Mining Debate in Parliament - from Hansard

Monday 06 November 2017
Mining Debate in Parliament - from Hansard

Excerpts from House of Assembly 1 November 2017

STATUTES AMENDMENT (LEADING PRACTICE IN MINING) Bill

Steven's contribution to Second reading; in Committee; Third reading:

Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (17:49): It is an honour to have the opportunity to speak on this
legislation. I will flag from the very start that I appreciate the excellent amount of work done by the
member for Stuart as the shadow minister and his very efficient summary of what the legislation does
and indeed his summary of the issues as they come from both sides of the mining equation. I will
flag very early on, though, that I do not support the legislation. It is my intention to oppose it. I will set
out the reasons why that is the case.
I respect the fact that the shadow minister has flagged that the Liberal Party does not oppose
it, but does reserve its right for amendments and its opportunity to make its final decision, depending
on how those amendments proceed in the Legislative Council. However, I want to put on the record
that, when it comes to the votes that will occur in the House of Assembly, I intend to say no.
It has not necessarily taken me a long time to come to this position, but it has been an
ongoing issue. While we are talking about legislation that was first flagged 14 months ago, for me
the debate about mining has been a local one for the last nine years, involving a significant mining
proposal for copper and gold, and originally iron ore, and potentially other products, but now it is
copper and gold on Yorke Peninsula, based around the south-west of the Ardrossan area, and
impacting upon coastal communities and significantly upon the farming activities that take place
there. Many of those farming activities involve five generations of occupation of the land and
caretaking of the land and the effort that has gone into preserving it for the future generations who
will farm it.
I am not a politician by nature. I am probably a bureaucrat by nature, and for me the detail is
important. I have read this legislation; I have gone through the 154 pages. There are many areas in
this legislation where I understand and support the reason for it. I believe it has come through
discussions and negotiations that are not always unanimously agreed to. For me, the key issue is
Page 11848 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 1 November 2017
around changing 'exempt' to 'restricted' and the concern about that and the concerns that have been
continuously put to me, not just about mining in total but about when it first became evident as part
of the 82 recommendations and the feedback that was sought on that.
The very strong representation from the YP Land Owners' Group and individuals who are
part of that or who are supported by that group has been to reject outright the majority of the
recommendations and, by association, seriously question or reject the legislative amendments. I do
not reject all of them, but because I have a particular issue with 'exempt' versus 'restricted' that is the
reason why I will be voting no and will do so at the second and third readings.
I want mining to be well regulated. When the minister stood up here—and previous ministers
have spoken about this—he talked about the fact that South Australia is held up as an example, not
just for our nation but around the world, for the way in which regulations are upheld and for the
controls that are put in place. I can argue that, in granting approval to Rex Minerals for mining to take
place on Yorke Peninsula and the conditions attached to that is an example of where, by government
assessment of the application, by community involvement in the application and by highlighting the
issues of concern which have impacted upon the range of conditions attached to it, a situation has
been created where a mine, if it is to proceed, will be one of the examples of what mining in a
developed community is—and that is what I classify Yorke Peninsula as compared to many other
mining activities in South Australia—and the conditions to try to deal with that.
I have attended all of the Hillside Mine Community Voice community engagement events
that have been held in the last three months, where different components of the plan for
environmental protection and rehabilitation have been discussed. As I understand it, they have been
finalised to a certain stage but the PEPR itself—an acronym for the plan for environment protection
and rehabilitation—has not been lodged, and a further extension has been sought to lodge that. I
believe it has to be submitted by 26 February 2018.
There has been a mixture in the numbers of people who attend. Many who attend are the
same person or couple because they are intrinsically involved in that mine. What I say about the
legislation looks more at the concern of what the impact is for the Goyder electorate and that
community. You can see the uncertainty in these people's eyes and in their emotions. I do not even
try to contemplate the level of challenges they have faced in the nine years of Rex Minerals proposed
mine.
I fully respect the fact that the legislation and the laws of South Australia provide the
opportunity for the mine to be proposed. Rex Minerals has spent $170 million or thereabouts in
proving the scope of the resource that exists and in the work that has been undertaken so far to get
it to this stage. That is all shareholders' money, that is, people who believed they would get a return
on their investment in the mining venture on that site.
The farming community has been insistent over the years, and I completely respect why,
and for the majority of the time that I have had the great honour of being the member for Goyder they
have been concerned about it. While discussions or negotiations have occurred about the land that
is required specifically for the mine—and it was either purchased earlier on or rights to purchase
were put in place, as I understand it—the impact upon the adjoining property owners, be they close
or a little bit farther away, is significant.
I respect why those people do not want it. They do not want anything to occur close to them
they feel impacts upon the way they run their business. They are concerned about the marketability
of Yorke Peninsula, not just as a tourism area or a place to live but in terms of its products also. That
is why they have a very strong opinion about it. They have been insistent, and they have spoken to
me and indeed other members about this. They put their case continuously because they believe in
what they do and they want to try to protect what they do.
The law provides an opportunity for mining to be proposed. The law has assessed it; the law
has attached conditions to it; and the law allows for the PEPR to be finalised. But there again I think
a frustration exists because it was in August 2014 that Rex Minerals were approved. They were given
a certain amount of time for a PEPR to be developed and submitted. I believe that has been extended
twice and now the third time. During that time, yes, the company has worked on it, and I respect that.
Yes, the company has supported the initial community consultation group that was appointed. Yes,
Wednesday, 1 November 2017 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 11849
the company supported the Hillside Mine Community Voice, the last version of which has been in
operation for about two years and which an independent chair, Mr Phil Tyler, who is a former member
of this place, was appointed to operate, to chair the group.
They have been involved in community negotiations about the conditions attached that will
be included in the PEPR about how to meet the conditions of approval, but we still get to the case
that, by virtue of this legislation— and we have been told by the member for Stuart earlier today that
the suggestion of the change from 'exempt' to 'restricted' came about from the consultation that
occurred early on about the review into the legislation.
Mr van Holst Pellekaan interjecting:
Mr GRIFFITHS: The government has advised the member for Stuart about that, and during
the questioning on the clauses I will try to find out where that came from, because the community
that has put me in this place the last three times has questioned where it came from because they
do not believe anyone from their area has expressed that.
They see that as absolute key. I noted the change from 'exempt' to 'restricted'. 'Restricted' is
actually a term that covers what the 1971 legislation put in place about exempted, and with
amendments since then, the practicalities of mining expansion have created a different
acknowledgement of what the word is meant to mean. Is that, therefore, why the change has
occurred? There will be questions asked about that in the committee.
I respect the feedback from the member for Giles and how he related to the people who are
surrounded by or live close by it and the impact upon them. I am not trying to stretch the truth
imaginatively here, but in the last eight years I have had a conversation daily with people. I was also
asked by the Yorke Peninsula Land Owners' Group to chair a public meeting at Ardrossan, where
there were 400 people. So you go between the emotions of a one-on-one conversation and the
emotions of a 400-people-in-attendance conversation where I am asked, 'Do you support it or not?'
I am a bureaucrat by nature. For me, it has been about process. I have been criticised for
that, I have to tell you. I have copped quite a bit in my area. At one stage, I was accused of being a
shareholder in Rex Minerals. I have always thought that my role as a member of parliament is to
support the future of the economy of the area. I have respected that there is a strong concern that
lives close by and probably within 30 minutes.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: This might be a good spot to take a breath.

