Development, tourist style

Given the general decline of the rural sector seaside or coastal towns depend on domestic tourism to survive. In the process of encouraging tourism, seachange retirees and regional growth they are in danger of damaging, if not destroying, the very natural attractions that made them so attractive to people in the first place.

Victor Harbor on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia is a classic example . Tourism has replaced the dairy and grazing farms in terms of economic importance. The city council has invested substantial funds to rebrand the town from being a run down and decaying service centre for the the agricultural industry to a tourist town. The rebranding involved giving the town centre a design facelift. The town has become more attractive but its economy is low-wage work such as retail and hairdressing that exist to serve local residents. A high tech hub of innovation and creativity it is not.

Tourist development is already happening. There is a Heritage Trail that runs west from Petrel Cove, which link up with the Heysen Trail at Kings Beach Lookout. Both Trails form part of the Wild South Coast Way on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. There is also a Bluff (Rosetta Head) Master Plan, which is in process of being put together, based on community feedback that emphasizes walking not more carparks. These are low key eco-tourist developments with a light footprint. You enjoy the coastline by walking it.

Petrel Cove coastline

The Victor Harbor Council has not publicly responded to the community feedback re the Bluff Master Plan, but the plan does not include the privately owned farmland west of the Rosetta Head reserve. Under SA’s new planning system Victor Harbor is part of the Greater Adelaide Planning Region and it is unclear whether the Victor Harbor Council will assess the proposed development or whether the planning authority is Planning SA and the state government.

The picture above is from January 2022 and it was made from Rosetta Head (Kongkengguwar) on an early summer morning. It looks west across Petrel Cove down along the coastline to Kings Beach and Kings Head. The Waitpinga Cliffs are in the background. It is a fantastic coastline that needs to be cared for as the farmland is sold. Massive and ugly development would destroy it.

The area just west of the Petrel Cove car park and the green belt in the above picture is earmarked for a proposed tourist property development by Tirroki Pty Ltd consisting of 5 self-contained accommodation units (4 single and 1 double unit with carports) and service building/s on the current farmland. It runs east/west from Jagger Road to the Heritage Trail with access from Jagger Rd.

4 Replies to “Development, tourist style”

  1. Developers have been targetting open spaces in urban areas too. Many of the first medium-density units were built on tiny blocks overlooking reserves, parks and ovals. In effect, monetizing public property.

    1. Graeme,
      In this in this case the developers are monetizing the Heritage Trail, the coastline and the sea. A new planning regime has just been put in place that is based zones and planning and design codes.
      I’m looking for the enviromental impact study for this development.

  2. One would like to think that these farms, when sold go some way to rewilding the area, in fact it should be compulsory considering the climate crisis we face. That however is probably too much to expect and developers, and councils will be rubbing their hands at the prospect of further development, and mostly for the more wealthy I imagine

  3. Vikky,
    well if the Kings Beach Retreats is anything to go by you are dead right. A new planning regime (statewide) has come into being since then so I presume the assessment of the development is out of the hands of the Victor Harbor council. The architecture will probably be better designed and it will be assessed without giving much consideration to the climate crisis. Definitely high end.

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