You can join the petition to the SA Government to commit to:
- A complete democratic & fair revision of the 30 Year Plan.
- Collaborative community engagement in planning.
- Accountability in planning.
Find the petition at:
You can join the petition to the SA Government to commit to:
Find the petition at:
Mark Parnell’s Bill requiring the state government and local councils to notify people affected by Development Planning Amendments, such as re-zonings was passed by the Legislative Counil on July 3.
Congratulations to all who supported the Bill’s progress. Alliance President Tom Matthews and Lizzie Crisp of the Prospect Residents Association were in the public gallery to hear the speeches and see the vote. Next, the Bill will go down to the House of Assembly where it will need to pass before it becomes law. It will sit alongside the earlier Bill that passed the Legislative Council earlier this year (Interim Development Control). The Alliance urges its members and all concerned with real reform in planning to continue to push the Government to support these Bills to become law. To date, the government has insisted that its “Expert Panel on Development Law Reform” is the appropriate forum for debating these issues rather than the Parliament. We beg to differ. This is an opportunity for significant reform that should be taken now.
The Ian Henschke 891 ABC Adelaide show on 29th April featured the issue of proposed buildings on the SE corner of the Park Lands (Greenhill Road/Fullarton Road) obstructing views of the Adelaide Hills. Continue reading Action to prevent high rise blocking Hills views
Mark Parnell’s Interim Development Control amendment bill was passed in the Legislative Council on Wednesday 20th March. This is a win for the Community Alliance and member groups, and is a step towards restoring community consultation in planning and development. Continue reading A WIN for community consultation
New government panel on planning reform
Kevin O’Leary, February 2013
Considering the very limited terms of reference for this panel and its narrowly based membership, community groups should seriously consider boycotting it and jointly produce their own report on the reforms needed to the planning system and submit this to the media. The government’s latest initiative has all the makings of the fake consultation processes that were carried out for the 30 Year Plan, the Mount Barker DPA, the Capital City DPA and so on. At this stage the community shouldn’t be restricted to the matters which the government wants it to look at. Given the depth of inadequacies with the planning system it should be able to comment on all of the major problem areas – many brought about by the dominant influence of the development industry on government policy making. These are just some of the areas where there is a high priority for planning reform – most cannot be covered in review panel’s terms of reference:
Other high priority areas for reform are current planning public consultation processes include disconnected land use and transport policies (because we don’t have a transport plan), major project and interim development control legislation and the current makeup of state government planning advisory and decision making authorities.
If the government was to adopt this wider planning reform agenda it would be able to regain some level of public respectability by distancing itself from ‘development-at-any-cost’ mantra of the development industry and supporting population growth and planning policies which will be of social and economic benefit to the whole community.
 Developers push for bigger cities . The Australian Financial Review. Mar. 2011.
 Relationship between growth and Prosperity in 100 Largest US Metropolitan Areas, Eben Foder, Dec 2010
 HIA Policy. Managing Urban Land Supplies. P2
 Review of Capital City Strategic Planning Systems. COAG Reform Council 23rd Dec 2011. Overview. P7 www.coagreformcouncil.gov.au/reports/cities.cfm
 Unit owners want better standards. Domain 29th March 2012http://news.domain.com.au/domain/real-estate-news/unit-owners-want-better-standards-20120328-1vz20.html
 Study links traffic pollution and autism.The Conversation theconversation.edu.au/study–links–traffic–pollution-and-autism-10995
 A CIty of Villages: Promoting a Sustainable Future for London’s suburbs. Greater London Authority. www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/uploads/tr11_villages.pdf
 Australia’s Future Tax System :Final Report, Part 2, Detailed Analysis, Enhancing social and market outcomes, Road transport taxes www.taxreview.treasury.gov.au/
 Congestion tax- no thanks . Property Council of Australia26th Feb 2008. https://www.propertyoz.com.au/Article/Resource.aspx?p=21…96
 Moving Urban Australia: Can congestion charging unclog our roads? Australian Government. Department of Infrastructure, Transport Regional Development and Local Government . Working Paper 74
 The Advertiser 18th Feb. 2013
 State Strategic Plan P.46
 Commuting in Portland and Seattle. Sightline Daily. 28th Feb 2012.
 ‘Adelaide’s development lobby plan to strip councils of power’. Sunday Mail 16th March 2013.
 Submission on the Draft NSW Housing Code. Local Government and Shires Association of NSW. July 2008.
