Michelle Lensink

South Australian Public Health Bill

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.


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