial development along the Riverbank.

It was possible for the minister to give that the green light, to make a code amendment without approval of the parliament. That had the potential to significantly change the character of the Parklands. As we often see though with the Labor Party, they talked a big game on the issue, but did not do a thing about it when they had an opportunity to support this bill in the parliament at the time. As I often say about the Labor Party when it comes to the Parklands, do not look at what comes out of their mouths, look at what they do with their feet. Look at how they vote and they never vote in favour of enhanced protections for the Parklands. They never take the action that is necessary to protect the Parklands.

This is the party of John Rau; the party that has a terrible track record when it comes to the management of the Adelaide Parklands. We are seeing that tradition continue, unfortunately, under the Malinauskas government. We saw earlier today the passage of a bill that would prevent the Minister for Police from seizing the Parklands for a new police barracks. That has passed this chamber and I hope that the government will support it in the other place, and I hope that this bill will win the support of this chamber also.

I welcome the support of the Liberal opposition and, of course, SA-Best. SA-Best have had a long-term position on this. I recognise that the Liberal Party have reflected on their position and have now changed course. I think there will be a lot of support for the position that the Liberals have now taken in the community, the recognition they now have that there should be additional safeguards when it comes to our Parklands and that they should have a particular status that is protected throughout our planning laws.

My challenge to the Labor Party is: get on board and support this in the other place. There is already a bill that has passed, or two bills now that have passed this chamber. The other relates to state heritage listing of the Parklands. This is potentially going to be a third. Get out of the way and support these bills and demonstrate your commitment to Parklands protection.