One of Adelaide’s last remaining coastal freshwater and estuarine lagoon systems will form part of a new conservation park at Aldinga with the Marshall Liberal Government stepping in to protect the area from potential housing development.
Aldinga Washpool, in Adelaide’s south is a well-known habitat for a wide range of native species, particularly birds and swamp plants of conservation significance, including a threatened coastal saltmarsh that’s nationally listed as a vulnerable threatened ecological community.
The Washpool is also of considerable spiritual and cultural significance to the Kaurna people and contains numerous archaeological sites and artefacts.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the Washpool land will be combined with the adjacent Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park to create one new conservation park.
“This is a significant moment for the local community who have been championing for the Aldinga Washpool to be protected for decades,” Minister Speirs said.
“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to improving conservation and increasing the amount of open, green space available for people to explore and by combining the Aldinga Washpool land with the nearby Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park we will create a fantastic ecological and cultural haven just south of Adelaide.
“This follows the creation of Adelaide’s second metropolitan national park at Glenthorne and builds on our government’s record investment in open space and our historic push to increase the amount of space protected as national parks across the state.
“This is in stark contrast to the former Labor Government who ripped funding away from the environment and failed to rule out selling off these precious pieces of land to developers.
“In 2018, a Washpool Working Group was established, and we have been working closely with this group to ensure the land’s cultural and environmental values be protected and restored.
“The Department for Environment and Water, SA Water, Green Adelaide, City of Onkaparinga and other members of the working group have been working on flood mitigation, stormwater management, weed control, revegetation plans, water quality and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.”
“We will now work with the local community about the future management, and a planning process will commence next year to consolidate hydrological, ecological, and cultural work done so far.”
Recognising its cultural and environmental significance, and that it’s now surplus to SA Water operational requirements, the entirety of the Aldinga Washpool land has been transferred, encompassing five allotments totalling 31.64 hectares. There is also a mix of State Government tenures in the process of being transferred.
When complete, the total area of land added to park will be about 74 hectares.