2022 candidate for City of Marion.
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. I am eager to learn of outcome of the current expert panel review of the Planning and Design Code, which I hope will provide a more streamlined and manageable pathway for councils and communities to advocate for our needs. In particular, I would welcome strategies for councils and community members enabling us to have much more of a say when it comes to protecting our significant trees and preventing over-development of blocks.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Elected members in councils should be able to represent and advocate for the needs of their constituents in their community. Councils should be able to advocate to protect green space and make it accessible to the community and have a voice in enabling local heritage sites to be protected. We need to ensure that arable land is protected and that future generations are able to learn and benefit from our natural and built heritage.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
It is vital for ward councillors to liaise with local community groups, liaise with their cultural heritage officer and conduct research to gain a comprehensive understanding of the nuances around the history and current needs of their ward and council area more broadly in terms of heritage protection. Ongoing community consultation and communication is vital to ensure that the community's current and future needs are met. Further, by very the nature of the role, ward councillors are not able to effectively make change as a lone voice on council. Ward councillors need to be able to collaborate and negotiate with their ward councillor colleagues in order to make clear and balanced decisions together.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
My understanding is that the current processes in place around heritage listings can be quite long and cumbersome. It is important for local councils to have resources budgeted towards local heritage protection, and where possible, to have a heritage officer employed to help manage local heritage applications. I note that Marion Council does have a Cultural Heritage Officer. Benefits to adding local heritage applications include preserving our local history to ensure that future generations are able to learn from and appreciate what has come before them, both in terms of natural and built heritage. Significant trees such as those with markings from canoes and coolamons and areas such as Warriparinga and the Tjilbruke Dreaming track that have First Nations cultural significance are a good example of natural heritage that should be protected. Many significant buildings not only hold a wealth of local history, but are also often incredibly beautiful and artistic in terms of their structure, form and design and provide an important aesthetically pleasing dynamic to our communities.
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 like community members and councils to have more of a voice when it comes to making decisions around protecting significant trees, green areas, views and significant buildings and structures. The process for applications needs to be made simpler and more value should be placed on protection of important built and environmental heritage in decision making.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Infill development (building on vacant or underutilised land) is a vital part of addressing our current housing problems, and it also needs to be balanced alongside conservation. There are certainly many benefits to medium density development such as reducing distances needed to travel, managing urban sprawl, and making use of existing community resources. However, with this being said, streamlined pathways should be in place to ensure that open spaces, green spaces and significant trees can be preserved. We need to ensure that communities can access opportunities to grow a garden, that trees are kept for canopy coverage and appropriate new trees are planted to reduce urban heat island effects and improve aesthetics. We also need to ensure that it is possible to park cars safely, manage fire risks, and enable access by emergency vehicles. With any infill development, review of community resources is required to ensure that communities are able to effectively manage the additional population. We need to consider effective public transport, footpaths, roads, community spaces, libraries, community centres/associations, and parks, and provide opportunities for flourishing local shops, small businesses, and sporting clubs to help service the community.
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?
I think people are concerned about renovating if they think that the application process will be too long or arduous and that it will be quicker just to purchase a new home. The code is quite tricky to navigate and understand for a layperson, so I think the community would benefit from easy to understand messaging and communication around the steps required to renovate and how they can go about this in a manner that is both cost effective and environmentally sustainable.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
Meaningful community consultation is vital. I think communities can get frustrated when they are presented with plans that have already been fully developed prior to consultation, meaning that it is more difficult and costly to provide feedback and make adjustments. The community can also become frustrated when they are consulted but their views are not taken into account and there is not opportunity to compromise.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
I think our local council is making efforts to improve urban greening and street trees although the types of trees may not always be appropriate in terms of biodiversity, and can spread into weedy trees at the expense of native vegetation. I would like to see opportunities for community education, advice and engagement from council around appropriate tree plantings for our area so that community members know what is helpful to plant from a biodiversity perspective.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
I think it is important that the community is informed on how they can go about applying for a tree to be protected. I would like to see local council put steps in place to make this process easier where possible.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
Councils should be able to advocate on behalf of their local community to protect significant and regulated trees.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
I would like my local council to investigate strategies to support residents and businesses to take up renewable energy such as grants/subsidies for solar panels similar to Adelaide City Council. I am advocating for an electric vehicle charging station in my ward. I would like to see all council vehicles become electric vehicles as the current fleet vehicles reach their end of life. I would like to see councils investigate how they can use less concrete and bitumen, which are very carbon intensive and look into alternatives.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
Residents are concerned about the number of vehicles increasing on Lonsdale Highway, which impacts on air and noise pollution. As further housing has been built, this has also increased traffic on local roads which were not originally intended to be arterial.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
Increasing public transport, electric vehicle charging station opportunities, the ramp onto the Southern Expressway, reducing speed limits on local roads that have become busier in light of new developments.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Improving our ability to listen and respond to community voices
Improve tree protection
Reduce over-development of blocks