Resumed:

STATUTES AMENDMENT (LEADING PRACTICE IN MINING) BILL
Second Reading
Adjourned debate on second reading (resumed on motion).
Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (19:34): I want to move on a little bit now, but only to more current
times. On 2 February, there was a meeting convened at Maitland on Yorke Peninsula by Grain
Producers SA which the Department of the Premier and Cabinet staff attended (and I appreciate that
fact also), and it was about the mining legislation review. It was certainly a good number of people
who attended. Staff from DPC who were there that day would reflect upon the fact that there was
considerable emotion. It is one of the many that I have been a part of in the last couple of years,
there is no doubt about that. But, as part of that, I asked when legislation would be available for
review. I put the question: would legislation in a draft form be available for scrutiny by not just
members of parliament but, indeed, by industry or people who are impacted by the impact of mining
for a chance to review it?
I asked that deliberately because I was hopeful that would be the case. It would have meant
that legislation would have to be tabled before the winter break. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
The minister gave notice of it and tabled it some two weeks ago on this day, but now we are up for
debate about it already. I feel great frustration, and I reflect upon some words that were actually part
of a joint statement in a document produced by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, entitled
'Fast facts: the way forward', talking about feedback on the review. It is a joint statement from Primary
Producers SA, Grain Producers SA, Livestock SA, the Environmental Defenders Office,
Conservation Council, and the Wilderness Society of South Australia. I will only read a portion of it,
which states:
Our respective organisations have appreciated the opportunity to be involved in this review. We cautiously
welcome what would appear to be positive Recommendations for amendments to the Act…subject to having the
opportunity to analyse the contents as set out in the draft Bill.
That itself is a dilemma. Legislation was only available for review by any person, beyond some
members of parliament who were given an embargoed copy, I think six days before it was presented
to the house, two weeks ago. The consultation, as the member for Stuart has alluded to, about the
drop-in centres is continuing. In fact, the last meeting is at Port Augusta, I believe, on 15 November.
It is that inability of considered review to take place that has put the Liberal Party in the
position where it intends to debate the legislation as it is in full and to consider amendments between
houses and to propose those in the Legislative Council and reserve its final position depending upon
the success or otherwise of those amendments. However, it has put me in the position where the
consideration of the feedback provided to me by the community over some period of time, and indeed
the concerns I have in regard to the change from exempt to restricted access and land, as we talk
about, to declare that I will vote no on that on the legislation at the second and third reading.
Wednesday, 1 November 2017 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 11851
It was put to me at the drop-in centre meeting at Maitland last Friday that I should be for
agriculture. I am, but my response to that is that I am for communities because it is an inclusiveness
to me. Communities are made up of all aspects: ages, land uses and activities that take place. I am
for trying to find the absolutely best result. I do reflect upon the fact that there are considerable
aspects of this legislation that are actually improvements. I understand that, but it is for the reason I
have outlined about the land issue that I am intending to vote no.
I put before the house a suggestion that I was not aware of from a policy that exists within
government, as I understand it, primarily within the Department of Primary Industries and Regions,
which is for a thing called 'primary production priority areas' to be declared. As I understand it, the
policy exists for some 19 to exist across South Australia, but as yet I do not believe they are in place.
When the sustainable agriculture select committee that I was a member of was presented with this
information probably five years ago now, I was immediately attracted to that because it provides
some level of guidance of areas that are intended to be preserved for their activities.
This has been used in the past and talked about for a variety of things such as where wind
farms should go and where boat ramps should be and where facilities and services should exist. I
see that primary production priority areas as actually being a very key initiative which has been a
policy but never undertaken or put in place, which has caused part of this problem. I do put on the
table that the government, as part of legislation that has already passed this house some time ago
about character preservation areas for the Barossa and McLaren Vale areas, has put restrictions in
place on land uses to occur.
In the planning, development and infrastructure legislation that was debated in this chamber
for hours on end, the environmental food protection areas were established by the Minister for
Planning. They are designed to ensure that no residential development takes place within those
identified areas, which are quite substantial—they surround Adelaide and head north, east and south.
This is a similar case, where regional communities want to see some surety attached to the land use.
At the drop-in meeting with DPC in Maitland last Friday, the following question was put: what
takes precedence? Do development plans that exist on the style of land uses that are allowed by
virtue of community input, local government review and the Minister for Planning have the final say
on it? My understanding is they do not allow for mining to occur. In this area, it is general farming or
industries that are associated with general farming. One could argue that this is very much to the
complete opposite of a mining proposal.
That is where I think those primary production and priority areas are a key opportunity to do
things a bit better. I call upon the government—and I have also called upon the opposition, as part
of its own policy work—to ensure that effort is being made on that. My understanding is that the
legislation we are reviewing is partially a review of the 1971 legislation. When the review of the mining
legislation was proposed to me, I assumed that it would be a conclusive rewrite, as with other
substantial acts such as the Local Government Act 1999 and the Planning, Development and
Infrastructure Act 2016.
Instead, at a briefing provided by the minister's staff which I think was on 22 September, we
were told that it was being broken up into separate components and that—and these are my words,
not theirs—the areas where there is a high level of agreement in place is the legislation that is going
to be proposed, and the one that we are debating now. Indeed, I reviewed the document provided
by the government on the 82 recommendations, and the feedback that arose from that. My comment
to the staff at that briefing was, 'This is all about love and peace, but when does the war start?'
I did not use that term flippantly, but I used it as a reflection of the feedback I had received
from people who were just so angry about what they see is an attack upon the multigenerational
activity that their families have undertaken through farming. We have reached a situation whereby
this proposed legislation, as I understand it, will probably have two further tranches of legislation,
depending on if the bureaucracy that exists, no matter what the next government may be. We are
then going to get to the situation where there is a complete rewrite of the 1971 legislation.
I understand that it is required, because I think the 1971 legislation replaced 1931, so we do
this roughly every four decades or so. My natural position on legislative change is to be supportive
of improvements. I flag that there are aspects that I do support, but it is the key ones that prevent me
Page 11852 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 1 November 2017
from doing so. I am frustrated about the current legislation and the way it is administered with PEPRs
(the plan for environment protection and rehabilitation) where it is basically impossible to refuse it.
You have to keep reviewing it and have it amended by those who propose to undertake mining until
it is in a form that can be supportive.
I am grateful for the DPC staff who have advised me that that is not the case in the proposed
legislation, so that is a good move. I do support the increased level of financial compensation
available to property owners who seek legal advice. It is increasing from $500 to $2,500. There are
other aspects that worried me. I note an email from a staff member provided to me from DPC earlier
this week, which states:
I advise that the proposed amendments to the bill would avoid any project with a footprint and profile of the
Hillside Mine going forward, unless [the owners who are directly adjoining it] agree to waivers, etc. This is just one of
the significant better protections under the current bill.
It is currently a requirement, as part of the PEPR and as required by the mining extraction permits,
for adjoining owners who are impacted by the blast zone to sign exemptions. It is my understanding
that is not going to be the case and they will never do so, so it seems to me that protections are still
there but it is all subject to negotiation. It comes back to the theory of others: what is the highest fair
use of the land?
The mining legislation has been of great personal concern to me. I have family members
who are impacted by this because of the very close proximity of the land they farm to the mine site.
I am desperate to try to ensure a positive outcome, but the word I come back to, and the summary
of my comments, is 'balance'. Balance needs to exist—balance that preserves the right for
communities to do what they feel is important for them, but also for opportunities to be pursued for
diversification.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage

