Cobbler Creek

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS         (         15:18         :49         ):  I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation questions regarding the erosion of Cobbler Creek within and around the recreation park of the same name. 

Leave granted.    

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS:  The cities of Salisbury and Tea Tree Gully recently commissioned a study into the erosion of Cobbler Creek caused by excessive stormwater run-off from surrounding homes and businesses. As many people would be aware, there has been an increasing number of both residential and business developments in that area in recent decades.    

The draft report has been completed and suggests it could cost up to $4.75 million to stop erosion of creek beds and cliff faces along the creek. The report also highlighted the threat of erosion to the 10-metre high cliffs downstream from the Cobbler Creek Dam. Amongst the 40 recommendations to fix the problem of erosion is the suggestion of increasing the minimum size of rainwater tanks from the current 1,000 litres on new builds, and also the development of an incentive program to encourage retrofitting of existing properties to increase their rainwater capacity.    

I understand that the councils are scheduled to meet next month to discuss the draft report and consider actions on the recommendations early next year. My questions, sir:    

1.Has the minister or his department discussed the issues relating to erosion along Cobbler Creek with the two councils?    

2.Does the government have any plans at present to mitigate the erosion issues in Cobbler Creek?    

3.Will the minister consider partnering with the councils in developing an incentive program to increase the rainwater catchment capacity of existing properties along Cobbler Creek to assist with reducing erosion?    

The PRESIDENT:  I ask all members to allow Mr Dawkins to hear the answer in silence. Minister.    

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER         (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change)         (         15:20         :57         ):  Thank you, Mr President; I am just wondering what you know that I don't know about how people are going to respond to my response to the Hon. Mr Dawkins' question.    

I thank the honourable member for his most important question in regard to Cobbler Creek and the soil erosion problems around the creek line. It is not an isolated event; it is something that we are dealing with right across the state, in terms of urban water management erosion policies, particularly where runoff is occurring close to suburbia and encroaching into our parks on the peri-urban perimeter. It is also an issue for our rural and regional areas of the state as well.    

By way of answering, I can say that we have released an issues paper in terms of water management policy. Some of the aspects of the Hon. Mr Dawkins' question relate to that. We are looking for feedback from local government and the community in particular about how we can better mobilise the community in terms of our water management issues, and highlighting some of those issues to which the Hon. Mr Dawkins referred.    

In terms of Cobbler Creek, I have not yet made a determination about how we are proceeding. We are waiting for the council to address the issues, and I am awaiting advice from my department about how they will deal with the local government in that respect.