Environment and food production areas

Environment and Food Production Areas (EFPAs) were introduced to protect vital agricultural lands surrounding metropolitan Adelaide from urban encroachment.

The EFPAs operate in a similar way to the Character Preservation Areas in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale.

Map of the EFPAs

About this instrument

The Environment and Food Production Areas have been introduced to:

  • protect our valuable food producing and rural areas as well as conserving our prized natural landscapes, and tourism and environmental resources
  • support our sustainable growth and encourage the building of new homes in our existing urban footprint where supporting infrastructure already exists
  • provide more certainty to food and wine producers as well as developers on the direction of future development in metropolitan Adelaide.

The protection areas cover the rural areas of the Adelaide Plains, Alexandrina, Light and Murray Bridge Councils. They do not overlap with the already protected rural areas within the Barossa Character Preservation Act 2012.

South Australia’s food producing and agricultural areas are one of our primary and premium industries which we are all immensely proud of and which we want to preserve and protect.

Protecting these areas, in turn, protects our food security, economic growth, local jobs, prized tourism areas and our state’s global reputation as a premium producer of food and wine.

To help preserve and support rural areas which are vital to South Australia’s success, new protections only affect development proposals for land division for new housing and do not affect development proposals for new buildings, structures or land division for other purposes.

The establishment of these new protected areas will have no effect on regular home and land owners in these areas, unless they intend to apply to divide land for new housing.

At the time the EFPAs were introduced, landowners within certain rural living areas (defined by General Registry Office Map G17/2015) were advised that while subdivision for residential purposes is prevented within EFPAs, a transitional period would allow for the assessment of land division applications proposing the creation of one or more additional allotments.

This transitional period ended on 31 March 2019. Since 1 April 2019, land division applications to create one or more additional allotments within EFPAs are no longer permitted.

The EFPAs do not affect the development of new buildings or structures, only subdivision. Applications for these proposals can continue to be lodged with council.

The State Planning Commission completed its first five-year review into the Environment and Food Production Areas (EFPAs) in November 2021.

The EFPAs were established in 2017 as part of South Australia’s new planning system and were introduced to help protect our prime food and wine regions from urban encroachment by supporting sustainable growth in Greater Adelaide’s existing urban footprint where supporting infrastructure already exists.

The EFPA is required to undergo statutory review every 5 years under the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 with the first review due to be completed by 2022.

Local Government Areas currently covered by the EFPAs include the Adelaide Hills, Adelaide Plains, Alexandrina, Burnside, Campbelltown, Light Regional, Mitcham, Mid-Murray, Mount Barker, Murray Bridge, Playford, Salisbury, Tea Tree Gully, Victor Harbor and Yankalilla. Barossa and Onkaparinga are covered by the Character Preservation Districts.

The outcomes of the Character Preservation Districts Review, completed in 2018, was an important input into the EFPA review.

The EFPA review comprised a two-staged review process. The first stage involved an analysis of land supply in Greater Adelaide, which found that there is sufficient provision of land to accommodate housing and employment growth in Greater Adelaide over the next 15 years.

The second stage involved nine weeks of public consultation (4 June to 6 August 2021), in which all South Australians were invited to make submissions and have their say regarding potential anomalies of a trivial nature that may exist in the EFPA boundaries.

The Commission delivered its ‘EFPA Review Outcomes Report’ on 18 November 2021. Given the limited scope of the relevant test in the legislation to vary boundaries (“that the variation is trivial in nature and will address a recognised anomaly”) the Commission endorsed 23 boundary variations and/or minor technical corrections and administrative updates to boundaries.

The proposed boundary variations will be implemented in 2022, including subsequent amendment to the EFPA Overlay in the Planning and Design Code, subject to the required legislative steps.

The next five year anniversary (and associated Review) is due in 2027.



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