Mr GRIFFITHS: My question is an extension of that same area, but it refers to a
determination of the minister or by regulations. We have all mentioned the fact that draft regulations
are not available, but are there any examples that you are able to quote already of the types of issues
that will be included in the regulation that may relate to that area for ancillary operations as being not
included?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I am advised that we can do that by regulation, so by
regulation we can preclude operations.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I understand, minister, and I agree with that. I know the draft is not
available—
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Let me get some advice. Anyone receiving a tenement
licence must be approved for mine operations. The exclusions are things such as transport, or other
ancillary services that are not related to mine services. We are trying to restrict it to mine services so
that we do not have too much of an expansive bureaucracy involved here.
Mr GRIFFITHS: The reason for the question, minister, is that I take the committee stage to
be a very strong guidance for you and your staff when it comes to regulations being drafted. The
intention is to seek clarification where regulations are mentioned, just to try to get an idea of what we
are actually talking about.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Obviously, we will consult with industry and stakeholders,
and I would be very interested in the views of the member for Goyder.
The CHAIR: Any further questions on amended clause 4?
Mr GRIFFITHS: I have questions about several areas in the definitions. I note that 'Crown
lands' has been deleted from the definitions. I am interested to know why that has occurred?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I am advised it is superfluous and not used in the current
act.
Mr GRIFFITHS: It is in different areas of each definition.
The CHAIR: Okay, but we are going to be here all night if you ask more than three questions
on each clause.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I understand. Similarly, minister, 'director', which is the next definition
provided there, is a new one that has been inserted. In my case, there is a presumption that people
understand what 'director' means without it necessarily being defined. Where did this suggestion
come from?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: These are directors of companies. I am advised that we
are bringing in very strict environmental regulations that are applied directly to directors of these
companies, and that is what the definition means.

