2022 candidate for City of Burnside.
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?
In general, yes I believe that local government and the local community should have the primary voice concerning local developments. However at present local governments have done very little to ensure that development is carried out in a quality or sustainable way. Local government needs to take a position of leadership and prove that it can be the leading authority in these matters.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Councils should advocate for the protection of local heritage places. Local government has a unique opportunity to know what makes its area special and what should be done to preserve that. Local government should lobby state government to change the law where required to enable them to be able to have legal powers to protect local heritage where existing powers are inadequate.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
I would seek for councils to have greater legal powers to protect heritage and to demand better standards for new development. Councils should have dedicated local heritage officers and architects whose role is to research and advocate for local heritage and to to promote knowledge and love for local historical places and buildings.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
Property owners are reluctant to allow their buildings to be heritage listed due to a perception of increased costs of maintenance and lower re-sale values. This perception needs to be changed primarily by making it harder for low quality developments to be constructed and skew development toward renovation and reuse of existing buildings where possible and a greater society wide appreciation for beauty—which modern developers and architects (with few exceptions) do not seem to be capable of. Modern developments are bland and soulless. By retaining our unique heritage, and ensuring that new development is harmonious with heritage, we maintain a sense of place and maintain the reason that we love where we live.
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?
I would seek changes that prioritise high quality and sustainable development. At the moment most properties being developed are cheap and unattractive looking, even when large amounts of money are being spent, with a predominance of glass, pre-cast concrete, and cladding. This is both ugly and unsustainable, and completely incompatible with climate change goals. I think that where development occurs it should be adaptation and reuse of existing buildings and where total demolition occurs it should be to increase density. However this needs to occur in conjunction with proper planning and in locations where additional public transport and transit options, and schools and other infrastructure are colocated with the increased density.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Increased density is needed but the problem is that it currently occurs without any commensurate increase in infrastructure and facilities. Development is too important to be left to the private sector to do as hoc; it needs to be led by government determining where and how it should happen. Also most infill development is ugly, and often results in a beautiful old house being destroyed and replaced by two or three ugly glass and concrete boxes. Over time this degrades the entire suburbs as it slowly becomes uglier and no longer resembles why people wanted to be there in the first place.
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?
Creation of higher standards and higher quality for new developments, far higher, which would have the dual goals of making it more attractive to renovate as well as ensuring those developments that do proceed to completion will themselves be buildings that will never need to be demolished and will last forever.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
Direct communication where the council has email addresses, otherwise signage and letterbox drops and a website that can be checked.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
Yes, Burnside is reasonably well off in this regard but there still needs to be vigilant care taken to ensure this isn’t eroded.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
The existing system works reasonably well.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
The current system is adequate.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
All new development should prioritise buses, trams, trains, walking and cycling as the primary modes of transport. Road upgrades should include cycling infrastructure such as segregated cycling lanes. Development standards need a total overhaul to ensure new developments are actually future proofed and result in buildings that will last forever.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
There is inadequate cycling and walking infrastructure. The public transport to Burnside is woefully inadequate forcing to people to use their cars even when they would prefer not to.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
As said, the City of Burnside needs vastly improved public transport options and increased cycling and walking infrastructure.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Improved walking and cycling infrastructure
Better building standards and a meaningful master plan for future development
More power for councils to protect local heritage