I seek leave to make an explanation before asking the Minister for Environment and Conservation a question about the Hallett Cove Conservation Park.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: I have received correspondence from a member of the Friends of Hallett Cove Conservation Park, and indeed I visited and had a walk through the park quite recently. The Friends of Hallett Cove Conservation Park were invited to a meeting on 5 February in relation to what is described as a single management plan for Hallett Cove and Marino Conservation Parks. It has been outlined to me that Hallett Cove is quite a unique park that is well fenced and where extensive revegetation has been carried out largely by volunteers in the several decades that it has been in operation. The concerns that were raised with me when I attended was that the management plan had not been reviewed since 1986 when it was signed by then minister for environment and planning, Don Hopgood. My questions are:
1. Will the minister advise the status of the new plan and what time frame might be involved?
2. Can she allay concerns that the department is going to have a 'one size fits all' or template approach to all parks, including conservation parks?
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health) (15:01): I thank the honourable member for her question. Indeed, we have a vast number of very important conservation parks and national reserves throughout the state of South Australia of which we can be very proud. The parks allow for a wide range of uses. As well as assisting with the protection and conservation of our very valuable environment, we are also mindful of people's recreational interests, and we attempt to accommodate and balance those within our reserve systems.
The Hallett Cove Conservation Park is one of many park networks. I would certainly like to acknowledge the really important contribution that the friends of parks—including the Friends of Hallett Cove Conservation Park—make to our parks and, generally, to the preservation and care of our environment. They do a great deal of voluntary work that is very important to the maintenance and preservation of these parks, such as weeding, fencing and suchlike.
Again, I would like to put on record our acknowledgement of them and their important and valuable contribution. The Department for Environment and Heritage has a goal of achieving individualised management plans for each and every one of our parks, and we have a program whereby we are attempting to achieve that.
Some of our parks have these contemporary plans in place. As the honourable member mentioned, some have plans that need to be reviewed, and I do believe there are still some parks, albeit not many, that do not have management plans. We are certainly working towards achieving the goal of ensuring that every park has a management plan. The department is working to design management plans for each park.
Certainly, each park is unique, and each management plan will aim to reflect the uniqueness of each park. There might be some broad parameters—a checklist, if you like—that each of the management plans should consider, but each plan will be designed to meet the individual and special needs of each unique park and reserve system within South Australia. The development of the management plans involves public consultation, and I have been advised that it also includes involvement with local Friends groups and other interested stakeholders. I am happy to take on notice the question concerning the specific status of Hallett Cove, where it is up to and when we plan to have that management plan reviewed and completed, and bring that back.
Thursday 16 October 2008
In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (17 June 2008).
The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister Assisting the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Energy): The Minister for Environment and Conservation has provided the following information:
Preparation of a revised management plan for Hallett Cove and Marino Conservation Parks commenced in mid 2007. Due to the local community interest in the management of the reserve, a community reference group has been established to provide input into the identification of management issues and future management objectives and strategies.
A draft plan is anticipated to be released for public consultation towards the end of 2008 following input from the community reference group. Following consideration of all submissions received, a final management plan will be submitted to me for consideration and adoption, which is anticipated to be by mid 2009.