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.

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.

Council going over the top in St Peters

FAMILY FIRST MLC Robert Brokenshire has this week asked the Planning Minister the Hon John Rau MP to intervene in the residents’ dispute with the City of Norwood Payneham St Peters, saying they went over the top with two zoning proposals for precincts of St Peters, Joslin and Felixstow adjacent to the River Torrens.

"“Residents are quite right to be concerned about the way the River Torrens MDPA fails to comply with the State Government’s Transit Oriented Development plans – there is little or no public transport connecting with those pockets that will see up to 4 storey high rise”, Mr Brokenshire said.

A Plea to the Council

This submission is particularly addressed to the councillors of this City, because you hold the power in your hand. This is your decision.

You have the choice of representing the residents of your city of Norwood, Payneham and St Peters, or perhaps representing the SA State Government, or maybe you feel like standing up for your loyal and hard working staff, or for some of the 500,000 people the government wants to bring here under its 30 year plan. Some of those people have not reached Australia yet and some of them may not even have been born.

We are a democracy. We are getting Russian style apartments, but hopefully not a Russian style autocracy. We all know that political parties need funding and that some of the funding legitimately comes in part from the development industry. Your State government might feel obligated to the development industry but you councillors need not. You are not politically aligned. You are whistle clean. You can vote with the people, with a democracy, against destruction of our way of life. Leave the autocracy to the big boys in State Parliament and let them be dealt with in the ballot box.