Sunday, 24 September 2017

Our View (14-6-2017): What’s the point?

YORKE Peninsula Council may have bitten off more than it can chew by voting to revocate community land at Black Point.

If the revocation is granted by the state, which is no certainty, council would then aim to sell blocks for a substantial cash injection.

The folks at Black Point were not happy about the idea when it was first raised and it was surprising most councillors voted to proceed despite largely negative feedback.

Black Point residents should not be treated differently to any other community group, nor would they want to be. But YPC certainly realises Black Point is the peninsula’s most affluent area by no small margin. When residents say they are willing to take the matter to court, they undoubtedly have the means to carry that through. Perhaps YPC has picked the wrong community to upset.

This leaves us with two questions. Will council put up a fight? And, perhaps more importantly, would the fight be worth it?

The first question remains up in the air. YPC has wisely lawyered up and may opt to renege on its decision rather than face the prospect of lengthy and expensive court proceedings.

The second question is more interesting.

Council’s application will have caused a lot of angst for nothing if Minister for Planning John Rau says the allotments should remain community land. Mr Rau will have to consider the overwhelming opposition encountered during council’s public consultation efforts. That alone may be enough to have the revocation denied.

Even if the state permits council to take ownership of the land, selling it won’t be as easy as you might imagine. There will likely be state-imposed restrictions on some blocks so they can’t be developed until the crown lease shacks nearby are removed, and that could be up to 20 years away. It stands to reason council would either have to wait decades before selling, or sell for less than what the blocks would eventually be worth.

Council may continue to fight but, all things considered one might wonder, what’s the point?

Nick Perry, Editor

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