Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (12:26): I, too, rise to make a contribution to the Ayers House Bill, and I think rightfully so, as it is a great piece of history in the heart of Adelaide. I think it is more than that. It is all about what we as a society have done to preserve our history and the way that the National Trust behaves, commercialising some of those assets so that we can keep them maintained up to visitors' expectations. I think it is critically important that that continues to happen.

I will touch on Ayers House shortly, but I do want to take the opportunity proudly to talk about some of the National Trust assets in the Riverland. My neighbour, Wilabalangaloo, has been a longstanding National Trust asset. I am its neighbour and it is a great part of the river environment, being on the banks of the river, but also has capacity in plant breeding and is home to many birds.

Being on the edge of the river, it has the Lyrup flood plain next door and a lot of the Riverland wetland expanse all the way around it, as well as the neighbouring towns of Lyrup and Berri. It gives an opportunity not only for visitation but for National Trust members to go along and have a picnic on the river's edge and take in what I would consider some of the natural beauty.

It has quite a unique land structure, a lot of very deep red sand composite soils. We have the Santos facility next door that continues to mine some of that sand and some of those unique clays and ancient soils for commercial use, but they are preserving some of that beautiful landscape which is right next door in Wilabalangaloo. As I have said, it is a great area for anyone who is up in the Riverland looking for a place to visit, to take your family to have that picnic.

I will touch on a couple of other assets that we have in the region. The Cobdogla Heritage and Steam Museum is another one of those National Trust assets. Sadly, it has had the gates locked. I would implore the minister to give some consideration to how we can open that asset and showcase a lot of the heritage and history that has now been locked away behind gates. That has happened because of a natural flood event that I guess destabilised some of the area within that museum.

The band of volunteers are passionate. It is home to the world-famous only working Humphrey pump and I think that cannot be overstated. I would hate to think that while I am still the local representative, the local state parliamentarian that we will not see that facility reopen. There must be ways that SA Water can pull out some gratitude from their hearts, with the minister, to give that facility another life. I really do genuinely mean that.

I have been working with those volunteers, with the minister's office and with SA Water to look at ways that we can preserve that. I think there are ways. There just needs to be more consideration rather than keeping the gate locked because of people absolving themselves from the responsibility of maintenance. There is some level of care, obviously, with insurance and that cannot be overstated, but there is a huge amount of history that is now having an uncertain future.

People have looked at relocating a lot of the assets to other parts of the Riverland. The Riverland does have a very proud history when it comes to irrigation settlement. A lot of that infrastructure, a lot of that machinery was used once upon a time for developing the Riverland away from soldier settlement blocks, looking at the ways that we can pump water into the district.

That would probably lead me into another National Trust asset, which is Olivewood. Olivewood is in Renmark. It is still maintained and it still has a lot of natural beauty. The homestead originally was designed and built to house the Chaffey brothers, hence the electorate's name of Chaffey. The three brothers, Charles, George and William, are now quite famously recognised for establishing and engineering the largest irrigation settlement in the country. It is licence No. 1 for the Renmark Irrigation Trust, as it is now known today, and has a very proud history.

Obviously, being called Olivewood, that homestead was surrounded by an olive grove. They used to use some of the old ways of crushing and squeezing olives for its oil, but it also had other horticulture assets, including citrus. It has a beautiful entry lane and tall palms that grace the entrance into Renmark for visitors to go in and see. It has a number of displays.

What I have seen over recent times is the band of volunteers at Olivewood and I will pay tribute to Ann Ryan, who is the chairperson of the Renmark National Trust branch. She is a very strong and fierce advocate for the region's history, particularly through the National Trust assets that we have.

I must also mention that Olivewood recently hosted the Women of the River event and it was an absolutely outstanding success in recognising the great women who contributed to the region over a long period of time, whether it was through the formation of Renmark as an irrigation district, or whether it was enshrining a lot of the history within that town and the district. It is a district associated with a town, particularly with the formation of the Renmark Irrigation Trust, as it is now known. It is a far and wide expanse of infrastructure, a water delivery network that is a food bowl as part of the Riverland proper.

Renmark is an island. Many people ask the question, 'How can a town be an island?' but the entry points into Renmark are all accessed by bridges, whether it is Renmark Avenue via the Sturt Highway into Renmark, or the Paringa Causeway cutting through Paringa Paddocks. The Twentyfirst Street bridge down at the back of the famous Angove winery is, sadly, out of action at the moment, having been impacted by the most recent floods. We also have the Ral Ral Bridge, which is an access road out to Cooltong and also part of the road network onto Wentworth Road which was, once upon a time, a stock access route from New South Wales and Victoria into the Riverland and that part of South Australia.

