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Tuesday, 26 May 1998
Page: 3764

Mrs GALLUS (10:45 PM) —Today I would like to mention something that happened to me at the weekend, and that was a visit to one of my local churches, the Church of the Good Shepherd in Plympton. It was an invitation to have a look at some houses that they had just built for lower income families. I went along expecting to see the normal couple of houses that are usually built in this situation and, indeed, that was so. They were very attractive houses that were built on church land—on disused basketball courts.

But what was absolutely fascinating about these houses is that they had been built with the environment in mind and with the retention of water for landscaping. I will read to the House from the booklet that I was presented with at the church service of dedication. I was so intrigued by the whole concept that, while I was there, I missed out on my following appointment that Sunday. I have yet to give my letter of apology to the second appointment. You have the church and then behind the church is vacant land. These houses have been built on the side, and more will be built behind the church.

The brochure states:

Roof runoff from buildings at the church site passes to a gravel-filled trench beneath a garden/lawn area, formerly a disused basketball court. The collected water evaporates through the gravel, providing moisture directly to the roots of the shrubs and grass above.

So you are not watering from the top, you are using evaporation to keep your grass and shrubs alive. It goes on:

The landscaped area requires minimal, if any, supplementary irrigation.

. . . . . . . . .

. storm runoff from the roofs is diverted by a network of pipes to storage in the gravel-filled trench;

. in periods between storms, vapor generated form moist gravel—

Mr Leo McLeay —Moist gravel.

Mrs GALLUS —I am reading from this and I think they mean `from moist gravel'—

enters the soil and vegetation root mass above . . .

Mr Peter Morris —What is moist gravel?

Mrs GALLUS —I suggest to the members across the table who find this funny that they might learn something from this project and might be able to suggest this type of thing in their own neighbourhoods, because it is an excellent project. To laugh at it portrays something about the members across the floor.

Mr SPEAKER —The member for Watson will remain silent. I would suggest that the member for Hindmarsh continue her remarks.

Mrs GALLUS —The brochure goes on:

. this "passive" system of irrigation is more efficient than conventional watering and, normally, requires little, if any, mains water application.

. in large storms, short-term ponding occurs . . . this water then feeds slowly to the underground gravel layer;

. in very large storms, runoff exceeding the pond capacity . . . passes to the street drainage system;

. the overall scheme reduces downstream flooding, uses storm runoff to provide catchment "greening" and places little to no demand on mains water supply.

If this type of development were used in all the suburbs, then we would have less problems with our water. It is especially relevant to South Australia and to the city of Adelaide, with South Australia being the driest state in the driest continent and Adelaide being the head city in South Australia.

In conclusion, I make mention of the people who participated in the dedication service and who bear responsibility for this project: Rev. Barry Davis, the parish priest who bears the greatest responsibility; church elders Mr Harold Bates-Brownsword and Mr Jack Stirling; the architect, Rodney Barrington; the builder, Mr John Twelftree; and Mr John Argue, Associate Professor of Water Engineering, University of South Australia. I congratulate the city of West Torrens and the state government for their contributions and I also mention the Most Rev. Ian George, the Archbishop of Adelaide, who fully supported the project from beginning to end. It is a most excellent project, and I would commend it to the sneering members of the opposition across the table.