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?
Yes. And more broadly, I would like to work as a Councillor to facilitate greater community involvement in Government decision making.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Councils have a role in assessing applications for demolition of state and local heritage places. As a Councillor, I would encourage Council to play a role in educating owners of heritage places. More information on Council’s role is at: https://plan.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/744427/Protecting_heritage_and_character_in_the_Planning_and_Design_Code.pdf
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
As mentioned above, as a Councillor I would encourage Council to promote the benefits of heritage places to their owners and the broader community. This would include promoting the incentives that Council offers, such as the Mitcham Heritage Subsidy Scheme (https://www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/build-and-develop/mitcham-heritage-subsidy-scheme). I would also like to: - facilitate community engagement in the purpose of “Character Areas” – do they currently serve their purpose or should they incorporate stronger protections? - ensure that heritage protections include tree protections (to maintain canopy and the character of the heritage site)
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
The environment department’s website (https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/topics/heritage/owning-a-heritage-place) describes some of the concerns that owners of heritage places may have… “If you own, or plan to purchase, a heritage listed place you may have some concerns about how listing will affect your use and enjoyment of it. Some people fear that anything they do to the property will reduce its significance and most people fear the possible restrictions that heritage listing may impose on their ownership.” The economic, social and environmental benefits of heritage places are well documented. For example, see: https://www.heritage21.com.au/observations-about-heritage/the-benefits-of-heritage/. These include tourism opportunities, cultural value and the benefits of repurposing rather than demolishing buildings.
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?
Residents of Overton Ward have raised concerns regarding developments that they consider to be out of character for the area. As a Councillor, I would like to work with Council and the community to advocate for the Code to better reflect community expectations of character. I would also like to work with Council and the community to advocate for greater tree protections within the Code. I see greater heritage protection of trees as part of achieving this, together with a greater recognition of the amenity that trees provide.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Residents of Overton ward have raised with me concerns about a loss of character from infill development. Concerns raised with me include loss of character building due to demolition and loss of character due to new buildings that look out of place to the local area. As a Councillor I would like to work with Council and the local community to advocate for development rules that would strike a balance between preserving the character of the area while allowing locally sensitive development. Central to this will be tree preservation and opportunities to expand the tree canopy.
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?
As a Councillor I would encourage Council to promote the merits of environmentally sensitive development and to facilitate a conversation with the community on the role of development rules to achieve this. To be meaningful, I consider that this would need to be evidenced based around the economic, social and environmental impacts of: - Infill vs development on the urban fringe - Renovation vs demolition and rebuild - Resource use (such as energy and water) of differing dwelling types and ages. - Tree canopy
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
My experience is that South Australia’s notification system is inferior to that in other jurisdictions. As a Councillor I would like to facilitate greater involvement by the community in decision making. Key to this would be supporting community advocacy for improved notification of developments and community opportunities to participate in the decision making (such as through lodgement of submissions and appeals).
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
Across the City of Mitcham I am concerned with the rapid loss of tree canopy. For example, the suburbs of Blackwood and Eden Hills have lost 13% and 11% tree canopy in the last 10 years (https://www.ecovoice.com.au/decade-long-study-reveals-tree-canopy-decline-in-adelaide/ and https://www.nearmap.com/au/en/aerial-view-blog/aerial-map-tree-cover-in-adelaide-suburbans) Like many Adelaide plains areas, the suburbs of Overton Ward have limited tree canopy. As a Councillor I would like to work with the Overton community on ways to significantly increase the tree canopy. And I would like to work with Councillors of other wards on how to achieve this across Mitcham.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
As a Councillor I will encourage the Council to advocate for significantly stronger tree protection laws in South Australia, guided by the policy work of the Conservation Council of South Australia (https://www.conservationsa.org.au/trees). An immediate opportunity is for Council to advocate for this via a submission to the Planning System Implementation Review (https://plan.sa.gov.au/planning_review).
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
I am concerned that currently in South Australia, Councils have a very limited role in protecting trees. As a Councillor I will work with the community and Council to advocate for (a) strong tree protection laws at a state level and (b) a greater role for Council in the implementation of these laws.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
The City of Mitcham is a member of Resilient South (https://www.resilientsouth.com/). As a Councillor, I will advocate for the initiatives identified by Resilient South, including biodiversity and greening and water sensitive urban design.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
Residents of Overton Ward have expressed concerns with motorists taking short cuts through back streets, especially in an east-west direction. Overton Ward includes a large stretch of South Road, which will be significantly impacted by the Torrens to Darlington project (https://dit.sa.gov.au/nsc/torrens_to_darlington). Rather than just seeking to address this on a street by street basis, as a Councillor I will advocate for district transport planning that also taking into account of population growth and changing resulting from the Torrens to Darlington project.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
An opportunity exists for the Overton Ward to benefit from the $125 million allocated as part of the Torrens to Darlington Project for urban renewal - https://dit.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/836774/T2D_CityShaping_FactSheet.pdf As a Councillor, I will encourage Council to work with the State Government and the local community on projects to improve transport and connectivity in Overton.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Protecting trees and increasing the tree canopy
Evidenced base policy to facilitate economic, social and environmental outcomes through better regulation of development
Facilitating greater community engagement and involvement in decision maki