What do you think of the proposed redevelopment of the former Belair National Park Golf Course and Country Club precinct?

We want your feedback on the future redevelopment plans for the former Belair National Park Golf Course and Country Club precinct, outlined in the draft Belair National Park Golf Course and Country Club Master Plan 2020 and draft amendment.

The master plan aims to create an accessible and inclusive area of space for the community to be proud of. It outlines potential upgrades to infrastructure that will bring life to the site and reunite it back into the broader Belair National Park, offering new experiences to benefit all visitors.

Read the:

Have your say by commenting below.

Comments closed

Donna Belder

04 May 2021

I am strongly opposed to the proposal by the Sturt Lions Soccer Club to convert the former golf course to a new home ground and clubhouse. This proposal is entirely at odds with the first principle in the draft master plan.

I am an ecologist and did my PhD on threatened and declining woodland bird species. I have since worked as a conservation biologist in various parts of Australia, and currently work on threatened species conservation and recovery planning. The leading cause of biodiversity loss and species’ declines in Australia is habitat loss, and the action that I most commonly recommend for terrestrial threatened species recovery is habitat restoration.

Not only would the Sturt Lions development proposal eliminate the opportunity to restore and enhance native habitat for the benefit of native flora and fauna, it would have substantial negative impacts on habitat quality and long-term outcomes for biodiversity. Impacts from the soccer pitch proposal would include:
- Habitat clearance – removal and degradation of EPBC-listed ecological communities, including Endangered Grey Box Grassy Woodland
- Light and noise pollution – already a significant issue in urban areas, has been shown to reduce the diversity and abundance of microbats and alter the behaviour of birds
- Reduction in habitat quality for threatened and declining woodland bird species, while increasing habitat quality for overabundant and problematic species such as the Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Noisy Miner (the latter is listed as a key threatening process under the EPBC Act)
- Reduction in the buffer zone between wildlife habitat and human activities – a key issue for sensitive species
- Increased vehicle traffic – along with the direct impacts of constructing car parks (whether paved or unpaved), there would be increased risks of collisions with wildlife on local roads, especially at night. Susceptible species include Koalas, possums, snakes, and Eastern Blue-tongued Lizards.

In place of this proposal, which would only benefit a select portion of the community, there are a number of other proposals that have been put forward in the comments below, the majority of which are consistent with the primary purpose of the Park.

Acknowledging that this is a pretty wild proposal, but I would be interested in turning the former golf course into a predator-proof fenced sanctuary similar to Warrawong Wildlife Sanctuary at Mylor, Mulligan’s Flat Nature Reserve in the ACT, or Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary in the Perth Hills. These small, fenced sanctuaries have enabled the restoration of habitat within conservation fences that exclude cats, foxes, and rabbits. There would be substantial scope for community involvement in restoration activities, as well as significant research opportunities. The examples listed above have involved reintroductions of locally extinct and threatened mammal species – in Belair, these could include Long-nosed Potoroos and Southern Brown Bandicoots.

Activities such as guided tours and night walks would create the opportunity for education and engagement. Very few Australians get the opportunity to experience our native wildlife as it once was, particularly in South Australia, where habitat destruction and modification has been incredibly extensive. There would be multiple ongoing job opportunities, and revenue would be returned to the Park. A new wildlife sanctuary could also be expanded in the future to encompass other sections of the Park, and conservation and recovery activities could potentially be incorporated into existing frameworks such as the Bounceback program (which currently only applies to the Flinders Ranges).

Having worked on sanctuaries such as these, I am aware of their impacts and limitations. However, on balance, I think that the former golf course presents a great opportunity to implement such a project.

Steven Raine > Donna Belder

04 May 2021

Love your wild proposal for a Warrawong style fenced sanctuary there. I wonder if the current owners of that or the people at Monarto would be interested in helping here?

Ande Lim > Donna Belder

04 May 2021

Love this too.

Fiona Williams

04 May 2021

I strongly oppose the rezoning of belair national park golf course and country club area. The proposals put forward from the community are generally good proposals and deserve to be explored further except for the SLFC major redevelopment of around 10ha for PRIVATE club use. The Sturt Lions Football Club proposal does not match with the objectives of the masterplan; of strengthening conservation significance, reconnecting and reinvigorating the former golf course, within the national park. The lack of transparency, such as showing up to several community consultation days spoke volumes to the hundreds of families that attended. On 891 radio yesterday, I heard club president speak for the first time and his words showed a man who does not have any real understanding of the natural systems of our local environment ( grey box woodland) nor have enough respect for the national park, to be granted land for the private use of club members. Clearing young trees, as he suggested, is the equivalent of saying that only teenagers need to be culled. The grey box trees that can live for 100s if not 1000s of years, need to grow in succession for - ever. A natural environment allows space for seedlings, saplings, 100yr old and the more ancient. No clearing, bulldozing or levelling of undulating land will be allowed in this area, and I believe we never give up the fight.

