Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000

Forum Events

Urbanization of the Mt Lofty Ranges - the Adelaide Hills under pressure

Royal Geographical Society of SA

With the forthcoming third revision of Adelaide’s 30-year Plan, the RGSSA hosted a seminar to bring people together to discuss planning issues in the Mount Lofty

On 25 August the Society hosted a seminar on the planning issues of the Mount Lofty Ranges. The Seminar ran from 1 – 5 pm with a break in the middle and a discussion period at the end. It was held in the Hetzel Theatre in the Institute Building, State Library of South Australia. The Seminar was attended by over 60 people. Following is the list of speakers.

The Powerpoints of each of the presenters is available above.  Rebecca Pearson’s will be available at a later date.

The Royal Geographical Society of South Australia appreciates very much the outstanding contributions of all of the speakers and thanks them sincerely for the effort they put into their presentations.

Brief details of each of the speakers follows.

Leigh Radford OAM
Leigh Radford joined the ABC as a rural reporter and worked at all levels within the organisation including 12 years as National Head of Rural broadcasting. He was responsible for Landline and Backroads on TV, and for the Country Hour, Rural Reports and Bush Telegraph on radio, as well as ABC Rural Online. He has more than 35 years of broadcast experience and still works as a casual presenter for ABC Radio Adelaide.

Mayor David Leach
David Leach has been Mayor of Mount Barker District Council since November 2022. He is a former broadacre farmer and accountant on Eyre Peninsula and a committed tree raiser and champion of public open spaces. His favourite tree is a desert oak followed closely by the mighty river red gum!

Marc Voortman
Marc Voortman is the General Manager of Planning and Community at the Mount Barker District Council. Marc was designated as the key council contact for growth area planning following the State Government’s decision to rezone 1300ha of rural land for residential use. In 2010, Marc provided council with strategic leadership and advice throughout this growth process, managing the diversity of community and stakeholder issues and opinions. He has also led several strategic planning initiatives including the development of the Strategic Infrastructure Plan, Regional Town Centre Strategy and Community and Recreation Infrastructure Plans.

James Szabo
James Szabo is the Senior Strategic and Policy Planner at Adelaide Hills Council. He has worked across local government and the private sector with experience in development assessment, planning strategy, planning policy and place-based strategy and design. As a Hill’s resident he fully appreciates the unique characteristics of the region and his experience positions him well to support planning strategy and policy development geared at responding to the complex challenges being faced.

Michael Garrod
General Manager of the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board. Michael has worked for more than 20 years in the field of environment and natural resource management, primarily for the State Government and Statutory Authorities. He has built on the experience, skills and knowledge gained as a natural resource management practitioner to become a community engagement discipline leader within the South Australian public sector.

Dr Bingjie Song
Bingjie Song is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide, and her research has concentrated on rural and agricultural development in China and Australia. Through her research, she wishes to make contributions to identifying the relationship between functions of agriculture and rural development in different contexts, and providing academic support for sustainable rural development. Her work can support decision makers, especially policy makers and farmers, to transform production towards multifunctional agriculture and rural landscapes at different scales.

Dr Andrew Lothian
After working in the SA Environment Department for many years, he set up a consultancy, Scenic Solutions, to measure and map landscape quality. He has completed projects in South Australia and England, and assessed the visual impact of wind farms in Australia and the UK.

Rebecca Pearson
Rebecca is a geographer and PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide. Rebecca’s research investigates tourism’s role in supporting regenerative landscape management and development outcomes within peri-urban and rural agrarian landscapes. She draws on viticultural regions, including McLaren Vale in peri-urban Adelaide and Margaret River in South-West Western Australia, to present on opportunities and challenges for tourism and sustainable destination management.

Sophie Thomson
Sophie Thomson’s love affair with the environment and organic gardening stems from growing up in the family nursery in the Adelaide Hills. It has led to a successful career in the national environmental arena over many years. Named in the 2021 ‘The Advertiser’ Top 50 Influencers in South Australia Environment Sector. Winner 2022 South Australia Environmental Awards Pelzer Prize. July 2023 4-year appointment to the Board of the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium. She has lived in Mt Barker Springs for the last 11 years.

Dr Guy Robinson
Guy Robinson is a Vice-President of the RGSSA and is an Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University of Adelaide. His research interests are in rural development and environmental management and he has published widely. He has travelled extensively and has held visiting positions at many universities around the world including the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing.

Date and Time

25 August 2023
1:00 pm

Hetzel Theatre, Institute Building, State Library of SA

Members: $
Non members: $