Make Aldinga and Noarlunga Downs Australia’s most sustainable suburbs

Published on 02 May 2023

City of Onkaparinga welcomes the state government's announcement of land releases at Aldinga and Noarlunga Downs, which Mayor Moira Were says must set a new benchmark in sustainable housing.

The state government this week revived plans to release the Aldinga land—bounded by Main South, Aldinga Beach, How and Quinliven Roads—to deliver a new residential neighbourhood in the fast-growing region, while also preserving a corridor for a possible future train extension. The announcement also included a land release near Goldsmith Drive, Noarlunga Downs.

Mayor Were says the announcement puts an unprecedented opportunity to lift housing standards across the state firmly back on the table.

“Our community has made it clear it wants a sustainable and climate-resilient development at Aldinga, demonstrated by more than 50 submissions and a 1500-signature petition presented to state parliament seeking sustainable development outcomes for this site,” she said.

“That’s why we developed a detailed vision for this development that can serve as a model across the state and the nation, offering a roadmap on the practical ways it can become a reality.

"While the land release will help address the current housing crisis and be a stimulus for economic development, it should also send a strong and enforceable market signal about sustainable and climate-ready homes and suburbs—homes that people can afford to live in.

"We look forward to working with the state government to deliver on this opportunity."

Planning reform needed

The Aldinga and Noarlunga Downs opportunity comes amid community and council pleas across the state for changes to SA’s planning system, as an expert panel prepares to deliver an independent review.

Mayor Were says the introduction of new planning legislation in 2021 left the state with the weakest tree protections in the country, difficult-to-enforce local heritage controls, removed appeal rights for neighbours of developments, and required the lowest sustainability building outcomes in the nation.

“Almost 24,000 houses are scheduled to come onto the market in SA in the coming years—many of those in Onkaparinga—and how the state responds to the review will determine whether we build in climate risk or climate resilience,” Mayor Were says.

“It’s essential the government takes a strong leadership stance and commits to addressing sustainable and climate-ready homes and suburbs in their response to the current planning review”.