*******************

Mr GRIFFITHS: For clarification, there is an area about 'exploring' and then adding
'exploration operations'; I understand that. There is a description of 'exploring' or 'exploration
operations'. I understand the reason for that inclusion, but new subclause (d) provides:
undertaking any other activity brought within the ambit of this definition by a determination of the Minister or
by the regulations…
Given that directly above this it talks about 'prospecting for minerals', 'exploring for minerals' or
'establishing the extent of a mineral deposit', what else would you do that might be brought within
the ambit of the regulations?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I think it is just to clear up exactly what 'exploring' is so
there could be no question about what the activity should be, so there is no chance of anyone slipping
through the cracks. We want to cover as many definitions as possible. I hope that covers what you
are attempting to look for; if not, I am sure you will clear it up in your next question.
The CHAIR: There might not be a next question; he has already had five.
Mr GRIFFITHS: And I am grateful for the generosity of the Chair.
The CHAIR: It will not be lasting.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I understand that. As I say, given that it talks about prospecting, it talks
about exploring and it talks about establishing the extent of a mineral deposit, my question is
specifically about what you can do beyond that that gives consideration to be included as part of
regulations in the future. That is what the wording of new subclause (d) allows the minister to declare
via regulation. I am intrigued by what you can do beyond those three areas already mentioned.
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis interjecting:
Mr GRIFFITHS: It talks about 'prospecting for minerals' or 'exploring for minerals' or
'establishing the extent of a mineral deposit', and then it creates this new subclause (d), which allows
you to add to that.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I would have thought that this is the type of clause that the
member for Goyder and the conservative side would possibly enjoy. It keeps the lawyers out of the
definitions, rather than leaving it up to lawyers to define. This is just taking out any ambiguity about
what 'exploration' is, but I take your point. What we are attempting to do is the very thing that you are
inquiring about—taking out the ambiguity.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Over the page—
The CHAIR: Which page are you looking at?
Mr GRIFFITHS: On page 11, where subclause (21) refers to:
Section 6(1), definition of radioactive mineral—delete the definition.
I know later on there is the deletion of areas in relation to radioactive materials also. Why is that
definition being removed?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: It is a remnant of the old three mines policy, and it is now
redundant. It is now no longer necessary within the act. Hopefully, we never return to that policy ever
again.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I note there is a new definition for senior warden. Why is there an intention
to create a senior warden of the Warden's Court when I presume that has not been in place already?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I am advised that it previously was not under statute and
now it is under statute and that is why the amendment has been made.
Clause as amended passed.
Page 11870 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Clause 5.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Clause 5 is an amendment to section 7(2) and it starts off with a new
subsection (2), which states, 'These regulations may provide.' I am interested why they do not say
'shall'. Why is the word 'may' used? There is an ambiguity that is attached there by the word 'may'
instead of 'shall'.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I am advised that it is a drafting style issue. If the member
thinks it should be 'shall' I am not particularly fussed. I think 'may' gives more discretion, but it
probably does not, given my experience of the way these things are interpreted. There is no
conspiracy here; it is just a drafting style.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I thank the minister for his response. My next question relates to new
subsection (2a) which is directly below and the wording of this one really intrigues me: 'The
regulations may,' and I am now comfortable with the minister's explanation, 'provide that a specified
provision of this Act does not apply'. How can a regulation say that a requirement of the act does not
apply? Can you give some examples of where that is actually the case? I would have thought that
the act would have had the primary responsibility.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: These are drafting issues. There is not a secret clause in
here that gives me a secret key just to use a regulation to take away the will of the parliament. The
parliament is supreme. Its clauses cannot be removed by regulation. These are drafting questions
by parliamentary counsel. Parliament is the master of its own destiny.
We cannot pass a bill saying that all other bills can be overridden by some other act. At least,
that is what I think. That is the way I have always understood it. I think these are drafting issues. The
answer is the same as the answer about 'may' or 'shall'. This is the way that parliamentary counsel
go through acts. When they are drafting amendments and cleaning up acts, they add these clauses
in to clean up the function of the act so that they operate as they are intended.
Again, for the member, this is also to end any conflict between other acts, such as the Local
Government Act, which you would be well aware of—things like borrow pits, for example, so there is
no conflict between any of the acts.
Clause passed.
Clauses 6 and 7 passed.
Clause 8

**********************

Mr GRIFFITHS: Over the page, minister, towards the bottom of page 14, the legislation talks
about prescribed distance, so can we move forward to that bit. That is where, in relation to low impact
exploration operations, it becomes 200 metres. I listened intently the minister's last answer, when he
said that every time you go out it costs more money, and I took that to mean out further. In this case
are we not actually coming in closer? I know there is a great concern amongst community members
who talk to me about any level of exploration taking place closer than what was the case before.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Again, it is a balance. We are not talking about drill holes;
we are talking about early exploration. Again, it is trying to get the balance right—very little
disturbance, very little impact. We have to get the balance right. These are explorers who do not
have many resources so, again, we to try to get that balance.
This is the difficult part about this area, which is why I know the difficulty that regional
members face over metropolitan members—it is the impacts. We have to get the balance right
between allowing access and appropriate consultation, and managing costs and bureaucracy and
red tape. So, yes, I accept your point, but this is a different type of impact, which is lower impact, and
we are attempting to try to get the balance right. Is it perfect? No, it is not perfect. Let's be clear about
this. Is it 50 metres, 100 metres, 600 metres or somewhere that is 601 metres?
I will give you an analogy in the modern day. Regarding Adelaide Airport curfew insulation, I
know people who live across the road from people who have received government insulation and
people who have not. We are talking about a matter of metres and the noise impact is almost
identical, but a line is drawn somewhere. I am not saying it is fair. It is arbitrary, but we try to get the
balance right. This is the difficulty about prescribing distances and the difficulty about the way you
make this legislation.
I think I know the member for Goyder well enough to know how considerate he is about the
tools that we have here. Often we like to use scalpels, but we do not often have scalpels. In the real
world, I have to make a balance between the very legitimate issue of the cost of consultation versus
the impact of the actual activity. If we overdo it, we will be criticised, rightly, about being
overburdensome on red tape and bureaucracy. If we are too lenient, we will be criticised, rightly, by
landowners and impacted residents about not giving them enough protections and consultation about
activity that is occurring near them that will impact them. We try to find the balance.
I do not think for a minute that any jurisdiction anywhere in the world has got this absolutely
right. We are trying to find a balance, so it is not perfect. You have got me. I am serious, you have
got me. What is the appropriate number? How long is a piece of string? It is different for everyone.
We are trying to get the balance right. I know exactly what you are saying and I take the point. I know
how your constituents feel. I can only imagine what it is like, but I have to find the balance.
Clause passed.
Sitting extended beyond 22:00 on motion of Hon. A. Koutsantonis.
Clause 9.

