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Monday, 3 November 2003
Page: 21829


Mr HUNT (9:14 PM) —I rise to follow on from the points raised by my friend and colleague the member for Dunkley in relation to the future and protection and enhancement of the land at Point Nepean within my electorate of Flinders. I want to do two things: firstly, I want to talk about what we have fought for and what we have won; and, secondly, I want to expose the fraud which the state government is putting about in relation to its own proposal.

In terms of what we have fought for, 18 months ago as a new member, along with the community reference group which was to be formed, I set out to achieve three things. Firstly, we set out to achieve a ban on residential housing on Point Nepean for all time—and it is a difficult environment to do that. We see in Victoria that the Victorian government is proposing that parts of Devilbend, parts of Royal Park, parts of the Royal Showgrounds and parts of Kew Cottages will all be subdivided for private residential housing. All those plans remain on the table, but at Point Nepean we have a guarantee for all time that that land will not be subdivided and that there will be no private housing. The only threat to that is at page 8 of the state's proposal, where for Police Point, the single most sensitive area, it proposes holiday homes. The state proposes holiday homes on Police Point, at page 8. This state plan for a park is a fraud. It is a fraud because in writing the state proposes holiday homes on the most sensitive part and it is utterly consistent with what it is doing with Royal Park, the Royal Showgrounds, Devilbend and Kew Cottages.

The second thing we set out to achieve was to keep the entire area in 100 per cent public ownership, and we have done that. We have kept the entire area in 100 per cent public ownership. Again, unlike the current Victorian government proposals for selling and subdividing parts of Royal Park, the Royal Showgrounds, Kew Cottages and Devilbend.

The third thing we set out to do was to protect and to utilise the 65 heritage buildings which form the old Norris Barracks. There are 65 largely empty buildings and they are there. You can either let them lie and become derelict over time—as the state has done with the one building it has had responsibility for, Pearce Barracks, which has been in state hands for 15 years and is a hulking wreck and a singular disgrace—or you can use those buildings for education, heritage and community purposes and accommodation. That was the plan of the community reference group. That was the plan which we set out to achieve. That was the plan, incidentally, of the Victorian National Parks Association, the National Trust and the state government. That is what we have achieved in an extraordinary and tremendous breakthrough. The Australian Maritime College is looking at setting up a marine and maritime precinct which would include marine education, heritage with the attraction of the maritime museum of Victoria, a space for the Bunnerong elders, the Dolphin Research Institute and other community groups which are likely to come on board.

To create a centre for all Victorians for all time which is environmental and which hopefully over time will rival those great international oceanographic institutes, such as Wood's Hole and Cape Cod, the Bodega Marine Laboratory and the Scripps Institute in California—that is what we set out to achieve and that is what we have achieved. All those people associated with the community reference group who have pursued that vision with a passion, who have been criticised by many who have other alternative agendas, deserve the most extraordinary credit because they have put in hours and hours as volunteers. There are many good people on all sides of the debate. There are many good people and I respect and value their work, but what we have achieved are three things: no residential housing, unlike the state's proposal at page 8 of their plan for holiday homes on Police Point; 100 per cent public ownership; and a marine and maritime centre with the bringing of the Australian Maritime College as the lead agency.

I want to deal very briefly with the state's hypocrisy. At page 8 of their proposal, in talking about a park, they call for holiday homes and for 230 beds—commercial accommodation—including a three-star hotel. (Time expired)


The SPEAKER —I should indicate to the House that consistent with an agreement reached by the whips it is my proposal to allow the remaining part of the adjournment debate to go to opposition members.