Zoos SA’s decision to close its tourism business at the Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary at Mylor is a sad chapter in a story about an environmental experiment that began with such great hope in 1985.
Back then Dr John Wamsley opened Warrawong as the showcase property of what could be done for native animals if land could be cleared of pest plants and securely fenced to keep out feral predators.
Warrawong was the first in a series of sanctuaries for wildlife but Dr Wamsley suffered a setback when his Earth Sanctuaries company got into financial strife.
The Mylor site was sold in 2004 and again in 2006 and again in 2010 and now Zoos SA, which runs the business for the owners, the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority, has found it cannot make the enterprise viable.
On the surface it might well appear that the environment cannot “pay for itself” but it should be remembered that Zoos SA has its own financial woes and might not have the energy or the resources to make Warrawong work.
It should also be remembered that this business was bringing in revenue by offering overnight accommodation to children so it is perfectly reasonable for authorities to insist that the facilities meet fire standards.
Whatever the Ngarrindjeri people decide to do with the site, Hills people will be hoping that the environmental spirit of the place will be retained.
The decision by Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond to resign last week came as a complete surprise to her colleagues as well as the community.
The shock was the timing … not the decision itself.
Ms Redmond was under enormous pressure and she knew the dark shadow of Federal power brokers was looming ominously over her leadership.
They simply didn’t believe the woman who almost delivered them a surprise win in the 2010 election was up to the task in 2014.
In the end the Stirling MP appeared worn down by the undermining of her leadership and the continuing internal disunity until she could see no way forward.
It is a pity those outside the State Parliamentary team responsible for orchestrating her downfall do not stand up and be counted.
It appears the Labor Party does not have a monopoly on faceless men.
It is unclear if Ms Redmond will stand again at the next election. She has been a good local member and it would be a pity if she was lost to conservative politics in Heysen.