**********************

Mr GRIFFITHS: I would like to jump up a little bit to clause 9AA(4). There are some
amendments to the wording in that, but there is a word that was already in the current legislation
where it talks about a cooling-off period. There is not a definition of what 'cooling-off' actually means
and I presume there is a legal interpretation of that, but just for the record could you put what the
cooling off period is please?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I am advised:
Wednesday, 1 November 2017 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 11873
…The cooling off period, in relation to an agreement with a tenement holder to waive the benefit of a
restriction, means the period commencing when the agreement is made and concluding at the end of the fifth clear
business day after the day on which the agreement is made.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I thank the minister for his detailed answer. My next question relates to
section 9AA(5). Indeed, I am looking through the current legislation because it is for the deletion of
that subclause, which relates to a 'notice rescinding an agreement may be given'. I am just wondering
why that has been removed.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I am advised that there are—sorry, my wife just texted me
and said the kids are watching on TV.
Members interjecting:
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Yes, true. I am advised that this measure allows conformity
throughout the bill in terms of the way notifications are made. We are going to consult on the
regulations to make sure that we have the ability to make regulations, so the notification process can
be variable.
Mr GRIFFITHS: The clause that has been removed talks about 'a notice rescinding an
agreement may be given' and then the various methods that are under it.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Say that again.
Mr GRIFFITHS: It is about rescinding the agreement that is in place and how notice is
actually provided. I would have thought it is therefore implied, by removal of that clause from the
existing legislation, that that opportunity does not exist and instead it is a legal action that has to be
taken by a property owner if they wish to rescind an agreement.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: If people wish to rescind the process, what we want to do
is have the regulation-making power so we can go out and consult with people about how best to
facilitate what the process looks like and the time period. This is not a perfect answer to a very
complicated issue, but the advice I have is that this clause allows us to get an understanding of how
the act will work. We can go out and talk to people, have learnings from it and be able to adjust if it
is imperfect. The clause allows us not to make the perfect the enemy of the good so that we have
the ability to actually attempt to try to modify the process if it needs modifying after consultation.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Through talking to each other?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Yes.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Minister, I like the words conveyed, but I am not sure if they are relevant to
my question. The current legislation provides an opportunity for a notice to rescind an agreement to
be lodged, but this legislation puts in place a deletion of that ability to do so. Is that ability still available
and is it available through a clause later on that we have not got to yet? That is the easier question
to answer, I think.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Landowners will have the power to rescind an agreement.
This is about the notice that they have to give. We have to go out and consult with people about
getting the regulatory power to do that. The time frames required for that process will be done through
consultation.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Again, minister, I am asked to have blind faith and the regulations will take
care of it.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: The parliament has the right to refuse regulations so, yes,
you will be part of the process. Yes, the parliament will be consulted. Yes, landowners will be
consulted, as will the mining industry and the shadow minister.
Mr Odenwalder: The Legislative Review Committee.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: The Legislative Review Committee, indeed. The all-powerful Legislative Review Committee will be consulted.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I understand that, but I am not here next year.
Page 11874 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 1 November 2017
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: And that is a shame.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I am pleased that you have given me some explanations about how the
replacement option is to be put in place. I suppose I am intrigued as to why the need for the
replacement option actually has to be considered. You must have had some representations from
some people during the consultation about the ability to rescind the agreement. I am a bit confused.
I was hoping there was a simple answer to it, but it appears there is not.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: This is a complete rewrite of the processes in the act, trying
to balance up the power divide that has been in place since probably 1971.

******************

Mr GRIFFITHS: In the same area, minister, this issue was raised at the drop-in meeting at
Maitland last week. I hope it was a misinterpretation by a member of the community who raised the
question, because they made the comment that, the way they interpreted it, it was an ability for a
farmer's property to be accessed when needed.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: In Nangawarry?

Mr GRIFFITHS: That was not the issue highlighted. I presume, from the answer provided to
the shadow minister by you, minister, that it relates to those who operate mining activities there, or
part of the tenement holder, and there is no action that could be at risk against the farmer, the
property owner, who is the permanent resident there.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: The act is pretty clear. It provides:
5(a) the premises are used by a tenement holder—
a tenement holder—
for, or in connection with, authorised operations…
Mr GRIFFITHS: I am sorry to take up the parliament's time, but I just want clarification from
you on that because I know there are people who will ask me about it, so I appreciate your assistance.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: The member for Goyder is clear about the tenement holder,
but what the member for Goyder was asking is whether the property or the residence has to be on
the tenement or not. I think that is what he is really asking about.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: It depends on whether the premises are used by the
tenement holder. If the tenement holder has a property that is not near the tenement, and it is a
commercial property or a residential property, depending on whether they need a warrant or
otherwise, it can be searched if it is relating to the term of activity.
Mr van Holst Pellekaan interjecting:
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Of course; if it is in connection with the activity of the
tenement. We are not giving inspectors the ability to kick doors open and just walk into farm homes,
saying, 'What's for breakfast?'
Clause passed.
Clauses 17 and 18 passed.
Clause 19.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: In terms of things being seized, it is pretty clear what can
and cannot be done. If a property is left for a certain period of time, it is then allowed to be removed,
and the proceeds go to the Crown, and then the previous owner gets reimbursed, less costs. Is this
something that must happen, or is it possible to come to an agreement between the owner of the
property and the tenement holder so that that property could stay without this coming into effect?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: This is in relation to tenement activity. I think what you are
asking is: is there farm equipment that farmers need to work that might be seized? There would be
no reason to seize that. We are talking about offences by mining operators. If a mining operator has
committed an offence and it is seized, it is seized because the officers may need it as evidence. They
can choose not to, and make an agreement, but they have that discretion, and they may take the
risk. This provision of the act gives them the same powers as the Environment Protection Act and it
aligns with the Fisheries Management Act. These are powers that are well defined and well in scope
already by this parliament.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: With regard to compensation, it states that, if the property
is damaged in some way, there would be compensation paid to the owner of the property. That is
pretty straightforward if it is a vehicle or something that has a clear market value. What about drill
core samples or something like that, when, in all good intent, inspectors think there is something
going on that should not be going on, so that property is seized and that property is misplaced,
mislaid or damaged and not returned in the condition that it was in and potentially could be worth
nothing, or potentially could be extraordinarily valuable? How would that be dealt with?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Drill cores have value. That value is easily determined and
they will be compensated.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: How is the value of a drill core sample that may not have
been assessed yet easily determined?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I hate to quote Darryl Kerrigan. The Kerrigans are very
keen on assigning value to property that they thought far exceeded market conditions. If someone
attempted to sell them something or buy something from them that was not at market value they
would say, 'Tell them they're dreaming.' The court will determine what the market value is of a core
sample. It is easily determined.
Clause passed.
Clauses 20 and 21 passed.
Clause 22.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: At about line 15:

