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Pages tagged "City of Adelaide"

Question: Adelaide City Council Rates

20 March 2024

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (14:33): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question without notice to the minister representing the Minister for Small and Family Business on the topic of differential rates and the impact on businesses.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: Last week, the Adelaide City Council revealed that it is considering a 7.4 per cent rate rise and increases in fees to cover high costs for services and asset renewal. This morning, Channel 9 reported that rate hikes will hurt small businesses, which may need to pass those increases on to customers, with a coffee shop owner concerned about the effect it will have on the cost of doing business in the city.

According to The Advertiser on 16 March, Adelaide has already seen 12 small businesses closing their doors in the city this year alone. Meanwhile, big businesses posting major profits are able to absorb rate increases more easily than small local businesses that have a lower turnover. My questions to the minister, therefore, are:

1. What support is the government providing to small businesses in the CBD to stop them from closing their doors?

2. Would the government consider giving the City of Adelaide the ability to charge differential rates to businesses based on profit margins so that small businesses are insulated from rate rises?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:34): I thank the honourable member for his questions. I will pass them on to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.

Greens' Relocation of SAPOL Facilities Bill Passes Upper House!

30 August 2023

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (20:18): I thank the Hon. Michelle Lensink and the Hon. Connie Bonaros for their remarks and I thank them for their support of this bill. The arguments have been well ventilated. Just to make clear, this bill does not compromise the hospital in any way. I recognise the position of the respective parties on the hospital. What it does do is ensure that the police minister does not have the power to allocate a slab of the Parklands for a new Mounted Operations Unit. That should be non-controversial because the government has indicated that they do not intend to proceed with plans for the police barracks on the Parklands, but this just makes that really clear.

There has been some conjecture about the future locations of the police barracks. Indeed, there has been talk about SAPOL not wanting the Gepps Cross location and pressure falling on the government again to find alternative locations. Well, the Parklands need to be ruled out. It is my hope that this bill is passed through this chamber and then is expedited in the other place to give people in the South Australian community confidence that the Parklands are not going to be handed over to SAPOL. Once this bill passes this chamber, it is over to the Labor Party in the other place to make this a priority to send that clear message to the people of South Australia.

New Women's And Children's Hospital (Relocation of SA Police Facilities) Amendment Bill

28 June 2023

Introduction and First Reading

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: Obtained leave and introduced a bill for an act to amend the New Women's and Children's Hospital Act 2022. Read a first time.

Second Reading

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Today is the day for closing loopholes. This bill is closing another loophole that exists within the New Women's and Children's Hospital Act. Members may recall, during the debate in relation to that legislation, the Greens highlighted concerns around a provision that gave the Minister for Police the opportunity to essentially allocate a slab of the Parklands to SAPOL for a new Mounted Operations Unit, for a new police barracks.

The Greens were very concerned about that at the time, and we moved an amendment that would have taken that provision out of the bill. That was opposed, unfortunately, by every other party in this place, and so the bill went through without that amendment. Then what we saw in March was the state Labor government proposing an enormous land grab by SAPOL of our Adelaide Parklands—an enormous land grab that would have taken up a huge slab of our public green space.

There was some real concern about that in the community. What happened was that the government announced that it would be finding an alternative site for the SAPOL barracks. We appreciate that and we welcomed that change of heart. There was a big campaign run across the community and one that featured a number of different sides of politics. I recognise the contribution of the Liberal Party to that campaign, in particular Jack Batty in the other place, who I know was campaigning hard on that issue. But there were a number of people in the community—the Parklands Association, the Conservation Council, Trees for Life and others—who were very concerned about SAPOL seizing our public land.

The government backed down and they announced that they were going to be finding another site for the barracks. We welcome that. However, the threat remains because the government still has power under this act to make the Parklands available for SAPOL for a future land grab. What this bill seeks to do is to close that loophole once and for all, to make it very clear that the government cannot go down that path again and that even if they change their mind or if SAPOL fights back and decides it wants another go at our green space, the minister would not have the power to allocate the Parklands for that purpose.

