2022 candidate for City of Mitcham.
Heritage survey responses.
Do you think that Councils and community members need to have a greater voice in planning and development decisions affecting their local area?
I certainly do. The feedback I have been getting from local residents is that they have a number of issues with the changes that come from planning and development decisions made from outside the jurisdiction of council. This would, of course, come with additional time and expense for council, which would need to be considered. The current planning code review is highly relevant and needs to ensure adequate consultation with key stake holders including council and residents.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
I believe this is a core issue that council can and be involved in. Mitcham Council, for example, has a passional historical society and is highly involved in advocating for heritage sites. This local expertise must not be overlooked.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
One example of a heritage site that was recently fought for and saved in the Mitcham Council is the Waite Gatehouse, whereby Council worked with supportive state government MPs to promote the importance of this heritage site. I believe that it is important that financial viability of a project doesn't override the importance of relevant historical sites. Such considerations should be taken into account in the planning code, with protections offered to heritage listed sites that can't be overwhelmed by a proposal such as the one that almost doomed the Waite Gatehouse.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
A continuation of the legacy of our area - as a relatively young (modern Australian) society we don't have many heritage listings compared to a country such as Italy. It makes sense to continue to add to our recognised heritage, however I understand this will necessarily be a hindrance to development so I think it's important that the additions are truly reflective of heritage and worthy of their place on the list.
How has the Planning and Design Code impacted on the heritage, amenity, and environment of your area? What changes would you seek to the Code?
As above.. I would like to see more protections for genuine heritage listings, in addition to true consultation with local bodies.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Significant impacts such as problems with cars lining suburban streets, increased traffic and rush hour, local streets that are constantly getting new pot holes, local carparks not large enough for the amount of users due to infill development. This needs to be considered - at some point the amount of infill will be unsustainable in terms of local infrastructure. Minimum size of block could be a factor.
Construction of new housing typically uses 30% labour and 70% materials. Renovation of existing housing stock typically uses 70% labour and 30% materials. What policy changes would you like to see made to encourage people to renovate, rather than demolish and build anew?
I understand why people opt to re-build due to issues getting renovation approval, and it can be cheaper due to the expense of renovation. Smoother, simpler, and faster building/renovation approvals and support from the relevant bodies to help this process along. I believe if it was financially viable and more cost effective to renovate, and the process was more streamlined people would opt for this more readily.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
The best way to consult is dependent on the project and it's hard to get everyone to contribute. Posted surveys are an option in addition to being posted on relevant social media/websites/etc.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
I believe in most areas of my ward there is, however there are parts in St Marys and Pasadena that are lacking tree canopy.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
I would like to see the protection of significant and regulated trees be balanced between protection and the management of very old trees which can be dangerous for residents (limbs dropping etc) and I know many residents would like more support in this area. I think better managed significant trees will result in fewer requests for removal.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
This is a difficult one as the land owner also needs to be considered. I believe there are risks associated with council being given carte blanche in terms of tree protections, but I agree that council has a role to play - it needs to be viable and cost effective in terms of monitoring.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
Maintenance of existing green spaces and prioritising the planting of appropriate trees in appropriate places.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
Increased subdivision means more on-street parking and more traffic in suburban streets. Rush hour traffic is worse
How could transport options be improved in your area?
Public transport is too infrequent to be useful for many residents outside of peak hour. The buses in particular are very slow, to get to the city for example. More investment in frequency could increase uptake of public transport options.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Sensible management of urban growth
Preservation of tree canopy where possible
Genuine heritage protections