House of Assembly: Wednesday, April 10, 2024


AUKUS (Land Acquisition) Bill

Introduction and First Reading

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION (Taylor—Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Minister for Planning) (15:55): Obtained leave and introduced a bill for an act to facilitate the AUKUS submarine project by providing for the acquisition of certain land. Read a first time.

Standing Orders Suspension

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION (Taylor—Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Minister for Planning) (15:55): I move:

That standing orders be so far suspended as to enable the bill to be taken through all stages without delay.

The SPEAKER: An absolute majority is required. We will make careful count of the house. An absolute majority not being present, ring the bells.

An absolute majority of the whole number of members being present:

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: As an absolute majority of the whole number of members of the house is present, I accept the motion.

Motion carried.

Second Reading

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION (Taylor—Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Minister for Planning) (15:57): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I would like to begin by recognising the assistance of the opposition, including the member for Morphett, the member for Colton and the Hon. Michelle Lensink in the other place, for their assistance in bringing this legislation to the house today and I acknowledge the somewhat difficult logistics that that has all required. It is a powerful reminder that, when it comes to national security, both the government and the opposition have a very cooperative relationship that supports the national security goals of the Australian government.

On 15 March 2023, the Commonwealth of Australia and the state entered into a corporation agreement to support the delivery of the SSN-AUKUS, Australia's next-generation conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarine, which will be constructed in Osborne, South Australia. This is of and in the national interest, with Osborne becoming the home of Australia's submarine construction industry, making it a vital part of Australia's future defence and national security.

This legislation is being introduced to facilitate the delivery of the new submarine construction yard at Osborne by securing an important area of land currently owned by the City of Port Adelaide Enfield for inclusion in the package of land transfers between the state and commonwealth government. This land transfer, including the land owned by the council, is an important step towards ensuring that our state is ready to start building submarines. The exchange of land will also unlock thousands of high-quality, high-paying jobs in industries such as shipbuilding and inject billions of dollars into infrastructure.

As well as playing our part in this really critical national undertaking, AUKUS will transform South Australia's economy for generations. As a result of AUKUS, it is estimated that over the forward estimates $6 billion will be invested in the Australian industry and workforce and at least $2 billion invested in South Australian infrastructure alone. Development of the submarine construction yard, which is almost three times larger than the yard forecast for the previous Attack class program, will generate employment of up to 4,000 workers at its peak. This is in addition to the 4,000 to 5,500 direct jobs that are expected to be required to support the building of AUKUS submarines when the program reaches its peak.

The submarine program will also have a range of flow-on benefits beyond defence and construction work. This includes the opportunity to build and enhance our reputation both nationally and globally. Delivery of the SSN-AUKUS is the biggest project our state has ever seen, and South Australia must play its role in ensuring its success. Given the complexity and scale of this project, we must move quickly to ensure the submarine construction yard is ready to begin construction of our new submarines on schedule.

This bill facilitates the transfer of four allotments currently owned by the council to Renewal SA and ensures that the council is compensated for the current market value of the land to be vested with Renewal SA. Inclusion of this council land in the land transfers to the commonwealth will enable Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd (ANI) to better secure the perimeter of the new submarine construction yard and provide the opportunity for the development of a new access point to their facilities. The need for this bill arises from the cooperation agreement between the state and commonwealth government and the commonwealth time frame for establishing a new submarine construction yard at Osborne.

This legislation is being introduced to ensure that the development of the new submarine construction yard can go ahead as expeditiously as possible. Alternative pathways for securing the land will not meet the commonwealth's construction time frames due to the statutory processes and time frames associated with the revocation of community land under the Local Government Act 1999 and the compulsory acquisition processes under the Land Acquisition Act 1969.

In order to meet the critical program dates targeted by ANI, the land must be available by no later than July 2024. This will ensure site preparation and an early works package for a grade separated road and infrastructure services relocation so that they can commence, subject to any approvals, as soon as practicable. These early works are required to support the sustainment of the existing Osborne naval shipyard and as the enabler to future construction.

The bill will not affect the impact assessed development declaration that I recently made pursuant to the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, which requires ANI to prepare and publicly consult on an environmental impact statement as part of the planning processes for the submarine construction yard. State and federal environmental, social and economic impact assessments will be undertaken with federal approval under the commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which are required before the facility can be constructed.

The existing rights of infrastructure authorities within registered easements on the land are unaffected by the bill. However, other dedications and restrictions on the land, such as a community land classification under the Local Government Act, will be lifted to facilitate the transfer and future development of the land as a submarine construction yard. I commend the bill to parliament and I seek leave to have the explanation of clauses inserted in Hansard without my reading it.

Leave granted.

Explanation of Clauses

Part 1—Preliminary

1—Short title


These clauses are formal.


This clause defines terms used in the measure.

4—Application of Act

This clause sets out the relationship between this new Act and other Acts and laws of the State.

5—Certain requirements not to apply in relation to Act

This clause provides that certain requirements under other laws of the State—for example authorisations—that might otherwise apply in relation to this measure are not required to be satisfied.

Part 2—Acquisition of project land

6—Acquisition of project land

This clause acquires the project land, as defined, from the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and vests it in the Urban Renewal Authority.

7—Revocation of status of project land as community land

This clause revokes the existing classification of the project land as community land under the Local Government Act 1999.

8—Closure of roads

This clause closes any roads that form part of the project land.

Part 3—Compensation


This clause provides that the City of Port Adelaide Enfield is entitled to compensation in respect of the acquisition of the project land. The amount of compensation is to be equal to the market value of the project land, and the clause sets out the process for determining that market value.

Part 4—Miscellaneous

10—Duties of Registrar-General

This clause allows the Minister to direct the Registrar—General to take certain action related to the acquisition and vesting of the project land under this measure.

11—Stamp duty not payable

This clause provides that stamp duty is not payable in respect of the acquisition and vesting of the project land under this measure.


This clause is a regulation making power.

Schedule 1—Project land

1—Project land

This clause defines the project land.

Mr PATTERSON (Morphett) (16:04): I take the opportunity in parliament today to speak about the AUKUS (Land Acquisition) Bill. I indicate that I am the lead speaker for the opposition. It is not going to be an expansive discussion and debate. As the minister has said when he introduced this bill, it is done so on the basis of moving through in all stages today, and the opposition certainly does not seek to hold anything up. In fact, we look to work with the government on this.

The bill itself says it is an act to facilitate the AUKUS submarine project by providing for the acquisition of certain land. Of course, that land that we speak of is on the Lefevre Peninsula, up at Osborne, where already we have submarine and shipbuilding occurring. We have the Collins class submarine built there at Osborne and also, currently, the construction of the Hunter class frigates.

