A RE-ELECTED South Australian Labor Government will reduce urban sprawl and focus new development with the existing urban footprint, according to a new policy released last week that also aims to provide housing choice, protect agricultural landscapes and minimise infrastructure costs.
The policy paper, Planning Reform – A Driver of Economic Growth, aims to provide a way forward for planning policy in South Australia and seeks to support the foundations laid by the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide and the Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning John Rau said that with 20.6 years of broadacre land supply presently designated for development in Adelaide, "stopping urban sprawl is possible."
"Our commitment to a focussed planning policy based on evidence and a clearly defined set of principles means the pressure on Adelaide to continuously sprawl further to the north and south is evaporating," Mr Rau said.
"We currently have in excess of 57,000 zoned greenfield lots to support our growing population. It makes no sense for Government to rezone greenfield sites for which there is no short or medium term demand and in respect of which, no binding infrastructure agreements are in place."
Mr Rau also said there is an increasing demand for infill and urban renewal style development, with around 60 per cent of the population growth already happening in Adelaide's inner and middle suburbs. The 30-Year Plan aims for around 70 per cent infill within the next 25 years.
"Clearly this change in consumer preference is exceeding the expectations at the time of the 30 Year Plan's publication and is set to continue," the Minister said.
The 30-Year Plan assumed an annual average of 400 hectares per year of broadacre land would be needed to meet the city's demands. However, the average has been 320 hectares and below 300 since 2010-11, according to the government.
Mr Rau said the policy to stop urban sprawl was good economic news, as he said infill housing creates more than twice the number of jobs and provides a greater boost to the construction industry.
The Minister added that the policy also ensures the protection of the state's environmental and agricultural assets, enhances food security, limits infrastructure costs and supports the creation of a vibrant city.
Also this week, it was announced that a re-elected Labor Government would upgrade access to the O-Bahn from Hackney Road into the CBD by delivering the $160 million O-Bahn City Access project, which would include a lowered busway and underpass to provide a speedier connection to the cross-city priority lane and reduce congestion.
The proposed dual-carriageway would extend for about 500 metres beneath Hackney Rd from near Plane Tree Drive, under the North Terrace and Rundle Road intersections. The exit ramp will emerge next to the Parklands near East Terrace to connect with the cross-city priority bus lane.
More information about the 'Planning Reform – A Driver of Economic Growth' policy paper is available from the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure website at <http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/>.