“Sod the wine, I want to suck on the writing. This man White is an instinctive writer, bloody rare to find one who actually pulls it off, as in still gets a meaning across with concision. Sharp arbitrage of speed and risk, closest thing I can think of to Cicero’s ‘motus continuum animi.’

Probably takes a drink or two to connect like that: he literally paints his senses on the page.”

DBC Pierre (Vernon God Little, Ludmila’s Broken English, Lights Out In Wonderland ... Winner: Booker prize; Whitbread prize; Bollinger Wodehouse Everyman prize; James Joyce Award from the Literary & Historical Society of University College Dublin)





05 April 2012


A day of breath-taking nonsense: Planning Minister John Rau laying down the law whilst advising us last year that the hated and totally inappropriate Seaford Heights development would proceed on priceless agricultural land in the gateway to the McLaren Vale vignoble. 

As a sweetener, that day he announced a development  moratorium which he has now softened, suggesting this was in response to community feelings. 

Now it's time for the Minister to respond to the feelings of the McLaren Vale community, who have ably demonstrated their opposition to the Seaford Heights development. 

Releasing this nonsense on the eve of Easter is about as good as doing it on Christmas Eve. Nobody home. You get away with it.  Photo Philip White


From Hon John Rau, Deputy Premier, Attorney-General, Minister for Planning and Minister for Business Services and Consumers - Thursday 5th April 2012


Planning Minister John Rau today introduced a new interim Development Plan Amendment (DPA) to protect the Barossa and McLaren Vale districts from urban sprawl.

Mr Rau said the new DPA – which contains planning rules for the districts – provided revised controls to protect the districts in response to community concerns about overly restricted development in the former interim DPA.

 “It is vital that we put in place measures which protect the integrity and culture of the Barossa and McLaren Vale,” Mr Rau said.

“Last year we took quick and decisive action to protect these unique areas from inappropriate development and urban sprawl with the introduction of an interim DPA.

 “I have listened to local council and community feedback and am taking further action that will allow appropriate development activities to occur in the protection districts.

“This is a positive step forward for the community, particularly those in the agricultural and primary production industries who will benefit from this new arrangement.”

The interim DPA will ease some of the restrictive development requirements introduced last year, while still maintaining protection from urban sprawl.

Mr Rau said two new Bills – to be introduced to Parliament today – would allow councils to refine the planning rules for their areas.
Importantly, the Bills and interim DPA will retain appropriate controls on land division for residential purposes and new housing in rural areas.

Measures being taken as part of the DPA enable:

• Development that would be reasonably expected to occur within the townships.

• Housing on allotments already designated for rural living, subject to appropriate design measures.

• Development that supports primary production.

Mr Rau said it had been a challenge to get the right balance for these important tourism, winemaking and agricultural areas.

"I believe that through the introduction of this new DPA, we can continue supporting economic growth in the Barossa and McLaren Vale and deliver an excellent interim solution for the community,” Mr Rau said.

The interim DPA will be subject to a new period of formal consultation with the community, led by the independent Development Policy Advisory Committee (DPAC).

Anyone who made a written submission on the previous interim DPA will be invited to make a new submission.


Tractor Action photographs of the October 2010 community demo opposing Seaford Heights both by James Hook. 

Lorraine Rosenberg (below), the fiercely pro-development Mayor of Onkaparinga, which includes much of the McLaren Vale vignoble, supported Constellation Wines'  replacement of the 1841 John Reynell vineyard with intensive ghetto-like housing, and has long supported the Seaford Heights development.  

The new Rau plan will "allow councils to refine the planning rules for their areas".


Anonymous said...

I notice David Gill, Friends of Willunga Basin, in the left of the photo with Minister John Rau. From memory he was 'delighted' with doing a deal over Seaford Heights. I wonder that FOWB think now?

Philip White said...

There is no Willunga Basin. It's an embayment.

Anonymous said...

put em in yr chili paste

Philip White said...

Who? Lorraine? Uh-huh.

fergy said...

What tractor does she drive?

READY said...


Anonymous said...

Gill was the stooly. Veterinarian, apparently. Knackerer.

nofotocredits said...

Didn't she publish Trott's book?

Anonymous said...

Rau was unavailable for comment over the Easter break as he was recovering from three cracked vertebrae suffered recently during his ENORMOUS BACKFLIP. Just when you think possibly your next vote may slip to the left again... If only the Libs had decent leadership.

Philip White said...

I know I've had my go, but it reminds me of this old one I wrote for the Minister for Immigration about six years ago:

For Philip Ruddock

I think I’d have to say that while none of us seek to waste time in discussions, which, while conceptually appealing, eventually prove to have no positive influence whatsoever, the average person must find it difficult to appreciate that in the matter of these issues at hand we have the responsibility to fully explore the extent to which they are indeed issues, or whether in fact with the passage of time we may eventually realise that they are more obviously matters that are concerning us at this point in time, and not issues at all. As we move on as a nation, I want to make it abundantly clear that, beneficially, on their merits, these matters are definitely non-issues relative to modern day Australia, given that we have no advice to the contrary from hitherto unknown third parties which could well emerge on the ground further on down the track. We look at these as bloc issues in this country. I think the Australian people should understand that. The drought has nothing to do with it.

Moredsir said...

The descriptor 'asshat' comes to mind whenever I hear of Minister Rau's latest decision...I wonder why.


Philip White said...

Hi Philip,

David Washington from John Rau’s office here.

I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick on the new DPA for the Barossa and McLaren Vale.

It’s not ‘going soft’ on development. The original interim DPA was designed to pause development; to discourage a rush of applications under the old system before the Bills could be passed by Parliament.

The feedback to the Minister was that it was hindering legitimate activity such as wineries wanting to expand, primary producers wanting to put up sheds etc. The new DPA fixes that, but most certainly does not go soft on the issue of urban development in the protection areas.

Anonymous said...

So why has the Barossa map been changed to exclude Henschke's winery, and the site of the proposed Hill of Grace wind farm?

Did you hear Jan Angas struggling to defend Rau on the ABC this morning?

Is the wind farm on her husband's property?