The Guardian June 26, 2002


Pelican Point preservation win

by David Kirner

Four years after the historic Pelican Point picket line and the mass 
blockade of the Birkenhead Bridge leading into the Le Fevre Peninsula in 
Port Adelaide, residents have won land and funding to preserve the Mutton 
Cove Wetland and to develop the Pelican Point Biodiversity Park.

Residents have been told by new Ministerial staff of the Department of 
Environment and Heritage that $180,000.00 has been allocated to the 
projects by the Office of Coast and Marine and the Torrens Catchment Board.

The allocation of lands was won when the previous government made 
concessions following a bitter struggle to stop a power station, ship- 
braking yard and sewage outfall pipe at the mouth of the Port River where 
it meets Gulf St.Vincent.

At the time thousand of local residents mobilised in a fight that has had a 
long-term benefit for the community with many recent industry polluting 
proposals such as Adelaide Brighton's tyre burning powering of furnaces 
being rejected.

The campaign included ALP,. CPA, Democrat and even Liberal Party, members 
and community, indigenous and environmental groups.

The struggle has set an environmentally friendly agenda for the Port and 
the new State Government is working with the Australian Dolphin Research 
Foundation and the Port Adelaide Enfield Council to establish the world's 
third dolphin sanctuary in the river and in Barker Inlet.

Some discussion with the government has resulted in interest from the 
Department of Environment and Heritage to include the parks and wetlands 
into the newly announced dolphin sanctuary plan.

Walking trail interpretative signposting has been approved for the North 
Arm and Port River to help dolphin spotters.

Property prices have increased in the local area by the highest amount in 
Adelaide as the smokestack industry domination of the town is being 
reduced.

However, the Queen Elizabeth Research Foundation is currently completing a 
research project that may indicate residents in Osborne have a higher than 
normal incidence of respiratory illness and cancer.

A struggle is also brewing over Coastal Protection Board plans to sand mine 
local Semaphore Beach and over council plans that have included historic 
Snowdens Beach in possible boatyard building split. Local boating groups 
are opposing the halving of the old beach.

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