That site was envisaged to also take on the construction of the conventionally powered Attack class submarines until, back in September 2021, the former federal Liberal government announced the establishment of AUKUS, which really is a landmark trilateral security pact between three great allies that have supported each other way back to the 20th century: Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

A lot of it is driven by the uncertainty now in security challenges that are happening in and around the Indo-Pacific. The Indian Ocean used to be quite a benign maritime environment and, equally, since World War II the Pacific has been quite safe and secure. Of course, a massive amount of world trade goes through both those oceans and our country, being an exporting nation, is dependent on maritime security and safety in those two oceans.

This initiative looked at those security challenges, and of course the primary announcement around that AUKUS agreement was that Australia would look to acquire nuclear-powered submarines and that they would be built in South Australia. The first undertaking as part of that was to look at what would be the optimal path to achieving this.

I talked about the Attack class submarines. They were conventionally armed and had an estimated cost of around $90 billion. These nuclear-powered submarines are a big step up in terms of projected costs, anywhere up to about $350 billion. It is a massive undertaking for our country in terms of its budget, but the reason for looking at that is the utility and the capability that these nuclear-powered submarines would provide the Australian Navy. The range, the ability to stay secretive and hidden, and the asymmetric aspect that nuclear-powered submarines have justify and warrant that, in terms of looking after the security and defence of our nation.

It should really be emphasised that it was a key decision for the nation's security, but it will have massive impacts in South Australia, because, of course, as I said, Osborne is the site that was earmarked for where those submarines would be built. They are massive platforms. They are many times bigger than the Collins class. I think the Collins class is about 3,000 to 3,500 tonnes, compared with these submarines, which are upwards of 11,000 tonnes. You can see it is a massive difference between the two. That just gives a bit of a sense of how big an undertaking it would be.

Moving on, in March 2023, the current Prime Minister reinforced what the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire nuclear submarines would be and also confirmed that the construction of those submarines would be at Osborne. That pathway, how to do it, is such a big undertaking. It is going to take a lot of time. In the interim, it is envisaged that this AUKUS pact will deliver Australia a conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarine capability by the 2030s by purchasing between three and five of the US's Virginia class submarines. Of course, the US military complex have to make sure that the ability to do that is there, that they have themselves been able to continue to manufacture enough submarines for their purposes. I will touch on that a bit later.

Those submarines will get us through a capability gap. After that, we would look to continue on with the introduction of nuclear-powered submarines via our own submarines built here at Osborne. The design for that SSN-AUKUS would be based on a UK design, which is their next-generation design. They have the Astute class. It is their next-generation design. Importantly, it would incorporate technology from both the US and the UK. While it is UK-designed, it would include combat systems and a propulsion system from the US.

This is significant in terms of the US as well, providing their technology to an ally. They have only ever done that for the UK, which of course is party to this AUKUS agreement, and now Australia. It speaks volumes to the respect that our nation, a middle power, has been able to impress upon what is a superpower through decades, over a century, of working alongside each other and showing capability as well.

Of course, the opposition, the South Australian Liberal Party, is very supportive of the announcement back in September 2021, and as I said in this house last year as well, it continues to be very supportive of the direction that AUKUS is going and where it could go. It will take many years to reach fruition and then ongoing decades and decades of effort by the state, so it requires bipartisan support both at the federal level and also at the state level as well.

The opposition was made aware of this bill here before us yesterday and was expeditiously provided a briefing this morning on the bill, noting that the government's intention is to move this through the House of Assembly today. We appreciate the fact that the briefing was fulsome and was able to really let us understand the reasons and motivations for it.

Principally, as has been explained by the minister, it is to help facilitate the commonwealth to continue on their critical pathway to ensure the construction time line. Where I talked about the purchase of initially Virginia class submarines, where the US stands to benefit, moving over to the design and the first of type SSN-AUKUS being built in the UK, so in the middle term the UK benefiting, and then afterwards the construction of the submarine at Osborne, so in the longer term South Australia benefiting and looking to have a submarine constructed and in the water by 2042.

That seems a long way off, but, as has been said many times, it is such a massive undertaking and requires effort from day one. It cannot be allowed to drift and just meander along. It is pleasing to see that the commonwealth is really working hard to ensure that that deadline, that time line, remains intact. The first part of that, of course, is to build the actual submarine shipyard itself.

Previously, I talked about Osborne and the Collins class and the Hunter class. I will maybe talk about the Hunter frigates and the construction to that shipyard that was required to produce, manufacture and construct a world's best surface fleet ship in the Hunter class. There was $500 million of funding put towards the construction of a number of various very large sheds to enable the Hunter class ship to be built at that shipyard.

As I have had the opportunity to do, when standing on the hill at Seacliff or Seaview, looking north towards Port Adelaide, you can now quite prominently see on the horizon those big sheds. Those big sheds, being in a greenfield site, have allowed for that shipbuilding to be done in a contemporary and modern environment. To have it set up as a digital shipyard takes effort upfront but, of course, where that will pay off is down the track with the digitisation and the advantages that that brings, such as with welding processes, will speed the process up.

The commentary around that, when you talk to BAE, which is building those Hunter class frigates, is that where similar frigates are being built in the Glasgow shipyards, that is based on a shipyard that is over 100 years old. So, effectively, a shipyard that was building ships to be delivered for World War I is now trying to deliver ships through to the 2030s, whereas in Australia at Osborne we have been able to build a modern and contemporary shipyard on a greenfield site.

That opportunity again presents itself in terms of building the shipyard for the nuclear-powered submarines. The actual size and scale of it is significantly expanded compared with what it was going to be for the Attack class submarines—I think about three times the size of the Attack class. That is built up over a number of parcels of land, originally where the Attack class was going to be built, but some of that land takes in land that is not owned by the state but owned by Port Adelaide Enfield council, which is the subject of this bill.

Of course, the state has entered into a land transfer agreement with the commonwealth to allow land to be transferred to the commonwealth which would then, through the ANI, go about building these shipyards. One of the important pieces of land which was pointed out at the briefing and which is contained within this bill is not owned by the state government but in fact by the Port Adelaide Enfield council. To be able to transfer that land across to the commonwealth and allow them to continue the building of the shipyard requires consideration of how that land can be transferred across from the council. It is my understanding that the council is a willing participant; I have not heard that directly, but from the briefing.

The way that a traditional transfer of land from a council to a state government would go would be through the Local Government Act. The land itself, I think, is deemed community land, so there is a process where consultation would have to be undertaken to revoke that community land status, and then to transfer it to the state government. My experience with councils in these matters is that that can take a significantly long time. We have heard that the commonwealth seeks to have this land transfer completed and finalised by July 2024—so in only a few short months. It would be simply unrealistic to expect that to happen.

Equally, if the state government was to compulsorily acquire it via existing acts such as the Land Acquisition Act—which is discussed in part 4 of the act—again, there are time frames there that would span well past the July 2024 time frame. The introduction of this bill seeks to overcome that in a way that does not prejudice the Port Adelaide Enfield council. By all accounts, they will be compensated for that at market value. The bill seeks to allow that land to be transferred across and for the shipyard to have continuous ownership from the commonwealth in the areas that it requires.

