Glenthorne Farm Motion

Mr WINGARD (Mitchell) (11:55): I rise today also to speak on the motion put before the house by the member for Bright, and I acknowledge the great work that he has done, as follows: 

That this house—

(a) acknowledges the importance of Glenthorne Farm as an environmental asset for South Australia and in particular, its role in providing vital open space in Adelaide's southern suburbs;

(b) recognises the Liberal Party's vision to create Glenthorne national park, preserving Glenthorne Farm, O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park, Marino Conservation Park, Hallett Cove Conversation Park and the Field River Valley for future generations, while creating a recreational precinct focused on Majors Road at O'Halloran Hill; and

(c) calls on the government to fast-track the opening up of Happy Valley Reservoir so it can be enjoyed by South Australian families for recreational pursuits including fishing, sailing and kayaking.

I mentioned the great work that the member for Bright has done and it has been a pleasure to work alongside him. This precinct technically fits in my patch, as far as the state is divided up at the minute. However, as the member for Bright and I always say, our electorates are there for the community and communities cross over. We see this space as wonderful space that our community can use.

They have open days at Glenthorne Farm once a month or so, weather permitting. I think I have been up there half a dozen times and we have not been able to access the site because it has been too wet and too slippery. The fence that is around the farm is a very significant sign of the frustration that there is with Glenthorne Farm, in particular. People drive past it all the time and they cannot access this site. What the Liberal Party has put forward, again led by the member for Bright, is an absolutely brilliant plan to turn this space into a national park.

The member for Bright and I often hold listening posts around the Hallett Cove area, the Seacombe Road area, around our local communities and even at the Marion shopping centre. People love to talk about this policy, this idea and this vision for South Australia and the opportunities it creates, both from a recreational sense and also from a potential sporting sense. There are some great sporting clubs tucked away up there that people do not really know much about. This has exciting potential for the people of the south.

When you look at it from the bigger picture, it is in the member for Bright's and my backyard. I acknowledge that, and we are lucky to have it right there for our local communities, but this is a policy that has far greater reach. As the biggest national park in the metropolitan area, it will draw people from Adelaide and across South Australia to come and use this park, with the opportunity of walking trails and bike trails. I know the mountain bikers are very keen to work in this space as well.

I have had a lot to do with the O'Halloran Hill recreation team and a group of people I will talk about a bit later, who do a lot of work in removing weeds. Their frustration is that they get school groups up there and they come and do some work, but they are not drawn back to this space. It does not entice people in. The policy that we have put forward, again under the stewardship of the member for Bright, I think is incredibly exciting and has so much upside it is not funny.

As I said, I have been up there a number of times. Local people who live around the O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park, which is the northern aspect, often have concerns about grasses overgrowing at this time of the year, around summertime, and they believe that in this whole bigger picture it will be looked after and taken care of. The park rangers looking after that area will be well resourced to make sure that this is a space that is open and accessible and there for people to use.

The member for Bright has talked about developers licking their lips as they drive past and see this vast parcel of land. If you get onto the internet and look through Google Maps, you can see how big a space it is. The concept of linking all these spaces together and making them one big facility is absolutely fantastic, as is the journey that we can go on with this. The member for Bright also pointed out very astutely that this is not something that is going to happen overnight. This is going to be a growth project that the community will be able to come along with and share in the journey.

We look at the young people in the local areas. A lot of great schools are in and around this area the member for Bright and I share. It is something that they are going to be able to start with as reception students, even kindy students, in the local area and grow through the development of this project. I think that they are going to relish it all the way along. When they are parents, they will be able to take their kids there and talk about the part they played in developing this precinct that overlooks Adelaide.

From a sporting perspective, there are a number of sporting groups there I would like to acknowledge. As I said, they are very much tucked in there. There is the archery club and the pistol club. I have spoken about the archery club in this place before. I have walked the course, but they did not give me a bow and arrow, which is probably a good thing. I am not so good with a bow and arrow (I have not done that since we did it as a subject at school), but it was wonderful to walk the course, and the views from this location are absolutely exquisite. I highly recommend that people get up there and have a look.

When I was walking the course and taking in the views, I realised how much this space and the opportunity there has been overlooked by this current government. It has been left to sit there and has not been opened up for people from right across South Australia to access. The opportunities are absolutely immense. In fact, the guys from the archery club were telling me that they had the police and fire games there a number of years back. The Americans came and competed, and they were just blown away by the views off Majors Road over the city and the coast. They thought that it was one of the most special places and a little bit of a secret. Alongside that, I mentioned the pistol club, which does a marvellous job.

Some of the walking trails through there at the moment have just been serviced by local volunteers, as we have been talking about. They are fantastic walking trails. With a bit more love, care, community help and support, they will be fantastic. We know that the state BMX centre is proposed to be there. We know that there are some concerns about the soil, so we are really keen to hear more from the government about this because the prospects were good. We are keen to follow through and see where that ends up. I know that the council now has a bit of concern around the money involved, so we will see where that takes us.

Riding for the Disabled is there as well and do a marvellous job. They are a great group of people who take people with disabilities riding. The passion and the smiles on their faces is just sensational. It is another part of this precinct that can be incorporated. There is vision for a soccer precinct and a driving range, too, so it really has great scope to be opened up for all the people of South Australia to be allowed to access this.

The history of the place has been mentioned briefly. I mentioned that Riding for the Disabled has a long history with horses. Of course, the military took ownership of this land in the early 1900s, I think it was, and of course the Australian Army trained troops and horses there as part of the Light Horse Brigade, as far as I am aware, so Glenthorne Farm has some great history. Of course, the first police commissioner, Mr O'Halloran, lived up there as well.

This is a great opportunity for South Australia and a wonderful vision. For so long, this precinct has sat there untouched, and people have been locked out. I think that the surrounding communities will just love having this opportunity literally in their backyard. As I said, it is wonderful for the entire state. Some of the people I have worked with very closely on the O'Halloran Hill site in particular include Mr John Bollinger. He really has been fantastic and does a marvellous job—he had me and Michelle Lensink from the other place up there removing weeds. Don Webster is also part of the Friends of O'Halloran Hill Recreation Park.

I said that Michelle Lensink from the other place and I were up there pulling weeds. The group works tirelessly to kill off the olive weeds, and I commend them for all the work they do in that vicinity. The other group that has long been a campaigner for this is the Friends of Glenthorne Farm. It is a very small but passionate group that has made a lot of noise about this over a number of years, but it has never been able to get any traction. Lo and behold, along comes the member for Bright and we engage with a few people in the community. I was lucky enough to get involved and follow along with the vision the member for Bright had from the work he had been doing over a long period of time.

We have come forward with this plan that this group has really never seen before and was probably unable to envisage because of its size. I remember that I was with the member for Bright the day we told Alan Burns about the vision and plan we had, and he broke down in tears. This is something he had always wanted but had never been able to implement. Again, I commend the member for Bright; he brought Mr Burns to tears not by upsetting him but because of joy, which showed on his face. It is truly admirable.

The scope we have for this is incredibly exciting. I could talk for a lot longer, but the member for Bright has covered a lot of the important points. This is a very exciting policy and it is one that the Marshall Liberal team is very keen to progress and deliver for the community of South Australia. It is something the local southern region will really embrace, as well as the whole of the state, having this precinct there that people can access, walk through, take in and really feel a part of. It is a great vision for South Australia's future, and we look forward to working with the community to deliver this.

Authorised by Corey Wingard MP, Member for Gibson. Level 2, 1 Milham Street Oaklands Park SA 5046. ©Copyright / Legal / Login