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Question: Adelaide Beach Management Review

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: In April 2022, the Malinauskas government announced that the planned construction of a sand recycling pipeline between West Beach and Semaphore South would be halted. Instead, a comprehensive review of all available coastal sand management options is being initiated by the Department for Environment and Water to 'ensure a long-term solution is found, which puts community and the environment at the core.'

The review being undertaken by community engagement specialist URPS and coastal engineering specialist Bluecoast Consulting Engineers will include consideration of how to manage sand on Adelaide's beaches to achieve the following two goals: minimise disruption for all communities and avoid environmental harm.

However, it has been brought to my attention that there has been a failure by the department to adequately engage local communities. Local Port Adelaide Enfield councillor Peter McGregor has noted, and I quote him:

[The] engagement mailout was to only those residents from Esplanade to Military Road—those living in the first block off the foreshore. Those living east of Military Road will not be notified and must read about it in The Advertiser.

Community members have also complained about the contents of the survey, with many saying:

It is so heavily loaded that it is not a survey at all. The assumption is that the pipeline will go ahead, and the public will only have a say in the disruptive fluff around it.

I attended a full meeting in the local cinema where many of these complaints were also aired, and I have heard from dozens in the community that they have found this survey impossible to put their views forward to because it only gives them a limited range of options. Our beaches support a much wider community than those that live on the first block on the foreshore. It is a concern that they have not been adequately informed. My questions to the minister are:

1. Have residents on the eastern side of Military Road and further east been consulted directly and received information to participate in this process?

2. If they haven't, how can the department justify that limited notification?

3. Will the minister undertake to ensure that views of residents or the community completing the survey reflect their inability to actually only be given three options to choose from rather than provide more direct information from their personal experience?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): I thank the honourable member for her questions and her interest in this area. Obviously, attending forums, the honourable member has heard directly from the public and is putting forward in this chamber concerns that constituents have put to her, and so we do take those very seriously.

As I have mentioned before in this chamber, there is an independent review of Adelaide beach management underway. That was a commitment from this government before coming to government. The review is being overseen by an independent advisory panel and not by the government directly. I have respected the independence, which I think is appropriate. I haven't sought to insert myself in terms of how surveys or questions or forums are run; I think that is better left to the experts rather than to politicians to do that. I will pass on the concerns the honourable member has raised to the independent advisory panel that is overseeing the review.

Firstly, the question the honourable member had about the breadth of consultation. I am aware that, in all of these sorts of things, wherever you consult to there will be someone on the other side of a road or in the next suburb who isn't included in whatever level of consultation is decided for wherever the boundary is drawn, and that is always a necessary feature of any sort of consultation that is done. There will be some people who, if there is a boundary—whether it's a road or a suburb or on one side or another of those—I accept that as a limitation, otherwise on every issue you would be consulting every single South Australian.

The Hon. T.A. Franks interjecting:

The Hon. K.J. MAHER: Yes, I will put that concern directly to the independent review panel. I think the honourable member said Military Road was a boundary where a particular form of consultation occurred. I don't know, but I suspect it was where residents were contacted directly to ask for views or information, whereas those, I suspect, that fall over the other side of the road weren't precluded from putting views forward but may not have had the same level of contact as those on the other side of that boundary, being the road.

I will also put forward the concerns the honourable member has raised in relation to how questions in a survey are written. My understanding is—and I will check this and bring back further information if I need to—that there was a survey. As I said, I haven't sought to have any involvement in how a survey is worded as I think that is best left to the independent review and the independent advisory panel overseeing the review.

My understanding is that I think there were nine questions, and at least the last one had an ability for participants in the survey to put any of their views forward that wasn't a tick-a-box question. I have had representations recently about one of the questions but I can't remember what number question it was. If I remember correctly it basically asked, 'Do you think there should be the level of intervention in the management of sand at our beaches at the current level? Do you think there should be more intervention or less intervention?' It was a choice of those three.

I don't know if that is the same question the honourable member has had people expressing concern about. I certainly will put that to the independent review panel, but my understanding is there is certainly an opportunity, as part of that survey, to put forward any other matters that either weren't included in the question or were different from the question asked. I thank the honourable member for her question and I can assure her that I will put the two particular issues she has raised in front of the independent review panel.

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