The South Australian State Government has voted to allow unlimited private tourism developments in Flinders Chase National Park on Kangaroo Island.
A vote to repeal regulations allowing possible mass private tourism developments within Flinders Chase National Park has been voted down by the South Australian State Government, with a majority of one to the Marshall Liberal Government, along with the support of SA Best and Advance SA.
Under the now legal regulations, any tourism development proposed within the national park, and with a value of over $1 million, will no longer need to undergo public consultation, planning consent or environmental assessment before being approved by the government. Projects will also be protected against challenges by the community.
According to Greens MLC Mark Parnell, these regulations were originally intended for small developments on private property and have been expanded to include Flinders Chase National Park.
‘There’s something called Schedule 1A of the Development Regulations, a list of things that don’t need planning approval…What they have done is add developments worth more than $1 million in Flinders Chase National Park to the list,’ Mr Parnell told the ABC.
‘They have bundled with carports and solar panels and pergolas massive private tourism developments inside one of our most important national parks,’ Mr Parnell said.
In addition, any land clearing required as part of these developments, to make way for roads, buildings, or other infrastructure, will no longer need the assessment or approval of the Native Vegetation Council, but will simply need sign off by one of the Planning Minister’s public servants.
‘This is the privatisation of our park and there is no other way to describe this,’ said Mr Parnell.
State Member for Port Adelaide Susan Close voted in favour of repealing the regulations.
‘Labor was vehemently opposed to the government’s law change which bypasses normal processes for approving private tourism developments in Flinders Chase National Park, and in government would revoke those regulations,’ Dr Close said.
The news comes after months of push back by environmental groups on a proposal to build a series of hiker accommodation eco-pods within the national park, which after court mediation and compromises on both sides, have been approved.
Feature photo by @giveintoadventure
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