What's important in the Barossa, Light and Lower North region?

We're eager to hear about your experience as a member of the Barossa, Light, Gawler and Mallala council region community. Whether you live, work or play here, we want you to share your views.

  • What are the unique issues facing your community?
  • What challenges do you come up against?
  • What do you love about living in the Barossa, Light and Lower North region? 
  • What suggestions do you have to make the region a better place for all community members? 

Your comments will inform a document that details all of the ideas, issues and suggestions that are collated as a part of Country Cabinet, which will then be provided to the SA Government to respond to. The Government's response to this document will be made available on YourSAy within 90 days of Country Cabinet.

Don't forget you can also come along to the Country Cabinet community forum and barbecue on Sunday 18 October, or Meet a Minister to raise an issue or idea. 

Comments closed

Louise Mather

19 Oct 2015

As the Manager of Lutheran Community Care in the Barossa I work with an amazing team of people who deliver diverse services and programs for people who are struggling in one way or another. The team of 11 paid staff and over 100 volunteers see the other side of the Barossa Valley on a daily basis. They see the people who are about to lose their homes because of unemployment, the man who is living in a tent under pine trees in Tanunda and the parents who turn up to playgroup rain or shine because they are accepted and not judged there. They provide over 600 emergency relief sessions per year and at Xmas they deliver 350 hampers to families and individuals who without the hamper of food and gifts, would have a miserable Christmas. Emergency relief is provided to those community members who are doing it tough because of mental and or physical health issues, domestic violence, addictions, homelessness etc. Due to the generosity of congregations and broader community members we are able to offer food, blankets, warm clothing and vouchers. At the same time we always encourage recipients to attend counselling and we make referrals to other relevant services.
Transport is a major issue, people forget when they move to the country that they have much further to travel to access services. Public transport is limited and if there is a car available the cost of travelling to appointments is an added expense that hasn't been factored in when considering the move.
The Barossa Valley and surrounds are wonderful parts of South Australia, they attract tourists and 'tree changers' alike. However among all this there are people struggling to survive and on a daily basis seek the support services of organisations such as Lutheran Community Care. These are the people not shown in the glossy brochures, they are the people my team work with.

Grant Dickson

16 Oct 2015

As Barossa restaurateurs, we would love to stimulate some discussion about local recruitment and training possibilities for both Back of House (chefs, cooks, kitchen hands) and Front of House (Restaurant Managers, Sommeliers, Waitstaff) hospitality professionals. There is a desperate need felt by all Barossa restaurant owners who struggle to receive applications or even expressions of interest for jobs advertised locally and nationally. Chefs in particular are in short supply and the salaries that are now being offered, just to elicit a response, are often higher than those paid to head chefs in Sydney and Melbourne. The resulting salary structure adds to the financial pressure of running businesses that already have extra associated costs due to the 'remoteness' of the Barossa.
It would be wonderful if a collaborative training facility, geared to the actual needs of local hospitality businesses and run in conjunction with the owners and managers of existing restaurants could be considered. There has been much discussion between restaurateurs about the possibility of 'sharing' trainee staff between the different businesses so that a more complete and diverse experience might be offered.
I know that many professional sectors within our region struggle to attract staff to consider either relocating to the Barossa, or commuting from Adelaide. Investing in a promotion to attract staff to consider the benefits of living and or working in the region would certainly be worthwhile.

Dean Cook

08 Oct 2015

Our Community (that is the Mallala District Council area) is facing a belligerent and uncooperative Council. Currently our Council is 112% of budget in debt and they want to go further in to debt without considering the costs to Ratepayers. Our rates rose 6% last year just to cover the current debt and now they are deliberately going another $2 million into further debt. Mallala Community itself is being charged $586 (this Year) for a new CWMS system. This fee is to go up by 3% per year for 50 years. Absolute theft by Council by deceit.