This should not be a controversial bill because the Labor Party has found another site for SAPOL's barracks, so if they are fair dinkum about that, then they will support this bill. If they do not support the bill, though, then the community will conclude that they are not bona fide in the commitment that they have made, and the community will be very concerned, heading into the next election, that they may not make good on the promise they made in terms of quarantining the Parklands from any police barracks in the future. This is an important test of resolve of the Malinauskas government and also the Liberal opposition, who have talked about this issue. Now is an opportunity for all parties to put on record their support for the Parklands and to close off that potential avenue for a future land grab by SAPOL.

I want to put members on notice that I will bring this bill to a vote after the midwinter break, so that there is an opportunity for members of parliament to consult with their communities, but I hope members seize this opportunity to resolve this particular debate once and for all and to ensure that our Parklands are safeguarded from any potential land grabs from SAPOL in the future. This government does not have a good track record when it comes to our Parklands. They do not have a good track record. Now is the opportunity for them to step up and try to make things right.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. J.E. Hanson.

Local Government (Rateable Land) Amendment Bill

28 June 2023

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The bill that I am introducing today aims to address one of the issues that has been faced in the City of Adelaide over a number of years; that is, the way in which rate exemptions are applied. I should note that I am a City of Adelaide resident, so I have an interest in what occurs in the City of Adelaide, but this issue is much broader than simply the City of Adelaide. The principle extends to other council jurisdictions and is of interest to all South Australians who are facing an increase in their council rates at this time.

Our skyline has witnessed significant transformations in recent years. Buildings such as the Festival Tower now loom over our Riverbank Precinct. While these buildings have been erected on Parklands, they are not contributing their fair share to the people of Adelaide.

This bill would empower the Adelaide City Council to levy rates on the area where the Hajek Plaza used to be and where the Walker Corporation's Festival Tower is now under construction. Rate income is valuable to contribute to the upkeep and development of our city, and organisations such as corporations and casinos should not be exempt.

Rates are the lifeblood of local government, enabling the provision of essential services, maintaining infrastructure and enhancing the quality of life for residents and businesses. While ratepayers across the state are seeing their rates rise due to the current economic crisis and high CPI, it is only fair that large corporations pay their fair share. Why is one of Australia's richest people, a multibillionaire, being given a rate exemption?

In 2020, The Advertiser reported on the Walker Corporation's rate status in an article titled 'Walker Corp building on Festival Plaza could become test case on council rate exemptions'. At that time the article claimed that the Walker Corporation being exempt from rates was costing the City of Adelaide $150,000 in lost revenue each year. Given the increases in rates since that time, there is the potential for that revenue to be much higher.

At that time, The Advertiser also reported that SkyCity Adelaide was not paying any rates. However, we have been advised that that situation has been remedied, and I understand that SkyCity is now paying rates to the City of Adelaide as the land title has been transferred. However, how was it that we had a casino being built on Crown land that was not paying any rates? How did that occur? This private member's bill will close that loophole, make it very clear that casinos should not be granted any rate exemption, and make it very clear that the Walker Corporation will not be granted any rate exemption.

It is really important that we establish this principle, particularly if we are going to see a second tower blighting our city landscape, as I understand is under contemplation by the Malinauskas government. I must say what an outrageous deal this is that the Walker Corporation has been granted over our public space. A bucketload of taxpayer money is being poured into that project, if media reports are to be believed—a huge amount of taxpayer money being spent on that Festival Plaza.

You have a private corporation seizing our public land, which could have been returned to Parklands and, to add insult to injury, they are not even paying rates. What an amazing deal for the Walker Corporation; what a dud deal for the people of South Australia. It is outrageous and, quite frankly, I find it disgusting that the Labor and Liberal parties could allow such an appalling exploitation of the people of South Australia and our public land to occur. It is a disgrace, an absolute disgrace and this bill seeks to remedy that.

It is worth noting, too, that the City of Adelaide does forfeit a significant amount of rates through exemptions. A workshop was conducted back in November 2021 by the City of Adelaide, which was reported in The Advertiser. Whilst I was on the city council at that time, I was not present at that workshop—I was away—but I have read the papers of the workshop. They are publicly available and available to members of this place on the City of Adelaide website.

That report notes that 27.4 per cent of rates income is forfeited through exemptions and rebates. The report claims that the impact of this is disproportionately allocated across the community. Well, 22.7 per cent of rates income is forfeited through exemptions in Adelaide. It should be noted this is very high when compared with the City of Melbourne, which only forfeits 12.2 per cent of their rates through exemptions, and again that is according to that report.

