It was a pleasure to spend a few hours with the Hon. Michelle Lensink and the Friends of O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park group recently.
John Bollinger and his volunteer crew took us around the park and showed us the great work they are doing eradicating the Olive Trees from the property. We also enjoyed some of the most spectacular views of Adelaide. I must say that the park is one of Adelaide’s best kept secrets - the walking and mountain bike trails and simply superb.
John gave Michelle and me some gloves and a pick so we could offer some assistance to the campaign of removing all the Olive weeds. This volunteer group does a marvellous job and if you have spare time and would like to lend a hand please contact my office and we’ll put you in touch, or you can link through to the Friends of O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park group via my website.
The Friends of O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park is a great local group working to support the community and the environment.
I spoke in Parliament about the group, below is a Hansard transcript.
FRIENDS OF O'HALLORAN HILL RECREATION PARK
Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 15:08 ): It is with great pleasure that I rise today to speak about the Friends of O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park, where I will take the member for Finniss, the next time he is around, to do some work with me, as I did with the Hon. Michelle Lensink from the other place just the other week. On a nice sunny morning, the Hon. Michelle Lensink and I made our way to O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park to work with a very friendly group headed up by John Bollinger, Toni Beaty and Peter Haarsma.
It is a wonderful group that does some marvellous work trying to revegetate and kill off the weeds at the O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park. It is a great venue, a great location and a really well kept secret of the southern suburbs of Adelaide and, in fact, the city of Adelaide for that matter. It has stunning views over the city, there are wonderful walking trails and there are some magnificent mountain biking trails as well.
John gave Michelle and me some gloves and a pick and we were off to give them some assistance for a few hours, removing the nasty olive weeds that vegetate a large part of the O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park. The volunteer group meets twice a week and they do a marvellous job in their spare time when they get out and about and do their best to rid the recreation park of these troublesome weeds.
I will outline how they do that in a few moments. By way of background to the recreation park, it has great trails, fire tracks, the bike veloway, the walking trails and horse trails. It also encapsulates the Sturt Pistol Club, the Southern Field Archers Club and a model aircraft flying club. Although the entire area was cleared and used for grazing some 90 years ago, shady trees now grow in the park as do some of the weeds. The reserve is located at the southern end of the Eden fault line: underlying rock formations are the Precambrian Umberatana Group. A bluestone quarry near South Road is still visible and was used to create many structures in the city of Adelaide years ago.
The flora and fauna abound. The entire vegetation of the park was cleared in the past but the natural vegetation is returning. There are some groups doing some marvellous work and returning the grey box eucalypt, the golden wattle, bull oak and a number of melaleuca species as well.
A number of groups work there. I must commend the Seaview Downs Primary School and also the Sunrise Christian School. Their working groups have been up there doing a heap of work to revegetate and replenish the flora and fauna of this recreation park—and they do an outstanding job. They wanted to erect a sign in the recreation park, outlining what they have done so they could take some pride in their wonderful work but unfortunately that was knocked back. I find that a touch disappointing and I will be following it up to see if we can get some sort of recognition for the wonderful work these two school groups do. There are others doing great work in this area as well and I think it should be noted.
I mentioned the olive trees a little earlier. The Hon. Michelle Lensink, from the other place, and I got to work with our gloves and picks and we worked away feverishly to try to remove some of them. They are very troublesome things and it is quite ingenious the way they can regenerate. They create a lot of work in trying to remove them. We worked on digging out some of the smaller ones and that was not so bad but the bigger ones are far more arduous to remove.
One of the techniques is quite amazing. Once they are chopped back Tony (I think it was) would drill holes a few inches deep into the roots of these trees and very quickly around the base of the tree he would squirt in the poison. These trees are quite remarkable in the way they protect themselves. Once you have drilled these holes, if you do not drop in the poison in a matter of seconds, they will create a seal to prevent the poison getting through. It is a lot of work to remove these trees and I very much admire the way these people are going about it.
I must also mention the president of the group, Don Webster, who has done a marvellous job over time. He really has been exceptional in what he has done. Collectively, they are a small group. If you would like to get involved and help regenerate this park it is a great piece of South Australia and a great piece of Adelaide, so get along and have a look and also contact them through their website or through my website. They would really appreciate your help and support and, hopefully, we can get rid of the olive trees from the O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park.
Image: Tackling the olive weeds at O’Halloran Hill