2022 candidate for District Council of Lower Eyre Peninsula.
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?
The recent planning reforms in South Australia have been a positive step forward in consolidating regional planning across the state and I believe this is a good thing. On the other hand the State Government can be seen in many instances as driving planning and development in Council areas without appropriate community involvement. The best outcome is achieved when Council and the community have the same goals and work together to ensure the best planning and development outcomes.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Council's role is to represent its constituents and provide appropriate services to its community and thus should have a strong voice in protecting heritage and preventing inappropriate development. I don't believe Council should have blanket authority regarding these issues as each development would have its own unique elements to be considered.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
Often community awareness of developmental impinges on sites or buildings under heritage agreements or of heritage significance is lacking or not well promoted. Corporations can and do have influence on State and Federal Governments to override planning and development rules, with Councils pressured into supporting inappropriate development. In my region, Southern Launch was granted permission by the State Commission Assessment Panel to launch test rockets in a conservation zone that is home to several state and federal-listed threatened bird species. I believe there is too much "overriding" of the planning rules that apply to all the local community, in order to enable corporate, State or Federal development to proceed in the region without proper and evaluation and recognition of the needs of the local community. As a Councillor I would be a strong voice against inappropriate development in conservation and heritage areas.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
I believe that today there is more focus in government on building new development as opposed to recognising, identifying and protecting history and the past. From an economic point of view this can be seen as entirely reasonable. The drive to add to local heritage listings should come from the community encouraged by Council to instill wider awareness of preservation of historical and heritage opportunities.
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?
The Planning and Design Code seeks to improve and enhance community access and awareness of heritage and amenity by including many overlays relative to historic area and form. I haven't explored enough of the new Code across properties or locations in my region to determine what aspects of this new system should be amended or changed.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Infill development in rural blocks close to Port Lincoln helps reduce demand for road maintenance which is a big draw on Council resources and I believe this should be further encouraged. Infill development in townships is restricted due to the large minimum requirement for house blocks. In coastal townships this is 1200 square metres. I believe a re-evaluation of these large minimum requirements is needed along with assessment of the limitations of community waste water schemes which drive the requirement for such large allotments in townships.
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?
It's not just policy changes that impact on this issue. The availability (or not) of materials and labour expertise is also a driving force in regional areas. Low cost housing demands can also affect whether people choose to upgrade, demolish or sell and rebuild. I don't feel that blanket policy should force the community to make such choices. There are currently many local government policies in place for homeowners and I don't believe communities benefit from unnecessary policy around residential development.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
Traditionally newspaper advertising and articles have informed the community about new development in the area. Many people no longer buy newspapers or watch television news and miss out on learning about development in the region. Some Councils maintain good social media promotion of activity and I believe it is essential for Council to have a strong social media profile in the community that informs and encourages involvement.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
Communication and negotiation between Council and community is really important when evaluating whether a tree removal is required. There should be a balance between recognising safety issues and heritage considerations.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
It would depend on what issues are evident or expected and the most appropriate way to deal with them as they present themselves.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
How could transport options be improved in your area?
Identifying transport gaps in rural townships and farming communities would be the first step to recognizing where transport is not meeting community needs.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Transparency not hypocrisy in relation to planning rules
Improved communication with applicants
Media liaison including social media