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values that will create opportunities
for people in a world-class land-
scape of agricultural quality that
people can build on," executive
director of the university's
Environment Institute Professor
Mike Young said.
"This is not just about locking-up
and protecting an area.
"But paramount to its success is
gaining overwhelming community
In June last year, Prof Young and
the university's Professor of
Agriculture and Food Policy Randy
Stringer met with mayors and chief
executives of the councils to discuss
their proposal for the area -- rough-
ly following the Heysen Trail -- to be
retained as working agricultural
The favourable response from
councils is only the first step in a
process that may take 10 years and
involve careful examination (and
possible alteration) of boundaries,
proposals for intensive housing sub-
divisions and major development
Prof Young said that once the
"values and aspirations" of people
had been identified,
areas" could be excluded or fixed.
"We would have to work through
these matters and part of that would
be a conversation about the 30-Year
Plan for Greater Adelaide," he said.
"If we have the councils on board,
there would no doubt have to be
amendments on planning, to fit the
values, and there may be consider-
able reclamation and rehabilita-
Prof Young said the initial funding
would finance a cost-benefit analy-
sis. If agreement was reached, State
and Federal Government would
hopefully become part of the
process in presenting the final sub-
Support for the proposal has also
come from groups and individuals
opposing the encroachment of
urban development on prime agri-
Residents and businesses, mean-
while, are closely monitoring the
progress of Family First MLC
Robert Brokenshire's Willunga Basin
Protection Bill and the proposed
Agricultural and Tourism Preserve
Bill, drafted by Mawson Lakes MP
Leon Bignell to protect the Barossa
and McLaren Vale wine regions
McLaren Vale Grape, Wine &
Tourism Association chairperson
Pip Forrester, whose members have
been battling against the Seaford
Heights development, says the
organisation is taking a keen inter-
est in the proposed World Heritage
listing and Premier Mike Rann's
promise of looking at "special legis-
lation" to protect the wine regions
"for all time".
"We want to protect the land from
urban sprawl, not freeze it for all
time," Ms Forrester said.
"But Seaford Heights is very unat-
tractive and we continue to oppose
it."As the dust settled on the decision
by a government-dominated parlia-
mentary committee to approve
rezoning of 1300ha of prime farm-
ing land for sub-division at Mount
Barker and Nairne, Mr Rann has
conceded that "legislation may be
"I have asked Urban Development
and Planning Minister John Rau to
look at ways that we can protect the
unique identity and integrity of the
Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale,"
"We will look at special legisla-
tion. We must never allow the
Barossa or McLaren Vale to become
suburbs of Adelaide.
"The Barossa and McLaren Vale
food and wine regions are key icons
of SA. We've got to protect them not
just for now but for all time."
Mr Rann said the party's agenda
for the next three years would be
dominated by the economy and
infrastructure, but he did outline a
new plan aimed at revitalising the
city and also preventing SA's major
tourism areas, such as the Barossa
Valley and McLaren Vale, from
being overrun by suburbia.
Ms Forrester, however, says leg-
islative protection would be wel-
come, but might have come too late
to stop Seaford Heights at the gate-
way to McLaren Vale.
"I'm very pleased the Minister and
the Premier are considering looking
at the legislation but (we) continue
to be really vigilant about what's
happening with Seaford Heights
and we're not accepting that at all;
we're going to continue fighting that
one," she said
"But we are talking about two sep-
arate issues -- how to protect activi-
ties into the future (UNESCO WHS)
and working with government on
Urban planner and long-term
campaigner for the protection of
Adelaide's agricultural heritage
Stephanie Johnston believes moves
by the Premier to pursue legislative
protection for McLaren Vale and the
Barossa -- and to tie the planning
portfolio in with food and tourism --
make complete sense for an econo-
my which "cannot just rely on min-
ing booms and endless housing
development to create a long-term
sustainable future for us all".
"We need to grow economically,
by adding value to our agricultural
and tourism assets, not by rolling
out the bitumen, colorbond and
concrete slabs," she said.
