City of Adelaide (Capital City Committee) Amendment Bill

16 May 2012 archivespeech

This speech is in relation to the City of Adelaide (Capital City Committee) Amendment Bill. The role of this bill is to 'recognise, promote and enhance the special social, commercial, cultural, and civic role the City of Adelaide plays as the capital city and heart of South Australia'. If passed it would amend the city of Adelaide Act 1998.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:57): Obtained leave and introduced a bill for an act to amend the City of Adelaide Act 1998. Read a first time.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:58): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I note that this bill has been moved in the House of Assembly by the member for Adelaide, Rachel Sanderson. Indeed, she had also moved it last year prior to parliament being prorogued. The Capital City Committee has been around for some time and has been reinvigorated with new membership. It contains three state members and three local government members.

The three state members are the Premier, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning, the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and Minister for Housing and Urban Development; and the three local government representatives are the Lord Mayor, the Deputy Lord Mayor and another councillor. In the past, the former member for Adelaide, the Hon. Jane Lomax-Smith, was the chair, and I note that she was also the minister for the City of Adelaide at that stage, a position that the Liberal Party thinks is a nonsense.

The role of the City of Adelaide Act is to 'recognise, promote and enhance the special social, commercial, cultural, and civic role the City of Adelaide plays as the capital city and heart of South Australia'. I think that encapsulates the way that we do feel about our city; it is a very special place.

I think part of what underpins our recognition of the City of Adelaide and its importance is the amount of time we spend debating various things that will take place, such as the role of the squares, where the cultural hubs should be, the role of the riverbank, the role of the cultural precinct, whether we should have parking in the city, and a whole range of other things with which I will not detain the house because we spend a lot of time discussing these issues on talkback radio and in other forms of media.

We firmly believe that the member for Adelaide ought to be a member of that committee. She said, in her second reading speech, 'Inherent in democracy is the role of the member for Adelaide to voice the interests of my electorate.' She also said, 'My office cannot even get copies of the minutes from the committee,' and she pointed out that she is contacted when any issue comes up, whether it relates to festivals and so forth.

I note that, in a very contemporary issue to do with live music in the city and liquor licensing, the Facebook site lists the member for Adelaide as the person to go to, even though, in opposition, she is not responsible for the current liquor licensing policy. She is certainly not responsible for the exorbitant fees that are being placed on licensees, but her office is the place people ring when they have issues, and yet the member for Adelaide is not represented on this particular committee.

The bill itself is a small bill; it has five clauses. The significant clauses of note are clauses 4 and 5, which would include 'the member of the House of Assembly whose electoral district comprises or includes the City of Adelaide' as a member and entitle the member to have a deputy in her absence. This really is an absurd situation; it is incomprehensible that the member for Adelaide has not been included, and I think it is fairly typical of this government.

We were promised a new form of government that would be open and consultative, and we would supposedly all be singing Kumbaya and holding hands, and things would be done on consensus. Yet, in their first opportunity in a situation like this, they exclude a member in a very partisan way, simply because she is a Liberal member of parliament and not of their hue.

While there is much talk about the importance of the city and improving the city, I think with the most significant stakeholder being excluded, the work of the committee in question is undermined and somewhat irrelevant. I commend this bill to the house.

Debate adjourned on motion of Hon. G.A. Kandelaars.