Sustainable Cities

23 Jun 2010 speecharchive

This speech is in relation to sustainable cities, specifically Buckland Park and Mount Barker.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:44): I rise today to speak on the issue of sustainable cities in the context of the 30-year plan. A number of questions have been asked in this place about Buckland Park and Mount Barker. Mount Barker is an area that is close to my heart, because it is just down the road in the hills, and it is an area where it is almost impossible, if you live there even now, to get around unless you have a car. It is also at the limit of its sewerage system, and the council is rightly very concerned about the government's planned development to put up extra housing.

Our Premier keeps carrying on about Adelaide being a sustainable city, our renewable energy and so on. Recently, the Australian Conservation Foundation did a survey of cities, and Adelaide came in equal 14th, ranking with a range of cities around Australia including regional cities. The report states:

…Adelaide performed poorly under Water (on average residential properties receive 194kL annually with a mean annual rainfall of 542.2mm) and Transport (622 private vehicles per 1,000 people), but had a decent showing under Green Building (19 Green Star certified projects) and food production (two farmers markets and 23 community gardens listed). More generally, Adelaide fared comparatively worse than many of the other capital cities, with the exception of Perth.

On environmental performance Adelaide was ranked 15th out of 16.

In relation to renewable energy the Premier says that we are ahead of everyone else—which is absolute arrant nonsense. This was beautifully exposed during the election campaign by Iain Evans, who discovered a Clean Energy Australia report which states that South Australia is fifth in the country in the development and production of renewable energy and lags well behind Tasmania and Victoria. Even if we look at the measure of wind energy, we will be overtaken in terms of installed wind capacity by Victoria at the end of this year, and New South Wales will be well ahead of us by 2012.

Geothermal is another area the government likes to talk about but, unfortunately, that technology is at least five years away. Any claims that this government would like to make in terms of renewables is completely false and, in any case, has not been driven by their actions but, rather, by the former Howard government's MRET scheme.

The Minister for Urban Development and Planning is well aware that some of the claims and aims of the 30-year plan will not be met. Indeed, the policy of the government for sustainable urban development is in direct contrast with the 30-year plan. The government has a lot more work to do if it really wants to make Adelaide a more sustainable city, particularly in high density areas and public transport.

I note that today in The Courier concerns are being expressed about another aspect of urban sprawl; that is, the impact on arable land in Mount Barker in particular. Concern has been expressed also by people in the Barossa Valley and Southern Vales areas. I note there is a proposal that those areas be protected from urban sprawl.

The member for Kavel has expressed his great concern in relation to the Mount Barker development. He has said that there should be no extension of the town boundaries until infrastructure and services are put in place to meet the current demand. That is the point I made at the beginning of my speech; that is, you cannot live in that town as it is unless you have a motor car. You cannot even access a lot of the services unless you have a motor car.

The government is seeking to increase the area by another 7,000 homes. The concern expressed, quite fairly, by members of Mount Barker council is that it will be ignored because it is in a safe Liberal electorate.