Joanne Baulderstone

04 May 2021

I can barely type after a marathon of thinking about and submitting a synopsis of all that I think about this 'redevelopment' proposal. Nothing will do it justice. It will never be complete. And I'm left feeling sad that my efforts will amount to nothing and the plan and amendments will go 'ahead' (I hope logic prevails though). And the worst thing is I feel I've been fighting against the Environment Department - and the Minister - which goes against everything I believe in, having worked in the Environment Department, caring for our natural resources, for many years. I'd like to be proven wrong. I'd like to see that the NPW Act, and Belair NP Management Plan objectives, will lead to an outcome where the valuable land that we are all so passionate about is conserved and restored and appreciated for what it is and can be. Conservation Land. Mother. A genuine place for conciliation. A place where (and forgive me that I forget the word) that I heard Aunty Lynette say at a Green Adelaide community session recently – (that sadly I did catch the pronunciation or spelling of ‘Chook-..-..’)– but it meant – (paraphrased) “feeling right with what’s happening in a place” – and I believe that is what we all, indigenous, and non-indigenous, need to do, together. And I don’t feel that this Masterplan addresses that enough, or, in fact, at all. Let's see what happens. Jo

Steven Raine > Joanne Baulderstone

04 May 2021

Agreed. If they don't listen to us now, we will keep fighting. SAVE BELAIR NP!

Steven Raine

04 May 2021

I gather Spiers met with Kaurna elders before this "master plan"" was developed and yet ignored their wishes and suggestions here and didn't include them in this master plan? Why is that?

Unrepresentative Government > Steven Raine

04 May 2021

Yes he did. About 18mth ago. Yet pushed ahead with his personal agenda.

A dont understand why he engages key stakeholders, Elders, community and yet doesnt take on board what hey say. It makes you wonder why he even bothers......

We have to expect so much more from our elected Members.

Ande Lim > Steven Raine

04 May 2021

Did he engage the relevant bodies though? If not, a damning error in the process...

Tom Fowles

04 May 2021

I am providing feedback on the amendments to the Belair National Park Management Plan 2003, in conjunction with previous comments in relation to the draft Master Plan, on behalf of myself and Casey Kendrick.

We are opposed to the entirety of the former golf course zone being re-zoned to "heritage/recreation". There is significant remnant flora and habitat for endangered flora within this zone, and we firmly believe that the vast majority of this site should be re-zoned to Conservation 2 at a minimum (with certain areas of re-vegetating Grey Box grassy woodland potentially being re-zoned to Conservation 1). Conservation 2 zoning would still allow for a broad range of activity within the area, including controlled trail cycling and horse riding and other low impact, informal recreation activities.

If a zone of 'heritage/recreation' were to be implemented, our firm view is that it should be isolated to a small portion only (not 10 hectares) along the former fairway bounding Upper Sturt Road BUT ONLY if it is to include such activities as picnic areas & shelters, nature based playgrounds and other such uses that will have regard to the potential impact on numerous elements of the Park, as per the Belair National Park Management Plan 2003, page 11:

"When new recreation and sport activities consistent with the above list are proposed and when licences or permits for existing activities are renewed, DEH shall assess each proposal without prejudice and on its merits in accordance with the following criteria:

- the potential impact on the natural values of the park including damage to vegetation, noise, pollution etc;
- the potential impact on other user groups - both unstructured and structured;
- the need to redirect park resources to manage the activity or provide and maintain new or existing facilities; and
- ensuring that the proposed is cost neutral to park management."

As such, ANY development within the park, regardless of zoning, should not allow large scale environmental degradation, earthmoving, removal of flora and other actions that do not align with the Belair National Park Management Plan, the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (noting that there is EPBC listed vegetation within the proposed 'heritage/recreation' zone).

As an aside, we do not believe that the leasing of land to a private sporting club for the use of structured, formal sport aligns with the meaning of 'recreation' as it is intended within the Management Plan nor the definitions and intentions of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. The usage of long established public sporting facilities within the park - note public - for sporting clubs to use is a different proposition than creating new spaces that would be at odds with every intention of the Act.

Tom Fowles and Casey Kendrick

Ben Trainor > Tom Fowles

04 May 2021

I concur with this submission.

Ande Lim > Tom Fowles

04 May 2021

Hear hear.

Thomas Voss

04 May 2021

I strongly proposed redevelopment of the former Belair National Park Golf Course and Country Club precinct.

