The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS (16:52): I rise very briefly to support the remarks of the
Hon. Mr Kandelaars, and certainly I will not at any stage repeat what he is has said, but I think the
Natural Resources Committee remains without a doubt one of the most active in the parliament, if
not the most active, and it certainly deals with a wide range of issues. There is the obvious connection
we have to the NRM boards and the deliverance of their levies, and there is obviously always some
controversy about that.
One thing there has been some controversy about in recent times is the Western Mount Lofty
Ranges being involved in the payment of levies and, of course, one thing that we must remember is
that those issues were raised by the Hon. Michelle Lensink as the shadow minister for environment
about 12 months ago, and she spoke to the chair of the committee and got our committee to have a
look at that. As a result, the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges NRM board reduced the levy amount
not only for those people who were paying the levy for the first time, but also for other people
throughout that region. There is a very large number of people throughout that region—the vast
majority of the population of the state. I think that shows that the committee can respond to issues
that are raised by other members of parliament who are not on the committee.
That leads me also to the fact that in the inquiry that we are currently doing into
unconventional gas fracking, there is input from other members of parliament in this chamber and,
of course, the other place, about the committee's role there, and there is certainly interest in the
evidence that we have taken in the South-East of the state. A number of members from this place
and the other place, as I said, have taken great interest in the work of that committee. I know that in
the new year we will take evidence from a number of members of parliament on that inquiry.
I also wish to refer to the staff of the committee, particularly in relation to the retirement of
Mr David Trebilcock who was passionate in his pursuit of knowledge about the environment. He was
also rather famous in our committee for coming up with titles for reports which sometimes got through
the system and sometimes did not. I am not a great fan of putting titles on reports, I must say, but
certainly we miss David's passionate work. I do not think anybody could ever deny that.
His successor is Barbara Coddington who has a terrifically wide background, having at one
stage worked up in the lofty heights of Hansard so she has some experience in dealing with us that
goes beyond her committee experience. She also has wide experience, having worked for the South
Australian Murray-Darling Basin NRM board and, of course, in coming from the United States she
has added to the work she does for us.
The committee is one that prides itself on getting out into the regions. We have had a few
challenges in recent years in getting to the southern part of the AW NRM board. We are, I think,
expecting that in April or May (I am not sure but certainly in that period of next year) we will be going
to the southern region of the AW board, so I look forward to that.
Like the Hon. Mr Kandelaars I pay tribute to the work of the presiding member, the
Hon. Steph Key who keeps a number of us—the remainder of the committee are all males so she
keeps us under control pretty well.
The Hon. R.L. Brokenshire: Limits our questions.
The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: Even my colleague over there, the Hon. Mr Brokenshire, she
keeps under control pretty well.
The Hon. R.L. Brokenshire: She does; I'm scared of her.
The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: Perhaps I should put that on the record: that the
Hon. Mr Brokenshire said he is scared of the Hon. Steph Key. With those few remarks I endorse the
comments of the Hon. Gerry Kandelaars and I look forward to continuing to work on that committee.
It has been a pleasure to be part of it for I think about six years now. With those remarks I commend
the report to the council.
The Hon. R.L. BROKENSHIRE (16:59): I rise to support this report of the NRC, well set out
in Hansard by the Hon. Gerry Kandelaars and the Hon. John Dawkins, my colleagues. I also have
the privilege of being on that committee. It is a committee that works hard. It is arguably the hardest
committee in the parliament for its workload and delivery, and it is a privilege and a pleasure to be
on the committee.
The Hon. Steph Key does a great job as Chair. I would also like to commend the staff, who
do a brilliant job and who work hard with all these reports and all the evidence and facts in our reports.
That is why I generally do not speak. I have signed off, like most other members, on them, and I
leave them for my colleagues, the Hon. Gerry Kandelaars and the Hon. John Dawkins, because I
endorse their remarks. With those few words, I commend the report to the house.