Labor’s dodgy housing legacy swaying on stilts as western suburbs decision looms

Labor’s dodgy housing legacy swaying on stilts as western suburbs decision looms

Posted on: 17 February 2023

The Opposition is calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to depart from decades of poor planning decisions and show consistency and transparency regarding development proposals to end confusion and restore the public’s trust.

There are concerns Labor’s lacklustre Planning Minister Nick Champion will soon approve rezoning plans at the former Metcash site at Kidman Park – despite significant community concerns – which would allow for the development of five four-storey-high apartment blocks.

The Malinauskas Labor Government recently rejected an incredibly similar infill proposal across the river on Pierson Street in Tom Koutsantonis’ electorate – due to concerns from residents – that would have allowed for six-storey apartment blocks to be built.

Public consultation on the Kidman Park code amendment closed eight months ago, with its fate now in the hands of Nick Champion.

Shadow Treasurer and Member for Colton, Matt Cowdrey, said South Australians deserve consistency when it comes to this type of important decision making.

“When it comes to housing, Peter Malinauskas and his Labor Government are just making up the rules as they go,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“It would make no sense for the Malinauskas Labor Government to approve a rezoning proposal for the former Metcash site at Kidman Park when they just rejected a very similar submission for a plot less than 500 metres down the road in Lockleys.

“The local community absolutely welcomes the idea of the old Metcash site being transformed into housing – but just not at the density that’s being proposed.

“We’re calling on the Malinauskas Labor Government to be consistent when it comes to these amendments – because right now they are unsure if it’s Peter Malinauskas, Stephen Mullighan or Nick Champion calling the shots and it’s creating mass confusion.”

Shadow Minister for Planning Michelle Lensink said South Australians would rightly find it difficult to trust Labor with planning.

“Labor has a disastrous legacy when it comes to housing developments, with many of their policies – by their own admission – being failures,” Ms Lensink said.

“On Sunday Peter Malinauskas announced that they are walking back from Labor’s previous urban infill strategy to instead focus on land releases and then embarrassingly on Monday Stephen Mullighan admitted that the former Labor Government had actually stuffed up both forms of development.”

When questioned about Labor’s urban sprawl land release at Mount Barker in 2011 Stephen Mullighan said:

“It certainly didn’t work as well for what the community out at Mount Barker needed.”

And then when questioned about the former Labor Government’s urban infill strategy Stephen Mullighan said:

“I know in my electorate in the western suburbs it is killing our streets and it is killing our suburbs.”

Ms Lensink said the Malinauskas Labor Government have this week talked a big game but when it comes to housing they simply can’t be trusted.

“When it comes to housing planning and development Peter Malinauskas doesn’t know if he is Arthur or Martha,” Ms Lensink said.

“Labor’s performed so poorly when it comes to planning in the past – we want them to learn from their mistakes and make consistent, transparent and thoughtful decisions going forward for the sake of all South Australians.”