Erin Sims

25 Sep 2015

There needs to be more attention paid to the needs of the young people in the Barossa Valley. Everyone is so concerned with the fact that we are a food and wine region that I think people often forget that the Barossa is full of young people and that their needs should be addressed too. There needs to be a greater emphasis on youth and family friendly places and things to do in the Barossa. Off the top of my head there is the Nuriootpa skate and train park, Williamstown BMX track, public pools, The Rex, the public libraries, Barossa Bowland and Mini Golf, along with a handful of playgrounds and sports ovals. Honestly, not an overly expansive set of things for young people to do every day, especially when you consider how these are spread throughout the region and then compared with the opportunities for young people who live in the city/metropolitan area. On top of that, there is very little opportunity for young people to get out of the Barossa to visit other places due to the limited public transport (yet another reason a train to the Barossa would be good, along with improved bus services).

Jeannine Malcolm > Erin Sims

12 Oct 2015

Hi Erin, I'm the Coordinator, Youth Services for The Barossa Council. I'd love to meet you and hear your ideas. I'd also encourage you to come along with as many young people as possible to the Youth Forum next Monday after school (4:00 - 5:30pm @ Barossa Council Chambers). The Minister for Youth, Hon Zoe Bettison will be there in person to hear from young people in the region. It's a great way to highlight the issues you're passionate about. You'll also be able to meet YAC (Youth Advisory Committee) members who help advocate for youth services and programs in the Barossa. Our Facebook event link is https://www.facebook.com/events/524565807690616/ or you can contact me on 0417503243 or jmalcolm@barossa.sa.gov.au
Hope to see you at the forum!!
Jeannine Malcolm

Paula Bartsch

25 Sep 2015

I believe that the Amy Gillett Bikeway should be completed and the section between Mount Torrens and Mount Pleasant be completed as originally planned. The Mount Pleasant Community is wanting to encourage tourism to this part of the Barossa and this is one way which could possibly encourage cyclists to stay in the area and enjoy the countryside on this wonderful bikeway. It is also a way to encourage residents to keep fit with walking and cycling the local section. With the culmination at Talunga Park, plans could then extend the bikeway along the River Torrens corridor to the local Golf Club, and possibly further into the Barossa district.

YourSAy Team

22 Sep 2015

A big thank you to everyone getting involved in the discussion here - don't forget you can apply to meet one-on-one with a Cabinet Minister to discuss your idea or issue, and also attend the community forum and BBQ on Oct 18. The link to register for these events can be found above and on the 'About' page.

Kate from the YourSAy Team.

ILZE Coombe

22 Sep 2015

I agree with Graham Nixon about the need to revive the train line from Gawler to the Barossa. It almost seems a no-brainer that this railway line is essential - for the safety of travellers who would like to have a tipple and can't because we all know the scenarios of "drink driving" dangers. What a great boost it would be to SA Tourism if visitors (and locals) could just get on a train to the Barossa, enjoy the landscape and enjoy a care-free trip, drink and not drive! I live in Gawler and have often looked with a bit of sadness at the neglected railway line... Further to developing again the railway line, one could then do some bus shuttle services to the wineries along the way - create jobs, sponsorship from the wineries and businesses in the Barossa - a win-win situation for everyone. I am really at a loss as to why this hasn't been a priority yet??

Graham Nixon

22 Sep 2015

Are there any plans for a Tourist Train like the Barossa Wine Train?
If not, why not?
I realize that such a train will be expensive to run, the railway (which has just become abandoned) needs repairs done to it to bring it up to standard for passenger use, but think about the impact it will have on the area. The railway should not have got run down in the first place.
It will help cut down on the amount of traffic on the roads + Passengers can enjoy a few quality local wines and not have to worry about drinking & driving. If one life is saved because of this, it's money well spent!
With the original Barossa Wine Train about to go interstate (many SA residents are doing the same), maybe some of the now stored 2000 Class Railcars could be used for such a service.
Three of the 2000 Class Railcars were used on the highly successful Barossa Discovery Train in 1996 which brought people to Nuriootpa and Trans Adelaide buses ferried people around the Barossa area. It was a huge success and was also a lead up to the Barossa Wine Train.
The line just cannot be left abandoned or worst of all, be turned into a bike/walking trail. That will only cater for a small handful of people. Where as a Tourist/Wine train will cater for many more!
The Barossa Valley is a world famous wine region - Let's give it the best!
Maybe it could lead up to a regular passenger service, just like it was before 1968 when the service was stopped.
I was a regular passenger on the Barossa Wine Train when it was running.

