Gerry Karidis is a developer. His family business is said to be currently worth about $300 million. He is in the Twilight Farm game: building tupperware tuscanies for old folks. Some years back he bought a big swathe of vineyards (above) on the south side of McLaren Vale township, paying much more than their true worth, to replace them with 1200 units for aging people who are not quite ready for their final visit to the nearby hospital.
Gerry was finally made aware that McLaren Vale is blanketed by a freeze on villa rash. Helped by the persistent efforts of the local parliamentarian, Leon Bignell, grape farmers and wine lovers gradually made such a nuisance of themselves with tractor rallies and whatnot, that the Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Act 2012 and Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Act 2012 were finally passed to protect vital agricultural land.
The vineyards Gerry bought, opposite the historic Salopian Inn, a brilliant local eatery, are covered by this legislation. And yet he has begun to uproot them.
That's him with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (above - photo from InDaily).
Because its nature is primarily agricultural, such a town must always have space for the appropriate rural support businesses.
But c'mon: surely we can do better than this current festering mess!
McLaren Vale photos above by Philip White ... photos below from McLaren Vale - Trott's View , photographed by Milton Wordley, Christo Reid, Don Brice and Eric Algra