InDaily, Monday, 25 March 2013
Letter to the editor
Secretary, Community Alliance SA
Your comments (The Outsider, March 22, 2013) on opposition to high rise development in the suburbs and opposition to the bill to amend the interim development powers of the Minister do not do justice to the ‘plain sense’ view of ordinary people subjected to such fiascos as Mount Barker, St Clair at Woodville, Buckland Park, etc.
The issue in all these cases is primarily one of ‘due process’ which the government cannot seem to grasp. Most people want development, but not dubious ‘conflicted’ reports, secret deals, land-swaps between valuable open space land and tainted factory land, etc. What they want is ‘common sense’ development and good planning. Instead, they are getting spin, clever lawyers’ solutions, and in almost every deal, no genuine consultation (Bowden excepted).
Using emergency powers to circumvent due process to ‘save time and money’ may sound like a good idea to you until you look more closely at whose time and money is being saved. In my view, most of the complaints about lost time and money are questionable and largely self-inflicted, and created in part by the government’s messy attempts to close off local governments’ powers to have any say at all in approving large developments. This has resulted, over the last five years or so, in many large developments getting rejected by local councils (often for knowingly breaching their guidelines on height, bulk, environmental issues, heritage, etc.), and then the developers having to wait for the State Government committee or Minister to intervene and rapidly approve what may in fact be a not so smart but still ‘non-complying’ project.
If the government wants to take away council’s rights to shape development in their areas, it needs to develop better alternative means for the people most affected to put their views on the table. To ignore this as an issue is to say we need development at ‘any’ cost. Development at any cost is, I would like to suggest, is nearly always bad development. At the moment we appear to have the worst of both worlds, with the council not being able to do its job, and the State Government using loopholes in the present system to ram through developments that nobody in their right mind should have ever approved.
Outsourcing this critical policy development stuff to Connor Holmes (whatever their merits as planners and experts are), in the certain knowledge that they are also working as lobbyists for those that are to benefit directly from what is to be decided, is a symptom of a conflicted and failing approach to development and planning. We all need development, but we need development we will value in 10 years’ time, not that we will regret tomorrow.
The link to the article as published in InDaily
At a rally held on 19th March, Community Alliance SA representatives and members protested the process for the Adelaide Oval Footbridge development. The rally was organised by the Liberal MP Rachel Sanderson, State Member for Adelaide, and held on the steps of Parliament House on North Terrace.
Although the Community Alliance is not aligned to any political party, it opposes the process by which the $40 million dollar ‘bridge’ development over the Torrens is being pushed through. After being rejected by the Upper House, this is being ‘approved’ by the Planning Minister’s use of his ‘interim powers’, excluding the public from any meaningful consultation over this development.
Speakers at the rally included Rachel Sanderson, Dr Rob Crocker of the Community Alliance SA, Michelle Lensink MLC, and Kelly Henderson from the Adelaide Park Lands Preservation Association.
Dr Crocker spoke about the ‘fake consultation’ that has led to the footbridge development being pushed through against the wishes of the public and without them having any real say. He defined the issue as being all about “Process, process, process……..the community wants a genuine process that includes transparency, accountability and genuine consultation”.
Dr Crocker spoke about other planning decisions where the community has been effectively locked out of the decision-making process and asked “Why should almost every major decision over the last 5 years in planning and development be made behind closed doors?”
Dr Crocker spoke about developments at Woodville at St Clair, Mount Barker, Mayfield in the City and Buckland Park. “The process needs to be reformed to include genuine independence, following clear principles and rules we all understand. At present it appears that decisions are being made behind closed doors by the Minister and his minions, often at the behest of lobbyists and selected developers”, he said.
He also drew attention to the more important and larger developments being approved and pushed through without any genuine consultation, and often before consultation was even considered or organised. Dr Crocker said “Even when the consultation system is working ‘properly’ this is a system that does not work well and has cemented in a very poor process, which belongs in the 1920s, not in a society with access to Facebook and Twitter”.
Rachel Sanderson and others spoke out against the cost of the footbridge and the Labor Government’s push for this development, including a failed attempt to fast-track the process by giving the footbridge the same classification as low-cost home improvements like solar panels and carports.
The footbridge is currently the subject of a Ministerial Development Plan Amendment (DPA) that was even put into interim (or immediate) effect at the same time that the public consultation process began. Worse still, a small change to the wording of the DPA has been made. This results in the DPA now allowing for commercial development, including new office buildings to be built on the site, again without full public consultation. The ‘public consultation process’ for the DPA ends on 20th March, the day after the rally. However, any development applications submitted during the public consultation period will be assessed against this draft DPA, regardless of any changes that are subsequently made.
The Alliance wants these Ministerial powers changed to stop them being mis-used in this way.