The report goes on to include a map, which highlights areas where rate exemptions apply. I would encourage members of this place to have a look at that. While some of those areas where rates are not applied are council-owned buildings or recreational reserves, there are some that are businesses operating for private profit, like the Walker Corporation and, as I understand, previously the Casino.

By holding profit-making corporations accountable through rates we can ensure that our community resources are equitably distributed, fostering a sustainable environment for all residents and businesses to thrive. The community requires shared responsibility, not a system where big business does not have to contribute to the running of the city or the maintenance of our public realm. An interesting debate has been occurring at the moment around the state of our public streets and, in particular, around the state of North Terrace. Why should not one of Australia's richest people have to contribute to maintenance of the public realm? Why should the Walker Corporation be given a free pass? This bill is closing off that loophole, and with that I conclude my remarks.

Matter of Interest: Second Tower at Festival Plaza

28 September 2022

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: The matter I rise to speak on this afternoon is one that will be of importance to all those South Australians who value our open public space; that is, the future of the Festival Plaza. Just last week, the Minister for Planning, the Hon. Nick Champion MP, told The Advertiser that the Walker Corporation had lodged plans for a second office tower on the Festival Plaza. That is next to the 29-storey tower that has already been approved for the site, the tower that is already on the way but is running behind schedule.

It is an outrage that our city's prime civic space is being used to host one private office tower, let alone two. It was the Weatherill Labor government that first approved the Walker Corporation's construction of this tower, back in 2012. In fact, they granted the Walker Corporation exclusive use over that site. That was our public land—our public land—being gifted to a billionaire. Indeed, the South Australian taxpayer will be contributing more than $250 million to facilitate this private takeover of our public land—$250 million of taxpayer funds to gift to a private corporation to help them take over our public land. It is an outrage. It is a disgrace.

In a city where there are already so many vacant office buildings, it beggars belief that one of our key civic sites will be used in this way, particularly when one considers that it is on the Adelaide Parklands, our national heritage-listed Parklands, arguably the most valuable real estate in South Australia. This space could have been returned to the Parklands for a fraction of the cost. This tower will cast a long shadow over our historic Parliament House and the new Festival Centre.

I mentioned earlier the role of the Weatherill government, but this has been a bipartisan project, a project between the two major parties. Indeed, last year the Liberals approved an extra two storeys on the tower. Back in 2020, they reduced the number of trees the Walker Corporation were required to plant and the required public contribution increased by another $20 million. Of course, we know that this new tower will not be paying any rates.

The Walker Corporation will be exempt from paying rates to the City of Adelaide because the building will be on Crown land. The Advertiser has estimated that that will be a loss of revenue to the local council of $150,000 every year, and now the government is actively considering a second tower for this site. It is a disgrace.

It seems that whatever developers want in this state, they get. We have a planning system that is designed to serve the interests of the big end of town at the expense of the public good. What say do the people of South Australia get? None. What say does the parliament get? You guessed it: we get no say whatsoever.

Last year, when the Liberals announced their plans to rezone the Adelaide Parklands to allow further commercial development along the Riverbank, I introduced a private members' bill that would have prevented rezoning of our Parklands without parliamentary approval. What happened to that bill, you may ask. Well, it was blocked. Surprise, surprise: it was blocked by the Labor and Liberal parties, the two parties that are in the pocket of the development class in our state.

The reason is very clear: both the major parties want an unfettered right to develop our public land, to carve off the Parklands and sell them off to the highest bidder. It is an absolute disgrace. The community is ill served by this planning regime, and I urge the government to think again, to listen to the will of the community when it comes to our public spaces, to reject a proposal for yet another office tower on the Festival Plaza, to actually show some imagination when it comes to our public space, to treat the community with the respect they deserve and give them a say, and to stop giving away our public land to developers.

Car Racing in the Park Lands

7 July 2022

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I rise to speak in relation to the South Australian Motor Sport (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill. Before doing so, I want to put on the public record for members' benefit the fact that I am a city resident; however, I do not consider that to be a conflict of interest. After all, the part of the city that I live in is not directly impacted by the sports race. It is also a large class of persons. I note that the race can proceed irrespective of what happens with this particular bill, given this is establishing the Motorsport Board, but the government already has the authority to press ahead with an Adelaide 500 race. I did think it was worthwhile putting that on the record.

