2022 candidate for District Council of Mount Barker.
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 believe there needs to be sufficient and genuine representation of the interests of local communities in the planning and development stages of projects in their area and in some instances, I do see the need to promote the communities perspective to a greater degree, yes.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
I believe the role of Council is to govern in accordance with the wishes of constituents and there is innate value retained in local heritage sites. I understand there will be instances in which decisions may have to be made against portions of the community's interests or desires and at that point, I think it befalls on councilors and the Council as a whole to be clearly communicating reasons why certain developments may seem counter-intuitive to public sentiment or damaging to local heritage.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
I would try my best to deploy analysis seeking to weigh the value of protecting local heritage against the demand for further development. I would approach this on a case-by-case basis and would typically err on the side of caution when it comes to the destruction of heritage and cultural sites. Arguments for development against heritage would need to be substantial, clearly beneficial to the community, and considered to have brought local communities along through the process in order for the reasons to either protect or develop sites to be understood by constituents.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
I believe, in times of rapid advancement in society, technology, economies and livelihoods, the role of local heritage can easily be inundated by a relentless push for development. When so many decisions come down to finance and land being a finite, valuable resource, the immeasurable cultural value of local heritage is easily dismissed by some in power motivated by the constant promotion of the financial bottom line. Adding to local heritage, when done appropriately, will provide vast benefits for communities and individuals including the promotion of a collective identity and shared history, opportunities for educating new generations about our history, and these sites can act as focal points in communities to promote engagement and cultivate belonging. I also believe financially viable development and retention of culturally significant sites are not mutually exclusive and in some instances heritage sites can be purposed to combine elements of both.
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?
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
I would promote greater access and availability of public spaces against pure infill development.
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?
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
Community consultation is key. From this point, it is critical that the consultation is carried right through the process and is responsive to any inquiry or demand of the community.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
In certain areas, I believe so. However, I believe vast land clearing over decades has resulted in a shortfall of new growth and so forecasting how the next generation of large forested areas or significant trees within towns are integrated is critical to prevent desolated and imbalanced natural landscapes.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
I would like to see Council dedicated to conservation up until the point at which it is deemed justifiable by both Council and communities that conservation efforts will be detrimental at large. This process must be transparent and collaborative.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
Council should be responsive to any inquiry or accusation that posits certain trees as significant or valuable and should take extreme caution in damaging them, ensuring that the purpose for removal is absolutely necessary and can be justified on a basis of overall obtaining greater value for the community and environment.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
This is an enormous question but primarily I would seek to promote greater community resilience through an alliance approach between South Ward townships. Through various educational, infrastructure and planning initiatives, communities can build up mitigation against the changing climate and I will provide sustained, dedicated efforts from the side of Council to enable communities to achieve positive outcomes.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
Certain townships in the South Ward experience a thorough fair through their main street, which is undesirable. Others experience compact traffic along main roads, serving as potentially dangerous and unsightly hazards. There is a constant need to maintain road and parking spaces.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
The potential for greater transport in the South Ward is apparent. There are a few options at least, including greater park-and-ride services, car-sharing services and rail services.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Genuine community consultation and clearer lines of justification for new development
Greater expressions of the immense value of cultrual and heritage sites to community development
Greater emphasis on preparing townships and landscapes for future generations