Interest lodged around irrigation scheme

Council recently submitted a Statement of Intent (SOI) to the Minister for Planning, John Rau, for the Northern Food Bowl Protection Areas Development Plan Amendment (DPA).

With the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) project rapidly advancing, council sought to make this DPA a priority.

Minister Rau endorsed the SOI, and Adelaide Plains Council management will now prioritise the advancement of the DPA, which ultimately will provide opportunities for investment and employment growth.

Commenting on behalf of the CEO, APC’s general manager of development and community, Robert Veitch, said the week leading up to Easter had been a good week for council.

“On the Monday, the state government announced its commitment of $110 million to the NAIS, and a couple of days later, Minister Rau informed us he was in agreement with the SOI,” Mr Veitch said.

The extension of the Virginia Pipeline System (VPS) will provide treated wastewater for irrigation, thereby facilitating the growth of food production north of the Gawler River.

The (NAIS) project will enable an additional 20 gigalitres of recycled water to be available for irrigation on the Northern Adelaide Plains.

This will facilitate the expansion of irrigation in horticulture and field and fodder crops, and other food production related uses as well as the creation of approximately 3500 jobs.

The DPA will seek to provide opportunities for investment and employment growth throughout Adelaide’s northern food bowl areas.

The area affected by the proposed DPA comprises approximately 30,000 hectares of land within the Adelaide Plains Council area including land zoned as primary production (approximately 28 000 hectares) and land zoned as horticulture (approximately 3000 hectares).

It is also council’s intention to introduce new flood hazard maps into the Development Plan to provide more comprehensive and up-to-date information on the level of hazard for areas within the floodplains of both the Gawler River and the Light River.

This is crucial to ensuring a risk based approach is administered when determining development of the areas potentially affected from inundation of flood water from both the Light and Gawler Rivers.

By amending the Development Plan policy, infrastructure efficiencies will be maximised as will the ongoing protection of Adelaide’s northern food bowl areas.

At the recent April 18 ordinary council meeting council members voted to go ahead immediately with the preparation of the DPA, committing to have it completed by December 1 of this year.

“It is a fairly ambitious timeframe,” Mr Veitch said, however is confident that it will be achieved, “this is very good for the APC and everyone will benefit.”

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