The National Park's primary purpose should be to support conservation, and the former golf course and caravan park should be revegetated. Given the significant loss of natural habitat in the Mount Lofty Ranges (approx. 90% of which has already been cleared) it seems incomprehensible that tree felling and development within an IUCN Category II protected area is viewed as an appropriate action. The sharp decline of woodland birds and mammals in the Mount Lofty Ranges is well documented (https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-23/woodland-birds-declining-by-45-per-cent-in-mt-lofty-ranges/100021980, https://www.publish.csiro.au/mu/mu09114, https://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/print219.html), and the repossession of the golf course represents a golden opportunity to revegetate land adjoining areas of high conservation value. The fact that Minister Speirs has taken the view that this land is best used for development rather than conservation suggests his priorities, as well as those of his department are seriously out of order.

Jill Baker

04 May 2021

I am strongly opposed to the proposal by the Sturt Lions Soccer Club to build soccer pitches, buildings and car parks in Belair National Park (on the old golf club site).

The Belair National Park Management Plan Vision states that it "promotes the conservation, heritage and recreation values of Belair and encourages their continuation into the future, conserving, celebrating and appreciating our natural and cultural heritage ".
I fail to see how introducing a large soccer club fits in with the above vision.
The land will be bulldozed and many significant trees and undergrowth destroyed (along with all the creatures that live there).

Not everyone wants, or can afford, to join organised sports. Children (and adults) do not have to be part of a club to be healthy and active outdoors. So much more value in learning about nature, seeing our native animals in their natural habitat & learning how to protect our planet for the future.
National parks are for everyone to use and enjoy, the physical and mental health benefits are enormous and well documented.
The needs of one large club should never be more important than the needs of the thousands of people from all over South Australia and beyond who enjoy Belair National Park as it is.

I find it incredible that any Government would even consider this proposal by the soccer club. As South Australia's oldest National Park, our government should be doing everything it can to protect this valuable asset. Have we really become so selfish that we no longer care what kind of world we are leaving for the next generation?

Please save our Park!

Steven Raine

04 May 2021

Having read through (and added my voice ) to this entire YourSay Discussion site here it is crystal clear to me that there is overwhelming community opposition to the Sturt Lions Football Club proposal. Local residents - myself included - do NOT want the SLFC soccer pitches plus crpark and buildings incl licensed bar to go ahead and want this area preserved for conservation as part of the National Park with compromise room only for low-impact, environmentally sustainable, very much less destructive options.

I think this reality needs to be recognised and accepted by the Minister, DEW and other authorities including the State - & for that matter Federal - governments.

It should be clear, acknowledged and respected that people especially the local residents want our historic and precious Belair National Park to stay exactly that - a National Park for nature conservation, biodiversity protection and the public NOT for private single interest clubs and sporting facilities or commercial gain. I hope they act swiftly and appropriately in rapidly protecting Belair National Park and ruling out once and for all the SLFC proposal and any other further environmentally destructive commerical ideas.

I also urge the Sturt Lions Football Club and their supporters to realise, acknowledge and accept the reality of this overwhelming opposition to their proposal and that they are NOT welcome in Belair NP - at least not in terms of having their HQ and any extra additional soccer pitches or buildings. They are, however, of course, welcome to enjoy the natural beauty, tranquillity and biodiversity of Belair NP and the former Houlihan's Scrub area the same as everyone else and to play on the existing ovals with, I suggest transportable, temporary goals. I hope they find or are able to develop suitable club facilities and pitches in an envionmentally appropriate area where they are actually wanted & wish them well in that goal. I ask the Sturt Lions Football Club to do the right thing and respectfully accept the overwhelming and decisive community verdict here and withdraw their proposal and rule out seeking a home in Belair or, indeed, any National Park in the future.

I hope having had our say on this Your Say discussion, the vast majority here that favours retaining Belair National Park's ancient and much loved trees and other native flora and fauna will be heard and our wishes respected - especially our Kaurna people and their Elders past, present and future. I wish could be confident that this will be the case.

Angela Bignell

04 May 2021

I vehemently oppose any developments on National Park (read: PUBLIC) land which will negatively impact native flora and/or fauna, not to mention nearby residents. This entire debacle has been a mammoth failure by elected members of government to listen to the valid concerns of constituents, and ignore any/all opposing arguments. To be belittled, dismissed and ignored by people supposedly elected to do our bidding for us, it has felt to this local resident like an enormous failure of our democratic rights.

What have we become as a society if we make allowances like this on public native land, meant to be enjoyed for generations to come? If we allow 10Ha here, why not another 10Ha somewhere else? And another? Where does it end? We have already decimated so much of our bush land I genuinely cannot believe we are STILL having debates like this. Will we never get it?

My partner & I have two Sturt Lions soccer club teenagers living in our home. The club appear to do an excellent job of supporting and helping young people develop important skills both on & off the field. We have a vested interest in Sturt Lions finding somewhere convenient to set up their new home base....HOWEVER... they are a large, exceptionally well funded club with the means to create their base in any number of appropriate locations within the vicinity of this area which will not result in the loss of trees, vegetation, fauna habitat and NATIONAL PARK. This poorly planned proposal should never have been put forward. Find somewhere else. It’s a ‘NO’ from me.

