The Greens SA say it's time to end the ongoing saga of the vacant Le Cornu site in North Adelaide, by giving State and Local Governments the power to temporarily acquire land for public purposes.
"The news today that the latest approved development plans for the vacant Le Cornu site have been abandoned once again, shows that the planning system is broken and needs to be fixed," said Greens SA State Parliamentary Leader and planning lawyer, Mark Parnell MLC.
“Allowing one of the most important and prominent sites in Adelaide to remain vacant and unused for 25 years is incredibly wasteful. The Greens believe there should be laws that allow the State Government or the local Council to be able take over the land and use it temporarily for public purposes, at least until the developer commits to starting work. For 25 years, the people of Adelaide could have had access to some additional open space for kids to play, rather than looking out onto a wasteland surround by ugly fencing.
“It's clear that we can't simply rely on developers to do the right thing here. It's time for the Parliament to take action. That's why the Greens will be introducing amendments to the Land Acquisition Act 1969, to allow governments to take temporary control over vacant land where the owners have no real intention to develop it in the short term. The land ownership wouldn’t be affected and when the owner is ready to develop, they get their land back. In the meantime the community at least gets some benefit”, explained Mark Parnell.
Greens candidate for Adelaide and former City Councillor, Robert Simms said there would be strong community support for the Greens' plan:
"This has become an eye-sore for the residents of North Adelaide and the site really has become a blight on our city. It's time to amend the law to prevent developers from hoarding land in this way in the future. Examples like this also show the need for a special tax on vacant property. Sitting on vacant prime real estate waiting for a capital gain shouldn’t be encouraged. Taxing this sort of behaviour should focus developers’ minds to use it or sell it. I don't think anyone wants to see a Le Cornu 2.0," Mr Simms said.