(1)

A caveat under subsection (1) may—

(a)

forbid the registration of any transfer, mortgage or   voluntary surrender affecting a specified

interest in the mineral tenement…
What about voluntary surrender if it is not explored or it has not been used in any way? This is talking
about something that has a value. What if it has not actually been explored or mined? How does that
work?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Can you expand on your question so that we can get an
understanding of what it is that you are attempting to ask?
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Under Caveats, it states:
(1) A person…who has, or who is claiming, an interest in a mineral tenement may apply to the Mining
Registrar to have a caveat registered under this Division…

(3)

A caveat…may—

(a)

forbid the registration of any transfer, mortgage or   voluntary surrender affecting a

specified interest in the mineral tenement…
What if that specified interest is unclear? What if it has not yet been explored and it is not really clear
what the value is? How does that caveat apply?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: People are not going to put a caveat on an asset that is not
worth anything because of the risks they take later. The system has inherent safeguards in place. It
is a commercial risk. If you place a large caveat on a property and it does not turn out, it would be a
very serious risk for the people placing the caveat.
Clause passed.
Clauses 23 to 36 passed.
Clause 37.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I move:
Amendment No 3 [Treasurer–1]—
Page 47, after line 29 [clause 37, inserted section 28(1), definition of open ground]—Insert:
(da) that has been the subject of an exploration licence and is to be considered as open ground
by virtue of a determination of the Minister; or
Amendment No 4 [Treasurer–1]—
Page 47, after line 40 [clause 37, inserted section 28(1), definition of relinquished ground, (a)]—Insert:
, other than where the Minister has determined that the land should be considered as open ground,
or should be the subject of a mineral tenement granted to a particular person; or
Amendments carried; clause as amended passed.
Wednesday, 1 November 2017 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Page 11879
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Let's be clear. Explorers know their acreage better than the
department and we are going to ask them to rationalise. Which is the 50 per cent that they are
interested in most? They choose and we will work with them and consult with them.
Clause passed.


*************

Clause 42.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: 'Excise of land for public purposes,' are there any excisions
planned at the moment by the government? Are there any parts of the state that are expected to be
excised if this went through?

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS:

No.

Clause passed.
  Clauses 43 to 45 passed.
  Clause 46.
  Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN:

Right down at the bottom of page 58, it states:

(3) A mining lease must not be granted in respect of land within a subsurface stratum except on the
authority of a resolution passed by both Houses of Parliament.
What sort of circumstances would that be?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Obviously, this is to keep the integrity of underground
mines. We want to make sure that people are not creating situations where there would be
degradation or any risk. It has been in place with the opal act for a long time. Both houses of
parliament must be consulted and it remains.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I noted this one also. I know that there was a special provision for mining
to take place in Arkaroola. The terminology was that it had to be of national significance and there
was special legislation for it. Is that the sort of thing that is considered by this?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Arkaroola has its own act of parliament, its prohibition, and
it is excised from the Mining Act thanks to the Liberal Party and the Greens.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: At the top of page 60 under the broader heading of
'Application for mining lease', it says:
(c) must be accompanied by a mining proposal—
which makes sense, and further states—
(iv) setting out the results of the consultation undertaken in connection with the proposed
operations in accordance with the regulations…
You are aware of concern about the regulations—and I have deliberately not raised this every single
time that regulations come up—but this really is one of the most crucial issues with regard to the
mining proposal and the results of the consultation undertaken in connection with that proposal in
accordance with the regulations. If this bill passes, I think we really need to know what sort of
regulations would be in place that would affect the consultation on the actual proposal. It really is a
core to the whole thing.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: We want to tighten up and have more transparency in these
amendments than under the previous act. We will be out consulting on the regulations next year.
The whole purpose of the act is to give greater transparency, greater consultation, more involvement
and more say. I think it is pretty self-evident, and I do not mean that in a disparaging way. I just think
what we are attempting to do is give people more of an opportunity to have a say on how these things
operate and this is what we are going to be consulting on next year with the regulations.
Clause passed.
Clause 47.
Page 11880 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 1 November 2017
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: I refer to 'Term and renewal of mining lease', right at the
bottom of page 60. It deletes 'not exceeding 21 years' but it does not appear to actually insert any
other renewal period—not a maximum and not a minimum—so how then would that be established?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: We had this absurd position previously where we could
only issue a 21-year lease regardless of the mine life. How do you capitalise the operations? How
do you get security for investors? How do you raise capital? What we do now is we assess the mine
life and issue a lease that matches the mine life of the operations. It gives greater certainty and
flexibility and commercial certainty to proponents.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Can I just seek clarification because I know I have read somewhere else—
and I think it was referred to in the drop-in meeting at Maitland—about 99 years being the case now.
If 21 is removed, is 99 put into it, or is it the expected mine life?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: One of the big issues is being able to raise capital, and the
ability to raise capital is of course linked to tenure on land and tenure to mine the resource. If you are
going to raise capital, or raise an issue paper, and you have a resource that you claim is 60, 70 or
80 years' worth of mining operations and the most the government of the day can give you is a
21-year lease, it limits your ability to raise capital. It makes it tougher.
Of course, we would all say, 'Of course we are going to renew it.' No-one is going to tell
Olympic Dam or anyone else that after 21 years they have to leave, which is why companies seek
indentures, which is why people seek the certainty. What we are attempting to do is to give mine and
mine life every opportunity to raise the sufficient capital they need to give the commercial markets
the certainty they need to invest in South Australia, and this is a great way of doing that. I think it is
a very good reform.
Mr GRIFFITHS: Minister, I raise the question on that, particularly in relation to Yorke
Peninsula mining, because of the exploration tenements that exist around the Rex Minerals site. I
raise this question about the length of approvals because I need some clarification for the record.
While there is an anticipated mine life attached to the Hillside mine, and that is in the range of
15 years, the community needs some clarification that if the mine were to seek an expansion, that is
a whole new application, is it not? That is just it. Then it is assessed on that, which might make it a
different period of time and it takes into account the rehabilitation of the site also as part of the
operations.
I need some surety, if you are granting a longer period than 21 years potentially, depending
on the level of the resource available, that it does not mean an automatic approval for deposits that
might be found around an existing mine site to extend its size and therefore give it a longer life by
virtue of mining a larger area.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: It depends again on the size of the potential deposit. It is
assessed. Someone cannot just turn up and say, 'We believe the mine life is now 110 years; extend
our licence,' without any substantial proof. Obviously, we need to understand how it operates. At the
same time, we can only have bonds in place for 21 years as well, so we can do the same. It works
both ways.
For Rex, I think this is a very good outcome for the people of Yorke Peninsula in terms of
understanding how this works because the rehabilitation bonds and the other bonds that are put in
place also would match it. I think it works well but, ultimately, depending on the size of the deposit,
we will assess it. These things are not just tick and flick because there is a commercial interest for
the state as well and we do not want to incentivise people to increase the tenure and not mine. We
obviously have to assess. They have to explore and prove up the deposit. We have to know exactly
what activity will be there, so I am not that concerned about this amendment.
Clause passed.
Clause 48 passed.

