MEDIA RELEASE: International Bird Sanctuary an exciting vision for Adelaide’s north


8 March 2014

The state’s peak environment group, the Conservation Council of SA has strongly welcomed Labor’s announcement of a new International Bird Sanctuary based on the Dry Creek salt fields in Adelaide’s north.

The announcement was made by Premier Jay Weatherill at a booked-out environment forum organised by the Conservation Council, The Wilderness Society and the Nature Conservation Society.

“This is a genuinely exciting proposal that deserves bipartisan support,” said Conservation Council SA Chief Executive, Craig Wilkins.

“Adelaide is blessed to play host for half the year to an extraordinary amount of migratory shorebirds that travel from as far away as the Arctic to fatten up in Adelaide’s north before the long flight home.  This is a bird habitat of international significance, and it’s right and appropriate that it is acknowledged and protected in this way.

“An International Bird Sanctuary will sit beautifully alongside the already established Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary and the ecologically rich mangrove habitat at St Kilda to create a fabulous wildlife precinct within easy reach of the Adelaide CBD.

“We look forward to more details about how the site, including water flows, will be managed, and what scientific expert oversight will be put in place to ensure these visiting shorebirds thrive ,” he said.

The Conservation Council also welcomed Labor’s commitment of additional funding for essential monitoring of marine parks, and increasing community access of popular metropolitan parks and reserves.

Also at yesterday’s environment forum, Environment Spokesperson Michelle Lensink announced that the Liberal Party would give the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) a funding boost of $50K.  The EDO, a not-for-profit legal centre focused on protecting the state’s precious environment recently had its funding stripped away by the Federal Government, despite its highly valuable work.

“The Environmental Defenders office is an absolutely vital service for South Australians.  Although the announcement by the Liberal party is not a long term solution, this small leg up is a welcome acknowledgment of the EDO’s value to our state,” Mr Wilkins said.

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