As I said before, it is about 70 hectares of land, which would allow for what is a massive undertaking. Certainly, it will be the biggest undertaking in the state's history, but it is vital for the nation's security, as I have outlined previously. South Australia will be pivotal to that, so it is really important for our nation's security and also for our relationship with our allies, the UK and the US, that this is a success and that it sticks to the time lines. South Australia really has the privilege, but also the responsibility, of stepping up and making sure that we do everything we can to ensure that this undertaking is a success. This bill forms part of that.

We know that the outcome of building these submarines is going to be huge for the state in terms of the ability to provide economic activity and to provide support for our defence industries. It has been said that around 5,000 direct jobs will be created from the submarine building, but the actual construction of the shipyards is going to be a massive undertaking as well. It will be demonstrably bigger than the Hunter class shipyard build, ergo there will be many more thousands of jobs there. Billions of dollars are being spent on setting up this shipyard, compared to the $500 million for the Hunter class.

It will take many years—12 years in all—to go through the entire shipbuilding in stages. The question might be, 'This is going to take so long; why is this being rushed through parliament?' but, realistically, there is a critical pathway that the project is on, and this bill forms part of it. The opposition, as I have said previously, have provided bipartisan support for the AUKUS shipbuilding. We see it as really important for Australia and South Australia, and so we would make sure that we are in lockstep supporting the government in making sure that the commonwealth can play their part.

There is another aspect of that shipyard and where it sits at the moment. The UK has their submarine shipbuilding, where the SSN-AUKUS will be, at Barrow-in-Furness. Principally, the reason for the existence of Barrow-in-Furness is to build submarines. The whole town is geared towards that. There are skills academies there as well.

Similarly, the UK has two yards where they build submarines. We have heard commentary only very recently about the pressures that those shipyards are under. They are meant to basically have a production line of these submarines for the US Navy, putting out two a year. They are behind in their schedules to the point where the commentary was that the 2025 order has been reduced to one because, realistically, the throughput is not there, and they need to get that going.

By having a very modern dual-purpose shipyard and submarine-building yard at Osborne, it will be the world's best, you would have to say. There would be no other shipyard that is dual purpose, such as Osborne. It will play a vital role in submarine building for the UK, the US and Australia because it will allow our shipyard to be integrated into that supply chain. Certainly, as I discussed before, in the medium-term the UK stands to benefit because they are building the first of type for this SSN-AUKUS. They already have their defence industrial complex geared towards feeding in for the Astute, which you would expect to translate across to the SSN-AUKUS. BAE, which has been awarded the contract here for Australia, is the builder over there.

The defence companies in the UK are integrated in the supply chain. What we need to be very cognisant of is giving as much opportunity for South Australian defence companies, and the Australian defence companies more broadly, to participate in the supply chain. The way to do that is to be ready and for the building capability to be feeding into the supply chain as soon as possible, so that if there are delays, we would not want the case where the UK's supply chain is so advanced that our South Australian defence industry would be precluded.

Hence why this land acquisition bill, enabling the commonwealth to start on its critical pathway, should be supported: to make sure there are no delays, so that the submarine that is first built here in South Australia is in the water by 2042, such that the ambition to have manufacturing construction in this decade at Osborne is able to continue. For that reason as well, it is another imperative that the opposition is supporting in this bill because it will give vast opportunities to South Australian companies.

It will also create confidence. I talked about the 5,000 direct jobs. There are also many other high-quality jobs, and these are long-term jobs because the undertaking is for many decades. The opportunity for training is also vitally important. People will see a horizon and actually see a near-term opportunity to work in this undertaking. They are not training and then having to wait through some sort of valley so that they have to go off and look for work in other sectors. Again, I am trying to emphasise the importance of that.

In the briefing, one of the natural questions over and above was whether the Port Adelaide Enfield council is a willing partner to this. There were other questions about the impact on the land itself that is being compulsorily acquired. By all accounts, when you look at it, it is land that is similar to the surrounding land insofar as it is not heavily activated and has a biodiversity utility, but, from that perspective, you could say there is not a lot of human use.

One aspect and a consequence of this is that access to some of the other land in proximity could be well affected by this. One of those areas is Mutton Cove. It is a conservation area, pretty much salt marsh and has a fair bit of birdlife there. The public can get access to that, not that it is done for recreation so much as for people looking to continue conservation. One consideration could be that, while the Friends of Mutton Cove provide some assistance in the conservation of that area, maybe some funds could be provided—I think DEW has responsibility at the moment—for that area, such that it does not require as much active stewardship from community groups to keep it maintained because, regarding access, it will be effectively landlocked for everyday use. There will be the allowance of some access but on a more managed basis. They are certainly some considerations that would jump to mind in the short time that this bill has been before the house and in the time prior to that. I am certain that those aspects will be looked at in due course.

In summary, the opposition, as I have said before, are very supportive of AUKUS from when it was first announced and continuing to where we are here. We know that it will strengthen the country's military capacity, it will strengthen South Australian defence industry capacity, and it will certainly provide you would say a step change in the skills base and the quality of jobs that are available here in South Australia. So we maintain our support for that and I think the fact that we are happy to work in an expeditious manner with the government to see this pass through the lower house also emphasises the support that the Liberal opposition has here in South Australia for the AUKUS agreement.

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (16:32): I rise to speak to the AUKUS (Land Acquisition) Bill 2024 and note the speed at which this legislation is hoped to be expedited through the house. It is an unusual speed and barely used. I know we had similar speed with the anti-protester legislation in the not too distant past. and I guess on the same scale as this, to a degree, was the Olympic Dam legislation several years ago where BHP was proposing to open the top up of their mine at Roxby  Downs. It would have taken years of scraper operations. I think, from memory, it was a $30 billion project and it would have really opened up and realised great access to that copper resource which has—my son did tell me because he has worked up there—somewhere over 1,200 kilometres of underground roads; it might be closer to 1,600, and it is a great boon for the state.

We did work together in a bipartisan way in the parliament to do what we could to get that done. In the end, BHP pulled the trigger and did not do that, and I can understand why. I think it was going to be four years of scraper operations. As I said, I think it was a $30 billion project just to get down to the ore body. I know that the mine is at least 500 metres deep, so that is a lot of earth to move at a great cost. What we are seeing here with the land acquisition bill is compulsory acquisition on a grand scale. One of the clauses in relation to the bill is where certain requirements are not to apply in relation to the act. It states:

Except as may be prescribed by the regulations, no—

(a) assessment, decision, consent, approval, authorisation, certificate, licence, permit or permission; or

(b) consultation, notification or other procedural step,

I tell you what, if we applied that to every proposed development in South Australia we would get some stuff done but we would probably upset a lot of people. This is a bit of a tangent but, certainly, when it comes to planning decisions at a local government level—and I have talked to people seeking home approvals—it can take two years to get development approval, especially in this time where we are in a housing shortage. As I said, this is compulsory acquisition at a grand level.

