Light Regional Council have adopted a master plan that represents millions of dollars worth of investment for the region.
Entitled “Regional Vision – Barossa and Hinterland” the plan was unveiled during a presentation by Light Regional Council CEO Mr Brian Carr Mayor.
Mayor Bill O’Brien said the presentation outlined a bold three stage proposal to be funded through private and public investment to stimulate the economy and enhance business and lifestyle opportunities.
“Stage 1, which Council has adopted in principle, would result in major investment in the order of $120 million that includes a master plan for a significant resort style development in honour of Mr Oskar Seppelt planned for Seppeltsfield along with a Sir Sidney Kidman International Centre at Kapunda,” said Mayor O’Brien.
“Part of the first stage that Council have agreed to would be to bring forward the sealing of Gerald Roberts Road from Gomersal Road to Seppeltsfield Road in order to link the Seppeltsfield Road businesses and Seppeltsfield and also provide a direct link through Greenock to Kapunda.”
He said Council recognised the establishment of a “world class” Kidman International Centre would create a unique opportunity to present the story behind a major contributor to Australia’s history in one place.
“And in the rightful place,” added Mayor O’Brien.
“Sir Sidney Kidman lived in Kapunda for 33 years and donated his home, which is now part of the Kapunda High School, to the town. The story is authentic and the family orientated centre will no doubt attract visitors and their families from all over Australia and the world.”
Private investment along with Federal and State Government grants will be sought to assist in funding the development and Council have already produced what Mayor O’Brien described as a “high level visionary and compelling marketing engagement package” to be distributed to a select group of operators and private investors to support the project.
“The establishment of the Centre will help to continue the revitalisation of Kapunda’s Main Street. You look around in many country towns and sadly their main streets are dying because there is very little to bring people into town but there is plenty to take them out… We want to retain and grow our businesses to be sustainable and keep employment.”
Stage 2 of the regional vision includes an International Equine Centre at the University of Adelaide Roseworthy Campus and the possibility of a regional airport north of Roseworthy which is considered a major growth centre into the future.
“The Roseworthy township may even be as big as Mawson Lakes!”
Water infrastructure and access are also highlighted in the master plan.
“Water is liquid gold and is a major part of the Light Regional Council’s vision and we will be exploring all water sources currently available to meet the needs of the region and building on the already successful Gawler River Water Re-Use Scheme,” said Mayor O’Brien.
“A food bowl, wine export…you need water to do both of those and it may even be possible to direct any water sourced out to Eden Valley and that would be huge.”
Plans for an Emergency Services Hub for the northern region are also included in the vision.
“It’s really interesting, to have one place that is central to the whole northern part of the state where all the emergency headquarters are, outside of Adelaide.”
Mayor O’Brien said should Council receive appropriate funding, Council could “get cracking” on the projects.
“That’s why we have to stay viable. We don’t want all these distractions with boundary reform!”
“Our Council remains visionary and positive it can deliver this extraordinary regional vision and will continue to pursue this with the many partners already committed to the future of the region.”