Vine pull, growth and a strong focus to protect the region – The Barossa Council’s director of development and environmental services, Mr Ian Baldwin has seen many changes to the region in his role.
After 40 years in Local Government and a 33 year association with the Barossa, which includes a term with the SA Health Commission, Mr Baldwin will retire from his position next month.
Council amalgamations, a change in roles and responsibilities and a growing region are among the challenges Mr Baldwin has encountered but he reflects fondly on his time in Local Government and particularly the Barossa.
“Local Government is the coal face from a Government perspective… working with community and other stakeholders,” said Mr Baldwin.
“We are able to provide a service direct to the community and are attuned to provide a high level of service in an efficient and effective way.”
Leaving school, Mr Baldwin was working with a builder in a private practice and taking on additional studies, he secured a position with the Tea Tree Gully Council that kick started a long term career in building and health services.
He first came to the Barossa working with the District Council of Barossa on the Barossa Community Services Board in a role that linked closely with Councils in Light, Kapunda, Tanunda, Truro and Angaston.
But after his stint with the SA Health Commission, Mr Baldwin was keen to get back into Local Government and returned to the District Council of Barossa.
He held the building inspection and environmental health role until the formation of The Barossa Council and was appointed to the role he holds today.
He reflects on working with the industries, particularly the wine industry and the peaks and troughs they have faced.
“In the early 80s it was the time of the vine pull… it was a hard time for everybody making that decision to remove the vines and think of the other activities they could undertake to be sustainable,” said Mr Baldwin.
“In the 90s, when I returned, it was the opposite when the wine industry in particular was boom times… there was a lot of expansion, the take up of land for planting vineyard. And then towards the mid to late 90s there was the expansion of wineries to cater for growth and demand for high quality product.”
For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.