Students from the University of South Australia and Adelaide University will put theory into practice to gain real-life work experience while helping the District Council of Mallala and the Salt Creek Working Party investigate options to improve boating and recreational access at Salt Creek, Middle Beach.
Students met with working party members on site on Monday, August 26, to initiate the first of a number of studies students will be engaged to undertake.
The initiative, developed by DCM’s strategic projects co-ordinator, Carol Muzyk, will provide students from a variety of courses with the opportunity to be part of finding a solution for what has been a long standing problem for boat and recreational users at Salt Creek.
“Finding a solution to the access issues at Salt Creek is a complex one,” Ms Muzyk said, “There are a number of studies that need to be undertaken.
“These include environmental, hydrological and social impact studies.”
In consultation with university staff the project has been divided up into small packages of work which students can undertake as part of their university assignments.
For the students this provides the opportunity to apply his or her knowledge in environmental impact assessment on a real life project rather than on a textbook case study.
From the university’s perspective, the project is a means of extending the classroom and building partnerships with council.
UniSA EIA lecturer, Wil Van Deur, says around 75 students will be involved in the project over an extended period, and believes it is a win-win for all parties concerned.
“The students involved are getting the chance to look at the real world,” Mr Van Deur said. “And what’s most important is the council is actually embracing the role that universities can play.”
For Two Wells resident and Salt Creek Working Party member, Malcolm Frost, these important first steps towards improving the health of, and access to, Salt Creek have been a very long time coming.
Mr Frost is keen for any studies done by the students to take into consideration the recreational activities that were once done in the area.
“The impact of this area, in my opinion, having lived here for a very long time, is the social amenity,” he told the students.