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Aerial view of the MAB and Flinders University building at Tonsley.

In recognition of South Australia’s proud history of agriculture and manufacturing, the suburb of Tonsley has officially been created following an application by the City of Marion and Renewal SA, which was was endorsed by the Office of the Surveyor General and approved by the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Stephen Mullighan.

The new Tonsley includes the 61 hectare former Mitsubishi Motors site, an area south to Sturt Road, and the existing residential precinct bounded by the Tonsley rail line, Sturt Road and South Road. A small industrial precinct to the northeast of the site is also included.

The site has long been known as Tonsley and the name has a 140-year history in the district. The Ragless family bought the original site in 1876 and named it after Tonsley Hall in England. It was farmed for several generations before being developed by Chrysler in 1964, which was bought out by Mitsubishi in 1980.

The site, purchased by the South Australian government in 2010, is now home to Australia’s leading innovation district, and encompasses more than 70 business and around 1000 workers.

As well as being a hub for advanced manufacturing businesses and services, Tonsley is viewed internationally as a model for urban renewal. It has a significant research, education and training focus with Flinders University’s School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics and TAFE SA’s Sustainable Industries Education Centre both on site.

Along with the creation of Tonsley as a new suburb, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Kyam Maher, also announced: “We will soon see the start of the construction of the residential development, which will host more than 800 homes and 1200 residents.”


The Peet Group were awarded a contract in June 2016 to construct a housing development that is expected to support an estimated 780 construction jobs over nine years and generate an estimated $265 million in housing investment.

Changing the name of a suburb is a formal and independent decision of the Office of the Surveyor-General with input from state government agencies, the local council, and the community.

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