I am interested that we were only presented with a briefing earlier today at lunchtime. I appreciate that we did get a briefing with people involved with the project, such as Renewal SA and people directly involved in setting this land up, because the AUKUS project is vital for the security of this country and it exemplifies the cohesion we have with Great Britain and America, and there are clues that Japan may come on board as well.

It is a huge project, notwithstanding any issues with production of Virginia-class submarines in America where there is talk about cutting back production per year. We will be purchasing I think three Virginia-class submarines. Obviously, these are nuclear-powered submarines but conventionally armed.

After all the decades and years of essentially not going anywhere with nuclear, I think it shows how not just the state but the country has matured in its broadening of its thoughts towards having nuclear reactors in submarines that can literally last for the full lifecycle of the submarines. They are saying these submarines will last about 32 years. The sealed unit will be transported to Australia as a sealed unit with other apparatus, with whatever operating features have to go in the submarine. Essentially, you are building a nuclear-powered steam turbine, so obviously there would be a lot of apparatus tied in with that.

Certainly, when I went on the trip to Finland, France and England about 10 years ago when there was a royal commission into storing nuclear spent rods or waste, whichever you want to call it, we certainly saw and heard about how that material is transported. It is all under international regulation. That involves waste and I am sure that a nuclear reactor would be under the same or very similar protocols where you would have at least double-skin boats and there are other protective measures that are in place that they are not going to let out, and I understand that. It is under very strict protocols.

You just have to think about Lucas Heights, the small reactor we have in Sydney, which had to do something with storing its own spent material. What happens is that, instead of double-shipping, a ship comes from somewhere overseas where there is obviously other spent material generated, bringing the amount of spent fuel that has been reconstituted to whichever level it might be, which might be just in spent rods that have sat underwater for many years to take the heat out of them.

It is interesting that I was told when I was overseas that a metre of water neutralises the radiation from rods that are just fresh, hot out of a reactor, but obviously they use far more safety balance when doing that. I saw pictures of spent rods essentially in swimming pool-like conditions, with people walking around with shirts and shorts and no worries.

We also visited some low and medium-level spent rod waste facilities in Finland, which were basically a couple of silos in the ground. About 20 metres was atop of them and 20 metres underneath—no big deal. It was just like a shed door where you went through, walked down and they have these two silos. There are yellow marks and they do give you a little radiation reader just in case there is something, and I understand that, but they take school groups down there to see what is going on.

Finland has a very mature nuclear industry with some big reactors. I may be wrong, but I think there were a couple of around 800 megawatt reactors, and they were building a 1,600 megawatt reactor. There was a contest for people to have the right to get the jobs to work on these facilities near their town. Back then, and it is probably getting close to 50 years now, they were saying that for 38 years they had been developing their protocols on burying their own waste.

We went underground 500 metres looking at how spent rods would be sealed in steel tubes which were wrapped in copper and placed in a slot 500 metres down with bentonite poured around that, cement poured around that, and there is probably another layer of cement. By this time the engineers are rolling their eyes knowing that the risk level is that low it is hardly worth talking about, and then you have 500 metres of rock to the surface.

I know I have spoken about it in this place before, but in the bigger picture I think that would be a far better option than all the spent fuel that is on the surface of the earth as we speak right around the world. Even in England, there are at least 120 tonnes of plutonium in the Lake District, one of the most beautiful places in England. This spent plutonium was generated in World War II in developing the first atom bombs and I certainly think that would be a far better thing buried deep underground.

Getting back to the material sent to Sydney, it will be processed material that was identical to unprocessed material that was spent fuel from the reactor which would be swapped over at Sydney. My understanding is that that is in a barrel-type structure and completely safe. You can walk right up to it evidently as spent fuel, and the other material would be sent back overseas to be processed because you can turn the spent rods into MOX fuel where it goes down to about 20 per cent of its size. It is completely unusable then, whereas spent fuel rods that are buried can be dug up and reprocessed and used in one way, shape or form. Finland used to export their spent rods to Russia, but for fairly obvious reasons they legislated not to do that anymore because they did not want them coming back in any way, shape or form.

In relation to this, I understand the acquisition that is going here. As I have said before in this house, my grandfather and father were involved in 1939 with land acquisition at Angle Vale for the weapons dumps near the Northern Expressway; that was Pederick land. Eleven years later, in 1950, some of the Edinburgh air base was one of our farms as well. My cousin said to me the other day that he thinks it is in the middle of the runway there somewhere. It is near Heaslip Road anyway, and I will have a look one day when I have a bit more time to see if I can find the old land titles.

So I certainly understand the bit about land acquisition, but that would have been a process I am sure even then to go through. Mind you, obviously in 1939 there was a war on and that may have been quickened as well.

As part of the whole process of the land swap and acquisition, one thing that disturbs me is what has happened at Keswick. Certainly, in talking to people serving in the Army and veterans from the Army, one thing that is notable is the ties that individuals from this state have to Keswick Barracks and the history and camaraderie of the units and the people who have served there over time. I have been to several functions and memorabilia days, and they do a great job there.

But evidently Keswick has been done and dusted. It has been transferred, and it is already on a leaseback process. That has certainly caused some angst. Running into a couple of senior Army people and meeting with them one day, I was quite disturbed by one comment, when they had a meeting with the government. I do not know who they met with, but they told me the comment they got back when they talked about the military history in relation to Keswick. They were told the answer was 'white man's history'.

I find that a bit offensive, saying Keswick is just about white man's history. I think it is a slap in the face for our Aboriginal service men and women who have served over the years, going back to World War I before they could even vote. I have talked about Peter Craigie in this place, whose grandfather and my great-grandfather are one and the same person on different lines. He was a World War I serviceman and Aboriginal. His mother was Bunny Roxborough from South West Queensland. Obviously with a name like Craigie, his father was a Scotsman, from the Scottish side of my family.

I found that disturbing, if nothing else, because that answer demeans the service of people who could not even vote. I am glad that that has changed, many years ago. Aboriginal people, especially in earlier times, were prepared to lay down their lives for their country when they could not even vote. All service men and women who serve are prepared to lay down their life, but when you are not allowed to vote, I think that is next level. I remember, years ago now, when we repatriated Miller Mack's body from West Terrace Cemetery. He was a World War I soldier, who died after he got home from—I might have it wrong—tuberculosis. That was quite a moving ceremony, transferring Miller Mack to the Raukkan cemetery at Narrung.

