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Motion: Opposing the Riverbank Arena

27 October 2021

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: In summing-up, I want to thank the honourable members for their contribution to this debate. In particular, I thank the Hon. Emily Bourke from the Labor Party and the Hon. Frank Pangallo from SA-Best for speaking in support of this bill. Of course, I acknowledge the contribution of the Treasurer as well and the position of the government.

The arguments here have been well ventilated, but I do want to emphasise that this debate is about much more than the future of the Helen Mayo Park. It is about the future of our Parklands. If the government presses ahead with this rezoning and this arena on the Riverbank, we put the national heritage listing of our iconic Parklands at risk.

I also note, as the Hon. Frank Pangallo has done, the comments made by Kaurna elder Jeffrey Newchurch to the Adelaide City Council Reconciliation Committee, where he advised the committee that the proposed site for the entertainment arena was of cultural significance. This really needs to be taken into consideration.

Members will also be aware that last night the City Council, of which I was previously a member, voted to oppose this development. I recognise the presence of Councillor Keiran Snape in the gallery, who is someone who has been a strong advocate on the Parklands.

As I say, this is about more than just Helen Mayo Park. I fear there is the potential for this arena to be used as a Trojan Horse, something that could enable a raft of other developments on the Parklands. We know that this Liberal government has a much broader vision for the Parklands in its sites—cafes, restaurants, fixed structures, multistorey buildings, residential apartment towers.

The Hon. S.G. Wade interjecting

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: This commercialisation of our public green space—I am not sure why the Minister for Health is calling out. He sounds like he is as aghast as most South Australians are about the proposal, because this is actually part of the code amendment that has gone out for consultation. If we lose our Parklands, we can never get them back.

Earlier today, I introduced a private member's bill to deal with the other elements of this rezoning, ensuring that the parliament has its say on the proposed planning code amendments on the Parklands. If this motion succeeds today, it will send the government a very clear message: hands off our Parklands. I submit that if this motion were successful it would be untenable for the government to push ahead with this rezoning on Helen Mayo Park because to do so would flout the will of a house of this parliament.

Members interjecting

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: Again, I hear the members of the government guffawing, but I think it is pretty reasonable to say that when you are talking about public space you consult with the parliament. With that, I put the motion.