By Angela Dorizas
On the fringes of Adelaide, at the western edge of the Barossa region lies the municipality of Mallala.
The district council covers an area of 926 square kilometres, has a population of 7900 and enjoys a growth rate of just over three per cent.
With too small a population to justify having its own bank, the district supports the SA Government’s plan for growth.
Mallala District Council chief executive officer, Charles Mansueto, says there is a desire for sustainable population growth to ensure there is adequate provision of services within the region.
“The community consultation undertaken so far has reflected general support for the growth of the district,” he tells Government News.
“The community understands that there needs to be a certain level of population to attract services currently not available in the district.
“The challenge for Council and the community is to ensure the growth that does occur is sustainable and maintains the character of the district and its townships.”
Mansueto says the challenges the district faces are not dissimilar to those of other growth areas, but it has the added challenge of managing growth that will double the population in one development in a 10 to 15 year timeframe.
“The ability to provide the infrastructure and services for such growth will be demanding on council,” he says.
Council has developed strategic plans to tackle future challenges, including a major residential development at Two Wells, which was identified in the State Government’s 30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide.
“Council is managing the development through an open governance framework where there exists a heads of agreement with a major developer to undertake a master study into the impact of the development,” Mansueto says.
“Following this will be a further agreement between Council and the developer to manage the infrastructure and service issues needed to make the development sustainable.”
Mansueto says support from the State Government and the private sector is expected through planning frameworks, appropriate consultation, acknowledgement of infrastructure requirements and a “real commitment to work together to achieve a sustainable outcome”.
While a number of councils have been highly critical of the State Government’s 30-year plan, Mansueto says it is a “good framework” for all stakeholders to plan for future development.
“As a strategic document some of the specifics are understandably not addressed in the plan and will be dealt with through the planning mechanisms put in place,” he says.
Mansueto believes the District of Mallala will certainly benefit from the implementation of the Government’s plan.
“The plan identifies areas within the district for future residential and industrial growth, while also recognising broadly the importance of agriculture and horticulture,” he says.
“If we manage its implementation properly then the plan will have a positive impact on the community through increased services and infrastructure that both current and new residents will be able to enjoy.”
Next Week: Tale of Two Cities – Part Two will provide a snapshot of the growing District of Mount Barker. The Council received more than 500 submissions from residents on the State Govenrment’s plan. Find out what’s making their blood boil on the issue of population growth.
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