Ande Lim > Angela Bignell

04 May 2021

Strong voice, strong perspective. Bravo for speaking up.

Leanne Hurley > Angela Bignell

04 May 2021

Thankyou Angela.

Charlie Maurice

04 May 2021

I strongly oppose the draft master plan for the Belair National Park, old Golf Course and Clubhouse precinct.

Regarding the plan itself, it lacked detail of specifics and did not follow the principles which were drafted. More accurate community engagement would occur if the specifics of the plan were detailed, rather than generic statements regarding 'health and wellbeing', etc.

I would also like to complain about the technical problem with the link to provide feedback, which should have been fixed as an absolute priority. I may take this issue up with the South Australian Ombudsman.

I strongly oppose the development of soccer pitches, for social, environmental, cultural and safety reasons. The area should never have been allowed to be developed into a golf club. Any further removal of trees and space for local wildlife is outrageous, especially for endangered species. The roads in the hills are already congested and dangerous, particularly in winter conditions and during the bushfire season when leaving the area would be difficult with more traffic. To make space for a large, private soccer club and all the visitors this would attract, requires the addition of many car parking spaces, which is not possible without damaging the environment further. The noise/light is incompatible with preserving space for the natural habitat of existing wildlife. The government should be making more protected space for endangered species, such as the Southern Brown Bandicoot, not less.

The use of such a huge area of land for a private sporting organisation, does not allow access for all. National Parks are meant to be accessible and affordable for everyone. This is a perfect area of the environment to foster exercise, connection to nature, connection to country, connection to Aboriginal culture, connection to the environment. It should not be destroyed for those simply with a connection to soccer (or any individual sport). This was, after all, the original intent of Walter Gooch - that the park be used as recreation for all South Australians. I would like to think we can take that further, and return it to a safer, healthier and regenerated space that is fundamentally a demonstration of our commitment to environmental protection and cultural reconciliation.

The site provides a wonderful opportunity to engage with the community in revegetation, reconciliation and education activities. It could become a cultural education space for Kaurna and historical learning activities and camps (done as a Kaurna-led initiative). Partnering with schools and community groups to be part of these activities would enable the community to have learning and real engagement and ownership in activities involving reconciliation and environmental preservation (such as tree planting, Aboriginal murals etc).

With a strict set of criteria, the site may potentially be perfect for minimal, environmentally friendly, basic accommodation for such groups/education initiatives. I do not approve commercial tourism operators and development - there is already the Belair Caravan Park for this purpose. If something was built for school camps/community education initiatives, development and design should be led and approved by local Kaurna community members.

If basic accommodation was not provided, a small purpose-built shelter for cultural education purposes would be a valuable addition (for example, shelter from weather, warmth, toilets). Potentially such a basic space could then be hired when not in use, by individuals running health and wellbeing related workshops (yoga, medication, art, poetry and writing workshops etc). Engagement with Kaurna community and revegetation and protection of the environment should drive any development.

Existing Aboriginal cultural spaces (such as Colebrook Reserve and Warriparinga) are wonderful, yet in an effort for sustained reconciliation, more need to be made available. The mentioned spaces are on loud and very busy roads, with the noise of traffic and the built-up environment nearby making them less-than-ideal spaces to visit, especially with small children. The National Park is a perfect location to allow people to learn more about Aboriginal Culture, in an environment that is less impacted by traffic, and allows for much greater integration of interactions of flora and fauna. This should be a major priority for all Governments, long overdue.

Regarding recreational use, any activity undertaken in the space should only be permitted if it meets strict environmental preservation requirements. While I do support the use of the area for mountain biking, especially as it is safe and off the busy and dangerous roads, I do not support the unlimited use of the space for mountain biking. It is a perfect space for the design and building of purpose-built mountain biking tracks that could be built for different skill level - for example, beginners, intermediate and advanced (less so the advanced). Riders should be ONLY on these tracks, allowing for the revegetation of native flora in other areas (see above comments).

The notion of a shared-use track is ridiculous. If you've ever walked on a path that is also used by fast-moving mountain bikes, you will know it's potentially life-threatening. There should be a wheelchair-friendly, safe walking circuit that mountain bikers are not permitted to ride on. There are no areas of the existing national park that are fully safe and accessible to people with significant mobility challenges. The local area has terrible and unsafe roads and footpaths, yet thousands of people exercise by walking and running in the area, including the National Park. The development of a safe, sealed/paved track loop for the sole use of walking/running, wheel chairs, would be highly beneficial to all of the community.

The future plan for this land is a perfect chance for our generation to stop making the mistakes of the past. Here is a perfect chance to engage in real and lasting reconciliation to benefit the environment and the traditional owners of the land. It is not simply about 'respecting' cultural heritage. It's about bringing about change and engagement so the community can come together and use the space in a way that fosters future relationships and ultimately lead to better health outcomes for Aboriginal people. Acknowledgement, education and understanding of Aboriginal culture and their relationship to the land is key to this.