Keswick has happened. There is that leaseback. I know that there is much concern amongst the Army. We had that conversation in the briefing. With the change in world dynamics, we see those many service men and women who have been transferred to Edinburgh in recent years getting told to up stumps to Darwin and Townsville. Quite frankly, I think—well, I know; I do not just think—there is a lot of difficulty for many of those families who have found it very handy living here, either in or around Adelaide near the base. It is a fact that military life is tough. People get shifted to many, many different locations, obviously depending on the length of their career. It does certainly have a huge effect on families.

Certainly, it would have been much better to have had this bill introduced a couple of weeks earlier. I am a bit stunned that we did not have that opportunity. Everyone has been talking about AUKUS for what almost seems like years, but probably many months is a better description. Before that, we talked about submarine building. Obviously, the option was to go with the French diesel subs and now it is the nuclear-powered ones heading into the future.

I certainly take my hat off to people who serve in the submarine fleet. I had a chance to go on a Collins class submarine recently, and you will not get me going underwater in a tin can, I can assure you. I am probably a bit taller than most submariners anyway, but when you see that sailors still sleep amongst the torpedoes on very narrow bunks it is interesting. I take my hat off to everyone who serves, but especially those people who are prepared to go away in submarines.

I note that as long as nuclear submarines have food on board they do not need to go home. I have heard of deployments of six months. I said, 'How do you get on with that?' They said, 'You just stack food down the walkways. You put a layer of something, whether it is light wood or something over that, and you put another row of tins.' They did make a bit of joke; they said, 'Fresh food doesn't last long.' I guess that is gone in the first week. I really take my hat off to people who are prepared to do that service.

This is extraordinary, as I said before, in the fact that this acquisition is being done with the local council involved and no consultation whatsoever. The most interesting thing is that the transfer will take place without an agreed value on the land. I note the various clauses in the bill that state how that will be operated. Essentially, it will be on agreed market value. That has to come through the negotiations after things move, but the idea is to get the ink on the paper.

It is the reverse of any other deal I have heard of. I do understand to a degree why it is happening, but I think we could have had more notice, especially in opposition. I know that we are going through the process here so it can be laid on the table once it goes to the upper house, so there may be some more questions raised in the other place.

Notwithstanding that, with the very brief knowledge that we have—and I do acknowledge the briefing that we had—I note our support for this, because the defence of our country is something we must do. I just hope that as the negotiations get underway for working out the agreed market value they are completed in the proper spirit. I know there is going to be a bit of to-and-fro. I am sure the right outcome will come, but it is certainly the reverse of most deals that get done. In saying that, we do support the bill.

Bill read a second time.

Committee Stage

In committee.

Clause 1.

Mr PATTERSON: The bill is the AUKUS (Land Acquisition) Bill. We are having to deal with this expeditiously. Maybe the minister could provide a bit of a description to the committee around confirming time lines and why this had to be put through so quickly, noting that it is not until July that the commonwealth needs to have this signed off.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: I thank the opposition member for his question. There is a complex interaction between the deeds that the state government and the commonwealth have signed around facilitating this very important project. As we have discussed in our second reading contributions, there are the complexities of the Local Government Act in terms of community land revocation and the Urban Renewal Act in regard to land acquisition for urban renewal purposes—and that includes matters of industrial land as well, which effectively is what this submarine construction yard is—and the desire to get development approval and begin early works. There is a very complex interaction between those three things and the timing of those three things.

We took some time examining other acts, particularly our own act and the Urban Renewal Act. There are compulsory acquisition powers under the Urban Renewal Act, but they are, I think for reasons the member for Hammond talked about, suitably procedurally methodical, shall we say, in order to make sure that compulsory land acquisition is done properly. It is not something we do lightly. In this case, I would say that this is a very unique situation. It is unique because it involves local government as well.

We have thought carefully about it. We think this legislation is critically important and the passage of it is critically important to allow those early works. We want to facilitate it through the Office for AUKUS. Of course, Renewal SA is the implementation agency of these things, but we want to facilitate the commonwealth beginning those early works because, I think as the member referred to in his own second reading contribution, every day of delay can be catastrophic for submarine construction.

Mr PATTERSON: Further to that, at what stage did the commonwealth notify the South Australian government that this needed to be all concluded in 2024? Do you believe that gave you sufficient time? It has been in the pipeline a while, from what I understand, around potentially looking at this piece of land. The government went away, you are saying, and did some investigations around going through the existing legislation and how that would work. The pertinent point would be: have you just found out about this July 2024 time line very recently, or has that been known for quite a while?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: As I said before, there is a complex land transfer. We got some preliminary ideas in November last year, when the land deed process was begun. There has been quite a series of interactions over time, which we are implementing essentially on behalf of the Office for AUKUS, which is in the Premier's portfolio. As ANI have constructed their plans for construction, ours have crystallised. You could say that our, if you like, time lines crystallised about six weeks ago. One of the things is the complex interaction of the commonwealth time line, the land transfers and, if you like, the normal state of development approvals.

Obviously, if we had more time, if the commonwealth had more time, we would use the Urban Renewal Act to do this. It would not be straightforward, it is a process under the act, but that is what we would do if we had time. The question here is that the commonwealth has indicated they want to get going by July and we want to facilitate that and I guess we are reliant on a loyal opposition as well to facilitate that.

Mr PEDERICK: Just on that, minister, certainly I understand that yes, it has to be done, but it is not as if this has jumped in our face from left field. We have all talked about the land swap provisions for a long, long time now. I know the federal government had to go through a process, but we all knew that was coming so my belief is that we could have completed this legislation earlier, whether it was used or not. It could have been set in place to be used notwithstanding the fact that obviously it does have extraordinary powers and probably the thought was that we can just go the compulsory acquisition process either way.

This is not news today. This has been news for a long, long time, years now, that we were going to have this submarine project coming on, so I guess my point, and the member for Morphett has been making it as well, is that this legislation could have been moved a long time ago, I believe. You might tell me differently, but it could have been set in place and I guess what I am saying is whether it was utilised or not.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: First of all, I acknowledge the short briefing time. Once we realised we were on quite a tight time line we endeavoured to get a pretty comprehensive briefing from both Renewal SA and from ANI to the opposition. We have endeavoured to answer the questions.

Even if we had begun in November, we still could not have met the provisions of the Local Government Act, which do not have an end point. We all have had that experience with local councils. I fought community land revocations in Elizabeth, for instance, where I did not see that they were in the public interest, with public land adjacent to Main North Road. The Local Government Act is probably deliberately cumbersome.

Even if we use the powers of the Urban Renewal Act, even if we had immediate foresight or the commonwealth had informed us that that was necessary, we still could not have met the time lines because the advice to me is that that would take at least nine months to put in place. I think we always would have ended up with legislation like this, given the circumstances.

