Home' InDaily : November 6th 2009 Contents November 6 - 12, 2009
The Independent Weekly
'Save St Clair for the kids",
pleaded ratepayers as they
rallied outside Charles
Sturt Council this week.
The council will vote on Monday
whether a controversial proposal
to swap the established St Clair
Park in Woodville with a former
Actil industrial site of the same
size will go ahead.
But ratepayers, who last Monday
formed the St Clair Reserve
ratepayers committee to fight
the development, suggested the
council's decision had already been
"The people want a stay on the
decision until the consultation
process has been genuinely
undertaken, not the farce we've
had over the past month," said
protest leader Kirsten Alexander
Ms Alexander appealed to the
council to save the park.
"This proposal is the
equivalent to building six or
seven-storey apartment buildings
on the Adelaide Parklands," Ms
Alexander said. "No one would
even consider that."
The plan, which is part of the
Cheltenham racecourse rede-
velopment, would see a housing
development built on the pristine
parkland while the industrial site
will be "remediated" and used for
Residents were supported by
former local federal member Rob
Sawford and Greens MLC Mark
Mr Parnell said despite debate
in state parliament regarding
Cheltenham and the Actil site, the
government had rejected alternate
"What has amazed me is that
time after time when sensible
suggestions are put forward by
members of parliament who are
listening to the community, they
are knocked back," Mr Parnell
The council says it will consider
residents' submissions regarding
the land swap, including fears
about the Actil site's contamina-
tion, before it makes a decision.
"If the revocation and land swap
proceeds, council will not accept
the land until it is remediated and
safe for the community to use,"
council CEO Mark Withers said.
Mr Withers admitted the value
of the two parcels of land may
differ, but that their value would be
assumed to be the same to facilitate
In the letter to one ratepayer,
Mr Withers said the value of the
St Clair reserve site would be
revealed when assessed by the
Valuer General, but the land value
of the Actil site would remain
"This amount is commercial
in confidence to the Land
Management Corporation who will
purchase the land from the joint
venture partners to facilitate the
land swap with council, should it
proceed," Mr Withers wrote.
The Land Management
Corporation will develop the
transit-oriented development on
the park site.
The state government
announced this week the Charles
Sturt Council would receive $20
million in grants to "waterproof"
the western suburbs.
St Clair joint venture partners
AVJennings and Urban Pacific
welcomed the funding which will
help build a wetland and aquifer
storage and recovery scheme
within the development.
Tony Hedges, a farmer from Keith
in the state's south-east, said it just
isn't fair. He gets nothing for part of
the sheep he sells to the meatworks,
even though the works later sell the
product here and overseas.
The bone in contention is offal:
heart, brains, lungs and liver that
Australians look down on, but
which is regarded as a delicacy in
"There's no doubt we should get
paid for offal," Mr Hedges said.
"We get paid for the other bits the
meatworks sell. We should get a
going rate for the offal too."
Department of Agriculture
figures show Australia exported
18,360 tonnes of sheep and goat
offal in 2008, with prices ranging
from $1.16/kg for sheep lungs to $5/
kg for sheep tongue. Lamb runners
(intestine casings for sausages)
were exported at an average price of
$2.63/kg and nearly $3/kg for tripe.
And there's more for the not-too-
squeamish. Other offerings include
frozen sheep spleen, scalded frozen
sheep and lamb stomachs, ox bile
concentrate, calf trachea, edible
beef intestines and even sheep and
deer placenta products.
T & R Pastoral is one of the state's
largest meatworks and, along with
Coles, Woolworths and the Tatiara
Meat Company, buys most of SA's
lambs. They pay farmers according
to the dressed weight of the animal:
that is, the weight of the animal
once it has been gutted, skun and
Meatworks also pay -- and get
paid -- for the skins they on-sell.
Not so offal. The meatworks
makes a killing, but the farmer
doesn't get a cent.
"You tell me how it's fair?" Mr
Hedges said. "It should be written
into some sort of law."
Mr Hedges said that whether
due to consistently poor seasons,
drought or just the way it is, the
farming industry has evolved so that
producers just "take what (they) can
get". If they put up too much of a
fight asking for a better deal, buyers
will simply go elsewhere, leaving the
farmer with nothing. "It's just not
right," he said.
Michael Schapel, of meat
wholesalers P.J. Schapel, said large
meatworks were competitively
advantaged against farmers.
"The local farmer doesn't know
where the offal is going," he said.
"Generally speaking it's too
much of a hassle to sell it in large
quantities domestically, there's just
not the market. But you can get a bit
for it through export."
Union Hall is at the centre of an
almighty tug of war. On one side is
sentiment, history and the arts. On
the other are academics, science
The building sits in the centre of
the University of Adelaide campus.
It was designed by renowned
architect Louis Laybourne Smith
and built in 1958 using public funds
raised in a government campaign.
The University of Adelaide has
millions to spend on developing its
campus. It wants to use $400 million
to demolish Union Hall and replace
it with The Institute for Photonics
and Advanced Sensing (IPAS),
which will incorporate a lecture
hall and upper levels for teaching
"The University of Adelaide
is a small campus. It's beautiful
but it means that if we want to
build something new we have to
demolish something else first," said
Paul Duldig, the university's vice
president of services and resources.
Mr Duldig said many sites were
considered for IPAS before Union
Hall was chosen.
"The Union Hall site comes up as
the best site for a couple of reasons.
One is that it hasn't been used as
a fully functional theatre for some
time, but is instead being used as a
A safety review was also con-
ducted and it would be difficult to do
the repairs necessary to bring it up
to standard, he said.
The development application
for Union Hall's demolition is
being considered by Adelaide City
Council. Under development laws
no public notification is required.
Despite this, a cross-section of the
community is campaigning to halt
the project and preserve Union Hall.
Andrew Cawthorne, spokesper-
son for the newly-formed Save the
Union Hall committee, says the
building has historical, architec-
tural and heritage value.
"It's a watershed building and
20th-century buildings are very
much under-represented on the
State Heritage Register," he said.
Union Hall has been considered
one of Adelaide's best-equipped
theatres because of its orchestra
pit, lighting and rigging facilities.
The arts community has joined
heritage supporters in advocating
for the building.
"If there are fewer performance
spaces it limits the amount of work
that is created and that's really
sad," said Pamela Foulkes, CEO of
the State Theatre Company.
Kate Warren from the state's
Gilbert and Sullivan Society
has formed a Save our Festival
State group to campaign for more
consideration of the arts com-
"If you're going to knock down
theatres then maybe you need to
replace them," she said.
The debate has prompted the
government to launch an audit of
performance venues, but Union
Hall's best chance of staying
upright are the applications which
have been made for State Heritage
Mr Cawthorne and the National
Trust have made separate applica-
tions to add the building to the State
The Save the Union Hall com-
mittee will hold a rally on the Barr
Smith Lawns at Adelaide University
Farmers talk tough with price offally bad
Heart of the matter : butcher Tony O'Connell with a tray of offal.
Photo: Kate Elmes
Secret price on
priceless land Disunity over Uni Hall
Union Hall will be destroyed unless it is
added to the State Heritage Register.
Photo Kate Elmes.
St Clair Park: residents hope their protests are not in vain.
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