SA rural protection
THE University of Adelaide
Environment Institute's proposal for
Agrarian Landscapes and UNESCO
World Heritage Status would repre-
sent "a singular, strategic determi-
nant of regional competitiveness",
according to its proponents.
An independent analysis of 15
sites in Australia, WHS was estimated
•$7011.4 million in annual direct
and indirect regional output business
•$3135m in annual direct and indi-
rect regional value-added.
•$2117.3m in direct and indirect
regional household income.
•42,873 direct and indirect region-
Executive director of the universi-
ty's Environment Institute Professor
Mike Young and Prof of Agriculture
and Food Policy Randy Stringer say
only 11 of the 890 WHS sites
throughout the world are agrarian
landscapes and only a few of those
are 'working landscapes', including
Val d'Orcia in Italy and Portugal's
Alto Douro Valley.
"WHS means substantially higher
economic growth from tourism,
investment, new business opportuni-
ties and 'branding and reputation
premiums' for local products," they
say in the proposal.
The proposal is for a highly-strate-
gic, pro-growth strategy where:
• Producers can shift crops, change
practices and build new buildings.
• New legislation is not required --
local development plans will contin-
ue to control planning decisions.
• Federal legislation in the form of
the Environment Protection and
Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
provides the legal framework to pro-
tect and manage WH sites, defined in
the Act as matters of national envi-
• Need to know more?
Prof Mike Young and his colleague Prof Randy Stringer say WHS status
represents a long-term vision to identify values that will create opportunities for
people in a world class landscape of agricultural quality for people to build on.
Heritage status spells economic prosperity
The Barossa and McLaren
Vale food and wine
regions are key icons of
South Australia. We've got
to protect them not just
for now but for all time.
"Those of us who love our nearby
rural landscapes hope the govern-
ment will move quickly on the leg-
islation, and not wait until the horse
"That means designing nearby
development -- including on the
government-owned land at Seaford
Heights -- to support the food wine
and tourism economy, not destroy
it. Any such development needs to
be put on hold until the legislation
is in place."
Ms Johnston, a member of the
Southern Community Coalition
which successfully campaigned for
the Urban Boundary Extension at
Bowering Hill, 50 kilometres from
Adelaide, between Maslin Beach
and Port Willunga, actively backs
the World Heritage listing.
Prof Young said, if successful, the
region would become one of only
about 15 listed in Australia.
"The opportunities would be spe-
cific to agriculture and the region,
allowing people to build on their
enterprises and badge what they
produce," he said.
"You could also expand the
"If you think through features,
there is a huge part of SA's history
still preserved in the region, along
with conservation and national
parks and walking trails.
"The foundations are there.
People will be able to realise their
SA has only one World Heritage
site -- Naracoorte Caves, a fossil
mammal treasure house represent-
ing major stages of evolutionary his-
tory, which was listed in 1994. It
generates about $10m a year in rev-
• Need to know more?
AGRICULTURE Minister Michael
O'Brien has asked Robert Brokenshire,
to prepare a detailed paper on the
merits of introducing right to farm
legislation in South Australia.
"Following a meeting with industry
leaders representing a cross-section of
commodities, the Minister has indicat-
ed an interest in the proposal," the
Family First MLC said.
"If he thinks the idea is worth
approving, and legislation is subse-
quently passed, South Australia would
become the first state in Australia to
have it -- something which every state
in the United States already enjoys."
Mr Brokenshire, is a long-time critic
of the Rann government's record of
favouring sub-divisions over the
preservation of agricultural land. He
wants the State Government to:
• Support his Bill in its entirety in the
• Make amendments to take account
of any concerns.
• Immediately introduce the State
Government's (Leon Bignell/John Rau)
"They should not pay lip service
and employ stalling tactics while they
continue approving further develop-
ment approvals in the Willunga
Basin," Mr Brokenshire said.
Brokenshire wants to give farms a future
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