It is not possible for the City of Port Adelaide Enfield to relinquish that land. It is not possible for us to compulsorily acquire the land under the Urban Renewal Act. It would be fair to say that the commonwealth had not perhaps communicated to the state government with the forcefulness that was required. I think they probably did not have a good understanding of South Australian legislation and the requirements. When it became clear to us that we had to act with some speed, we have now had to do all the things we have done over the course of the last parliamentary week. With the benefit of hindsight, I would have preferred to do it differently, but we are dealing with the situation as we find it.

Clause passed.

Clause 2.

Mr PATTERSON: Once the bill has passed through both houses it comes in on a day fixed by proclamation. Once it goes through the houses, what are your time frames, just to give clarity around what you are expecting? I would expect it to be quite quick.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: We have said proclamation because we want to begin compulsory acquisition by the beginning of May, so that is why we are doing it that way.

Clause passed.

Clause 3.

Mr PATTERSON: Maybe just to help the committee, if you could provide—I know we have the map here of the project land as outlined on paper—a description around that land, what its use is, and maybe what community groups and organisations might currently be using it.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: There is a map in the bill. Essentially, the bottom of it is a small park with a large drainage swale in it. It has a small shelter. As I understand it, it is not a park that is used very much. The other piece of land is a dirt road and a high-powered voltage line easement as well. We have all been to Osborne; essentially this is land that is within that precinct.

Mr PATTERSON: In terms of these parcels of land, are there any environmental considerations that need to be taken into account or given carriage to the commonwealth?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: None that we are advised of.

Mr PATTERSON: Further to that, are there any community organisations that use this land and, if so, are there other alternatives they could have to use in its place?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: I do not think these particular parts of land have high community use. There is an access question for Mutton Cove, but the advice that we have had from ANI is that they will manage that process once the submarine construction yard is constructed. Obviously, there will be security issues around that. These are matters that lie outside this bill, but our advice is that they will manage that for the community.

Mr PEDERICK: I raise these questions hoping they are appropriate under the title of project land under this clause. We were briefed that there are two gas lines that probably need relocation, and a powerline, noting that I think there are only two or maybe three people in the world who can put hot taps into gas lines. I wonder where the government is at already in their negotiations with the relevant bodies in regard to the relocation of both major gas lines and the major powerlines.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: My advice is that ANI are dealing with all of that, as the relevant commonwealth agency. If the member looks at part 2 of the bill—and we might cover this when we get to it—clause 6(2) lists a number of electricity easements that are relevant to this particular schedule of lands, but there is no gas easement over it.

Clause passed.

Clause 4.

Mr PATTERSON: In the application of this act it says:

This Act has effect despite any other Act or law of the State.

It then also provides in subclause (3):

(3) The Land Acquisition Act 1969 and the Local Government Act 1999 do not apply to the acquisition or vesting of the project land under this Act.

The question, as it has been explained in the briefing, is around those two acts. Are there any other acts that are expected to be impacted or overridden by this, or is it something that may come up so it is providing protection? At this point in time, you are not aware of any other act?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: I talked a bit before about the various options available to the government. The references in this particular section refer to those options: land acquisition, local government—that is what it is referring to. Obviously, we are confident this enables us to get a specific job or a specific task done in order to facilitate AUKUS. These are relatively small parcels of land in the context of the entire submarine yard, but they are crucial because of their placement. There is a specific act for a specific task.

Mr PATTERSON: To reconfirm, there are no other acts other than those mentioned in subclause (3) that you are expecting to be affected by this at this point in time? If you could provide some reasoning as to why subclause (1) is in place and would not be covered by subclause (3).

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: I think it is a belt and braces approach, is the way I would answer. We want to make sure that we can acquire this land so that we can facilitate, given the commonwealth's very tight time frames. We want to make sure that we can acquire this land, get the task done, so that work can begin.

Clause passed.

Clause 5.

Mr PATTERSON: As was pointed out by the member for Hammond in his second reading contribution, it talks about 'Except as may be prescribed by the regulations', so unless the regulations say that, there will be no assessment decision, consent, approval, authorisation, certificate, licence, permit or permission required under this law. Going forward, once this has been enacted, this law that sees Renewal SA take ownership and then, via the transfer agreement, pass on to the commonwealth—just to confirm—this does not extinguish any applications being required by the commonwealth for any development? This is just pertaining to the time that this act is effectively in operation because it is a short-lived act, realistically.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: Of course, commonwealth law would always overcome the state law in this instance, particularly because of defence power and other things, but it just relates to the state laws and ensures we can get the task done.

Mr PATTERSON: My question was not totally clear. The task is done, the land is acquired and then transferred across to the commonwealth. Effectively, this provision ceases to exist and any development applications or consultation that the commonwealth may so wish to do or will be required by state law to do would have to occur? I take the point that the commonwealth can override things—defence imperative—but I think it is their intention to try to, where they can, comply with development applications.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: Essentially that is correct. If you look at my second reading speech, I referred to the EIS that we are doing under the state planning law on this project to facilitate it again and it will not affect those processes. So effectively it just relates to the land in this bill. After that, the normal laws of the state apply to the overall project.

Mr PEDERICK: I just note that you said that an environmental impact study is being undertaken. I am a bit intrigued that that is one thing that has not been overridden like everything else has. Look, it is a good thing obviously to have an impact statement but every other act, notwithstanding, has been overridden, so I guess I am intrigued more for interest sake than anything as to why the environmental concerns were not overridden. I am not saying that they should have been but it is interesting that that is one area that is being looked at when all of these other areas are not.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: We are operating on advice from ANI about what needs to occur to facilitate these early works, and so the bill is deliberately contained to enabling that, just the acquisition of the land in question. In terms of the impact assessed development declaration that I recently made under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act, that still requires ANI to prepare and publicly consult on an environmental impact statement as part of the planning processes for the submarine construction yard and, of course, the commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 will also apply in this case. So we are not trying to do anything outside of the task of compulsorily acquiring these particular allotments of land.

Mr PEDERICK: The reason I ask that, and I am not a lawyer, is that in 4(1)—Application of Act it states, 'This Act has effect despite any other Act or law of the State.' I do not know if you want to expand any more but I am assuming that just puts any other act away. I am not saying we should not have an environmental impact statement but everything else has been overridden.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: That clause is read in relation to this act and it only applies to the compulsory acquisition of the land.

Mr TEAGUE: I am catching up. We are moving through this fairly rapidly so it is a question that might apply to the subject matter of clause 5. I note that in clause 4(3) there is express exclusion of the Land Acquisition Act 1969. I wonder, perhaps for the record, for the benefit of the committee, what are the particular crunch points that mean that the Land Acquisition Act cannot be used as the mode of acquisition in this case?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: We are talking about the interaction between the Land Acquisition Act and the Urban Renewal Act. The Urban Renewal Act gives the Urban Renewal Authority and the minister certain powers to compulsorily acquire land for the purposes of urban renewal or industrial projects, but to the best of my advice the Urban Renewal Authority has never done that. It is a power that has sat in the act for some time but never been utilised by governments of either persuasion.