The SA Ombudsman, Richard Bingham has handed down his report on the Investigation into the Growth Investigation Areas procurement. He has found that a conflict of interest existed in the role of planning consultants Connor Holmes in advising the SA Planning Department on the Mt Barker re-zoning while simultaneously working for developers who stood to gain by those same zoning decisions. He has called for the SA ICAC to investigate. In introducing his Report, the Ombudsman has commented:
He noted that the failure to identify and address the conflict of interest tainted the procurement process and left some in the local community feeling understandably suspicious of the process. He went on to declare that in his opinion,
It would be in the public interest for the government to revisit its views and consider releasing the Growth Investigation Areas project report .
On ABC Breakfast Radio 891, Matt and Dave interview Minister Rau and Greens MLC Mark Parnell, who argues that because Connor Holmes are also acting for devlopers on a number of other Growth Inverstigation Report sites including Buckland Park, that the probity of the entire SA Government 30 year plan for Adelaide is now under a cloud. Listen at
The Ombudsman’s report can be found at
ABC footage can be found at
Adelaide Now has also featured the Report at
Greens MLC Mark Parnell has commented that the residents of Mt Barker who have been raising this issue for several years must feel both “vindicated and devastated”.
The Community Alliance position on the Ombudsman’s Report is here:
On the 18th February, the Burnside Residents’ Group held a rally on the steps of Parliament House, to protest the community’s exclusion from decisions to open up planning for urban infill and high rise developments. There was a great turnout and the event was attended by many Alliance representatives and member groups. The Community Alliance SA Secretary and Spokesperson Robert Crocker spoke about the current flawed process, the aims of the Community Alliance and the changes we want to the planning and development system.
The speakers were: Vickie Chapman, Liberal Shadow Planning Minister & Deputy Leader; Mark Parnell, Greens MLC; Evonne Moore, Vice President of Save Our Suburbs; Anna Sullivan, Burnside Residents Group; Dr Robert Crocker, Spokesperson for Community Alliance SA Inc.; Darian Hiles, Australian Civic Trust; and Kirsten Alexander, Mayor of City of Charles Sturt.
Also in attendance were: Steven Marshall, Leader SA Liberal Party; David Pisoni, MP, State Member for Unley; and Rachel Sanderson, MP, State Member for Adelaide.
All photos by Fernando M. Gonçalves, [email protected]
TV and press coverage:
ABC News coverage of the rally – http://au.news.yahoo.com/video/national/watch/48a73418-6af8-3462-af58-7c8dd33448e5/protesters-fight-against-high-rise/
On 16th December 2012, the Community Alliance SA’s celebration of the 175th anniversary of Colonel William Light’s Plan for the City of Adelaide was attended by members of the executive committee, including the President Mr Tom Matthews and Dr Helen Wilmore. Following on from this celebration, Mr Matthews visited the town of Gawler on 21st December. Gawler was the first country town in the state of SA and its town plan was also devised by the surveyor Colonel William Light. Mr Matthews met with Dr Wilmore and Mrs Shirley Humphrey, both of the Gawler Region Community Forum, and was taken on a tour of the town and areas earmarked for future urban growth.
Since 2007, the Gawler Region Community Forum has expressed its concerns with the State Government’s proposed large-scale urban expansion of the town and surrounding areas. The concerns include issues such as traffic, provision of infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, lifestyle, environment, and food and water security. The State Government’s planned expansion of Gawler and surrounding areas will see the population increase threefold.
“The nearby expansion of Roseworthy for 95,000 people will also bring extra pressures for the rail and road systems” said Mrs Humphrey.
“The scale is staggering. This is just as awful as what’s happening in Mt Barker, but on a greater scale” said Mr Matthews. “I can’t believe the Government wants to add 40,000 more people to this beautiful country town. I can see that Gawler already has a problem with too much traffic.”
“Where are all these people going to work?” asked Mr Matthews.
“What about the agricultural land that will be lost from Concordia and Roseworthy? That’s our food bowl” said Mr Matthews.
“The State Government is not listening to the people of Gawler when it comes to planning and development” said Dr Wilmore. “A lot of problems could be avoided if only the Government would properly consult with local communities and involve them from the initial planning stages”.
For further information please contact:
Shirley Humphrey, 8522 3694
Convenor & Spokesperson, Gawler Region Community Forum Inc.
Dr Helen Wilmore, 8522 3019, [email protected]
Committee Member & Spokesperson, Gawler Region Community Forum Inc.
(Also a Community Alliance SA Committee Member)
Tom Matthews: 0429 337 453
President, Community Alliance SA Inc., PO Box 520, Goodwood SA 5034