Thursday 01 June 2017

House of Assembly 31 May 2017

Hansard Transcript -- Mr Griffiths’ response speech to the motion (under section 29(3) (a) National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972) to abolish Port Gawler Conservation Park:

Mr GRIFFITHS (Goyder) (17:26:55 ): I am pleased that the member for Colton is excited by the plan for the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary, as am I. I want to provide the house with some personal experiences that I have had associated with the wider Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary, which only goes to support the intention of this motion.



Can I say that in this area I believe Minister Hunter has done good things with the changes that are occurring.

One interesting aspect, though, has been the community engagement that has been undertaken. I have attended two meetings at Thompson Beach, one at Two Wells where community feedback has been sought about the impact of management plans that are required for the International Bird Sanctuary. As far as I am aware, they are not yet available in a draft form, which causes a level of frustration because I think there should have at least been some indication of what the intention was on how to manage access onto the site and from the site, particularly for those communities that are likely to be adjoining it.

I know there are some coastal communities north of Adelaide that are part of the electorates of Goyder and most likely Taylor where there will be some impacts. There is a level of frustration that exists, but there is an overwhelming sense of goodwill, too, for the International Bird Sanctuary to be established. I also attended the information sessions where we were shown some of the graphics of the distances travelled by the birds, and it something like 11,000 kilometres.

It is hard for me to conceive the capacity of a bird to actually fly that far and how it manages to stay aloft. It gets here in a much smaller state than what it left the tundra of the Siberia area, but it arrives in South Australia. It is an exciting part of what nature provides for us in the world that we can still view. While the world has gone through many changes in the last 100 years in particular, there are still some amazing aspects that not many of us know much about.

When the member for Colton talked about tourism opportunities, he is exactly right about the chances that it provides through the support being provided to create this International Bird Sanctuary, to promote it and to ensure that not just locals but also visitors to our state and our nation get the chance to experience it, because it is enlightening.

Early one Saturday morning there was a collection of us who decided to get out of bed early. We went to one of the coastal communities on the gulf and we did some birdwatching. That is not something I normally do, but I was pleased to be with a group. I had a different level of conversation with that group of people than what I normally do with most others. I was given a set of good bird spotting glasses. It was amazing to have someone who knows what they are talking about to explain the different characteristics, what you are looking for, their size and how they intermingle with others.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is a bit like being in here, isn't it?

Mr GRIFFITHS: You could equate it to that, Deputy Speaker, yes. I enjoyed doing that. I am not sure if part of my life post parliament might be spent watching birds, but we will see. However, I would like to experience it in the future. I commend the initiative that has been shown here; it is a good thing.

The Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary will create some significant opportunities. There is still a need to engage, negotiate and determine with the community the management plan issues that impact upon them. Some of those are quite varied and some, I believe, will not necessarily be included, and nor should they be. However, this is an example of where our little place in the world is a unique aspect of the wider world, and we need to do all that we can legislatively within this building to support the ongoing development that it creates.

Importantly, from a government perspective, the member for Bright, who I hope will be a future minister for the environment, will show his personal support post March next year to ensure that the opportunities in the international bird sanctuary only build upon those good efforts made so far by Minister Hunter, his staff and the Labor Government and what we can all do to make it better. I commend the motion to the house.

Motion carried.

At 17:32, the house adjourned until Thursday 1 June 2017 at 10:30.