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February 9, 2022

Do not develop Nellie Raminyemmerin Frome Park: councillors

Elected members have gone in to bat for Nellie Raminyemmerin Frome Park, which looks set to be swallowed by an expanding Adelaide Botanic High School, with the Lord Mayor instructed to write to all South Australian political parties opposing any development in the park.

  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Main image: Nellie Raminyemmerin Frome Park is near the home of some of the city's tiniest residents
  • Picture: Josh Geelen

On Tuesday night Adelaide City Council elected members voted in support of councillor Phil Martin’s motion to reiterate to the State Government – as well as Labor and minor parties – that the council opposes any development or rezoning of Nellie Raminyemmerin Frome Park.

Last November, the council formally provided feedback to the State Government regarding its push to rezone up to 71ha of Adelaide Park Lands – almost 10 per cent of the city’s green belt – for a range of initiatives.

The move was known as the Riverbank Precinct Code Amendment, and was ultimately approved by Planning and Local Government Minister Josh Teague, coming into effect on 21 January 2022.

While there were some changes to the amendment following community consultation, Nellie Raminyemmerin Frome Park, which sits between Frome Road and the Botanic Garden, was rezoned despite council opposition.

The State Government and the Opposition have both promised to expand the adjacent Adelaide Botanic High School, which Councillor Martin believes will encroach on the park.

“The extension of [Adelaide] Botanic High [School] to Frome Park is a central plank of the Liberal policy going into the state election. It will be at the cost of Frome Park, a sliver of land which was remediated by the City of Adelaide some years ago,” he said.

“It was nominated by the State Government in its Planning Code Amendment for the Riverbank Zone, along with Helen Mayo Park, the stadium site, for development.

“This council supported the government’s Planning Code Amendment for the Riverbank Zone to allow that stadium. But we did not support the loss of Frome Park in our submission to the State Government.”

The Liberal Party announced in January it would spend $97.9m in expanding Adelaide Botanic High School if re-elected in this year’s state election.

Funds would be used to construct a new integrated vertical building with the aim to accommodate an additional 700 students.

Shadow education Minister Blair Boyer told the media if Labor was elected in March, the party would also proceed with the expansion.

On Tuesday night, Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said it was “fair and reasonable” for the Adelaide City Council to re-communicate its position to all political parties.

This is because she said she hadn’t seen “any opposition to the announcement from the Opposition”.

“Councillor Martin, I’m very happy to deliver that quote from our submission back to the State Government,” she said.

The parcel of land in the pink box is what the State Government wanted to rezone. This picture: City of Adelaide screenshot


The formal submission from the Adelaide City Council last year said the council “does not support” the extension of the Innovation Subzone to Nellie Raminyemmerin Frome Park, and requested it remained under the “more appropriate” Adelaide Park Lands designation.

Nellie Raminyemmerin Frome Park was transformed from a car park into a public green space in the 1990s. It forms a natural corridor to the Botanic Gardens from the city and is used for multi-day music and arts festival WOMADelaide.

The pocket of land is also “highly significant” for Kaurna, and is near a grey-headed flying fox-habitat.

This habitat “may be detrimentally impacted by any further development in this location,” the submission says.

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