SA Incorporated: Why and how the northern ‘family’ worked for so long

SA Incorporated: Why and how the northern ‘family’ worked for so long Project Resources

DKCRC Working Paper

  • Author(s): Yelland, L , Brake, L
  • Published: 2008
  • Publisher: Desert Knowledge CRC
  • Volume: 27

Abstract: A centralised, partly-informal, benign and largely successful public/private partnership for the exploration, development, administration and support of South Australia’s pastoral lands has existed for over 130 years. In the flurry of legislative and organisational change that is accompanying the introduction of Integrated Natural Resource Management into the pastoral lands of South Australia, it should be remembered that most of the administrative arrangements that are being rationalised, or are to be rationalised, have only come into existence in the last 35 years. The Water Resources Act, for instance, that mandated the first Arid Areas Advisory Committee, was passed in 1976 and with the revision of the Act the Arid Areas Catchment Water Management Board in 2000. It wasn’t until the late 1980s that the pastoral soil conservation districts were proclaimed following the enactment of the Soil Conservation and Landcare Act, 1989. In that same year the Pastoral Land Management and Conservation Act, that drives the current emphases within the State Pastoral Program, came into force. Within the last few years there has again been a push for change to integration of natural resource management and the amalgamation of water, soil, and pests under the new Natural Resource Management Act and the formation of the South Australian Arid Lands NRM Board. There are discussions underway to integrate the State Pastoral Program into the mix in some way. The community/government interface continues to change and evolve. Whether this results in better outcomes for people and the country remains to be seen. The last 35 years have also witnessed a remarkable upsurge in infrastructure and governance development in the outback. In the same year that the first water advisory committee was formed, opal mining started at Mintabie. Earlier in 1970 Oraparinna Station became the Flinders Ranges National Park, and the original block of the Gammon Ranges National Park was acquired from the Yankaninna Run. In 1978 the Outback Areas Community Development Trust was legislatively empowered and in 1980 the new standard gauge railway to Alice Springs was opened, and Marree and Oodnadatta were bypassed. In 1981 the immense Pitjantjatjara Lands Grant was made. One year later the Stuart Highway was re-aligned and sealed, Marla and Glendambo were surveyed and established, Kingoonya was bypassed and local government came to Coober Pedy. The following year saw the opening of regional offices at Port Augusta by the then Department of Agriculture and the Departments of Environment and Planning and Lands. In that same year two regional advisers were co-located with the Department of Agriculture to work with outback and local communities on pest plant and pest animal control issues. Two years later in 1984 the Maralinga Tjarutja Grant was made. In 1984 also Balcanoona Station was acquired to form the current configuration of the Gammon Ranges Park, Mt Dare Station was acquired in 1985 to protect the Dalhousie GAB Springs, and in that same year the Lake Eyre National Park (comprising Lake Eyre North and South and parts of the Tirari Desert to the east) was proclaimed. In the following year Wilpena Station was purchased from the Hunt family to be linked in 1988 with old Oraparinna and Wilpena Pound (which had been held by the government since 1921, first as a Forest Reserve and later as a National Pleasure Resort) to form the current Flinders Ranges National Park configuration. In terms of its indenture with the SA Government, Roxby Downs became a local government area in 1987, while in 1988 the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve and Conservation Park and the Innamincka Regional Reserve (previously S Kidman and Co’s Innamincka Run) were proclaimed. Three years later, in 1991, the network of conservation reservations in the far north was completed with the proclamations of the Strzelecki and Lake Frome Regional Reserves and the Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner National Parks.

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