I will touch on a couple of others. The DB Mack Reserve at Stockyard Plain, down on the west side of Waikerie, also has a lot of history. Nowadays it is more known for its salt interception scheme; in fact, it is a vital part of the salt interception scheme. That is where a lot of high salinity water from some of the interception wells is pumped and evaporated, keeping our flood plain network—as part of the salt interception scheme network—in a much healthier condition.

I must say that the salt interception schemes were put into place for very good reason, and that was to intercept highly saline water. But practices of irrigation and food production have changed, techniques have changed, and we are now seeing a lot of the salt interception schemes almost turned off. Whether we are talking about Murtho, Noora, Stockyard Plain, Bookpurnong, Woolpunda—the list goes on—they are networks that surround a lot of the National Trust and national heritage of the region.

While we are talking about the DB Mack Reserve, of course we cannot go past the Overland Corner Hotel. It has a rich and proud history. It is a National Trust gem. It was built in 1860 and was first set up as a post office. As an overland stock route, many people used to call in there because it became an admin and cultural centre, but with the emerging illegal sly grog trade the overland corner admin centre was very quickly realised to be a pub, and for very good reason—to regulate the illegal grog trade.

It is now an absolute picture. Brad and Nicole Flowers, the hoteliers there, are doing an outstanding job. It has become a destination not only in the Riverland but also for the passing trade, for people travelling from the eastern seaboard to the west, it is a go-to. It has great meals, great entertainment and great local beers and wines. For all the many people who are listening to this on a live stream, perhaps they might consider calling into the Overland Corner Hotel because it is a great place to visit. I owned a property just upstream from the Overland Corner Hotel. Once upon a time, I was a regular calling in there just to make sure that everything was in order and that gave me the opportunity to talk to locals and understand a little bit more about the history there.

My property was part of the stock route, part of the Indigenous making their way along the banks of the River Murray. They were looking for a place to cross the river and Overland Corner has been highly renowned for exactly that. It was an overland corner where people would cross the river at its most shallow and narrow part.

When I was developing a lot of that country for food production and irrigation, I very quickly realised that there are a lot of burial sites throughout those sandhills along there. Back in the day, it was a place of celebration; it was a place where people used to come together and celebrate. Being high sandhills, it was a lot warmer than a lot of the low-lying country. Perhaps some used to celebrate a little too often and they were buried in those sandhills because it is easy digging. I quickly learnt that rather than getting too involved, I fenced off all those sandhills and left them be.

As part of the National Trust, that area has a lot of history. Directly across the river is Banrock Station. Lock 3 is also part of the National Trust family there for people to visit and understand the history and what that region means. Heron Bend is another National Trust asset and it too has significant history. It gives people a travel map to call in and have a look.

They have already called into the Cobdogla Irrigation and Steam Museum, they go further down river to DB Mack Reserve, Heron Bend and the Overland Corner Hotel. The Overland Corner Reserve is another great asset. I will touch on one more: Wilabalangaloo, as I have already mentioned in the beginning of my contribution, is a National Trust asset that is looking for support Whether it is Wilabalangaloo or whether it is any of the National Trust assets, it is about being a member.

Doing a little bit of research, I did learn about the National Trust and I would like to acknowledge the President of the National Trust, King Charles III. We wish him all the best with his health concern at the moment. He is going through a level of treatment for prostate cancer. I, too, have been in that place and so I wish him all the best.

We need to come back to Ayers House and understand that it got its name from Sir Henry Ayers, five times Premier of South Australia—a remarkable achievement. He was a wealthy industrialist and he occupied the residence on North Terrace from 1855 to 1897. It makes me wonder how long construction took not only of the homestead but the stables and the outhouses. Construction started in 1846. That was some nine years before Sir Henry Ayers occupied the home. It was not completed until 1876, so he was living there a long time before the homestead and its other dwellings were completed. So it is a very important part of the National Trust stable of history and its assets.

I will support the bill for very good reason. I have very fond memories of Ayers House as a younger fellow who would go there to eat. I soon quickly realised that was more to it than just the restaurant, there was more to it than the bar—there was a lot of history. I think everyone should do themselves a favour and learn about that piece of architecture and understand what that asset means to South Australians, particularly within the National Trust asset base. So it is a bill that I will support. It is a bill being carried ably by the member for Bragg on this side of the house and he has done an outstanding job in going through all the detail of this amendment bill, and I wish it a steady passage.

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