Sand Dunes

16 May 2013 questionsarchive

I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question regarding the Tennyson dunes system.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The protection of the Adelaide metropolitan dunal system and beaches is an ongoing issue that requires careful consideration to preserve what we have left, and various versions of coast park plans have existed since 1996. At present, sections of a shared path have been constructed between North Haven and Sellicks Beach and a fairly vulnerable section to connect Terminus Street, Grange and Third Avenue, Semaphore Park remains unresolved.

An organisation known as the Coastal Ecology Protection Group Inc. has been involved with this issue for several years. CEPG is a non-profit organisation which aims to protect, preserve and restore the coastal dunes from Grange jetty through to Semaphore Park. While it supports the City of Charles Sturt's plans to build a safe and useable pathway, it is concerned about further damage to our dunal system.

The current proposal, the Local Area Bike Plan, would cause major environmental damage to the dunes and corridors from north to south and, as a result, CEPG developed an alternative plan titled Coast Park—Torrens Beaches Alternative Design of Recreational Path. It is my understanding that an application is currently underway with DEWNR to have these dunes heritage listed. My questions to the minister are:

1.Can he advise whether the state government has an agreement with the City of Charles Sturt to provide funding for this project?

2.Does he support the heritage listing of the dunes?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) (14:28): I thank the honourable member for her most important question. At least the Hon. Ms Lensink does her homework and comes into this place with some very valuable questions which go to important policy matters. Her leader might—

Members interjecting:

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Mr President, I hesitate to heap any more praise on the honourable member because I am sure it will do her a great disservice.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER: Get back to the attacks, fair enough. The shared pathway through the dunes system at Tennyson is something that has been of concern to the local community, as I understand. The Charles Sturt council has, I think, been liaising well with my department and the community that is involved. I know there are some concerns about whether the shared pathway should go through the system at all, but there is a strong desire to have a continuous pathway along the coast. I am sure that my department will work closely with the affected communities and the council to come up with an optimum solution.

To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware that there has been a heritage listing approach about the dune system. If I see that correspondence I will be making decisions, of course, on their merits.