Michelle Lensink

National Parks

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question about removal of rubbish bins from national parks.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On 6 March 2013 the minister advised that his department had removed rubbish bins within the Innes National Park, allegedly to avert illegal dumping. In January this year the department appears to have been erecting signage, which recreational fishermen in particular find offensive. The sign reads as follows: 'If you wish to keep fishing at this beach, you must remove rubbish from the beach and car park.'

Furthermore, I am advised by a constituent in the electorate of the member for Morialta that last month in Morialta Conservation Park rubbish bins have also been removed. The constituent reports that visitors have been overwhelmed by the number of doggy bags left along walkways where bins used to be and waste left where visitors have obviously been picnicking, to the point where the park is resembling a rubbish tip. My questions to the minister are:

1.Can he advise how that sign in the Innes National Park will be enforced on recreational fishermen?

2.What evidence does the government have that the removal of rubbish bins actually reduces rubbish in our national parks?

3.What have been the trends in litter and rubbish in national parks since bins have been removed?

4.Can he rule out that this is actually a cost cutting exercise by his department?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) ( 14:38 :50 ): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. It is, on the face of it, an odd proposition, but the advice from my department is that, where we have bins in place in national parks, there is illegal dumping. People are not particularly careful about what they do with rubbish but, when we remove the bins, more people take rubbish away with them rather than dump it in car parks, for example, or on the beach. In relation to the signs that she says some people find offensive, the offence really is illegal dumping. Whilst most fisher people value the resource they are using—

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: That is exactly right—that is the point.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Most do, but some don't. That is why we need to remind people about their obligations and responsibilities and to look after our national parks, our great state assets. The fact is that some people don't, and we need to work with communities to proactively educate people about why they need to be constantly vigilant about rubbish. As I say, the advice I have from my department—which was oral—has been that where we have removed bins in remote locations—

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Morialta?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: I am talking about remote locations in Innes National Park. Where we remove bins from remote locations, the amount of rubbish that litters car parks and other places that tourists like to frequent drops. Where we have bins in those places, in fact, when people can't get enough rubbish into the bins they just drop it beside the bins. When we remove the bins, people take their rubbish with them. That has been the experience that has been conveyed to me in advice. In relation to the Morialta Conservation Park, I have not received any advice that I can immediately recall.

The Hon. R.L. BROKENSHIRE: Innes.

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: I have already spoken about Innes, Mr Brokenshire. If you resisted your past practices of not listening to answers in this place you would have heard my response. But in terms of Morialta Conservation Park, to the best of my recollection I can't say I have had any advice at all from my department about that. I will undertake to question them on that issue and, if necessary, bring back a response.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Supplementary question.

The PRESIDENT: Supplementary question, Ms Lensink.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK ( 14:41 :01 ): When the minister brings back that response, would he also mind bringing back to the parliament whether there is actually cost saving or an expenditure in relation to bin removal?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) ( 14:41 :12 ): I have answered that question and I suggest she reads my answer in response to that matter.

2 December 2015

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) has received this advice:

1. Browns Beach was closed in 1994 whilst an extensive clean-up of accumulated rubbish was undertaken. The sign in question was erected after this clean-up and has been in place for many years. Over the past several years, DEWNR staff have been working to better educate beach fishers using the park on the importance of removing their waste and I understand the situation has improved significantly. DEWNR has received feedback from fishers of Brown Beach which suggests the sign is achieving its purpose.

2. The DEWNR National Parks Code was adopted nearly 20 years ago, and outlines the Government policy of educating park visitors to manage and be responsible for their own rubbish.

3. Individual rubbish bins were removed from Innes National Parks in 2008, with a single rubbish collection point retained at Stenhouse Bay. There has been a noticeable reduction in litter accumulating in day visitor areas, campgrounds and roadsides since bins were removed.

4. The removal of the individual rubbish bins from parks has been Government policy for many years, and the majority of rubbish bins have been progressively removed from parks over this time."

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