Border fears

A Campbelltown Council decision to push ahead with a controversial plan to annex Hills homes has angered Rostrevor residents, including Mardi Espinoza, front left, Dan Fitzgerald and Steve Swann.

Campbelltown Council’s move to push ahead with its controversial border realignment in the face of clear community opposition has unsurprisingly left residents angry and disillusioned.
The council’s recent survey was the second in about a year, with both revealing widespread opposition to the plan.
Yet neither survey has changed the council’s position – highlighting, yet again, a favorite local government practice to be the champion of the people when consultation shows support for planned changes while blatantly ignoring them when it doesn’t.
This undermines the consultation process.
Campbelltown Council staff argued that newer and younger residents – which they claim are the “future” of the area – are more open to the change.
But that argument is grasping at straws.
On the whole, younger and newer residents are more likely to be living in the new, modern Hamilton Hill development – a densely populated part of Woodforde filled with tight townhouses with tiny backyards.
Simply put, they have nothing to lose.
In contrast, many long-term Rostrevor residents have invested heavily into the area, making it what it is today – a leafy, green foothills suburb with large blocks – more akin to a Hills town than a city suburb.
It’s therefore no surprise that they feel most strongly about shifting into a metropolitan council. They fear changes to planning rules could allow subdivision – something the Adelaide Hills Council has a track record of fighting against.
The Campbelltown Council has committed to maintaining the development rules as they stand if the boundary change goes ahead, but there’s no guarantee that policy will remain unchanged. In fact, if the boundary realignment goes ahead, it could be argued that it would make sense for planning rules in those parts of Rostrevor to eventually be brought into line with the rest of the Campbelltown Council area.
If the Campbelltown Council insists on pursuing the boundary change, it could – at the very least – consider applying it exclusively to the Hamilton Hill development, which is already similar to the rest of the council area and whose residents are generally less opposed.
The Campbelltown Council’s actions have already left a bad taste in the mouths of the very residents it claims to want to represent.