South Australian Public Health Bill

22 Feb 2011 speecharchive

This speech is to indicate that the liberal party will not be supporting the South Australian Public Health Bill.

In committee.

Clauses 1 to 4 passed.

New clause 4A.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: The Liberal Party will not be supporting this amendment. On my layperson’s reading, and not having legal qualifications, I did initially think that it added to the objects of the act, but I am informed by the Greens that it is a greater measure than that and provides for an additional statutory inclusion of a right to a healthy environment. I am grateful for the clarification, particularly the briefing note that was provided to us on this matter.

I stand to be corrected, but I think that similar arguments arise around bills of rights and those sorts of issues, which we on this side of the house are generally not inclined to support. I indicate that I have some sympathy for the intent of it because I see that we have had some difficulty with EPA powers, particularly where there are poor planning decisions, when the EPA should have had a greater input into reducing the potential conflict between industry and local residents.

I think we still have some examples of that in our community, with Adelaide, Brighton and Bradken, and so forth, but I indicate that I think that the inclusion of these additional statutes can lead to a confusing layer of various remedies for people in that situation, and I think that the statutes ought to be clear. If there is a problem with the EP Act, or there is a problem with the planning system, that is the appropriate place for us to be amending the legislation; therefore, we cannot support this particular amendment.