The Greens' concerns around car racing are well known and have been well documented, as stated by my colleague the Hon. Tammy Franks and my predecessor Mark Parnell. I have been on the public record many times over the years as an Adelaide city councillor, expressing concern around car racing. I do question whether this is the best use of public money, to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money—I think it is about $20 million over four years—on car racing, given the significant crises we face at the moment, the crisis in terms of the cost of living and the lack of affordable housing.

I also question whether this is really in keeping with the new government's priorities. Given we are in the midst of a climate emergency and this parliament has declared that, is now really the time to be bringing gas guzzlers and all those emissions back onto our city streets and celebrating car racing, a sport that does have such a significant impact on emissions? I do not think it is, but this is a view that the government has taken. It has certainly long been the view of the Greens that it is better for these matters to be dealt with by the Motorsport Board in terms of transparency rather than the Tourism Commission.

I also want to flag the impact that this race could have on the Parklands, this public green space. There is an impact potentially on the natural flora and fauna in that area. One thing that is quite unique about the Adelaide 500 race in particular is that it is a race that runs through the CBD. In other places around the world, particularly Melbourne in Albert Park, it is a little removed from the city and so it has a slightly different impact.

I am concerned about the impacts of motor racing. I do question whether this is the correct priority for the government at this present time, at a time of climate crisis and growing inequality. I also do have some concerns around the impact this might have on city businesses. I heard media reports during the week that the Adelaide City Council has considered some of these issues and raised concerns around the impact on city businesses. I will be very interested in hearing some responses from the government in relation to those concerns as part of the committee stage.

Greens Park Lands Heritage Bill Reintroduced

19 May 2022

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS:

I rise to speak in relation to the Heritage Places (Adelaide Park Lands) Amendment Bill, and I will keep this brief; I am conscious that members are probably sick of hearing my voice today. This is a very important bill. It seeks to add the Parklands to the list of South Australia's State Heritage Areas.

Members will recall I introduced an identical bill into the last parliament, and I was really delighted to see all political parties in this place come on board and support it. I am hoping that spirit will continue when this bill is brought to a vote in a coming parliamentary session. The Adelaide Parklands are an iconic and cherished part of our city. Adelaide remains the only city in the world surrounded by park; in fact, the world's first public park. Seven hundred hectares of park remain, but we must work hard to ensure that this unique part of our city is not lost. We know with our public green space that once it is gone we can never get it back.

In 2008, the Parklands received National Heritage listing by the then Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Peter Garrett MP. In 2009, the process began to ask the state Heritage Council to consider whether SA should follow the federal government's lead and declare that the Parklands are worthy of heritage recognition at a state level. Thirteen years on, we are still waiting.

A process of public consultation commenced in 2017, and it featured a record number of submissions in support of the state heritage listing. In 2018, the then state Liberal government committed to including the Parklands on the state heritage list following a recommendation of the state Heritage Council, yet here we are in 2022 and South Australians are still wondering when we will see our beautiful, rare, city green spaces included on the state heritage list.

The Parklands are subject to slow erosion. Often we do not even notice that it is happening, but the Parklands were once 930 hectares and are now only 700 hectares. They continue to shrink. Each successive generation loses a little bit more, and there is no way to fight it, no mechanism to reclaim it. That is why legislation like this is so important. The Malinauskas government has axed the former government's plan to build a stadium on our precious Parklands. We welcome this decision, but we need to do more to protect our green, open public spaces that circle the city.

State and World Heritage listings would send governments of both persuasions a clear message that the Parklands are iconic and they should not be the plaything of developers and vested interests. Our Parklands should not be for sale. The Adelaide Park Lands Management Strategy, which was endorsed by the Weatherill Labor government back in 2015, calls to maintain the culture and heritage of the Parklands through World Heritage listing. The Greens are supportive of those efforts, and we see this bill as being an important step.

The bill is a very simple one. All it seeks to do is include the Parklands on the state heritage list—something that is a prerequisite for a World Heritage listing consideration, I suggest. The Parklands are for everybody. The benefits are for all of us to enjoy. If our federal government can recognise their significance through heritage listing, why can't we? South Australians know how precious our Parklands are. They are the envy of cities around the world. We cannot wait any longer to protect our cultural, historic, Indigenous and environmental heritage through a bill such as this.