I believe it would benefit the broader community if the space had: toilet facilities, dog poo bags and bin, safe lighting and car parking (minimal) and safe walking/running tracks, potentially designated mountain bike tracks (separate to the walking track), potentially mountain bike hire and education services provided by government or private company (such as existing) but only in partnership with Kaurna community and under strict environmental preservation agreement), revegetated areas for the preservation of flora and fauna, and a small, purpose-built cultural and environmental education hub.

I look forward to seeing more suitable draft master plans for the Belair National Park in the future; this time actually being compatible with the principles it outlines and being driven by local Kaurna community consultation and experts in environmental management.

Ande Lim > Charlie Maurice

04 May 2021

Wow, you have said things with such eloquence! What a read & powerful position. This is vision.

Steven Raine > Charlie Maurice

04 May 2021

Excellent submission there and seconded by me, thanks Charlie Maurice.

Unrepresentative Government

04 May 2021

Firstly, I oppose rezoning of the majority of the Golf Course/Caravan Park Zone as Heritage/Recreation . Instead I believe that it should be rezoned as Conservation consistent with the Objects in the Belair National Park Management Plan (2003). Whether it be zoned Conservation 1 or Conservation 2 I will leave to DEW staff to decide.

Secondly, when it is well known that the Minister was strongly advised by the Kaurna Elders to not commercially develop the retire Golf Course, but rather restore it back to a state resembling pre-1934 development; remove the Resort complex; remove other asbestos laden structures; etc, and yet proceeds with a rezoning to support commercial investment, then what confidence can the community and First Nation people have that this Minister will recognise the heritage and voice of First Nation people.

Thirdly, how did a substantial proportion of the local community find themselves having to defend the protection and proper/legislated intent of a National Park? Surely the Local Member for Waite couldn't get it that wrong? Surely the Minister for Environment and Water couldn't get it that wrong? When a community votes in a local Member and govt, we expect they will perform their duties in a manner consistent with their Portfolio and any various Act of Parliament that may apply - together with the guiding Principles and Objects contained with those Acts; as well consider and reflect the community wishes in the day to day policy and decision making. Furthermore, when the politicians of the day fail in their duties, the Department responsible for the Portfolio should have the confidence to be able to advise responsibly. After all, those employed in DEW are Public Servants......not Servants to the Minister (though I suspect the wise informed voices within DEW were perhaps ignored in the same way the wise voices of Kaurna Elders were also ignored)! It is disappointing to see complete Policy failure play out in relation to this. We clearly have to expect far more.

Fourthly, if the decision makers do not reflect and realise the weight of community sentiment and the massive opportunity before them to now engage with the First Nation folk - who have clearly expressed their wishes, the Conservation Sector - who are keen to assist and importantly the local community -who have demonstrably committed, then you will fail, again. Minister, how often are you presented with such an opportunity with a comprehensive range of stakeholders committed to the objectives of Environment and Conservation? Mr Speirs, the ball is back in your court, play it responsibly. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to conservation, our indigenous heritage and voice, and to the community.

Finally, I know DEW have received various submissions and options for how to proceed. Within those I am sure you will find well considered ideas from some of the more educated and experienced people within the local community qualified to make comment. My suggestion to you now is to hold a community forum/workshop (whatever you like to call it) that brings together key representatives from the community, key representation from our First Nation people and broad representation from the Conservation Sector so a comprehensive and Integrated proposal can be developed for the now retired Golf Course.

Kym Evans

04 May 2021

I am against all high impact development in the National park- Former golf course precinct. A proposal such as this should never been allowed through to this concept stage.
If a proposal like this gets through it sets a dangerous precedent for all National Parks.
This proposal for the Sturt Lions to lease 10 hectares of the National Park goes against, the current Parks Management plan and also the Acts that govern a National Park, Such as the: National Parks and Wildlife Act and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
I am against all high impact development in the National park- Former golf course precinct. A proposal such as this should never been allowed through to this concept stage.
If a proposal like this gets through it sets a dangerous precedent for all National Parks.
This proposal for the Sturt Lions to lease 10 hectares of the National Park goes against, the current Parks Management plan and also the Acts that govern a National Park, Such as the: National Parks and Wildlife Act and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
This development will be detrimental to this area. It would see the removal of remnant trees (some over 200 years old), displacement of native animals, rubbish, lighting, increased traffic (on already busy streets), excess noise etc.
This is a National Park (2nd oldest in Australia), we need to treat it like one and not repeat the mistakes of our past.

Steven Raine > Kym Evans

04 May 2021

Hear, hear! Well said.

