LIGHT Regional Council has carried out an ‘implementation review’ into the way it, recently, formed the Gawler Belt township boundary, noting that giving prior notice to residents, if time had allowed, could have helped allay some of their concerns.
In addition to altering the official township boundaries of Kapunda, Wasleys and Roseworthy, a new area was also created for ‘Gawler Belt’, earlier this year, for the purpose of enforcing updated air quality legislation.
For Gawler Belt residents, it meant permits would now be required for any open-air burning activities.
In a report presented to council’s latest ordinary meeting, development services manager Lisa Sapio said the change created significant interest from some Gawler Belt resident, with council’s administration receiving an estimated 65 enquiries.
“…It is important to note that through the feedback received 92 per cent of the land owners voiced concerns with the process and in particular the lack of prior public consultation,” Ms Sapio said.
“Mainly though, the enquiries where of a generic nature and sought to understand why the change of designation had occurred along with how a burning permit could be obtained.”
The review goes on to suggest resident concerns could have been allayed if council had off-set the perceived difficulties in obtaining and implementing burning permits by provided alternative options for handling green waste disposal, as well as given prior community consultation and discussion about the required changes, if the time-frame had allowed.
“Through the efforts of council staff, in particular its Fire Prevention Officer, community understanding and acceptance of the basis for the changes and the new processes involved has increased and many are now keen to understand the process that needs to be followed now in order to complete their burning requirements,” Ms Sapio said.
For the purpose of defining which properties require burning permits, the ‘township’ at Gawler Belt borders the Sturt Highway, Redbanks Road, Nottle Road, and homes south of Ward Belt Road.