Our association welcomes contributions from our members and others. While thoughts expressed may not mirror the official views of SPRA, they reflect the wide range of concerns and opinions held by our communities.

St Peters Billabong Deputation

The St Peters Billabong is the largest community reserve in the council and is classified as ‘regional open space’. The park is zoned as part of the Linear Park (River Torrens). It is home to many species of native flora and fauna.

Since starting the petition, I have spoken with people of differing viewpoints. leading to more questions than answers. Tonight I will ask some of the most pressing questions.

In 2018, Barrister Ralph Bleechmore, a former St Peters councillor, Vietnam War Veteran and formerly active member of the Friends of the Billabong raised concerns with council about encroachment by houses along the top of the billabong. Thanks to Ralph’s efforts through Freedom of Information requests, 4 reports were released by the council. Reading the agenda tonight I note that it quotes from an unreleased Golder 2020 report. Why has this not been released to Mr Bleechmore?

Budget Submission by Peter Fairlie-Jones

Peter Fairlie-Jones has permitted SPRA to reproduce his budget consultation submission. He currently serves on the Audit Committees of 5 Councils and has this to say about the budget:

I remain very concerned not only about the proposed future rate increases and high debt levels, but also the resulting long term constraints on Council’s ability to respond to other community priorities and its capacity to respond to adverse events without even further pressure on rates and debt levels.

Will the environment constrain population growth?

The Friends of the University of Adelaide Library invite you to an event with Chris Daniels on Thursday 15 August 2013, at 6.00pm for 6.30pm in the Ira Raymond Exhibition Room, Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide.

Professor Chris Daniels will examine the environment (climate, geography, biodiversity) and lifestyle enjoyed by Adelaideans. He will highlight the environmental conditions that can impact our community, such as drought, fire and food security, and discuss how, and to what extent, we can sustainably manage continued population growth.

InDaily - Vibrancy is Irritatingly Vague

As a scientist there are few words I find more irritatingly vague than “vibrancy”. Vibrancy seems to be very important to urban design professionals and politicians and this word is constantly presented as something Adelaide lacks and that we must strive for. But what is vibrancy exactly and how do we measure it? If we must become vibrant how are we to know when we have succeeded?

Response to "NIMBY Protests Put Homes Out Reach"

Jessica Irvine is right when she blames the high price of housing in Australia on the rising cost of land in our cities ("How NIMBY protests put homes out of reach" Sunday Mail 9/6/13). But she is wrong to attribute this relative scarcity of urban land to selfish surbanites unwilling to sell off their back-gardens to developers of multi-storey flats. The real culprit is the policies of State governments across Australia restricting the release of new suburban allotments due to their belief in urban consolidation. In the USA where State governments do not restrict the supply of land for new housing, houses are much cheaper than in Australia. It is not the people who already own houses stopping others have access to them Jessica, it is State government policies.

Rau arrogant and dismissive; O'Leary factual and well reasoned

John Rau's arrogance and disdain for people who disagree with him was clear to see in his article "Population growth debate must expand" (The Advertiser 16/4/13). Mr. Rau attacks Kevin O'Leary's articles for your paper as being based not on facts but merely on opinion. I have read many of Mr. O'Leary's articles and they appear to be based on sound facts and sound reasoning.

Mr. Rau has dismissed concerns that housing people in multi-storey flats on major arterial roads with significant air pollution contributes to disease and health problems. I understand that there is solid international and Australian research which attests to these negative health impacts. In a recent report in the Advertiser, the Australian Medical Association claimed that more people die in Australia from air pollution than from motor vehicle accidents.

10-12 Storey Flats Not Sensible

Chris Day thinks that building 10-12 storey flats on busy main roads in the inner suburbs is "sensible" ("Rising population pressures city" Eastern Courier 3/4/13). This is despite international evidence that housing people on polluted main roads causes higher rates of asthma, heart disease, premature births, underweight babies and childhood leukaemia.

Air pollution now causes more deaths in Australia than car crashes, according to the AMA. Our State government's housing policy is set to accelerate this tragic trend in Adelaide for several generations to come.

A street of friends

We are in the proposed Felixstow 15.7 Linear Park Medium Density zone.

Our building is not heritage, it is not anything special on the architectural or historical front, and it is only a single storey. However, to us, it is home. This is our castle. We have invested time, money and sentiment creating a home that we would like our family to grow in; we have planted the garden and fruit trees and planned for a long stay.

Billabong achievement at risk

As Coordinator of Friends of the Billabong (FOB), St Peters Park, this is the area that I know in particular. I am also familiar with the Linear Park that runs through St Peters Park towards the city and Walkerville, Marden, Vale Park, Felixstowe.

First, I must say that the Billabong is a magnificent accomplishment of Council, and of the State and even Federal Governments. It provides an amenity for the whole of Adelaide, not just for our City of NPSP, not just for the surrounding residents. However, under current planning laws, three story medium-density developments in a strip 50 metres or less wide will shade the biodiverse areas, prevent their access to seasonal water, and greatly diminish the natural assets that Council has worked hard to achieve.

Let us avoid setting this DPA in concrete, literally, until there are planning laws in place that are more sensitive to the environment.

A Rebuttal to Terry Walsh

Terry Walsh repeats the tired old mantra that there is a “gaping chasm” between the Development Act and Regulations and local councils Development Plans (“The relaxation of building heights is modest – the Gold Coast is definitely not coming to Adelaide” The Advertiser 12 March 2013). Will developers ever be satisfied that local councils and communities are not impeding the developers’ dream of untrammelled development?

If this quality is to be sacrificed in the name of economic growth, then clearly there is something very wrong with the notion of growth. A bigger pie does not mean a better pie.
In the interests of citizens, it is the responsibility of governments to rein in the excesses of property developers not to kow-tow to them. Rather than bland, centralised cookie cutter planning, local councils should be discussing with residents to identify the unique characteristics of neighbourhoods within their boundaries and tailoring zoning to foster the growth of those characteristic.