Dave Hetherington

04 May 2021

On the ABC 891, Jules Schiller Monday, May 3rd episode, Jon Vander Veeken, President, Sturt Lions Football Club was asked a number of questions re the impost of the proposed 7 soccer pitches at the Belair National Park in the 10 hectares that was designated golf course previously.

There were two particular questions that received elementary and disconcerting responses.

1) In answer to the removal of significant numbers of trees:

The answer, from Jon Vander Veeken, was the pitches would be ‘worked around' the trees!

Yet when reviewing the Aboricultural Report shown here: - https://tinyurl.com/ArboriculturalReportBNP - it is very clear that to facilitate the soccer club pitches, let alone changing facilities, car parking, lighting, toilets, canteen and all the other elements this imposition will entail, ‘working around the trees’ is going to be a physical impossibility and will clearly require massive earthworks, drainage, re-leveling of the contouring land – along with all the other impacts so articulately described by many others in the Community previously.

2) In answer to the question of parking:

The answer, from Jon Vander Veeken, was there are streets around that would facilitate excessive parking.

The immediate streets ‘around’ are Upper Sturt Road, Hawthorndene Drive, and other arterial roads that have high traffic use on a daily basis with continuous streams during certain busier times of the day.

Residents in all suburban areas have more vehicles on and around their private properties in general meaning parking in many streets near any suburban home is becoming more limited and the added impost near the proposed soccer pitches at the Belair National Park location is that the ‘surrounding streets’ are often on steep inclines, are not very wide, non-curbed/paved and restrictive for passing traffic to have a free flow and will inevitably lead to major traffic control and congestion. There is a significant growth of traffic already without creating mayhem with this weighty problematic constraint – add to that the fire danger issues and the result is a ‘catastrophe in the making’.

The ‘thought bubble’, ill-conceived, ill proposed, opaque, mailable nature of this impactful proposition has left many in the Community scratching their heads as to how this potential facility for a private commercial entity even got to the point of consideration, particularly when the President of the Club has already indicated several times in the media that they are without funding to proceed with this submission.

Sturt Lions Football Club, having already received almost $4,000,000.00, (four million dollars) of OUR tax-payer money and, for locals, ratepayer money. It is estimated a further $10,000,000 - $17,000,000 (ten million to seventeen million dollars) will be required to get this scheme operable.

- Who will be providing the funding?
- We, The Tax-Payer?
- Again?
- Is That The Expectation Of The Sturt Lions Football Club?

Lou Dunn > Dave Hetherington

04 May 2021

My concern is, I believe it went to community consultation (eoi)prior to being accepted as a proposal,is why this was even contemplated...I know it's a fair and equitable process,and I know the fairways need alot of support in regeneration, but soccer fields,club rooms. Have you tried to cross upper sturt road at five oclock without soccer traffic there, let alone parking in the streets. The impact is huge and ill thought out

Joanne Baulderstone

03 May 2021

I oppose rezoning of the majority of the Golf Course/Caravan Park Zone as Heritage/Recreation (as is proposed in the Belair National Park Management Plan Draft Amendment 2021). Instead I believe that it should be rezoned as either or a combination of both of the following Zones (according to the Objectives of Zoning in the Belair National Park Management Plan (2003):
• Conservation 2 Zoning, would:
• protect, conserve and allow enhancement and restoration of native vegetation; including areas of Grey Box (Eucalyptus microcarpa) grassy woodland, Grey Box intact overstorey stratum, and areas where there are scattered trees, and introduced grassland suitable for restoration;
• this in turn would improve the viability and integrity of the Eucalyptus microcarpa woodland that occurs in Belair National Park that Davies (2000) claims is the ‘most significant conserved example” in SA;
• still allow “Informal recreation” as “an important and appropriate activity within the Conservation 2 Zone”, including walking trails cycling and horse trails [that are planned so they are not damaging to the environment];
• protect the area from inappropriate “Formal recreation activities” such as those requiring ovals or which could potentially damage the environment”;
• acknowledge/recognise the value of the native vegetation that has a “... significant role in biodiversity protection for the Mount Lofty Ranges region – a key consideration for the management of the park”; and
• align with the Vision of Green Adelaide’s Draft Regional Landscape Plan for a cooler, greener, wilder and climate-resilient Adelaide.
• Conservation 1 Zoning, would:
• protect and conserve several areas of Nationally endangered Grey Box Woodland ecological community listed under the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999), (McGregor, 2018);
• allow “Unstructured recreation activities with low environmental impacts such as walking, photography and bird watching...”; and
• disallow “... activities which, in the opinion of [DEH], may result in environmental degradation or where insufficient knowledge exists on their environmental impact...”.

