BERRI BOWLING CLUB

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS         (         16:51         :19         ):  I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation a question regarding the relocation of the Berri Bowling Club.

Leave granted.         

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS:  For the past five years the Berri Barmera Council has been awaiting state government approval to relocate the Berri Bowling Club so that it can develop the land between the Berri Resort Hotel and the town's caravan park. The move of the Berri Bowling Club from its current site on Riverside Drive adjacent to the hotel to Glassey Park, an established sporting hub on the eastern perimeter of the residential area, has been delayed by the crown land section within the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.    

I refer the minister to responses to questions I asked him in this place on 25 July and 26 September last year, when the minister gave assurances that his department would resolve the issue as soon as possible. I quote from his response on 25 July:    

I am aware of the matter; it is currently before me and we will be making a decision on the issue as soon as we possibly can.    

I also quote another assurance, given in his response of 26 September:    

We are working our way through this process as best we can. There is goodwill on both sides and I am expectant of a speedy outcome.    

I have recently been advised by Berri Barmera Council and concerned local residents that a resolution is yet to be reached. This protracted process has dragged on since my last question to the minister on 26 September 2013. My question is: will the minister commit to finally resolving the issue surrounding the relocation of the Berri Bowling Club as soon as possible?    

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER         (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)         (         16:53         :24         ):  I thank the honourable member for his most important question, and his indications of the great comfort that he takes in my reassurances. My answer is: yes.

 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS         (         16:53         :39         ):  Supplementary question: when will the council and the bowling club get resolution on this issue, after a wait of over five years?    

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER         (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)         (         16:53         :45         ):  As I have said previously to the honourable member, in this place, this is a very complicated land transaction involving crown land on riverfront—which is, frankly, quite an attractive piece of land that is worth a great deal. For the state to hand over such land without going through due process would be wrong, and the honourable member would be up here asking me questions about it if I were to hurry this matter. We want to get it done, but we want to get it done right, so we will take the time required to do this transaction. As I have indicated before, we are totally amenable to this transaction but we are going to do it right.

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS         (         16:54         :27         ):  A further supplementary question. Why is it then that the minister was confident we would have a speedy resolution last July and September? We are now in May 2014 and it seems that we are no closer to a resolution. Will the minister give this priority?    

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER         (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation)         (         16:54         :56         ):  The only people who have a problem with truth are those on the opposition benches and the truth they have a problem with is facing up to the fact that they did not tell the people of South Australia what they stood for at this election. We did.