Michelle Vanderaa > Graham Nixon

22 Sep 2015

Yes this is definitely something we need, it is and up and coming growing area. Please

Kay Uren

21 Sep 2015

Please stop all the new subdivisions going further than what's Sold now in Freeling
The town houses to be built are going to be unsightly and devalue our area.. Leave it all as parklands and somewhere nice to view the foothills instead of townhouses..

Michelle Vanderaa > Kay Uren

22 Sep 2015

They need more shops now, to cater for all the people living there. Please

ILZE Coombe

21 Sep 2015

The Barossa area was settled early on by German migrants who began arriving in the mid 1830s and brought with them their strong winemaking and food cultures. But during and immediately after the First and second World Wars, many families and schools discouraged children from speaking German, resulting in the language being lost to many. In 2014 linguistics researchers from the University of Adelaide embarked on a unique project to help revive the almost forgotten German language in the South Australian wine regions of the barossa Valley and the Adelaide Hills. Led by Linguistics Senior lecturer Dr Peter Mickan and PhD student kateryna Katsman, the project aimed to bring german speakers together to share their stories, songs and experiences, and to help foster new generations of German speakers and readers wherever the interest may be strong.
From the initial project, interest in a school and additional German cultural activities grew, and in early 2015 the barossa german Language Association Inc. was formed. A number of activities have already commenced including monthly "Kaffee & Kuchen" (Coffee & cake), gatherings of residents of German heritage at Tanunda Lutheran Homes and barossa Village and Barossa Spielgruppe (German Playgroup) that meets every Saturday morning. A monthly newsletter keeps the community informed of activities. On 22nd August this year the first "Laternenlauf" was held. This is a traditional German children's festival, celebrating St. martin of tours, who lived in the 4th century A.D. and helped the poor. It is anticipated to become an annual event in the barossa. The next exciting development is the German language classes.
The School for the German Language Inc. (operating in Adelaide since 1959) in conjunction with the Barossa German language Association has established a barossa Campus for learning the German language for both children and adults. I, as the newly appointed Head of Barossa Campus, am preparing to start children's clases in term 4, 2015. To register your child for Saturday morning classes, please email me at: ilze.coombe@germanschool.org.au and request an expression of interest (EOI) form. Classes will be held at Nuriootpa Primary School German language room from 9am - 12 pm every Saturday during school term. We are grateful to Ms Jill Hess, the principal of Nuriootpa Primary School, for her support and permission to use the school premises.
Further information about the barossa campus can be found on our facebook page "Barossa Campus of the School for the German Language Inc." You can keep up with all the news of the German School at www.germanschool.org.au where the Barossa campus also has a link.
We look forward to seeing many new faces at our school and joining us in the revival of the German language and customs in the Barossa.

Marie Linke

19 Sep 2015

Has anybody noticed that the magnificent ancient red gums are dying or dead, in the Barossa and way beyond? I cannot believe how fast they are dying and wonder what impact this will have on the agricultural and viticultural industries that so many rely on in our country regions. Salinity will rise in the underground water tables. It's already far too late to save many of the magnificent old trees but surely somebody in some sector of government can not waste time and attempt to do something to save some of the trees from the lerp infestation (if that is the only problem). The Barossa is getting uglier every day with the loss of these majestic trees. Such a shame. I have photos if anybody is interested in seeing them.

Tim H

16 Sep 2015

The Gawler bus services in my opinion isn’t being used to its full potential. I do not understand why it doesn’t link to another town EG: Lyndoch or Munno Para/Elizabeth, it simply just goes round and round Gawler. I feel the bus system could be looked at and in some ways improved.

Michelle Vanderaa > Tim H

22 Sep 2015

Yes I agree it seems very silly to me, would be used more of it was. Please