As I say, it was really encouraging to see the widespread support for this bill in the last parliament and I am hopeful that members will get on board with this bill when it comes to a vote in coming parliamentary sessions. With that, I conclude my remarks.

Heritage Protection for the Park Lands

8 February 2022

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I want to thank members for their contributions. I acknowledge the contribution of the Hon. Emily Burke, the contribution of the Hon. Frank Pangallo and the contribution of the Hon. Michelle Lensink. I do want to acknowledge the fact that we are at an exciting moment where all political parties are supporting the heritage listing of our iconic Parklands and Adelaide's iconic green space. I think that really is a breakthrough moment in terms of protection of our Parklands.

This has been a long-term campaign by Parklands advocates. It is over 10 years ago that we saw the Adelaide Parklands included on the National Heritage List, and since that time there has been a long-term push for the Adelaide Parklands to be included on the state heritage list. It is terrific to see such strong support for this bill, and certainly, whether the Labor Party claims government or whether the Liberal Party is returned to government in March, the Greens will be reintroducing this legislation into the new parliament to ensure that the two major parties make good on their commitment and their support for this legislation so that we can make this a reality. I see today's vote as being an important step in that regard, and I acknowledge the support of my colleagues in making that happen.

I will respond very briefly and directly to one of the comments made by the Hon. Emily Bourke. The Hon. Ms Bourke has asked about the involvement of the Adelaide City Council. Whilst it is true that I have not negotiated directly with the council on this bill, the council has had a long-term position of supporting state heritage listing for the Adelaide Parklands and also supporting World Heritage listing for the Parklands. I would certainly see that this bill, were it to become law, would strengthen that campaign for World Heritage listing.

In the interests of time, I indicate on behalf of the Greens that we are supportive of two of the three amendments that are going to be put forward by the government. We support amendment No. 2 [Lensink-1] and amendment No. 3 [Lensink-1]. We do not support amendment No.1, which relates to the time frame in which the bill would come into operation. There may well be a change of government in March, and they may well have very different priorities in terms of the work of the bureaucracy, and it may be possible to expedite this.

People have been waiting a very long time for state heritage listing, and I do not want to see more delays put in place. It is for that reason that we are opposed to that first amendment from the government. I acknowledge the support of all parties in terms of making this happen.

Adelaide Parklands State Heritage Bill

01 December 2021

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS:

The bill that I rise to speak on today seeks to include the Adelaide Parklands on the state's heritage list. The Adelaide Parklands, established in 1837, were the world's first public park, and Adelaide remains the only city in the world that is garlanded by parks. It is a reminder of just how fortunate we are, particularly during this time of climate emergency.

In 2008, the Parklands received national heritage listing by the then minister for environment, the Hon. Peter Garrett. In 2009, the process formally began to ask the state Heritage Council to consider whether SA should follow the federal government's lead and declare that the Parklands are worthy of state heritage recognition. Well, 12 years later we are still waiting.

A process of public consultation began in 2017 and featured a record number of public submissions in support of the state heritage listing. In 2018, the state government announced its intention to include the Parklands on the state heritage list, following a recommendation of the state Heritage Council, and yet here we are coming to the end of 2021 and we still have no action from the Marshall government.

Indeed, the former Labor government were silent on this too. At a time when South Australians expect to see our beautiful and rare city green spaces included on the state heritage list, both of our major parties have failed to take action. That is why the Greens have taken the step of introducing this private member's bill today.

The bill is a simple one. All it seeks to do is include the Parklands on the state's heritage list. Once we do this, it would certainly strengthen the case for any world heritage consideration, something that the Adelaide Park Lands Association and others have been campaigning for for some time.

This bill is very timely because we know that the Parklands are under threat like never before. Just the last period of sitting we saw the Labor and Liberal parties vote in unison to defeat my private member's bill that would have ensured this parliament had oversight over any rezoning of the Parklands. Sadly, that has opened the way not only to the sports arena on the Helen Mayo Park but also the other things that the government has in its sights in terms of rezoning—cafes, apartment towers, restaurants and the like. All of these things have been included in the government's rezoning plans. Sadly, the government is now able to press ahead with those without parliamentary oversight.

