A new future for the now defunct Inverbrackie detention facility is a step closer.
The Department of Defence announced back in May that the 80-home site – vacated late last year – would be sold in one lot.
However, the wheels of government turn slowly and there has been a genuine fear in the community that the place will rapidly deteriorate if left abandoned for too long.
A ghost town next door to the 16th Air Land Regiment does nothing to benefit the community and is a waste of the $10m taxpayers spent upgrading the old defence housing estate to an acceptable standard for a detention facility.
Now the Adelaide Hills Council has received a letter giving it first option to buy the land, with a decision deadline set for the end of the month.
Given its experience with the old Lobethal mill, the council is unlikely to take on another commercial project and the department will go to open tender.
The hope now is that whoever buys the property moves quickly to develop the site and that the wheels of planning move faster than they usually do in this area.
Strathalbyn is widely known as an ‘antiques town’.
Indeed its historic and well preserved High Street precinct is a Mecca for antique aficionados with its shops brimming with second-hand goods and collectables.
Last weekend’s 25th annual Antiques, Collectors and Interior Design Fair further cemented the historic town’s connection with the past and, judging by the more than 6000 people who attended the two-day event, it is a valuable hook on which the town can hang its marketing hat.
Most towns would dream of that tourism pulling power and its committee has shown that by adding an interior design element to the usual program it is positive and forward thinking about the future of the weekend.
A pop-up cellar door was on offer for the first time this year in the old grain store opposite the town’s swimming pool and, with the Langhorne Creek wine region only minutes away, the potential for a more integrated food and wine component remains a possibility.