Parliament: Other Speeches

Le Cornu Vacant Site

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I speak briefly this evening just to signify the Dignity Party’s support for the Hon. Mr Parnell’s motion, and in so doing note that this block of land, the Le Cornu site on O’Connell Street, has sat vacant for most of my life.

The Hon. M.C. Parnell: Twenty-eight years.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Twenty-eight years is exactly my life.

The Hon. M.C. Parnell: We could name the park after you.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Well, your idea, not mine, but I am always happy to come along and cut a ribbon, Mr Parnell. Having recently taken on part-time foster care of a young child, who is 21 years my junior, I am acutely aware of just how long that is, and they are very keen to remind me of that at all times. I think that anything that can be done to rejuvenate that space and improve the amenity of our city and our state as a result is certainly welcome.

With regard to Mr Parnell’s proposition for public acquisition, this is certainly not something that I would advocate lightly to be done in every case. However, given the length of time that the land has sat vacant and the number of failed development proposals, I think the government needs to step up and ensure that what could be a very useful piece of land is useful for the entire state.

I would add that, in a time when we have so many community organisations crying out for spaces, crying out for land to use to conduct their services—everything from theatre groups to youth groups to mental health services, and indeed when we are still pushing for a specific borderline personality disorder unit to be provided and built, if necessary, in South Australia—I think it is an affront to see what could be a really useful piece of land sitting vacant for the last 28 years.

Of course, I am not necessarily advocating that that land would be automatically appropriate for those uses, I am simply saying that, philosophically, at a time when so many community groups are hungry for space in our state to keep providing their important services, it is quite an affront. So, with those words, on behalf of the Dignity Party, I support the motion.