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?
Yes - especially in the period of rapid growth being experienced in our region. In Central Ward, Mount Barker, there are many past and present examples of planning and development decisions that are misaligned with community expectations. Importantly, these are now placing a significant strain on common infrastructure and liveability.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
I believe councils should be very involved in heritage protection processes as they are the closest level of government to the community and therefore the best-placed to engage with residents and advocate for issues of local social and cultural significance.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
I am a member of the local National Trust and respect and admire the knowledge and hard work of our volunteer members. If elected, I would continue to engage with heritage-interested community groups and residents and use every mechanism possible as a councillor to advocate for robust heritage protections.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
Heritage listings are at times considered an impediment to progress, however in Central Ward, Mount Barker, I believe the rapid expansion of our district is changing this view. Feedback from residents during the course of campaigning suggests many want our social and physical characteristics to be protected and therefore may be more embracing of local heritage listings than in previous times.
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?
Discussions with residents in Central Ward indicates there is a sense of powerlessness, at both an individual and council level. There is also anxiety and mistrust about the potential for future loss and degradation of the local environment without the opportunity for a meaningful consultation or influence.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
The context for infill development in Central Ward, Mount Barker, is possibly different to other council areas. Mount Barker currently has a so-called 'hard town boundary' zone that prevents further outward expansion or urban sprawl. This actually promotes development to occur within the boundary, providing some comfort for the surrounding rural properties and also residents of Central Ward who would like a sustainable rate of development and better coordinated infrastructure programs.
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?
Mount Barker is in a period of rapid growth with new housing far exceeding renovations. In general I support environmentally sustainable build practices and policies, wherever possible and practical.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
Residents of Central Ward, Mount Barker, are often kept informed of new residential developments as these are mostly occur in distinct housing estate precincts that are branded and widely marketed. However, feedback received from residents suggests a desire for increased communication with regard to retail developments and services.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
The removal of trees in Central Ward, Mount Barker, to make way for housing estates and new developments is a concern for many residents and I believe will require increased auditing and monitoring of tree canopy levels in the future.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
I would support an audit and identification of significant trees - native and introduced, through extensive consultation with the community and arborists - along with robust and effective safeguards against removal.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
I believe council should be involved in every decision regarding the local environment, working in consultation with residents and other relevant stakeholders.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
If elected, I would support any council-led initiatives within its scope to mitigate the impacts of climate change .
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
During the course of campaigning and engaging with residents, traffic and parking issues were a common cause of frustration and concern. Many arterial roads in Central Ward, Mount Barker, are not coping with the rapid population growth. Accidents on the freeway also continue to be source of anxiety and there is a great deal of concern about narrow roads in new developments being unable to cater for domestic parking needs and or allow emergency vehicles and trucks clear passage.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
State government assistance to complete Heysen Boulevard would be an important step to ease traffic congestion in Central Ward, Mount Barker. We also need a higher priority given to improving existing roadways and pathways, including solutions to intersections that are currently ineffective and increasingly unsafe.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Greater consultation with local stakeholders
Improved capacity for local influence
Increased transparency on decision making