Renewal SA will take ownership of the Keswick Barracks and a parcel of defence land at Smithfield following the formal signing of an agreement between the Commonwealth and Government of South Australia to deliver the historic AUKUS nuclear-powered submarine program at Osborne shipyard.
The two parcels, along with 15,000-plus hectares of land at Cultana, north of Whyalla, will come under State control, in exchange for roughly 64 hectares of land at Osborne which will be transferred into Federal ownership.
The Lefevre Peninsula land transfer will see the naval shipyard triple in size to accommodate future submarine construction. A Skills and Training Academy is also planned as a part of the precinct’s expansion north of the existing shipyard, to ensure the state has a highly skilled workforce to deliver the project.
The Keswick and Smithfield land will be transferred to Renewal SA in the next month but will be leased back to the Commonwealth (up to eight years and three years respectively) to allow for the orderly exit of Defence operations and personnel from those sites. Renewal SA will use this time to consider future development through thorough master-planning and stakeholder consultation.
At least 15 per cent of dwellings in any future development at Keswick will be reserved for affordable housing, while the Smithfield development will target a minimum of 40 per cent.
The high-profile Keswick Barracks site on Anzac Highway sits on 12.81 hectares. It is located just 4km from the CBD, and with ample connections to public transport, and key amenities such as Adelaide Showground and Ashford Hospital, it is ideal for mixed-use development. It also sits adjacent to the former Le Cornu site, which is currently near launch and construction for a high-quality, mixed-use precinct.
“The Barracks site presents an unprecedented opportunity for well-planned urban renewal on the south west corner of the parklands. Detailed consideration will be given to the number and types of housing developed within this proposed mixed-use community to ensure best-for-community and best-for-city outcomes,” Renewal SA Chief Executive Chris Menz said.
“We expect widespread interest in this project from the private sector given its prime location. Industry will be notified of opportunities in the years ahead once Defence personnel have left the site and as planning progresses.”
Consultation with the local community, First Nations peoples, and Defence will form part of any future master-planning, as will protection of significant heritage-listed buildings.
Cultana and Osborne
The land at Cultana, on the Eyre Peninsula will be used by the South Australian Government for the strategic construction of electrolysers, a power plant and associated infrastructure required to deliver the Port Bonython Hydrogen Hub.
Work on developing the design of the expanded shipyard at Osborne will commence later this year, in preparation for construction of the first SSN-AUKUS submarines in the late 2020s.
The 33.5-hectare greenfield site at Smithfield has potential for large-scale housing outcomes, given its proximity to high quality amenities including Munno Para Shopping City and two train stations at Smithfield and Broadmeadows - all of which would be within walking distance for future residents. It also presents opportunities for fresh open space and bicycle and pedestrian connections that integrate with the suburb’s existing greenway networks.
Further due diligence and master planning will be undertaken over the next three years to determine what can be achieved, with careful consideration given to planning for future public infrastructure and amenities to cater for population growth in the area, including targeting over 40% of affordable housing.
Mr Menz said unlocking this land for housing would deliver widespread economic and employment opportunities for the northern suburbs, creating a broader sense of community.
“Identifying and unlocking land that can deliver quality housing for South Australians is a key part of our remit, and this site has enormous potential for activation,” he said.
“Equally important, too, is securing it in locations where people can create a home and feel part of a community. We want South Australians to be able to build a life where they live, so having access to a high level of amenities, including shops and open space and good access to public transport is crucial.”
Thousands of construction jobs are anticipated to be created across the lifetime of any future development projects at both Keswick and Smithfield. This includes job training and apprenticeship opportunities facilitated through Renewal SA’s Works Program.