Content concerning the environment, including urban forest.

St Peters Billabong Deputation

The St Peters Billabong is the largest community reserve in the council and is classified as ‘regional open space’. The park is zoned as part of the Linear Park (River Torrens). It is home to many species of native flora and fauna.

Since starting the petition, I have spoken with people of differing viewpoints. leading to more questions than answers. Tonight I will ask some of the most pressing questions.

In 2018, Barrister Ralph Bleechmore, a former St Peters councillor, Vietnam War Veteran and formerly active member of the Friends of the Billabong raised concerns with council about encroachment by houses along the top of the billabong. Thanks to Ralph’s efforts through Freedom of Information requests, 4 reports were released by the council. Reading the agenda tonight I note that it quotes from an unreleased Golder 2020 report. Why has this not been released to Mr Bleechmore?

St Peters Billabong Documents

This page contains documents related to the St Peters Billabong that provide reference information about the St Peters BIllabong which is part of the St Peters River Park.

Many of these documents were first obtained in response to Freedom of Information Requests submitted by Ralph Bleechmore. It is possible that council staff are withholding additional documents that should have been released under the Freedom of Information Requests.

Billabong Encroachment Petition

For several years SPRA have had concerns about encroachments and stability of the north-eastern bank of the billabong in the St Peters River Park. We are particularly concerned at the lack of any effective action by Council to address these concerns. This petition highlights some of those concerns and suggests some of the actions we would like to see taken. Council should proceed with the quantitative geotechnical survey to select an engineering solution that preserves the native flora and fauna.

photograph of bank and egret

History of St Peters River Park

The history provides a wealth of information from prior to European settlement through to the current day.

Denise Schumann, who was previously the Cultural Heritage Advisor, City of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters prepared a history of St Peters River Park in 2021. The St Peters Residents Association are pleased to reproduce this content for a wider audience to appreciate.

The document was obtained from council as the result of a Freedom of Information Request. The document has been split into six sections and is also available for download as a PDF

Tree of the Year Competition 2024

It has been suggested that SPRA should enter a local tree in the 2024 SA Tree of the Year Contest.

The organisers of the competition, 20 Metre Trees (facebook), will open nominations soon.

Do you know of a local tree that should be entered? If so, please contact Evonne Moore info@stpeters.asn.au and tell her why this tree is important to you. A story and photo will help in the application process. SPRA can assist with this.

Urban Forest Interim Report

State Parliament’s Environment Resources and Development Committee has been looking into the state of Adelaide’s tree canopy in the context of the concerns about the effect of residential subdivisions, urban infill and higher density living on the declining tree canopy in metropolitan Adelaide.

A Conservation Council report estimates that 75,000 trees a year are being lost from Greater Adelaide. A 2018 study estimated that 23% of metro Adelaide is covered by trees, with 52% being on private land, 26% on State government land and 11% on local government land.

Urban Forest Submission

A recent Conservation Council study estimated that Adelaide is losing about 75,000 trees a year. We submit that this is due to a range of factors including population growth, housing densification policy, life-style changes, a failure of the planning system to reserve space around built structures for vegetation and trees, weak legislative protection for existing trees, commercial development and powerline clearance. Government must encourage Council policies and tree species selection.

Influence of Linear Park on Coastal Water Quality

TThe densification of housing along the edges of the Linear Park negates decades of scientific advancement towards the improvement of coastal water quality and marine life. By infilling backyards with housing and concrete driveways, we reduce the area of land available for uptake of rainwater. Instead, rain falls onto roofing and concrete that is delivered into the storm water system, including the River Torrens. The River Torrens is part of an urban catchment that receives and carries pollutants from our urban activities to our coast. This delivery system has driven loss of marine life, with the larger population-sizes causing larger losses (Gorman et al. 2009).

It is worth knowing that our state scientists and managers have pursued environmental improvements needed to underpin the recreational and commercial values of coastal Adelaide. These improvements represent millions of dollars of investment in science and infrastructure for the long-term benefits of South Australia. By recognizing this pursuit and investment, a better considered 30 –Year Plan is needed for the long-term benefit of South Australians.