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By MALCOLM SUTTON
HE State Government should
have consulted the communi-
ty about changes to housing
plans near McLaren Vale, according
to Legislative Council Member
He says the government's recent
approval of the Seaford Heights
Development Plan Amendment had
"hoodwinked" the public and he
questioned its legality.
Mr Brokenshire said there were 11
significant changes made to the orig-
inal plan, including a 4-hectare
increase to buffer zones.
He believed the government
should have offered another round
of community feedback before
approving the plan.
"I've sought legal advice and read
the Development Act 1993 and I
believe the government should offer
further public consultation," he said.
"These are significant modifica-
tions and I have written to Urban
Development Planning Minister
John Rau and the City of Adelaide
with the advice I have been given,
quoting the relevant section of the
Mr Brokenshire said Section 26
(11)(d) of the Act stated further
public consultation could only have
been avoided if substantial modifica-
tions to the DPA had not taken
But with 11 changes made,
including those to a school and zon-
ing, he argued the changes to the
Seaford Heights proposal were sub-
Mr Brokenshire said he would
consider taking this information to
the community as a reason to fight
the development in court, depend-
ing on how Mr Rau responded to his
"The Rann government was elect-
ed in 2002 on the platform 'Labor
Listens' and then, after a poor 2010
election result, committed to go
back and listen again to the public,"
"Well, with these major changes
they've blocked public consultation
that might be required by law."
Amendments to the plan also
include replacing the South Rd com-
mercial zone with open land and
rezoning a portion of the buffer zone
back to rural.
The government will provide
$100,000 to vegetate the buffer in
an effort to retain the region's rural
But a spokesperson for Mr Rau
said the government had not
breached any obligations. "The
Development Act 1993 does not
expressly contemplate such a
process (not offering another round
of consultation) and the amend-
ments made to the DPA were a result
of submissions made during the
consultation process," he said.
"Indeed, the DPA is clearly recog-
nisable as the document that went
out for consultation -- namely a cen-
tre, residential development and
now an additional area as rural
McLaren Vale Grape Wine and
Tourism chairperson Pip Forrester
said the association was disappoint-
ed.She said more consultation was
expected and the announcement
that the plan had been approved
came as a surprise.
"There is huge anger in the com-
munity about it really," she said.
"But the Minister did make some
concessions: the increase of the
buffer size and, most importantly,
where it is positioned on the hill.
"We now have to ensure it does
give us protection of rural vistas.
"We will continue to be against it,
but alongside of that, we will work
with the council and the govern-
ment to ensure they deliver on what
they said they would do."
The plan is in front of the
Environment, Resources and
Development Committee, which can
resolve to object to the amendments
and send them back to be approved
by both houses of parliament.
The ERDC is comprised of three
Labor members, two Liberals and
• Need to know more?
www.planning.sa.gov.au to download
a copy of the Seaford Heights DPA.
MLC demands more
Legal challenge possible
Obligations not breached: Rau
ERDC decision pending
with ZANNIE FLANAGAN, CEO Adelaide Showground
Aware consumers want
ethical food standards
SOUND familiar? No it isn't another
case of the live cattle trade in
Indonesia, but an article reported in
2008 about an abattoir in California
after an undercover investigation
into animal cruelty.
The Hallmark/Westland Meat
Packing Company was reported to
United States federal and state gov-
ernments by The Humane Society of
the United States, which provided
videotaped evidence and a detailed
report to officials.
Another case of inhumane treat-
ment of cattle was broadcast live on
the BBC last year. It uncovered a
rogue vendor at a farmers' market
badly treating cattle, resulting in the
business immediately being shut
down. The market, at which he was a
vendor, was closed.
What this shows is that animal
cruelty is not religion, or third-world
practice, but a result of consumers
being so separated from their food
chain that industry operates on the
basis of 'what the consumer doesn't
know won't hurt them'.
While consumers are either kept in
the dark or prefer not to know, such
practices will continue.
As consumers, we must also take
responsibility for the whole chain of
events that underpins the supply of
food to our tables.
The only way we can do that with
confidence is to demand food indus-
try regulatory systems that enable
consumers to make informed choices
in the knowledge that compliance
will be upheld.
Profit margins and cost pressures
from multinational food giants no
doubt contribute to cost-cutting by
However, rather than providing
cheaper food to consumers, pressure
on producers is often more about the
company's bottomline and market
share than it is about passing on
Too often, it is the food corpora-
tion lobby groups that tell govern-
ments how to regulate.
More competition would enable
consumers to shop with their feet
and force smart retailers to under-
stand the needs and wants of their
It is not one big mass market out
there anymore, but a segmented and
differentiated one based on a whole
range of factors of which price and
animal welfare are just the tip of the
Have you seen the egg section in
the supermarkets recently?
Tesco in the United Kingdom has
clearly understood and responded to
market research that confirms its
consumers are sophisticated and pre-
pared to pay for food that is not only
ethically-produced, but that also
meets sustainable farming concerns.
Carbon foot-printing, food miles
and traceability are standard practice
and certain to be more important as
consumers become more informed
What many considered a 'mad
fringe' group on the edge of the
food chain a generation ago is
almost mainstream, representing one
of the driving forces for change.
The live cattle industry can scream
and complain as much as it likes, but
it does do so at the risk of not read-
ing the writing on the wall.
Producers who want to remain in
the food business need to meet the
challenges of change.
Agriculture officials today ordered the recall of an
unprecedented 64 million kilograms of ground
meat from illegally-slaughtered 'downed' dairy
cows. A videotape showed animals (unable to
stand on their own and known as downer cows)
that had passed a veterinary inspection but were
not walking before slaughter. Filmed at the
Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company,
injured animals were beaten and prodded and a
forklift was used to shove living downer cows
onto the killing floor, contrary to the law.
THE EFFECTIVENESS of low-flow
bypasses has been questioned by
Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges landhold-
ers.Proposed as part of the EMLR Water
Allocation Plan -- available for public
consultation -- the bypasses would be
installed at collection points for dams
with a capacity of 5 megalitres or
greater, whether they are metered or
This would slow down the collection
of water during periods of low flow for
the benefit of natural water catch-
Mount Compass dairyfarmer and
EMLR WAP Southern Committee mem-
ber Warren Jacobs said farmers ques-
tioned the concept at a series of public
meetings in the Adelaide Hills recently.
"Most of their issues have been
around the low-flow bypass," he said.
"They're worried if they will work, if
the bypasses will help the environment
and if they will have problems filling
their dams, especially early in the sea-
Mr Jacobs worked on the plan for six
years and considered it a good out-
come for the region while believing
there was room for improvement.
-- MALCOLM SUTTON
Landholders raise doubts about effectiveness of low-flow bypasses
Family First MLC Robert Brokenshire
is considering legal action.
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