Minister Rau ignores his own consultative process

02 Feb 2012 newsarchivemedia

Adelaide residents heard one message loud and clear from Planning Minister Rau last night – he doesn’t care about the care and management of Adelaide’s trees.

A public meeting was held for residents last night to voice their concerns about the absurd interim tree regulations.

The North Terrace meeting, attended by Deputy Liberal Leader in the Upper House Michelle Lensink, saw a strong turn out by community representatives and concerned councils. Yet Minister Rau – only metres away in Parliament House – had better things to do.

“It’s unacceptable how little regard Mr Rau or the Weatherill Labor Government has for ensuring proper management of Adelaide’s tree population,” said Ms Lensink.

“The issue has been passed haphazardly between Labor Ministers since 2007 and was rushed through at the last possible minute.

“Any thought or regard to actually consult industry experts or even the wider community has again come a distant second to the interests of the Weatherill Labor Government.

“My constituents and I want to know:

- How did the Minister come up with his lists of pest and protected trees?

- Where did the bizarre 10 metre rule come from?

- How will the Minister police his regulations to ensure hoards of Adelaide’s urban forest aren’t removed by stealth?

“Premier Weatherill keeps promising that he will start listening to the public, but last night is simply more evidence that only the Liberal Party will act in the interests of South Australians.”