News and Events

News and media

Read below to find out more about the Association in the general media and stories written by the Association in the Weekender Herald Newspaper. Please contact us with any news about a local event, a potential news item or a future activity.

Rural development - From the Weekender Herald

This is the first in a series of opinion pieces that the Mt Barker and District Residents’ Association will present to you in 2016. Importantly the first article will feature a topic which is dear to all of our hearts – whether we live in the towns, settlements or rural areas of our district – the preservation of prime agricultural land. Click here for more details.

Hills Development - From the Weekender Herald

How building developments affect a neighbourhood is a hot topic in Australia today with many communities up in arms over constructions in their area. The Adelaide hills is no different with many towns fighting to keep their special nook from being changed too much. Click here for more details.

Mount Barker Court House - From the Weekender Herald

Members of the Mount Barker and District Residents' Association are concerned that rumoured plans by the State Government to restructure courts administration in the district and to operate the Mount Barker Court on a circuit basis and not as a full-time registry will threaten the future of the heritage-listed courthouse. Click here to read the full story.

Mount Barker Town Square - From the Weekender Herald

More than two years ago the Mount Barker and Districts Residents' Association resolved to see if we could bring into being a Town Square for Mount Barker on part of the vacant land owned by Woolworths in the centre of the town. Our intention was to “Give Mt Barker a HEART”. Click here for more details. 

A larger image of the design can be found here.

Arts and culture policy - From the Weekender Herald 

Recently the third and final International Sculpture Symposium concluded with the result that a remarkable twenty six stone sculptures will be installed throughout ours and adjoining districts. What a wonderful achievement and congratulations to all community groups, businesses and councils who contributed to make this happen. Click here to read to more about the story.

Mount Barker Town Square - Newspaper Stories from the Courier Newspaper

Story one: Click here for more details 
Story two:
Click here for more details
Story three:
 Click here for more details  

More Association stories are to come out soon - so keep an eye on this page for more details. 

Mount Barker Rail Connection - By Douglas McCarty - 
The rail connection to Mt Barker has three problems, apart from patronage - gauge, administrative and operational jurisdiction and journey time. Click here for more details. 

News Release | Petition to the Premier

The Mt Barker and District Residents’ Association sincerely hopes that the recent statements proclaimed by the Minister of Urban Development and Planning, Minister Rau in his press release of 17 August 2011 will eventuate. That is, that ‘rezoning will not be allowed to run off without infrastructure planning being bedded down.’ Minister Rau noted also ‘I will not allow developers to push me into rezoning when infrastructure needs are not known, not planned for and not funded.’

The Minister’s words reinforce the well presented views of the 520 written and 120 verbal DPAC submissions presented late last year as part of the Ministerial DPA (MDPA) process. Identifying the lack of infrastructure planning as a fundamental barrier to an effective MDPA implementation process was one of the key elements of many of the submissions.

Coupled with the loss of prime agricultural lands for future food security, the community recommended a review of the MDPA and a more transparent and community oriented approach to urban development and planning.

Minister Rau has indeed confirmed the community’s worst fears – that the Mt Barker MDPA was ‘dishevelled, disjointed and inconsistent’. The process did not adhere to those guidelines stipulated in the Government’s own planning bible, the 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide. It appeared that it was a developer driven process where both the local Council and the community’s views were largely ignored.

‘It appears to us that there are some members of Council and Council staff who believe that this rezoning is a ‘done deal’ and that neither Council nor the community can influence any further changes to our situation’ stated Chairperson Dianne van Eck. ‘We emphatically deny this!

We believe a new DPA will be the opportunity for Minister Rau to put right those elements that were deeply flawed in the previous one. We will be lobbying strongly, both to the Minister and the Premier, that a new DPA is required to put right those elementary flaws which should not be included in best practice urban planning and design’.

As part of an ongoing strategy to have the MDPA decision reviewed, the Association presented a petition with over 2,000 signatures to the Premier in December 2011. This petition asked that:

To Hon Premier of South Australia

We, the undersigned, being residents of the State of South Australia, noting that the Minister for Urban Development and Planning has admitted publicly that the Government erred in implementing the Ministerial Mount Barker Urban Growth Development Plan Amendment (MDPA, 2010), now do earnestly request you to replace it with a DPA for Mount Barker that respects the wishes of the people of the District (as expressed in their submissions to the said MDPA) and the District Council of Mt Barker, and accords with the planning provisions announced by the Minister on 17 August 2011.

‘No More Mt Barkers on my watch’ may well be his catch cry, but will Minister Rau put right these most serious of wrongs – a development which had no plans for supporting infrastructure, which destroyed agricultural lands and which ignored the wishes of the people?

Strategic Planning and Development Policy Committee (SPDPC) meetings 
This is an open public meeting and all members of the community are welcome to attend. Meeting dates and times can be found on the Council's web site. These meetings are critical as it is here that Councillors discuss urban planning issues related to our community.

Ministerial DPA approved
On Thursday 16 December 2010 the Ministerial DPA was approved and gazetted with very little change. Responses to community concerns have not been made public as part of the Minister's promise to release the DPAC report. 

Council received a full report of the DPAC findings which was presented to the Minister. The Council has released the report to the community. It is available on their web site.

Local events

Council Meetings

Council meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month at the Mt Barker Council Chambers. Agendas and minutes are available on the Council web site.

Agendas papers are available on the Council's web site by the Thursday before each meeting.

Local events

Adelaide Hills Farmer's Market
The Farmer's Market operates from Mann Street adjacent to the old Council Chambers. Come along and purchase fresh, produce from the many stall holders. The Market operates each Saturday morning.

Also visit for details on other local events in the Adelaide Hills region.