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Plans for a Barossa Valley tourist attraction to rival the ground breaking D’Arenberg Cube in McLaren Vale have been dashed by a Supreme Court ruling late today.
The failed application by John Geber, who has turned the historic Chateau Tanunda from a vast unoccupied stone and brick building 20 years ago into one of the most acclaimed wineries in Australia, is likely to cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Mr Geber claimed Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Minister Stephan Knoll had erred in his decision to rip up a 120m section of the unused Tanunda to Nuriootpa rail line.
The roadworks would halt his plans for a train to take tourists on a 33km train trip around the region.
But the court, headed by Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, found otherwise and decided the Minister was correct in his power to pull up the small segment of rail line in order to allow a $4.8 million roundabout upgrade to proceed.
Chateau Tanunda owner John Geber wanted to use his bluebird train to service the Barossa Valley wine region.“The State Government welcomes the Supreme Court’s decision to throw out Mr Geber’s application so the Kroemers roundabout upgrade can now proceed and create jobs, improve safety and traffic flow at this dangerous Barossa intersection,” Minister Knoll said.
Mr Geber had suggested that state Premier Steven Marshall – who is also Tourism Minister – had his priorities the wrong way around in backing Minister Knoll.
The rail line sits in Mr Knoll’s electorate of Schubert.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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