Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Growing Wallaroo

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Joanna Tucker, Yorke Peninsula Country Times

Privately owned rural land on the outskirts of Wallaroo is in the process of being rezoned, with new housing and an industrial estate looking increasingly likely to be built there in coming years.

The 110 hectares of vacant land is situated between the Spencer Highway and Bowman and Rosslyn roads.

State Planning Minister Nick Champion began the rezoning process in December, with the push to change the status of the land being started following a large influx of new residents to the region.

Wallaroo’s population has increased by more than a quarter in the past decade and continues to grow rapidly.

The rezoning project is being led by Future Urban, an Adelaide-based firm that specialises in planning and development services.

At a Copper Coast Council information session in June, Future Urban associate director Emily Nankivell spoke to the councillors about possible rezoning plans.

She said the company was still finalising investigations into the minister’s amendment to the planning code, and once the report was finalised, it would seek community input.

“This is one of the fastest-growing regions,” Ms Nankivell said.

“It’s a logical expansion for the next part of the township.”

She said, if the rezoning plan went ahead, the southern portion of the land would be zoned for housing, and the northern part for an industrial precinct.

The proposal stated there had been several companies, two land developers and an “education provider” that had indicated they were interested in being part of the development.

It was hoped the rezoning would provide more jobs, and would decrease the number of Wallaroo residents who had to travel long distances for work.

From 2011-21, Wallaroo’s population grew from about 3200 people to about 4100, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In 2019, it was predicted that the town would grow by about another 1000 people before 2036, to around 5100 people — an increase of close to 60 per cent since 2011.

Wallaroo experienced the second-largest proportional increase in the Barossa, Yorke and Mid North region in the decade to 2021, with Moonta having the largest growth percentage.

CCC development services director Muller Mentz, however, was not giving much away last week, saying residents should stay tuned for further developments.

“We look forward to sharing more with ratepayers on what the code amendment means for the Copper Coast Council region as it comes to light,” Mr Mentz said.

Copper Coast councillors have previously expressed concerns about Wallaroo Hospital being left behind if the population increases further, a sentiment shared by Wallaroo Community Development Association vice-president Trevor Cox.

“What consideration has been given by government to improve support services for this future growth, such as hospitals, allied health services and expansion of access to Service SA?” Mr Cox asked last week.

“The growth is happening irrespective if this goes ahead.

“It creates a crisis and these support services don’t get looked at until somebody realises.”

An open day will be run by Future Urban on an unconfirmed date, when there will be an opportunity for residents to put in written submissions about the land-rezoning plan.

Yorke Peninsula Country Times 9 July 2024

This article appeared in the Yorke Peninsula Country Times, 9 July 2024.

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