Peter Raine

03 May 2021

I have a question directed to those that manage this page / the Community Consultation process.
Firstly, thanks for enabling robust discussion on this contentious issue. It is heartening to have the opportunity to see differing views aired, on a level playing field (pun intended).
After 5 pm tomorrow (4th of May), when the consultation period is over, will this Discussion Page still be available publicly or will the content be taken down?
Who decides what happens to the submissions, and on what basis would the extensive Discussion Page content be ‘managed’? Who reads the submissions?
Does, or could this, be seen to open a Pandora’s Box of opaque-ness in relation to the final decision, given the Minister’s - perceived - propensity for ‘economic viability’ over conservation of our precious native flora?
From the website (typos are not mine, the (…?...) after ‘Wilderness’ is): We will submit the final maste rplan and draft park management plan amendment to the Parks and Wilderness (…?...) Council for consideration prior to submitting to the Minister for Environment and Water for adoption.
Who is on the ‘Parks and Wilderness’ Council?
How do they inform the Minister to adopt their recommendation? Is there scope for any further public or stakeholder input after 5pm, 4th May 2021?
I would like to be assured that this whole process is not to tick a ‘Community Engagement’ box for a flawed (in my mind at least) proposal.
Thanks for reading. I look forward to a response.

Also, thanks to those within the Department who are unable to comment here, but are stridently opposed to this proposed vandalism of a recovering ecosystem - I see you.

Steven Raine > Peter Raine

04 May 2021

I suggest and urge people to print this outand keep hard copies and /or screenshot and save this for the record in case it does disappear from the net after 5 pm today.

Joe Chicco

03 May 2021

Save Belair National Park
You, the people in power.... do not allow this to happen to our Adelaside hills environment.
Belair National Park is a peaceful, tranquil environment full of native vegetation that provides a home for countless native animals and allows people to experience a bushland environment within an Adelaide suburb. The disused golf course should become an extension of the existing park and retain it's current role.
The park provides low impact community activities such as picnicing, bushwalking, horseriding, bike riding, tennis courts, barbecue and oval facilities - activities that don't disturb the peaceful nature of the area or the resident animals.
Mobs of kangaroos feed on the grass pastures of the disused golf course which is a mixture of grassland and native trees. I have personally witnessed mobs of up to 20 or so kangaroos feeding there. These kangaroos would be displaced back into the park where adaquate feed may not be available.
This so called sports complex would be a disaster for the area. It would see the removal of considerable amounts of native trees, displacement of native animals, the addition of unsightly buildings, the influx of large groups of people that will bring with them the inevitable problems that accompany them - noise, rubbish, disturbance to the locals, lighting at night, increased traffic in the immediate area and in the already conjested local centre of Blackwood.
There is already a small mountain bike riding business trying to establish itself in the old golf course. That, in my opinion is a much more viable use of the space as the establishment of bike tracks would involve minimal change to the existing landscape - unlike the proposed major sports complex that would create major earthworks, buildings and the destruction of many trees.
This would add to the potential for a local disaster should Blackwood, Hawthorndene and Belair experience a bushfire. The road infrastructure in the area is already overstretched with the housing developments that has occured in recent times. Should a bushfire occur, there is almost no way out. The only clear exit is Shepherds Hill road. All other exits are on narrow roads surrounded by bushland which may be alight in such an instance. To compound traffic congestion, there is a railway line crossing the main road that, should it become blocked in such an event, the consequences would be disasterous!
What a contradiction - the peace of the park next to the 'battle' of the sports ground!
To the proposers of this sports complex: Leave our peaceful park alone!
Find perhaps, a location in some industrial area , where the impact of it's activities can be absorbed with less detriment to the area.

Steven Raine

03 May 2021

It takes more than a century to grow a 100 plus year old tree, for it to slowly force its roots through often rock hard ground. For it to spread and branch out providing shade and shelter and oxygen, for it to develop hollows to shelter a whole communities of fauna, to blossom seasonally at adulthood offering a banquet of nectar and goodness for native wildlife. It might then take only hours or less for such wonderful old trees to be chopped down, bulldozed, destroyed and lost forever. Any seedling planted supposedly in their place will take that hundred plus years to grow. There are approximately two hundred such trees including International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Listed Eucalyptus microcarpa (Grey Box) gums in the area of the proposed Sturt Lions Football Club’s car park, buildings and no less than seven soccer pitches in a National Park supposedly there for the raison d’etre of conservation of native flora and fauna.

I am vehemently opposed to this proposed redevelopment which is high impact, highly destructive and locally deeply unpopular. I live 15 minutes walk away from Belair National Park and am horrified and deeply disturbed by the SLFC proposal and its implications for the Park and the mindset of those in power it reveals who seem only to value money and sport and not the environment that we all share and depend upon for life itself. Many others have already pointed out the issues the SLFC proposal causes with noise, traffic, light pollution, violation of Indigenous sites and more. I second the concerns and am appalled that this absurd, offensive proposal could even be considered for more than a few seconds.

