Home' The Mt Barker Courier : The Courier - 2017-01-18 Contents www.courier.net.au
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – PAGE 9
By Elisa Rose
Recent bans that made it illegal to burn
green waste within Hills townships have
been brought into question by State MP
Late last year the State Parliament’s
Environment, Resources and Development
Committee chairman wrote to Adelaide Hills
Council chief executive Andrew Aitken urging
the council to consider allowing burning within
townships on weekdays.
The letter came after the committee
heard evidence about the bans which were
implemented by the council mid last year after
the State Environment Protection Authority
(EPA) released its Environment Protection
(Air Quality) Policy 2016.
The new bans made it illegal to burn off waste
within Hills townships year round without a
permit and were implemented to improve air
quality and reduce environmental impacts.
The committee is charged with reviewing the
policy and last year it heard from local State
MPs Isobel Redmond and Vickie Chapman
that many Hills residents were concerned the
bans would inhibit their ability to reduce fuel
load prior to the bushfire season.
In his letter to the council Mr Kenyon said
the committee believed that the EPA’s new
policy was “better” than the former policy and
was therefore reluctant to reject it as a whole.
However, he said that the new policy provided
for significant “flexibility” and called on the
council to use that flexibility to allow burning
within townships from 9am–3pm, Monday to
Friday outside of the fire ban season. Prior
to the burning bans, residents within Hills
townships could burn from 9am–3pm, Monday
to Saturday outside of the fire ban season.
The policy provides councils with the ability
to issue a burning permit to individuals or to
an entire area and the Council has already
used that to exempt people living outside of
townships from the bans.
Last year the council also granted more than
300 burning permits to landholders within
townships in order to allow them to more easily
clean up their properties before the start of the
However, council director of strategy and
planning Marc Salver said reversing the bans
within townships would “effectively result in
the policy having no effect in the Adelaide Hills
He said prior to considering a reversal, the
council would seek advice from the EPA and that
it would continue working on a new Burning in
the Open Policy which would formally outline
the council’s policy for burning.
Continued page 12
MP urges council to consider
By Melissa Keogh
The last substantial block of vacant land
in Mt Barker’s CBD is under contract to be
sold to a SA developer.
The land’s owner, supermarket giant
Woolworths, has confirmed it has reached an
agreement with a SA property developer to
sell the block bordered by Morphett Street and
The site has been of high public interest,
particularly since June when a Mt Barker
community group launched a campaign for a
European-style town square to be built on the
The 11,345sqm property is estimated to be
worth in excess of $10m.
A Woolworths spokeswoman said she was
unable to disclose the name of the developer,
but the land was “under contract”.
“We have a heads of agreement and it’s a SA
property developer,” she said.
The land was open for expressions of interest
in October, during which the Mt Barker Council
lodged an offer to buy a third of the site.
This was the council’s second offer on the land
in less than a year – both were rejected.
The council’s chief executive, Andrew Stuart,
said he hoped to work with the successful
bidder to achieve civic facilities, such as open
space on the site.
“We probably will be able to promote again
some of the outcomes we were trying to achieve
such as a town square and some civic facilities,”
“I’m sure they (the developer) are going to be
coming to council looking for council’s interest
in the land, seeing what can be done.”
Mr Stuart said he believed the council’s offer
on the section of land was “competitive” but
Woolworths were “persuaded to sell the whole
The Mt Barker and District Residents’
Association launched a $113m crowdfunding
campaign managed by fractional investment
property DomaCom in June.
The campaign was pitched to investors to
help secure $10m to buy the land and a further
$90m to build a town square with a nine-storey
hotel and apartments, however, insufficient
funds were raised to secure the property.
DomaCom general manager of sales and
marketing Warren Gibson said it was unlikely
the residents’ association’s town square concept
would be achieved. “It is a pity as we thought it
(was) a very good concept,” he said.
Mr Gibson said he hoped the land’s new owner
would include civic facilities in their plans for
Mt Barker and District Residents’ Association
secretary Laurence Gellon said the community
group’s efforts in drawing up plans for the
vacant site didn’t go to waste.
“I think we raised awareness within the
community and raised economic expectations
in showing what’s possible – whether the
developer will take that on we can only hope,”
WOOLWORTHS LAND SOLD
Council hopes for some civic space
From page 7
Mr Gask acknow-
ledged the importance
of events such as
Groovin the Moo
for the survival of
the club which has
witnessed a decline in
racing attendance in
However, he was
confident that the
continue to host other
reducing the long-
term impact of the
loss of the music
He is also hopeful
that Groovin the
Moo will return to
Oakbank next year.
“From our point
of view I think (the
are very keen to come
back and we’re really
keen to have them
come back,” he said.
Over the past three
years the festival has
brought names such
as the Hilltop Hoods,
Illy, the Jezabels and
Sticky Fingers to
the Hills, attracting
crowds upwards of
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