Adjourned debated on second reading
(Continued from 27 September 2017)
The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (11:37): I understand this bill is to streamline the process by which the government is able to establish linear parks. I have no issue with this and am generally supportive of linear parks. However, I have been contacted by the Coastal Ecology Protection Group, who are extremely concerned at the effect this bill would have should a linear park be established along the coastline and particularly the effect it will have on sand dunes.
Sand dunes are an important part of the ecology of the environment. We have seen instances where they have been interfered with and it has had a detrimental effect in regard to shifting sands. Whilst I appreciate that the government has filed amendments which provides for public notification of any proposed linear parks and gives the community an opportunity to provide their views, this does not seem to go far enough to address the concerns that have been raised with me.
Of particular concern to me is the fact that there does not seem to be a requirement for an environmental impact study to be undertaken before a linear park is constructed. I would like to hear from the minister as to why they have chosen not to include this in the bill. It seems peculiar that such a provision is not made in such a bill, especially when it has the potential to destroy sand dunes that have been in existence since the English settlement.
Whilst the government amendments allow for community consultation, we all know that it is entirely at the government's discretion as to whether submissions are taken on board or not. I could not see an avenue for aggrieved persons to pursue, should they be unhappy with the government's decision. I am happy to be corrected by the minister on this, but if no such appeal mechanism exists, I would like information as to why the government did not think this was necessary. I reserve my position on the bill until the third reading and look forward to hearing more from the government.