Labor’s silence threatens the future of horses along the River Torrens

Labor’s silence threatens the future of horses along the River Torrens

Posted on: 12 July 2023

The future of the Lockleys Riding Club is in peril, after Labor’s Susan Close reneged on an agreement to keep the club viable as part of the Breakout Creek redevelopment in Adelaide’s west.

For Stage 3 of the environmental and recreational redevelopment along Tapleys Hill Road to the Torrens Outlet to proceed, the size of the riding club’s agistment area along the River Torrens had to be reduced – with a key part of the negotiations between the club and the State Government being that irrigation costs would be heavily subsidised.

The club was also advised they would receive assistance when it comes to the maintenance of fencing. However, the club has since been informed by SA Water that they will not be receiving any subsidies unless Susan Close intervenes. It’s estimated irrigation of the new agistment area could cost as much as $60,000 a year which the club simply can’t afford.

The entire Breakout Creek redevelopment along the River Torrens has been more than 30 years in the making, creating a healthier habitat for threatened fish and bird species and improving the water quality of the river.

Member for Colton, Matt Cowdrey, said it’s incredibly disappointing the Malinauskas Labor Government has been refusing to work with the Lockleys Riding Club to find a workable solution.

“The Breakout Creek redevelopment is an important environmental project – but equally the sight of horses lining the banks of the River Torrens has been a much loved part of my local community for decades, so it would be devastating if they were forced out due Labor’s inaction,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“The Lockleys Riding Club negotiated in good faith as part of the redevelopment process, sacrificing part of their agistment area with the understanding that irrigation costs would be covered.

“The size of the new agistment area means proper irrigation is essential to ensure the wellbeing of the horses and the health of the waterway, but $60,000 a year is a financial burden the club just can’t bear.

“Peter Malinauskas is sparing no expense to relocate the SAPOL horses from the Thebarton Barracks to the western suburbs, surely he could stump up $60,000 to keep the much-loved horses along the River Torrens.

“Peter Malinauskas and Susan Close must honour this agreement and support the viability of the Lockleys Riding Club.”