Home' Smart Farmer : April 2012 Contents the building from the outset.
Mr Holloway resigned from his
post in February last year and his
replacement, Deputy Premier John
Rau, has distanced himself from the
rezoning issue, promising "no more
Mount Barkers" on his watch.
A spokesperson for the Deputy
Premier says there are no plans in
place to halt the development, but
concedes there are some problems.
"Aspects of the process could have
been better -- specifically, infrastruc-
ture planning," the spokesperson
Mount Barker Mayor Ann
Ferguson agrees there was a failure to
address infrastructure needs.
"We hope the government will
recognise the need to identify gaps in
infrastructure, employment and ser-
vices and address these quickly," she
The local council never acted on
these concerns as the DPA allowed
the State Government to bypass
council approval processes.
In lobbying for the DPA, develop-
ers described the views of the Mount
Barker council and local residents as
"parochial, conservative and emo-
When the plan was put out for
public comment, nearly 600 people
wrote submissions, with just 17 sup-
porting the idea - five of them were
Even a local real estate agent is
against the rezoning. Lifelong Mount
Barker resident Ans Papini is con-
cerned about paving over rural land.
"One day we'll be screaming out
for food but won't have any options,"
Mr Papani said.
He said a carbon-constrained
future and the prospect of peak oil
would dramatically increase the cost
of food miles.
"My view is future generations will
be very grateful to us if we have
access to quality agricultural land
close to population centres. Not next
year, or the year after, but long-
term," he said.
Mayor Ferguson concedes that
1300ha of land will no longer be able
to be farmed, but points out that the
expanded urban area will provide
opportunities to re-use waste water.
"For example, the Council is
already providing a suitable water
source for brussel sprout farm-
ing, and is looking for other
horticultural pursuits," she
The spokesperson for John
Rau said that protecting agri-
cultural land was a priority
for the Deputy Premier.
"That is why he has pre-
pared legislation to protect
huge areas around the Barossa
and McLaren Vale from urban
development," he said.
"It is also why he is strongly
focused on encouraging sensi-
ble urban infill, to prevent
sprawl from swallowing
any more good agricultural
The government argues
that most of the rezoned land
around Mount Barker isn't being
used for productive agriculture, and
that Adelaide's growing population
needs to live somewhere.
Mr Parnell said urban infill should
accommodate most growth, as the
Mount Barker land was just too
important to waste.
"I agree with the government that a
lot of the land is hobby farms and the
like at the moment, but once you
cover it in concrete
there is no going
back," he said. Mount Barker resident Ans Papini says access to quality agricultural land close
to population centres would serve future generations.
original planning strategy
David (pictured with his dog Smokey)
and Torina Pitt are selling their Mount
Barker dairy farm, which has been in
the family for 62 years.
David says new housing develop-
ments located a kilometre from the
farm are a concern, but not the rea-
son they are moving.
"Shame that they're using up all
that good farmland, especially
when you're talking about food
shortages. The town is always
wiping out the best land
first," he said.
"The roads keep getting busier -- just
last week there was a bad accident -- but
even without the development we'd be
"The dairy industry has here collapsed
completely. There used to be 18 dairies in
the area, but now there's just us and
David says the Labor government has
imposed too many regulations without
enough industry support.
The Pitts will be taking their family to
Warnambool, where they find "much bet-
ter" services for dairyfarmers.
Pitts give up family farm
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