Clause 49.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Looking at page 64, if the minister decides to grant a
renewal of a retention lease, the renewal will be for a term determined by the minister. This is a
renewal of a retention lease. There are other terms, obviously, for expiration of a mining lease, as
you have just explained, but there is no term in here for the renewal of a retention lease that I saw.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I am advised that it is five years, in proposed section 46(1).
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Thanks, minister.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I am here to help.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: I refer to the middle of page 64, Nature of miscellaneous
purposes licence. There is a bit of a description about a miscellaneous purposes licence and then it
states that the purposes will be determined by the minister. What are the types of purposes that are
contemplated for a miscellaneous purposes licence?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: The type of activity under the miscellaneous definition
would be things like crushers, road access—ancillary services that go along with mining.
Clause passed.
Clause 50.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: How does a special mining enterprise fit with an indenture
act, as we have typically been using? It does seem that there would be quite a bit of crossover. It
does seem to be quite similar. When would the government use a special mining enterprise provision
and when would the government contemplate an indenture act?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: We are upgrading it because it has not been used as often
as we would have liked. We think this is a great application for people who have multiple tenements
and want to coordinate activity across those tenements. Middleback Ranges is a very good example.
With the way it was drafted previously, I am advised that only one person had taken up its use. We
want to make it fit for purpose and ready for the 21st century so that people can take full advantage
of it.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: And there would still be indenture acts for other very
significant types of projects, as we have now?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: This is not an indenture.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: No, I understand that.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: An indenture is a completely separate act.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: That is fine.
Clause passed.
Clauses 51 and 52 passed.
Clause 53.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Towards the bottom of page 72, subsection (2) provides:
(2) If an application to which this section applies relates to an area within or adjacent to a specially
protected area, the Minister must, before making a decision…
When it says 'within or adjacent', does that mean immediately adjacent, or is there scope for a buffer
zone, for example? I am thinking about a wind farm application that is on the books at the moment.
The developer has bought a sliver of land between where he wants to develop the wind farm and the
next neighbour so that the next neighbour is not adjacent, so the next neighbour cannot object. Does
it have to be technically adjacent land or is there some other proximity involved?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: It is a case-by-case scenario and it is up to interpretation.
Interpretations are done independently.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Looking at the bottom of page 74 and the top of page 75,
alteration of terms and conditions of a mining lease, retention lease or miscellaneous purposes
licence, subsection (2) provides:
Page 11882 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 1 November 2017
(2) Without limiting any other provision, the Minister may at any time add, vary or revoke a term or
condition of a mineral tenement to which this section applies if the Minister considers that the
addition, variation or revocation is necessary…
It is pretty straightforward. I might have missed it, but I do not see anything in here about a
requirement for community consultation when that happens.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: It is just a greater burden for greater environmental controls
and greater environmental standards, but it is the same power as under the other act just tightened
up and given greater responsibility to have more environmental controls. I am not quite sure why that
would trigger consultation. Perhaps you could explain what your thinking is.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Yes, I am happy to, minister. I can understand that if it was
about tighter environmental controls you would assume the landholder would be comfortable with
that, but it does talk about alteration of terms and conditions of mining leases and retention leases.
It clearly states:
Without limiting any other provision, the Minister may at any time add, vary or revoke a term or condition of
a mineral tenement…
That is not limited to environmental aspects. It could be a wide range of things that the minister could
choose to change in regard to the terms of a mineral tenement. Further down, it states:
The Minister must take reasonable steps to consult with the holder of the relevant mineral tenement…
but it does not say anywhere that the minister must consult with the landholder.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Because we are not putting extra burdens on the
landowner: we are putting some burdens on the tenement holder. We are asking them to do more.
The government has its independent regulators and environmental experts advising them. This gives
them the ability to go to the tenement holder and ask them to do greater environmental protection,
and we can consult with them because they are the ones who will be impacted with the costs of doing
the extra work. The landowner will not be impacted by extra costs, so I am not quite sure why you
would go to the landowner.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: I can understand fully what you are saying, but this includes
'may…revoke a term or condition of a mineral tenement'. It is not only about lifting standards and
giving extra protection; it states very clearly that the minister may revoke a term or condition, and
that term or condition may be very important to the landholder.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: We need to be able to respond very, very quickly and be
very, very agile. If a pit wall collapses, we need to move quickly and have the situation remedied fast,
so we need to change conditions very quickly to have that fixed. This is all about putting in
requirements to strengthen the environmental provisions, rather than weaken them; sometimes that
means revoking old ones and imposing new ones. It is giving maximum flexibility for us to put as
much responsibility as we see fit on tenement holders, not to weaken them but to strengthen them.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: Minister, can you just confirm, to be sure that I have not
missed it, that there is no obligation to consult with the landholder in this section of the bill?
The Hon. A. Koutsantonis: Sorry, say that again?
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: In case I have missed it, because I am not a lawyer, can
you just confirm that in this section there is no obligation for the minister to consult with the landholder
when strengthening, weakening or changing for any of the reasons that you have mentioned any of
these terms and conditions?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: No, no obligation.
Mr GRIFFITHS: I am just inquiring about the adjoining landholder. There are many concerns
put by people who live in surrounding properties intended to be mined. For those people, there is a
need for some level of comfort to exist that, if the intention to exercise this clause is used, there is an
opportunity for them to be made aware of it before it is enacted.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: If we require strengthening of environmental conditions, we
impose them: we just go ahead and do it. The damage by not doing it can be quite dramatic, so we
just go ahead and do it.
Clause 56.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: I refer to the bottom of page 86. Section 58A—Notice
requirements—provides:
(1) A person who is—
(a) intending to prospect for minerals under section 20; or
(b) the holder of an exploration licence or a mineral claim,
must, at least 28 days before first entering land to carry out authorised operations, serve on the
owner of the land notice of intention to enter the land in accordance with this section.
How would an inspector or a police officer or somebody determine the difference between a breach
of this part of the bill or the act, if it gets through, versus regular trespass? In a practical sense, if
somebody breaches this, they do not do the right thing, and they say, 'I wasn't prospecting. I wasn't
doing this. You caught me, and I was just bushwalking,' or something, how does that work in a
practical sense?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Trespassing is trespassing. If they have not served their
notice, they have trespassed. It is pretty simple.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: So which fine would apply?
Page 11884 HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY Wednesday, 1 November 2017
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: That would be a matter for the DPP or whoever prosecutes
them about which penalty would apply. It is for the court, not for us. There are investigators and there
are penalties that apply in the act, and they would choose the appropriate one.
Clause passed.
Clauses 57 to 59 passed.
Clause 60.
Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: In relation to the mining rehabilitation funds, minister, you
may or may not be aware, but I certainly made it clear in my second reading contribution that
SACOME has advised me that they are broadly comfortable with this and that they are supportive of
where the government has landed on this. Specifically with regard to SACOME or a broader industry
view, are they supportive of the structure in this mining rehabilitation fund?
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Moving towards this model, we have a central mining
rehabilitation fund and when you penalise mining operations for any form of behaviour that might be
neglect, we can put it into this fund. This fund will obviously grow. If there is any need to draw down
on the fund to rehabilitate lands, this would be the appropriate way to do it. We have led the
intergovernmental discussions on this. I think this is going to become world's best practice.
The mining industry is very supportive of this. Obviously they are very concerned about the
reputational risk of new mines from old mines that have not rehabilitated land appropriately. These
measures are overwhelmingly welcomed by responsible mining associations and mining companies
because ultimately it ensures social licence going forward.
Clause passed.
Clause 61 to 70 passed.
Clause 71.
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I move:
Amendment No 6 [Treasurer–1]—
Page 94, lines 9 and 10 [clause 71(1)]—Delete subclause (1)
Amendment carried; clause as amended passed.
Clauses 72 to 120 passed.
Clause 165.
The CHAIR: The minister's amendment No. 7 on schedule (1) has the effect of deleting the
clause, so you are not making an amendment; you just vote against clause 165.
Clause negatived.
Remaining clauses (166 to 181), schedule and title passed.
Bill reported with amendment.

