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.