SOUTH Australia's McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley regions are now protected from urban sprawl with the enabling legislation, the Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Act 2012 and the Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Act 2012, coming into effect last week.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning John Rau said South Australians can be proud of the laws, which aim to recognise, protect and enhance the special character of the regions and ensure that future development does not detract from the special character of the regions.
"It gives me great pleasure to say that landmark legislation that protects our valuable Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale regions is in place as of today," Mr Rau said on Friday.
"The State Government knows the importance of these regions for South Australia, particularly through tourism… We could not allow them to fall victim to the urban sprawl of a growing city.
"Working with local wine and food producers we were able to create laws to protect the unique character of the Barossa and McLaren Vale and ensure that land continues to be used for its historic purpose – that is producing globally recognised gourmet food and wine," the Minister said.
According to Mr Rau, a unique aspect of the legislation is the requirement that any changes to the protection zones would need to be agreed to by Parliament.
"No Cabinet or Minister's decision can change this, only the Parliament will have the power to amend these laws," he said.