Third Reading
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS (West Torrens—Treasurer, Minister for Finance, Minister
for State Development, Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy) (23:03):
I move:
That this bill be now read a third time.
I thank members for their contributions. I would like to thank Mr Woodyatt and his team for the
exceptional work that they have done to get the bill to this point. I wish this bill speedy passage in
another place.
An honourable member interjecting:
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Yes, exactly—hope eternal. This is a good piece of
legislation.
Mr Marshall interjecting:
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: I would have thought that, rather than interjecting, the
leader, if he had something to say, would have come during the debate and made those remarks.
Members interjecting:
The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The Treasurer is speaking!
The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: Thank you, ma'am. Thank you very much to the shadow
minister for his contribution and to the member for Goyder for his contribution. I know he is someone
who has been at the front line of the impact of mining and farming interests. It is very difficult and it
can get very emotive, and it is very difficult for members of parliament.
I want to thank the member for Flinders for his contribution. It is also very difficult for Eyre
Peninsula communities to be dealing with these types of issues. I am very cognisant of the impacts
it has on members. It can be very stressful on families.
I want to reassure members, politics aside, that this piece of legislation will stand the
parliament in good stead. This legislation will hold the parliament in high regard for mining companies
and landowners. I think we have the balance right. It is not easy to get the balance right. The difficulty
about these issues is ultimately where we confront some very difficult ideological emotive issues.
Fundamentally, what people get concerned about is the loss of amenity and at their core is
someone else receiving an economic benefit from what they perceive is on their land, and that is
difficult for a lot of people to understand and conceptualise, that collectively, as a community, we all
own those mineral rights. We want to make sure that those mineral rights are exploited for the benefit
of all South Australians. That is easy for us to say here in North Terrace in this parliament, but it is
very difficult when you have to wake up every morning knowing that you are confronted with the
activity of a mine that is very close to your home or a traditional farm which has been in the family
for generations. The government understands that.
We have to make sure that we can turn mining back into what it was originally, which was
something that was embraced by communities and welcomed by communities. The opportunities
were there and were taken advantage of by communities, and the communities did not feel as if they
were powerless to stop or have a say about how mining operations worked. We have tried to get that
balance right here, but I conceded from the very beginning that it is not perfect. No legislation is
perfect, but I think the work Mr Woodyatt and Kirsty Braybon and their team and the department have
done has been exceptional, and I commend the bill to the house. I wish it a speedy passage in the
other place.
I thank the member for Goyder for what might be his final contribution on a very significant
piece of legislation. He has always been very thoughtful and very considerate in his approach and
he will be a loss to the parliament.
Bill read a third time and passed.