Update 4: Aldinga Washpool

Mayor Erin Thompson
City of Onkaparinga
PO Box 1
Noarlunga Centre SA 5168


Dear Mayor Thompson,

Re: City of Onkaparinga, Aldinga Washpool, and the new Conservation Park

I hope this correspondence finds you well; you would remember me from my time as former Senior Policy Adviser to Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP. Thank you for your own ongoing efforts and support for permanent conservation of the Aldinga Washpool site.

I am writing to you in my personal capacity and out of a keen interest in environmental conservation. The permanent conservation of Aldinga Washpool was an issue I worked upon during my employment with Ms Sharkie, and since then I have been providing advice to the local Washpool Coalition and undertaking my own advocacy on the issue with the State Government.

I too am concerned that there are land parcels at the Aldinga Washpool site that have yet to be confirmed will be a part of the eventual conservation park (as shown in the map at: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/park-management/aldinga-washpool). These include land parcels which I understand are directly owned by the City of Onkaparinga, or is Crown land under their care, namely:

  • D7917 A9
  • D6804 A239
  • D6326 A116
  • H106000 S862
  • F10453 A11

May I kindly request an update on whether these parcels are still under Council ownership (and/or care), and whether there is active consideration for their addition to the new Conservation Park?

If so, what is the likely process (such as a vote at Council) and timing for a decision to be made by the City of Onkaparinga?

Thank you again for your support on this issue and for your time and consideration.

Yours sincerely,


Michael Cornish

21 / 6 / 2021

Cc Mr Geoff Hayter, Chair, Washpool Coalition

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Update 3: Aldinga Washpool

[Map reproduced from: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/park-management/aldinga-washpool]

96641 NPWS Aldinga washpool map v4

[Map reproduced from page 8, Washpool Lagoon Vegetation Survey and Mapping 2016, available here: https://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/files/sharedassets/adelaide_and_mt_lofty_ranges/coast_and_marine/aldinga-washpool-lagoon-vegetation-survey-mapping-2016-rep.pdf]






















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Update 2: Aldinga Washpool

[Reproduced from: https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/aldinga-washpool-to-become-a-protected-area]

19/06/2021 | David Speirs MP

One of Adelaide’s last remaining coastal freshwater and estuarine lagoon systems will form part of a new conservation park at Aldinga with the Marshall Liberal Government stepping in to protect the area from potential housing development.

Aldinga Washpool, in Adelaide’s south is a well-known habitat for a wide range of native species, particularly birds and swamp plants of conservation significance, including a threatened coastal saltmarsh that’s nationally listed as a vulnerable threatened ecological community.

The Washpool is also of considerable spiritual and cultural significance to the Kaurna people and contains numerous archaeological sites and artefacts.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the Washpool land will be combined with the adjacent Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park to create one new conservation park.

“This is a significant moment for the local community who have been championing for the Aldinga Washpool to be protected for decades,” Minister Speirs said.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to improving conservation and increasing the amount of open, green space available for people to explore and by combining the Aldinga Washpool land with the nearby Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park we will create a fantastic ecological and cultural haven just south of Adelaide.

“This follows the creation of Adelaide’s second metropolitan national park at Glenthorne and builds on our government’s record investment in open space and our historic push to increase the amount of space protected as national parks across the state.

“This is in stark contrast to the former Labor Government who ripped funding away from the environment and failed to rule out selling off these precious pieces of land to developers.

“In 2018, a Washpool Working Group was established, and we have been working closely with this group to ensure the land’s cultural and environmental values be protected and restored.

“The Department for Environment and Water, SA Water, Green Adelaide, City of Onkaparinga and other members of the working group have been working on flood mitigation, stormwater management, weed control, revegetation plans, water quality and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.”

“We will now work with the local community about the future management, and a planning process will commence next year to consolidate hydrological, ecological, and cultural work done so far.”

Recognising its cultural and environmental significance, and that it’s now surplus to SA Water operational requirements, the entirety of the Aldinga Washpool land has been transferred, encompassing five allotments totalling 31.64 hectares. There is also a mix of State Government tenures in the process of being transferred.

When complete, the total area of land added to park will be about 74 hectares.

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Update: Aldinga Washpool

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Update 3: Australian ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Today the Federal Parliament referred the Minamata Convention on Mercury to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

[Below reproduced from: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Treaties/MinamataConvention]

Minamata Convention on Mercury

The Treaties Committee is empowered by its resolution of appointment to inquire into and report on 'matters arising from treaties and related National Interest Analysis and proposed treaty actions presented or deemed to be presented to the Parliament.'

As nearly all treaty actions proposed by the Australian Government are tabled in Parliament, this type of review activity accounts for much of the Committee's work.

The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions by 19 July 2021.

Submissions for this inquiry can be lodged online via the link on this page. For information on how to make a submission, go to our Making a submission to a Parliamentary Inquiry page.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Joint Standing Committee on Treaties
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 4002
Fax: +61 2 6277 2219
[email protected]

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Update: Senate inquiry on the EPBC (Standards and Assurance) Bill

Today the Senate Environment and Communications Committee released its report on the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2020:


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Update 2: Australian ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

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Update: The former Le Cornu site

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Update: Australian ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury

Response from the Secretariat to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, 19 April 2021

Dear Mr. Michael Cornish,

Thank you for sharing this important update with the Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

It is indeed excellent news that your Government has published its Regulatory Impact Statement on the Ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury.

We look forward to welcoming Australia as a Party to the Convention.

Best regards,

Legal/Programme Officer
Secretariat of the Minamata Convention on Mercury
UN Environment
International Environment House 1
Geneva, Switzerland

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Artificial reef election commitment

The Hon Steven Marshall MP
GPO Box 2343
Adelaide SA, 5001

Dear Premier,

RE: Artificial reef election commitment

I write to you as a former senior adviser to Ms Rebekha Sharkie, the Member for Mayo, with a keen interest in environmental conservation. I wish to commend the State Liberal Government on its 2018 election commitment to construct three artificial reefs.

Artificial, and especially oyster reefs, are an excellent economic and environmental intervention. In addition to improved water quality, increased marine biodiversity and the creation of new recreational fishing opportunities, The Nature Conservancy estimates that every million dollars invested in oyster reef restoration creates 8.5 full-time equivalent jobs.

My understanding is that separate to the original pilot oyster reef of Windara near Ardrossan, the three reef projects are the Glenelg reef (construction now complete), a reef near Noarlunga, and the Kangaroo Island reef near American River.

It appears that the Glenelg reef was constructed with State Government funding, but it is unclear what contribution – if any – the State Government is making to fund the second and third reefs alongside the welcome Reef Builder funding announcement from the Federal Government.

May I kindly inquire, will the State Government be making financial contributions to the Noarlunga and Kangaroo Island oyster reef restoration projects? If so, how much over what time frame, and if not, why not?

Although preferably the State Government would contribute an amount that at least matches the Federal Government funding envelope, will the State Government consider contributing at least a nominal amount to the Noarlunga and Kangaroo Island reef projects in order to confirm its bona fides in delivering on its election commitment?

Thank you for your time and consideration of my correspondence.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Cornish

18 / 4 / 2021

Cc Minister for the Environment, the Hon David Speirs MP

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