As I understand it, though, the Land Acquisition Act, where it is used—and we can all name the projects in here—has a set of procedures and methods in it, for good reason I think. The quickest that that process can move is around nine months, but that can, obviously, if it is subject to challenges around valuation and the like, move out much higher.

We are endeavouring here to deal with four allotments of land that are held by the Port Adelaide Enfield council. We do not think that there will be that much debate about market valuation, but we feel confident that we can work with the City of Port Adelaide Enfield to do that and this allows us to expedite that process.

Mr TEAGUE: Just to particularise that in a small way, the section 10 process in the Land Acquisition Act starts out by providing that notice of intention to acquire land occur and then, as the minister has adverted just now, there is a process there, provided it is not native title land, for there to be response and a form of back and forth and all the rest of it.

I understand the minister's answer to be that, inevitably, that takes nine months or so. I do not know if it is on the record expressly but my understanding is that the owner is not unwilling in the present circumstances. So the question is only, perhaps by reference to that particular set of requirements in section 10 and maybe anything else, in circumstances where there is actually a willing owner, whether it is in fact possible to achieve any better expedited process.

If not, I would just note that in passing it might be a cause for reflection on the efficacy of the Land Acquisition Act 1969 and whether or not there might be cause for amendment of that act in circumstances where all relevant participants happen to want the transfer to occur knowing that it is inevitably going to happen. I will just put that to one side. The question I think is: where you have a willing owner, are there particular reasons why, notwithstanding everybody's willingness, it has to take that period of time?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: As I think we discussed earlier, it is the interaction between the Land Acquisition Act on one hand but also the Local Government Act on the other. The member talked about willing sellers. If we had a private seller, frankly, this might be a lot easier. In this case, because it is a local government entity, because it is land that is under a community land title, it means that the revocation process would have to be followed and there is no time limit on that, and they can often take quite a bit of time. I think I referred to the fact that we have all had experiences of that in our local communities.

Clause passed.

Clause 6.

Mr PATTERSON: In terms of the acquisition of this project land, just so I can be clear and the committee can be clear in its understanding, subclause (1) states, 'The project land is, by force of this section, vested in the Urban Renewal Authority in fee simple.' In terms of the time frames, this bill passes the houses and then, as we talked about, part 2 talks about the act coming in by proclamation. Is the land vested to the Urban Renewal Authority the day that it is proclaimed? We will talk later about the compensation side of things. Is there a process between proclamation and it landing in the Urban Renewal Authority's charge?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: My advice is that it is an immediate vestment to the Urban Renewal Authority.

Mr PATTERSON: In that clause, it says that the land continues to maintain the easements and details those via subclause (2), but then subclause (1) states that the Urban Renewal Authority has this land vested in fee simple, free from dedications, encumbrances, estates and interests. So, are there any known dedications, encumbrances, estates or interests to make the committee aware of at this stage?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: Apart from its status as community land and the road, which are in part 2, all the rest are listed in part 6.

Clause passed.

Clause 7 passed.

Clause 8.

Mr PATTERSON: I feel this is probably the best place in the committee stage to ask these questions. You have closure of roads. You did helpfully describe the parcels of land, so they are not just blocks of green on the map, and identified that the thinner sections that make their way out to the Port River have roads on them. This act effectively goes about the process of closing those roads in lieu of the normal local government process, whatever we have to consult, so it effectively allows that to happen immediately.

The effect of that seems to me to be then that, once these parcels of land are vested in the Urban Renewal Authority and then sent over to the commonwealth, it would mean that the public would no longer have access in any meaningful way to Mutton Cove, effectively making it landlocked; if you could you confirm that that is the case. Should it be the case, if you could then talk through in a bit more detail than what we have discussed in our second reading contributions what is the expectation for access to Mutton Cove for people who generally want to help with its conservation, because it is quite a biodiverse area; it is important for birdlife.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: This will be a secure commonwealth facility, and I think we are all mindful of the heightened geopolitical environment we are in. As you point out, Mutton Cove will become landlocked as a function of the construction of the shipyards. Our advice has been that ANI will manage controlled access to that site and it will be essentially a function for ANI to do that. They are willing to consult with the state government about that.

Mr PATTERSON: Correct me if I am wrong, but I think the state government department that has the care and control of Mutton Cove is DEW. Have you had discussions with them around the department potentially putting more effort, resources, funding into the conservation of Mutton Cove to help alleviate access so it is in a good state so that people do not feel the need to visit there often to volunteer to conserve that area, and to give them comfort that it will in fact not be that the door will be closed and the key thrown away and it degrades away from anyone's sight, but that in fact the government intends on putting effort into this area?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: Land is under the care and control of DEW. It is not a matter that I personally, as minister, have been consulted on. I am unaware if ANI and DEW have had any discussions about it. But the state government, where we have care and control of conservation parks, obviously spend money on them and invest in them. I would expect there will be some thought put into that.

Mr PATTERSON: That is comforting. The point of the question was to try to communicate to concerned people that there is effort there. Equally, ANI and the commonwealth could form a role there as well. I think some commonwealth funding goes into that area already. Have you had any discussions with the commonwealth around their appetite for conserving and putting effort into conserving Mutton Cove?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: It lies outside this act, but we are obviously going to be having, I think, an ongoing conversation both with the City of Port Adelaide Enfield and the broader community about this being a huge opportunity. Obviously there is a lot for the community to contemplate in terms of the changes down there. I think there will be an ongoing consultation about how we make this project of benefit to the state and also of benefit to Port Adelaide Enfield.

Mr PEDERICK: Noting that this clause is about the closure of roads, has the council indicated or has the state identified that there may be some new carriageways that have to be put in? I am asking out of interest, because obviously there will be roads closed. Will there need to be some other access points for other industry and the general population in the area?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: At the moment, this road, as I understand it, is a dirt road. What will happen is that there will be a road there, but it will be under the control of ANI in a secure environment.

Clause passed.

Clause 9.

Mr PATTERSON: These parts of the land are owned by Port Adelaide Enfield council. It notes here in the bill that the City of Port Adelaide Enfield is entitled to compensation. An obvious question which would give comfort to the committee is that Port Adelaide Enfield council is a willing participant in this process and that they are not going to wake up tomorrow and find out that this is happening unbeknownst to them.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: Renewal SA has had discussions with them over the past few months, with the council staff. I rang the mayor today before the debate began. Obviously, this is part of the process of constructing a submarine construction yard. It is a very big project for the local community. We obviously, in terms of compensation, are always fair with whomever we deal with. We will endeavour to be fair here, because obviously this is a project of some significance.

Mr PATTERSON: Maybe for the assistance of the committee, could you just detail how you see that compensation process working? I understand that Port Adelaide Enfield council also is mindful of the strategic importance of this. We talk about looking for fair value and the hope that that can be done in a friendly and expeditious manner, as opposed to a combative one, to help move this process along.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: Yes, we intend to jointly appoint a valuer to engage in constructive conversations as part of this process.

