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'Mad March' is the time of year when Adelaide transforms itself into a bustling tourist hotspot.

In addition to regular attractions such as the Fringe Festival, the Adelaide 500, and WOMADelaide, the 2018 edition of 'Mad March' also boasts the South Australian election.

As is always the case come election time, promises are flying thick and fast.

One particular area of interest for the rural community will be what effect the new parliament has on the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016, which began on 1 April, 2017. Various elements of the new act will be rolled out across the next five years.

As part of the changes, the government is consolidating council development plans into a single rulebook known as the Planning and Design Code. This is intended to set out "a comprehensive set of policies, rules and classifications which may be selected and applied through various parts of the state".

Why is this relevant to regional communities?

A significant issue that exists at the moment is the conflict between land uses, in particular between traditional farming uses and residential uses. The stories are not uncommon - complaints about spray drift, the noise from equipment and livestock, odours generated and the like.

There has been little comment so far about how such issues might be dealt with in the Code. Given that land division will potentially become an easier process, there is the distinct possibility that the frequency of conflict might increase.

This article was first published in The Stock Journal on Thursday 8 March 2018.