2022 candidate for City of West Torrens.
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?
Absolutely. The only reason I am standing for council is because of a major planning proposal that has been imposed on our community without proper community consultation and a lack of transparency. West Torrens council have embarked on a proposal of "giving" away one of the only green spaces that residents in the western suburbs have access to. Adelaide Football club have "decided" that Thebarton Oval will be their new home. This involves taking over the heritage listed Thebarton oval, in addition to taking King's Reserve, a wonderful green space that is enjoyed by residents: dog walkers, familes kicking footballs, local socer club, students from Thebarton College etc etc. AFC want to take every inch of the green space - involving the removal of all established trees in order to build an MCG sized pitch and car park. The council have offered AFC an incredible deal, not available to residents or other businesses in the area - the proposal gives the AFC an 80% discount on rent and no rates for the first 10 years of the lease, and rent will only increase by 20% every 10 years on - a 42 year initial lease, followed by another 42 years. This land will never be in community hands ever again. The "consultation" conducted on behalf of the council has been online only - and residents have only heard of this by word of mouth. Many residents in this community are not IT literate, and only speak Italian or Greek - the survey has not been mailed to them or made availble in languages other than English. After repeated requests from our community group, the Mayor refused to meet with us but finally did a "mailout" - in the form of a postcard - still only in English and still online only. The Mayor has finally agreed to have a community meeting - but again, only easy for those IT literate people, as teh event is ticketed through EventBrite. I have just had to apply for tickets for a resident who is really distressed about this development. This is not how decsion making should be - it should be transparent and inclusive. Details of any proposal should be made available BEFORE any decision is made - traffic management plans, liquor licensing arrangements, parking (already an issue).
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Local councils should be the first port of call in protecting heritage - they should have a sense of what is important to a local community. Local councils should work harder to idetify what is important to its residents - we cant rely on state governments.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
First, develop a register of whats out there, what needs protecting and why its important. This needs community involement, not just some faceless bureaucrat making some sort of economic decsion. We need greater community involvement in decision making, as well as greater community discussion, With the passing of Messenger newspapers, we lack this easy form of communication - residents dont know what is happening until it is a fait accompli.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
History. Connections to place. Connections to community and people
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 dont think Im informed enough to answer this - Im not familiar enough with the code. Sorry!
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Infill is destroying beautiful old houses to build McMansions that consume every inch of a block - but the biggest impact is the destruction of greenery - one of the things that I would work towards if elected would be ensuring that all new builds have a green component - enough space must be left to ensure that trees and shrubs can be planted. Trees are cooling - and will reduce the need for air conditioning and cooling - reduce green house gasses AND provides a habitat for birds and animals
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?
Interesting....again, I havent thought about this enough. Incentives for rennovation
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
One of the things I would like to see if a system to let residents know who is running for council BEFORE nominations close. We have just been lumped with a Mayor who has been elected unopposed - if people had realised that, someone may have nominated to hold him to account. Now he thinks he has a mandate to do what he likes
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
No One of my biggest issues is that residents are also given no say on what trees are planted - I am sick to death of plane trees and other non-native trees (which require endless cleaning up of leaves and self seed in my garden). I want to have a native tree outside on my verge but am not allowed to.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
Enforcing new builds to retain trees - or if removed, then plantings must be undertaken. Encourage the use of rainwater tanks for toilets Council to move to electric vehicles
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
Traffic in this area is a rat run - cars avoid Henley Beach Rd and South Rd but using side streets. This will only get worse once work commences on the North - South Corridor, The council has some bizarre "traffic calming" ideas that are completely ineffective. The Adelaide Football Club development above will exacerbate this - plus parking will be an absolute nightmare.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
Incentives to use public transport
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Greening new builds
New Builds to incorporate car parking on premises