Renowned ecology expert Dr Ian Overton, of Myrtle Bank, has lodged an appeal with the Environment, Resources and Development Court against Council’s plan for the dam in Unley’s largest open space, a project which he says will destroy the creek area of the park, one of the last remaining natural creek settings on the Adelaide Plain.
In November, our Development Assessment Panel (comprising only the 4 independent members) approved a major flood project incorporating a mitigation dam in Unley’s Ridge Park. Council’s Elected Member representatives (including myself) were unable to participate in the debate because of a conflict of interest.
So while the State Government has made overtones about the 5 Councils of the Brownhill creek project not getting their acts together and threatening to take the project over Unley moves ahead in good faith with what they can do without the input of the others and bang; we hit the dam wall.
I have no doubt that similar action could be taken, either by those wanting no dam in Brownhill Creek, or those in the streets of Unley that could see culverts decimate heir streets.
The first meeting of the two parties is scheduled for January 20th. If there is no agreement then it may go to a hearing. I will, as a member of Council and as a member of our DAP, be watching this with interest.
I have heard that there are many who are concerned that the dam’s construction could cause the death of a 300-year-old River Red Gum within a short distance of the rock dam. I believe Dr Overton shares this concern.
As I mentioned in a recent post I suggested maybe the Government should make good their threat to take it over. It is a project of such size and magnitude and with such importance to much of the Adelaide Metropolitan area that they should have in the first place.
Of course, given the approach the Government took with the Rail Revitalisation project and their decide and defend approach, the contents of this blog post would be obsolete.