Mr VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart) (11:14): Innamincka—it is dangerous to say this, of course—is one of my very favourite places in the electorate of Stuart. I was very fortunate to be a shareholder in a business—the Trading Post—the minister referred to before for approximately five years. I went there very regularly and I know it reasonably well. I am happy to say at the outset that I do wholeheartedly support the excision of these blocks of land from the Innamincka Regional Reserve.

What goes on up there, for a few people who may not know, is that there is actually an overlap of this whole large area of land—of regional reserve, of pastoral lease and also of petroleum, mining and exploration leases—all operating very well together. The Innamincka Station is one of the very oldest Kidman stations in South Australia, which, I think, now would have to be getting close to 110 years in Kidman hands, or something like that. It is a very unique and very important place and, of course, very important for the environment.

Approximately 50,000 tourists a year go to Innamincka which, of course, then creates enormous management challenges in terms of trying to overlay all that—the mining, the pastoral, the environment, the tourism and the people who live there (approximately one dozen people live in Innamincka), as well as the business interests. I am fully in favour of removing the land from the reserve, and I thank the minister's office for providing me with some answers to some questions in haste this morning, given that this motion was expected to come on this afternoon.

I am also very pleased that the Indigenous connection with the land will be recognised and that four blocks out of approximately 100 blocks of land will be made available to the people for further use. I do have a couple of questions and, if he gets the opportunity, I would be grateful if the minister could include some direction in his closing remarks.

My main concern is the fact that if this land is not released in a steady and smooth but accessible and sensible way we have not really achieved anything. If these blocks of land are taken out of the Innamincka Regional Reserve, which is currently under the care and control of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), they just stay as unallocated blocks of land under DENR care and control but are not made available to the public (whether that is for residential, recreational, commercial or some other use), and if that does not happen relatively soon and relatively smoothly we have not achieved anything.

I would be grateful if the minister could include roughly what the plan is. I understand that that will fit within the broad planning constraints of the area. This is quite a unique area in the sense that it can look a bit like a desert (even the middle of town can look a bit like a desert at times), and then, within a few days, it can look like a swamp. Some very serious and very genuine development issues need to be dealt with.

I am not suggesting for a minute that there should be a free-for-all, that it should just be let go and that people can do whatever they like with them. However, if access is not given to this land we have not achieved a thing. I would like to know if possible on what commercial grounds the land might be made available—whether it would be auction, whether it would be tender or whether it would just be a straight sale and over what period of time.

I understand that the minister may not have all these answers immediately today, but if he could give some indication of his intention of how the land would be available to the public over the next few years, I would be grateful. I also think that an important thing to be taken into consideration is how this might impact on the people who currently live there, because a small core group of people live in Innamincka and they have been there for many years.

Some of these people will think that this is a wonderful move because it will increase their property values (potentially) and some people will think it wonderful because it will increase their scope for business value and/or business profit and loss. Some will think it is good because there are some vacant, privately held blocks of land at Innamincka, and, no doubt, growth and development will increase the value and potentially the scope and the flexibility in terms of how people can use those blocks of land. There will be a range of views.

I also think—and this might surprise some people—that there will be very strong interest and strong demand. People from all over Australia will be interested in accessing blocks of land at Innamincka. That is why I ask—because I think we might be rushed, rather than have to drag people to be interested in these lands, so it is very important that that is considered.

I would be grateful if the minister could indicate how these approximately 100 blocks of land will be made available to the public and what zoning and planning will apply to them, because there will be lots of people who would like to buy a block and put a new shop or a shack on every corner. Obviously, water and sewerage pressures will become an issue. It is a matter of plain fact that the water supply and the sewerage/STED scheme are really not up to scratch for the job they currently do, so that has to be given consideration as to how blocks might be developed in the future. I think it is a good move, as long as these blocks can then move out of DENR/Crown control and into public, productive and useful control of members of the public.


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