Michelle Lensink

Thebarton Urban Forest

Question put forward to the Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for the City of Adelaide) regarding Thebarton urban forest.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:37): I seek leave to make an explanation before directing to the Minister for the City of Adelaide a question on the subject of the Thebarton urban forest.


Leave granted.


The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: It is nearly four years, I believe, since the government made a commitment to have that particular site returned to parklands. The Public Works Committee commissioned a report, which was tabled on 17 June last year, in which it outlined that the decommissioning cost would be in the order of $4.8 million and that demolition work is expected to be completed by September 2009, with remediation completed in May 2010, to enable handover to the Adelaide City Council in November 2010.


I note that the minister herself has spoken about this particular issue in this chamber. My questions for the minister are: will the November deadline to hand over the remediated site to the Adelaide City Council occur, and how much has the project cost to date?


The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises, Minister for the City of Adelaide) (14:38): I thank the honourable member for her important questions. Indeed, the Premier announced an intention to return that former SA Water depot site at Thebarton to the parklands back in December 2006.


The project will deliver a new and very contemporary woodland park, using primarily indigenous plants, based on sustainable landscape principles. The provision for things like performances and event activity has been incorporated into the design, so that the amphitheatre can be adapted for this kind of use in the future. The project obviously fits with South Australia's Strategic Plan, sustainability target 3.5. A specialist consultant has been developing a concept proposal, design documentation and also tender specifications.


The Premier endorsed an amended design concept in January 2010 and the Adelaide City Council and Parklands Authority have both supported the design concept, with final endorsement by both bodies anticipated once the design documentation is finalised.


The neighbouring West Torrens council is also supportive of the design concept. Earthwork drawings have been completed and detailed design documentation is currently being finalised which will include landscaping plans and a species list. The project is expected to be completed and ready for public use in late 2011. The project will return 5.4 hectares of space to parklands for use by the public. As I have outlined, it involves a range of different innovative potentials for use.


 Some of the features of the urban forest are expected to include things like an innovative underground water collection system to reduce water evaporation and provide reusable, onsite water harvested from local stormwater flows designed for local conditions; the use of waterwise plants; habitat is specifically for local flora and fauna; low chemical use; selected pest-resistant plants and organic fertilisers; practical water consumption; a bikeway linking the western suburbs to the city and establishing a continual bikeway link to the coast; the amphitheatre that I talked about is an area for public events and activities—for instance, schools could use it; and interpretation and education is obviously being considered and incorporated throughout the landscape wherever possible. In terms of costings, I will have to take that part of the question on notice and bring back a response.


 (Answered on 5 April 2011)


In reply to the Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (9 November 2010).


The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Public Sector Management, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Minister for Government Enterprises): The Minister for Water has been advised that:


1. The handover of the remediated Thebarton site to the Adelaide City Council is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2011. Additional investigations were required in the development of the Remediation Action Plan. This has resulted in some delay in the commencement of the remediation works and the handover. The remediation work is targeted to be completed by June 2011.
2. The project cost as at 28 February 2011 is $1.194 million.

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