This speech is in relation to the Liquor Licensing, Planning, Heritage and Environmental Regimes. The motion involves the request of the council for the Environment, Resources and Development Committee to inquire into and report on a review into South Australia's liquor licensing, planning, heritage and environmental regimes, to determine what barriers exist to small bars and live music and entertainment venues and what changes will promote more vibrant precincts.
Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. J.M.A. Lensink:
That this council requests the Environment, Resources and Development Committee to inquire into and report on a review into South Australia's liquor licensing, planning, heritage and environmental regimes, to determine what barriers exist to small bars and live music and entertainment venues and what changes will promote more vibrant precincts.
(Continued from 18 July 2012.)
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (18:05): I would like to thank the speakers, the Hon. Carmel Zollo and the Hon. Mark Parnell, who, like me, are members of the Environment, Resources and Development Committee; and also to echo the comments of the Hon. Mark Parnell that, yes, this is the typical response from the government that these inquiries are unnecessary.
I am not going to repeat all the remarks I made when I moved this motion, but I will just make a few additional points. I will repeat the point, however, that that particular committee is not overwhelmed with work, and I think that this would be a very useful term of reference for it, particularly if the government does come up with some legislative amendments to any of the relevant acts, whether they be heritage, liquor licensing and so forth. It is going to need the support of this chamber in order to get those through, so, if it wants to get some early buy-in, if you like, then it would be quite useful for that multipartisan committee to start examining the issues.
I am glad to see that the Thinker in Residence program is being axed. There are many words that I could use to describe it, but I think that a lot of people find it objectionable that the South Australian government under Labor feels the need to import so-called experts from overseas to tell us how we ought to be running our state and our city.
The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins: And take up the jobs.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: And take up those particular jobs, as my honourable colleague remarks—not to denigrate in any way Mr Martin Elbourne who is obviously highly experienced, but he is going to be spending some time getting up to speed with how things are done here. There are a number of people in this state who could more than adequately give us some pointers, and I just point to the people who are involved in Renew Adelaide as a start.
Renew Adelaide had its AGM on 22 August, which I think was slated as a potential announcement the Premier was going to make about how to enliven our city through entertainment precincts and live music venues.
The Hon. R.I. Lucas interjecting:
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: Slating the Jade Monkey, indeed. That was also the day that we learned about BHP Billiton's decision not to proceed due to some of the policies of various Labor governments, and so he was unable to make that announcement. There has been some delay. I have not seen any specifics. I think that the industry is not aware of any specifics that either the Premier or the minister responsible for liquor licensing, the Attorney-General, has come up with.
The codes of practice, which should have been enacted as a result of changes to the liquor licensing laws last year, are still yet to materialise. We keep hearing that the government is working on it, but we are not seeing anything of substance, which is really no surprise. The government speaker, the Hon. Carmel Zollo, had a bit of a crack at me by saying that we had a sudden and late interest. I would like to advise the house that this has been an issue I have taken some interest in; and the prompting, I must say, of my colleague the Hon. Tammy Franks has alerted me to some of the issues that have been happening. Indeed, she organised that wonderful tour that we had one night last year for several hours.
The Hon. Carmel Zollo: Did Isobel go with you on that occasion?
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: No, Isobel did not come with us on that occasion. It was the member for Norwood, the Hon. Tammy Franks, me, my husband—
The Hon. T.A. Franks interjecting:
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The Hon. Kelly Vincent was going to attend but she was not able to. We did not come across any of the violence that people carry on about. In relation to that, I would like to just add—because it is something that we are all concerned about—that we also ought to be looking at the issues of the connection between alcohol consumption and violence, because we have seen some tragic incidents in this state. I note that they have not been in the hours when lockouts are proposed, and I think that those are very complex issues that deserve to be looked at in some detail.
Advocates on various sides are promoting various things. I think the truth is usually somewhere in between, but I think it would be very useful for a committee to look at those issues in detail so that we can perhaps come up with some recommendations that might actually be useful for the government. They might realise that they are not the fonts of all wisdom, and that a few other people around the place might have some idea about how to solve problems as well. With those comments, I commend the motion to the house.