Road trip investigates urban growth in Adelaide

By Angela Dorizas

As federal politicians continue to debate the way Australia ought to look in the future, local government in South Australia is on the front foot of planning for population growth.

Representatives from local government, the SA Governnent and the development industry have embarked on a two-day study tour across greater Adelaide to investigate the implementation of the 30-year plan for the region.

The bus tour included members of the Local Government Association (LGA), the Property Council of Australia SA division, the Urban Development Institute of Australia and the State Government.

It included onsite inspections of planned growth areas and consultations with councils and developers.

LGA executive director Wendy Campana said key concerns raised by councils in regards to population growth were funding arrangements for new housing, community infrastructure and service delivery.

“There are some big questions about how you fund this,” Ms Campana told Government News.

“There are some things that local government should pay for and there are other things that developers should pay for.

“A lot of this is about servicing new communities. Do we have the right transport infrastructure, hospitals and housing?

“Is the Government going to be putting money on the table for things that are really their business?”

Ms Campana said community consultation was another issue raised by councils following the release of the 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide.

“How do you bring the community along with you so that they are really well informed and part of the decision making process?”

Ms Campana said the study tour had provided useful information as to how residential housing projects were being rolled out across the region and the governance arrangements put in place. She said the group had witnessed some “really positive collaborations”, along with some more challenging projects.

“We heard a presentation from the CEO of Mallala council, which is one of our fringe councils with a very small population,” Ms Campana said.

“They don’t have a bank. Unless they grow their population, they’re not going to get services there.”

Ms Campana said the council was generally “pro-population growth”, but other local government areas were not so keen on growing their populations. Mount Barker, she said, was a case in point.

“The Government has got some very big plans Mount Barker,” Ms Campana said.

“Whilst they agree that they need to have population growth, they don’t agree with the plans and the places the State Government has chosen for residential development. They think there are better options.”

The SA Government has promised to include councils in planning for population growth, with the Minister for Urban Development and Planning Paul Holloway committing to stronger partnerships with both local government and the development industry.

“The long term success of the 30-Year Plan will be driven by our ability to work with the LGA, local councils and other stakeholders to implement objectives that will ensure that within three decades up to 70 per cent of new metropolitan dwellings will be built within our current urban area,” Mr Holloway said in a statement.

The urban development study tour covers the councils boundaries of Salisbury, Playford, Campbelltown, Mount Barker, Charles Sturt and Port Adelaide Enfield. It concludes Friday afternoon with a debriefing among the participants.

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