Attitude shift

It is almost a year since former Planning Minister Paul Holloway foisted his plan to more than double Mt Barker’s population on the local council.
Despite a record number of opposing submissions from residents and councillors alike, the town’s boundary was redrawn, opening up 1300ha of farmland for housing.
Now, where once the community and the Mt Barker Council stood united in their dogged opposition to the plan, there has been a shift in attitudes.
Councillors who themselves penned submissions damning the rezoning and made impassioned speeches at public meetings now increasingly talk about “making the best of a bad situation”.
The Mt Barker and District Residents’ Association, however, and many other residents have not softened their views and still want the plan scrapped.
With almost 2000 signatures, their petition shows there is still strong community opposition to the expansion.
They find hope in Premier Jay Weatherill’s decision to take control of the controversial development in Port Adelaide – something many there thought would never happen.
But while the council maintains its official stance is that it has never supported the Development Plan Amendment, it would be unwise for it to dig its heels in and refuse to plan for something that will likely go ahead.