Newport Quays

28 Apr 2008 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Environment and Conservation a question about the Newport Quays development.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: A group of state MPs recently—

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Ridgway will show his colleagues some courtesy.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On the subject of the Newport Quays development, a group of MPs recently went to Port Adelaide and viewed some of the sites there, including Searle's Boatyard, an area which is subject to flooding to approximately floor level every five years with the occasional king tide. The boatyard itself stores any of its hazardous chemicals in a flood-proof, sealed area and it has 12 hours' notice of impending floods, and this enables any other materials, such as paints and varnishes, to be relocated to higher ground. I understand that the boatyard has an EPA licence and is compliant with that licence. We have been advised that, when the Land Management Corporation demolishes the boatsheds, its intention is to use that site to hold contaminated soils that have been shifted from preceding developments. I understand that that site is quite swampy and therefore highly subject to contaminants seeping down into the watertable and possibly groundwater. My questions are:

1. What is the EPA's assessment of the risk management issues of using a site that is subject to flooding as a place to store contaminated soils?

2. Has the EPA made any assessment of the impact of the expected increase in leaks and spills from the motor boats associated with the 660 berths planned for the new development?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health) (14:41): This issue is largely in the hands of the Land Management Corporation and the appropriate infrastructure minister, and they will be going through the appropriation processes in considering any redevelopment or changes to that site. I am not aware that any decisions have been finalised as yet, and it is still a matter for planning. As we know, inherent within planning processes is a series of safeguards to ensure that a wide range of potential concerns is considered and assessed along the way, and this will also occur with this proposal at the appropriate time. If there are environmental impacts that need to be considered, that will be carried out as per the legislative requirements.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:42): I have a supplementary question arising from the answer. Will the minister advise whether the EPA has been involved in any way in this development and that issue?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Environment and Conservation, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Minister Assisting the Minister for Health) (14:43): The EPA would have been involved wherever its involvement was appropriate. I am not absolutely sure exactly what part of the development process this particular project has reached. I am not the minister responsible for that, but I can absolutely assure the honourable member that our planning is always carried out under the rigorous standards and controls of the legislation that underpins it, and that includes those matters pertaining to the EPA.