Mr PEDERICK: There has been some discussion on the time lines and that sort of thing, but I am a bit intrigued, minister, that you have had discussions over the last few months with Port Adelaide Enfield council. I am certainly pleased that they have been consulted, because I woke up in my first term of parliament on budget day and on the front page of The Advertiser I found I was going to get two new prisons, and you know where that landed. It may or may not have been a good thing. That discussion has been had many years ago, but it does show the value of that consultation.

I know what you have said about time lines, but it gets back to my previous question. Noting that you did not have nine months, unless you did not know you needed a shorter time line—and that may be the case—if Claire Boan and the crew at Port Adelaide Enfield council have had discussions with you for several months, surely this legislation could have been introduced at the latest a month ago for us to go through it a bit more methodically. We are supporting it, but it is unusual how quickly we are moving on this.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: The discussions were about (a) the Local Government Act and (b) compulsory acquisition under the Urban Renewal Act, but what was unclear at that point were the time lines of ANI and the impact of the three things together. It would be fair to say, as I said before, that I would have preferred to give everybody more notice. I think there was at the beginning of the various levels of consultation a view that this land could be in effect transferred to the state and it would all be a very easy process. As it turns out, because of the time lines, the compressed time lines of the commonwealth, and our legislation, which quite sensibly, as you point out, because of land acquisition being normally the most serious matter that a state government can do, the time lines under the Local Government Act and the Urban Renewal Act and the Land Acquisition Act, it is the combination of those three things.

Mr PEDERICK: I understand that answer, but in regard to this bill, when was the Port Adelaide council briefed on this and made aware that this was the way you were going to acquire the land?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: In regard to the urban renewal agency, they have been discussing it with the council over the last week and I rang the mayor of Port Adelaide Enfield today.

Mr TEAGUE: Perhaps just to highlight—and maybe this is speaking up for the obvious party that is not able to speak directly to the committee, that being the City of Port Adelaide Enfield—this is the one clause in the bill that might conceivably be the subject of litigation. It is obviously not going to hold up the transfer of the land, so you can park this process in a way. I am not foreshadowing that anything like that occurs.

It is a pretty unusual piece of land and we have the usual subsection in subsection (5) about willing buyers and sellers and all the rest of it. Is it possible to indicate to the committee just how reliably, by reference to expertise and assessment and all the rest of it with a view to establishing market value, that is really going to be able to occur? Are we really looking for a value outcome that needs to be negotiated? Is there any light that the minister might take the opportunity to shed on that in the interests, perhaps, of the relevant council?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: Renewal SA, the urban renewal authority, owns a vast amount of land in Port Adelaide Enfield. We have a long history of negotiating with the council and having productive discussions with them. In the bill, we had set out certain things in order to make sure to give the committee, I think, the confidence that there was a process around valuation, but of course we will work constructively with the council regarding this land. It is true that the valuation will depend, as it does for all land, on what its uses are, what it could possibly be zoned as and the like. That is why it will require both a process and some maturity in dealing with the matter.

Mr TEAGUE: Again, it is just a matter of airing this in the committee: on the one view you might say that you have a piece of land that all of a sudden is sort of infinitely valuable, but that is not the principle upon which the market valuation is to be determined in the ordinary course. Again, I may be playing catch-up, but I do not think I see that explicitly described in clause 9 in terms of it saying, 'For the extraordinary circumstances in which this land is necessary for the most significant investment in defence infrastructure that the nation has ever seen, here we are and we will pay the earth if necessary.' The market value reference is one that is setting terms upon which the negotiation can happen, putting to one side those particular circumstances from a market value point of view.

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: That is why we are appointing an expert valuer. This is, in some senses, not unusual. There is often land acquired where there is debate about the worth. That is why you use expert valuations; that is what we will do. On top of that, of course, we will be mindful of the fact that we are dealing with another government entity, a local government entity. The state more generally wants this project to go ahead, so that requires a degree of maturity and fairness, obviously, with that local government entity.

Mr TEAGUE: I appreciate the answer. I just flag, perhaps for the benefit of the committee and the house, should there be any reflection on the contents of clause 9, including the addition of, for avoidance of doubt, a subclause (6) or something like that between the houses—I am not professing any particular insight on that front.

I may be barking up an unnecessary tree, but again I just posit the scenario in which you have the subclause (5) seller who nonetheless is aware of the particular circumstances. You can see an obvious dramatic effect on how the objective market value would be affected by virtue of the circumstances in which the acquisition is occurring. If that is a comment, then so be it. I think the minister has already given an answer. If there is anything further to add in light of that, then I would invite it, and I otherwise flag it for the committee.

Mr PEDERICK: This is possibly where the member for Heysen was going. I have a concern about litigation as well. Hopefully, it does not get to a legal fight. I notice in the clause it provides that if the negotiations are still ongoing after 30 days, the valuer becomes the arbiter. Everyone is aware of what this is for and we need to have a good outcome, but I just hope it does not come to a stage where we have KCs at 20 paces.

Noting that there is a point where you may have to get an arbiter, can you compare this situation here to any other legislation that has been enacted in Australia? I am worried about the end point. Obviously, there is no negotiated end point, but what I am asking is: is there a limit, if this blows out to 90 days or 120 days, notwithstanding the fact that you already have access to the land for ANI, etc.?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: I think the member for Hammond read the clause slightly incorrectly. Subclause (4)(b) says that the valuer is to act as an expert but not an arbiter. This is unique legislation designed to facilitate the most important industrial project in the state. As I indicated, we will be fair and reasonable with the City of Port Adelaide Enfield. We will operate on the basis of an expert valuation, but at the end of the day the purpose of this bill is to acquire the land. The valuation of it is an important consideration but is not the consideration.

The CHAIR: Maybe one more question, member for Hammond. Go ahead.

Mr PEDERICK: It is just in relation to what I initially asked. Are you aware of where similar legislation has been utilised across the country?

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION: I am not aware. I think this is probably a unique situation.

Clause passed.

Remaining clauses (10 to 12), schedule and title passed.

Bill reported without amendment.

Message from Governor

Her Excellency the Governor, by message, recommended to the house the appropriation of such amounts of money as might be required for the purposes mentioned in the bill.

Third Reading

The Hon. N.D. CHAMPION (Taylor—Minister for Trade and Investment, Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Minister for Planning) (17:46): I move:

That this bill be now read a third time.

I thank the house for all the contributions and happily commend the bill.

Mr PATTERSON (Morphett) (17:47): I reiterate the opposition's support for AUKUS in general. I think this speedy passage also leans into that and shows that support. We are pleased that the government is acting swiftly to ensure that the AUKUS bill can continue at haste. We look forward to that continuation as we go forward.

Bill read a third time and passed.