Unfortunately, this bill will not correct that. That horse has bolted. What it would do is ensure that, if there is going to be any development of the Parklands in future, there is consideration of what this means for the state heritage values of the site. I think that is a really vitally important safeguard of our city's iconic green space.

In order to be considered for state heritage listing, an area must include early or important settlements, other significant towns or suburbs of heritage value or natural landscapes. It seems completely at odds that the government is still assessing the worth of the Parklands when it met its national heritage standards more than 12 years ago. It really is time for this parliament to act.

To give you a sense of other areas that are state heritage listed, we have 17 state heritage areas that reflect heritage of importance to all South Australians. These are: Arckaringa Hills, Belair National Park, Beltana, Burra, Colonel Light Gardens, Gawler Church Hill, Goolwa, Hahndorf, Cooper Creek, Mintaro, Moonta Mines, Mount Gambier Cave Gardens, Mount Gambier Volcanic Complex, Mount Shank, Mount Torrens, Penola and Port Adelaide

Looking at this list, it is clear that the Parklands would be a worthy inclusion. South Australians know how precious our Parklands are. They are the envy of cities all around the world. They are the lungs of our city, and it is time that we took all steps necessary to protect their cultural, historic, Indigenous and environmental heritage. This private member's bill, which would provide state heritage listing, is an important step in that regard.

I do not know what the future holds. If we find that we are in this place in the new year, I would like to bring this bill to a head and to a vote. If I have an opportunity to do that, I will do so, but if not, I will certainly—should I be fortunate enough to be re-elected—reintroduce a similar bill after the next state election and give this place an opportunity to vote on it.

I think it is important for this parliament to take this important step of recognising the value of our iconic green space, and that is precisely what this bill does. With that, I commend the bill.

Fighting to Protect Our Parklands

17 November 2021

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: I thank the Hon. Frank Pangallo for his support, and I express regret at the position of the Labor and Liberal parties. They often have stoushes in this place, but they always get back together again, particularly when it comes to taking over our public green space, and that is what we are seeing happening here tonight.

Make no mistake that what the Labor Party are doing here in opposing this bill is they are facilitating the government's plans to take over our public green space. They are facilitating the rezoning of the Parklands. They are opening the door not only to the sports arena, which they say they oppose, they are also opening the door to the other rezoning the government has proposed: cafes, shops, apartment towers, nightclubs, low level industry, because the government can do all of this without bringing the matter to parliament.

That is precisely what my bill was trying to address. It was trying to ensure this parliament has a say on changes that would fundamentally change the character of our Parklands and of our city's green space. Sadly, the Labor Party have totally missed an opportunity here to show some backbone, to stand up to the Liberals and to defend our Parklands from what is in effect a takeover from the development sector.

The idea of giving the Liberals the keys to develop our Parklands is like giving Count Dracula the keys to the blood bank. Once the development sector sink their teeth in they will change the character of our public space forever. I agree with the Labor Party on one thing: we do not need a multimillion dollar sports stadium. After all, if members of the South Australian community want to come along and watch an Olympic-style backflip they can come to this chamber and watch the Labor Party in action, because that is what we are seeing tonight: an embarrassing backflip, an appalling capitulation to this Liberal government.

The Treasurer has got me. Sneaky Simms has been exposed again, because he is right: I am no supporter of the planning regime that was set in place by the previous Labor government. I am no fan of the idea that we can see development on our public land—on our national heritage-listed Parklands—without even giving the parliament a say.

It is pathetic that the Labor Party have not joined with the Greens in supporting this and that they have not had the moral courage to stand with us and with the SA-Best party and others and say to the government, 'If you are wanting to rezone our public space, you have to come to this parliament and defend what you are doing.' As a result, tonight the sports arena is well and truly on the agenda. The minister can give the green light to that rezoning at any time, and not only that but the raft of other commercial development the government has in its sights.

The Treasurer can say, 'We don't plan to do anything on Pinky Flat.' Well, why on earth are they seeking a rezoning? If they do not want to do anything with that space, why are they trying to rezone it? They are trying to rezone it because they want to let the genie out of the bottle and give developers a chance to move into our Parklands. This is a really dark day for our public green space.

I will be calling a division on this matter so that all members of the community can see who stands with the community in defending our national heritage-listed Parklands and who stands with the big end of town and the development sector that want to exploit this public land.