Question put forward to the Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Mineral Resources Development, Minister for Urban Development and Planning, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister Assisting the Premier in Public Sector Management) regarding Newport Quays.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:42): My questions are directed to the Minister for Urban Development and Planning on the subject of the EPA report on Dock 1. What are the criteria under which reports revealing significant risks to public health are to be released or not released? Given that the minister has referred to a 12-week time frame for publication, has it been breached on this occasion, and does he believe that existing residents and the general public have a right to know?
The PRESIDENT: You are lucky to get away with that.
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Mineral Resources Development, Minister for Urban Development and Planning, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister Assisting the Premier in Public Sector Management) (14:42): There are no residents in Dock 1, because the matter before the Development Assessment Commission is an application for subdivision and building in that particular area. In relation to people who are living much closer to the Adelaide Brighton Cement area, they have been living there for years.
My understanding is that the EPA has an environmental forum. It has community groups and they are regularly briefed on the situation in relation to the air at Port Adelaide, and they have been for years. If the deputy leader believes that issues in relation to air at Adelaide Brighton have only just suddenly come to light, that no-one knew about them until this EPA report on a subdivision some kilometre away, then I do not know where she has been.
I am sure that, if she talks to the people on Lefevre Peninsula, she will know that they have been well aware of this matter for years and that forums have been dealing with it. Indeed, if one looks at some of the comments that have been made by locals, one will know that they are very well aware that there are issues.
The EPA report to which the honourable member refers is simply their submission to DAC in relation to a subdivision on that area, and a number of issues are raised, of which the air quality is just one. I think that, for anyone to suggest that somehow or other this EPA report is the first time that people have known there have been issues with Adelaide Brighton, they obviously have not spoken to anyone who has been living in that area for many decades.
In fact, I should say in fairness—although it is not my portfolio—that I am aware there have been some environmental improvement programs over the years to improve that. They are matters concerning which my colleague the Minister for Environment would be better placed to give details. My role as planning minister is simply to ensure that the planning process takes into consideration the relevant factors, and that is what is being done on this occasion.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:45): As a supplementary question, do I take it from the minister's response that such public health issues that may be brought to DAC's attention by the EPA will not be published routinely in future?
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY (Minister for Mineral Resources Development, Minister for Urban Development and Planning, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister Assisting the Premier in Public Sector Management) (14:45): As I said, my advice is that the EPA releases reports either at the end of the process—and remember, this process has not finished. When this comes up in relation to this particular application (not so much the Adelaide Brighton issue, because that is a significant distance away; it is almost a kilometre away), there are some issues in relation to the Incitec Pivot plant which have been revealed in the investigation from agencies, and the whole development process is supposed to bring those issues to light.
That is why the process at the moment has stalled, because these issues are being worked through to see whether there is a viable solution in relation to this. I should also point out that my understanding is that this particular idea to redevelop Port Adelaide began under the previous government back in the year 2000. Obviously, John Olsen and the people then had a lot more vision than it appears the current people have. It is my current understanding that this whole process began in 2000 when the decision was made.
The Hon. R.I. Lucas interjecting:
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: Sorry?
The PRESIDENT: Order!
The Hon. R.I. Lucas interjecting:
The Hon. P. HOLLOWAY: Well, that is right, they were. I am not criticising the former government in relation to that. On the contrary, I am saying that it was at least trying to upgrade it, but now it seems that these members opposite obviously want to stall all that and to make it very difficult to be involved with it and to punish them commercially accordingly. To talk about secrecy and so on, in relation to DAC the relevant reports are normally issued when the process is finished.
It is appropriate that if one is going to assess a decision made by government one should have all the facts, not just half the facts. One should look at the process when it is finished and have it assessed accordingly, otherwise, why bother to have government? As I said earlier, if you are going to totally second guess and have these select committees running parallel with decisions that government has not made yet, what is the whole purpose of having government?