No more urban sprawl

THE iconic Barossa Valley will now be protected from residential subdivision, with the passing of the Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Bill 2012.

Legislation aimed at protecting the Barossa Valley passed the Upper House on October 31 with no further amendments.

The bill was then finalised in the Lower House around 3pm on November 1.

Under the legislation nearly 150,000 hectares will be preserved from urban sprawl.

The Character Preservation Bill ensures that the planning minster doesn’t have the power to approve major developments without parliamentary scrutiny.

Minister for Planning John Rau said the passing of the legislation is an important moment in history.

“A line in the sand has now been drawn on Adelaide’s urban sprawl,” Mr Rau said.

“Thanks to the efforts of the people, these two defining regions of South Australia are under the unique protection of these Bills.

“We will now not have councils, developers, landowners or even Ministers for Planning subdividing land without full parliamentary approval.”

A unique aspect to the legislation is that any changes to the protection zones would need to be agreed to by parliament.

Barossa Mayor Brian Hurn and State Member for Schubert Ivan Venning were both pleased the bill had passed but Mayor Hurn said they didn’t get everything they wanted.

“We still want to be able to develop and set the future for the Barossa,” Mayor Hurn said.

“It is there now (the bill) and we can work with it.

“We will now look at our long term strategy and report at the next council meeting a future strategy for the Barossa which will align with the new legislation.”

The new legislation has been put in place to preserve the tourism and agriculture benefits of the region for generations to enjoy.

Yet, it wasn’t long ago that the Australian Government had a 30-year-plan, which included an increased population of 100,000 in the Barossa.

“After what happened with Mount Barker nobody can disagree the Barossa needed protecting from urban sprawl,” Mr Venning said.

“I am pleased with the outcome I am not pleased that it took so long and caused so much hurt.”

During the initial discussion period of the legislation in 2011 the community was consulted and invited to submit their ideas about what should form part of the legislation.

Barossa Wine and Grape Association Incorporated was one of the many companies to make a submission.

In their submission one of their suggestions was that a strategic direction for the Barossa should be ‘to foster and encourage sustainable development that enhances the visual beauty, vibrancy and economy of the Barossa’.

Chief executive officer of Barossa Wine and Grape Association Incorporated Sam Holmes said there are not many agriculture zones that are protected.

“For Australia to see these two wine regions as an agriculture zone that required protection is very unique,” Mr Holmes said.

“We are very pleased with the results.

“Our aim was to keep it simple and ensure rural zones could not be subdivided.”

More information about the Character Preservation Bill and protected zones can be found at sa.gov.au.

Barossa Protection District

Barossa Protection District

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