Michelle Lensink

Parklands alive

Adelaide’s Parklands will be brought back to life under a Liberal Plan announced today to better protect and utilise the greenbelt.

The Parklands will become a sporting, recreational and cultural hub while alienated land will be returned to the people of South Australia.

A Master Plan for the Parklands will also be developed as part of a new partnership with Adelaide City Council.

Launching The Adelaide Parklands – A Balanced Approach, Opposition Leader Martin Hamilton-Smith said the City’s green heart belonged to all South Australians.

“The Parklands are a beautiful, iconic greenbelt which provides respite for local residents, City workers and visitors alike but they have been neglected by successive Governments over many years,” he said.

“The Parklands are best protected if leadership is provided by the State Government on behalf of all South Australians.

“Accordingly, a State Liberal Government will accept greater responsibility for funding a greater vision.”

Under the plan – released in the countdown to the 2010 election - a Hamilton-Smith Liberal Government will:

* Introduce legislation within the first six month of Government to strengthen the governance arrangements for the Parklands.

* By March 2011 release a Master Plan for the Parklands to complement work already undertaken by Adelaide City Council.

* Revegetate the Parklands with native species to encourage the return of birdlife.

* Investigate establishing stormwater capture site in the South Parklands, which would yield 0.5GL of water per year.

* Upgrade the network of bike trails in the Parklands.

* Examine opportunities for community groups, businesses and individuals to adopt parts of the Parklands.

Mr Hamilton-Smith said about a third of the Parklands has become alienated and an eyesore.

“As part of a long-term plan, the State Liberals will identify Parklands that can be returned to the people of South Australia,” he said.

“Some particularly unattractive examples include the non-heritage buildings of the police barracks, the SA Water depot, the rail yards, transport depots, government-parking areas and unused asphalt courts.”

Assisting the Shadow Minister for Environment Michelle Lensink said the Parklands need to be managed in the best interests of all South Australians.

“We cannot undo the mistakes of the past but we can avoid repeating them,” she said.

“The Parklands must be preserved from inappropriate developments for future generations.”

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