I counter-propose that the money wasted on sports rorts be reallocated to conservation and a proper revegetation of the area to a state as close as possible to the original Houlihan’s Scrub pre-golf course occur. I am happy to see low impact, environmentally sensitive and educational use of this area including hiking and bushwalking, horse-riding, Indigenous education and maybe a kiosk or restaurant or even better combined nature and Indigenous education centre with such eatery (& toilet!) options replace the current Country Club building. I am not opposed to soccer and sure the Sturt Lions can find better more suitable facilities but they do NOT belong in a National park which exists for the purpose of conserving and protecting our floral and faunal biodiversity.

Angela Giles

03 May 2021

As a local resident, I also strongly disagree with the redevelopment of the Belair National Park Golf Course/Country Club precinct into soccer pitches (or any other recreational facility that requires the removal of more vegetation). The environmental impact of clearing more land and increasing both light and noise pollution will have a negative impact on all our native flora and fauna as well as being disruptive to residents. What remains of our park should be protected and not further developed.

In addition, National Park land should be freely available to all of the public, not limited to those who are part of a “club”. I utilise the section of the park involved in this consultation on a daily basis and enjoy the peace and quiet of this particular area and the walking trails. Access to this space should not be limited to time when the pitches aren’t in use. I would prefer to see the area made more accessible so people of all abilities can appreciate it and the inclusion of additional trails and/or local Aboriginal education or sensory trails would be even better.

Robert Houghton

03 May 2021

The Belair National Park should be retained as National Park in full. The proposals to change the zoning, allow commercial development and build seven soccer fields are not consistent with the principle of protecting natural and heritage values. These proposals threaten hundreds of rare and very grey box trees and associated habitat. As we stand on the brink of catastrophic climate change, we need to preserve these significant trees and expand the natural habitat.


03 May 2021

The question I come back to, is what is the most pressing dilemma facing kids of today...lack of soccer pitches or climate change? 

David Armstrong > Maureen GERMEIN

03 May 2021

Nicely put

Fiona Warhurst

03 May 2021

No. The club obviously has no respect for the environment, replacing their current turf pitch with a synthetic one.

Ashley Tolmer

03 May 2021

Belair National Park should be retained as a National Park. It should be kept as natural bushland particularly as we should be doing every thing we can to combat climate change. Green spaces are constantly being depleted.The loss of more trees and vegetation all adds to climate change and the loss of natural habitat for our fauna.

Jason Yates

03 May 2021

The person who knocked on our door was very pushy. When I said I thought the Master Plan would be good for the area they started to say some very negative things about other people including our very good Mayor in Mitcham and about some political figures. I had enough when they claimed they had successfully rid the community of the Nicolle Flint. Came across as being quite sexist and seemed to be think that approach might get me to sign their petition. Community consultation is one thing. This type of pushy behavior is going too far and should not be allowed.

I hope they get on with these improvements. The hills community needs better facilities.

Steven Raine > Jason Yates

03 May 2021

Maybe they do but Belair National Park is NOT the appropriate place for them. Incidentally, it is not "sexist" to oppose a certain retiring politician who was very happy to attack and lie about others but couldn't handle legitimate criticism, protests and opposition in response.

Steven Raine > Jason Yates

03 May 2021

PS. Seven Soccer pitche sand a carpark and buildings on remnant Grey Box Grassy Woodland is NOT an "improvement" but a destruction and a violation. The Bush is a special place as it is and needs to be preserved and restored wherever possible not further degraded and destroyed. far too much of it has already been lost and there is no good reason the SLFC cannot have their facilities ieslewhere where they might actually belong and be welcomed rather than a National Park where they don't belong and are not welcome.

PPS. "pushy behaviour" like what having a different mindset to yours " ..shouldn't be allowed.." i.e. only you can get your way and say? How would that work exactly? How very hypocritical of you and have you not considered that your own attitude here is likely pushy & intolerant?

Ande Lim > Jason Yates

03 May 2021

Re gender issues: Lions have 15% female players. Up until this year 100% male senior players (this year 1 senior female team). Mountain biking heavily male dominated: 2020/21 summer cross country series here had 8 out of 137 riders female! Let’s add that up. Male plans for majority male benefit at this stage, ultimately continuing this story on the recreation side of the ledger in the park. Sorry, something doesn’t add up here on the inclusivity side of things. The proposal is not gender inclusive. Bravo on the inclusion of e-trikes. Please correct me on any figures if they are wrong.

Ande Lim > Jason Yates

03 May 2021

Accessibility trikes.

Ande Lim > Jason Yates

04 May 2021

I notice in the draft masterplan the Lions have women’s teams. Correction: team (1), new for 2021.

Carolyn Pickering

03 May 2021

Any development which removes significant remnant trees should not go ahead. Our biodiversity is being diminished by urban spraw we have the chance to save this bit so lplease ensure it is saved.

David Thompson

03 May 2021

The National Park should be kept to just that, a National Park! Not now or ever changed to provide a precinct for any sporting club irrespective of code.