“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)





02 November 2012


Vignoble Protection Bills Pass
But Labor Pushes McLaren Vale Ghetto Rash Through Anyway

South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill (above), has been celebrating the fact that the Japanese-owned Lion Brewery in Adelaide’s Thebarton has taken the Guinness and Kilkenny license from Fosters and will spend $70 million upgrading its plant to brew these revered suds there.

The owner, Kirin/Mitsubishi, will also close its Swan brewing operations in Perth and now make those products in the Adelaide plant.

In the same week, Premier Weatherill has touted his government’s sensible bills which "protect" the vital agricultural land of the Barossa and McLaren Vale from ghetto creep.
“We will now not have Councils, developers, landowners or even Ministers for Planning subdividing land without full Parliamentary approval in the Barossa or McLaren Vale,” Attorney-general and Minister for Planning, John Rau said at the passage of these two essential  bills.

“This legislation secures the Barossa and McLaren Vale regions for generations to enjoy.”

And yet his government insists on smothering Seaford Heights, the only remaining slice of the best old geology in the Vales, with housing, right on the entry to McLaren Vale. Click the geology map to see this: it's the land immediately west of winery # 33 (Paxton's), which is on the west side, just south of Old Noarlunga. 

These fields were long regarded as the best barley producers in the state.  Their grain was beloved by Guinness when it was previously brewed in Adelaide, and the few vineyards adjacent to them consistently produce grapes which win record prices while their wines win the highest scores from international critics.

Internationally-renown winemaker Sparky Marquis, of Mollydooker, has wisely spent a motza and bought the only adjacent field not destined for housing. With the help of viticulturer Jock Harvey, he is painstakingly removing its old firing range and motocross tracks to rehabilitate the ground for vineyard.  Mollydooker's famous Velvet Glove Shiraz comes from the Paxton Gateway Vineyard next door, and sells out at $180+ per bottle.

Penfolds also has a prized vineyard just over the road, which it has only recently signified with very stylish signage.

This community garden - established with the help of Senator Nick Xenophon and his trusty shovel - and those scarce native trees, were the first things to go under the Seaford Heights developer's bulldozer. No McLaren Vale resident drives past this vast first-class agricultural ground without considering their vote, and there's an election imminent.

Apart from a fragment at the sacred geological site at Hallett Cove, Seaford Heights is the only remnant of the precious 650+ million year old Umberatana Group geology which is not yet covered by villa rash. All these scarce old geological groups north of the Onkaparinga Gorge have gone to housing, in spite of them hosting the majority of the McLaren Vales vignoble only a few decades back.

Very famous winemakers like Max Schubert and Brian Barry revered their fruit, and now we see a government desperate to please its developer mates by continuing with its relentless and brutal destruction of what is probably the best farming land in the remaining vignoble.

The swinging seat of Mawson, held by a sliver by Labor’s admirable Leon Bignell, is at stake.  Bignell is the bloke who diligently crashed the McLaren Vale and Barossa Character Preservation Bills into law, but apparently has no choice but accept his party bosses’ determination to push the cursed Seaford Heights development through.

Tweet your thoughts directly to Premier Weatherill at JayWeatherill@JayWeatherill.  There is no time to lose, and there’s an election imminent.

Never ever give up.

The original Tractor Action demo clogged the streets and roads of the south and brought about the seeds of the Bills to save McLaren Vale and the Barossa from housing. But this was about the horrid Seaford Heights development, which the South Australian Labor Party bosses seem to have conveniently forgotten. These farmers never forget.


Deputy Premier John Rau
Attorney General
Minister for Planning
Minister for Business Services and Consumers

Thursday, 1 November, 2012

Iconic regions saved from urban sprawl

The State’s iconic Barossa and McLaren Vale regions will now both be protected from residential subdivision, with the passing of both the Character Preservation (Barossa Valley) Bill 2012 and the Character Preservation (McLaren Vale) Bill 2012.

The Upper House last night did not insist on further amendments to the Barossa Valley Bill meaning that both Bills are expected to be finalised in the Lower House today.

The Minister for Planning John Rau said that the passing of the legislation is an important moment in history, not just for the regions, but for the entire State.

“A line in the sand has now been drawn on Adelaide’s urban sprawl,” Mr Rau said.

“Thanks to the efforts of the people, these two defining regions of South Australia are under the unique protection of these Bills.”

“We will now not have Councils, developers, landowners or even Ministers for Planning subdividing land without full Parliamentary approval in the Barossa or McLaren Vale,” Mr Rau said.

“This legislation secures the Barossa and McLaren Vale regions for generations to enjoy.”

The Member for Mawson, Leon Bignell said that it was an historic day for the people of [sic] the McLaren Vale.

“We are now able to provide certainty to the great people of McLaren Vale and ensure that the characteristics that make the region unique will be preserved,” Mr Bignell said.

“It gives certainty to locals, to developers and to investors in the McLaren Vale area.”

“I would like to thank all of the locals, business owners and other groups who have helped to make this important legislation a reality for our beloved McLaren Vale.”

Mr Rau said that the unique aspect of the legislation is to require that any changes to the protection zones would need to be agreed to by the Parliament.

“It is too important for South Australia to leave it to a Minister or a Council to make changes to the boundaries set out in the Bills,” Mr Rau said.

More information about the Barossa and McLaren Vale Preservation Bills and the protected zones can be found at www.sa.gov.au

August 2011: The vet on left looked pleased at John Rau's announcement that Seaford Heights would go ahead regardless. Jim Hullick, the good man on the right, simply looked down. Rau began to storm out of this announcement meeting when it became obvious we - the press and local stakeholders - wanted to ask questions, then had a change of mind and stayed for a bit while he stonewalled. Then he walked out.

1 comment:

D Hearted said...

You sort of hope Weatherill's going to be okay but things like this just keep sticking on his face. This is really frucking stupid of a whole string of Labor slimes. Keep it up Whiteman!