2022 candidate for Port Pirie Regional Council.
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 that Councils should have a strategic vision and design overlaying plan of how the region will be built up and maintained, which clearly identifies the values and priorities of the community (including maintaining heritage building) so that anyone seeking to make changes or seeks to create new buildings knows exactly what that vision is and can be best guided on obtaining and keeping that vision. For example, maintaining and installing heritage street lights. Without the overall plan, the community falls in danger of looking like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle with no integration of styles.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Firstly, heritage is not just the buildings, it is also our customs, languages and beliefs. We already have legislation in place to protect our buildings. I believe that councils can protect our heritage (buildings, customs, language and beliefs) by showcasing them in council events. Further, by identifying those buildings, customs, language and beliefs, we can them influence the creation of new legislation to protect our heritage. For example, rather than demolishing the old post office, council can identify the building as having a heritage value to the region and set about by protecting that building. Likewise our customs of Christmas pageants and carol singing. Councils need to identify what is valued by the community, what has historic value and which customs or traditions the community values - then we can set about keeping them.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
I would ask residents to identify buildings in our region which they value. In addition, council would do likewise. This is a good starting point and council can assess the heritage value against current legislation. If the criteria is met, the subject building should be classified accordingly.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
Sometimes, the costs of maintaining heritage buildings is high for local councils and ideally, grants should be sought and provided by State and/or Federal governments to assist. I also wanted to add that heritage can also be about sacred places, too often State and/or Federal governments overlook the original custodians links to heritage sites because it’s not convenient economically and business is given priority over heritage and this must stop! I believe that councils need to do more to protect the cultural significance of individual areas by identifying them and then protecting them by not allowing development in the protected site.
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 feel we have already lost significant buildings as the cost of maintaining them was prohibitive. Ideally, additional funding needs to be provided to local councils to assist them in keeping significant buildings.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Infil development is not applicable in our region. We highly value our open spaces and at present we still have areas in which our communities can expand, before we need to consider increasing the density. However, having said that, there is a plot of land in the centre of town, owned by the State, which is in dire need of infil (that is, raising the land level and removing any ground contamination). I feel that if this was undertaken at a State level, the benefit of having one large open green space would greatly contribute to the wellness of all in the community - but again, I fear the costs would be prohibitive and so it remains an eyesore
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?
The young all want new and modern buildings because they see it as being overall cheaper in the long run. In my opinion to create a change in people’s minds about this, perhaps if stamp duty was lower on older buildings together with reduced land tax and rates this might be the turning point in creating a need to purchase older buildings.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
I believe our community already has in place mechanisms to identify heritage buildings and council acts accordingly by identifying those buildings we want to keep. Unfortunately, there will always be some people who will create hurdles for those seeking to maintain heritage qualities by stating it’s not exactly how it was in the past, and council should be firm and state it’s a”s close to and it’s what we have available” - so that these types of hindrances are minimised
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
No! I wish there was as tree canopy completely changes the character of a neighborhood. Our council actively cuts down mature trees. They do not value green canopy because of the inherent costs of maintaining it. This is one of the reasons I am running for council, so that I can change this aspect! Green canopy adds value to each residence within the region. It creates a pleasant environment and research has shown that green canopy creates cooler climate. We must protect our existing tree canopy and start creating new ones! We need to mandate the creation of new green canopy and provide grants to do the same!
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
Mandate the retention of green canopy and provide grants to do the same! I would love to see significant greening in every street
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
I believe councils should create new by laws which sets aside areas as being significant and green. In new building developments, a proportion of the space needs to be set aside as open space and have new home owners plant trees from a significant list set aside by council to protect and promote regulated and significant trees. Lastly, green wedges can be created and identified as places kept as green open spaces.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
We all know that to mitigate carbon, we need to increase planting of trees. I would campaign for increased planting if trees and budget for it. If need be, seek grants to increase plantings and creating open green spaces for the benefit of everyone. We already have solar farms and windmills in operation, the next step is tree planting
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
We are located in a rural region, we really do not have issues with traffic or parking. I would like to see more shade coverage in large open car parks. Recently, I saw a very clever idea, whereby large solar panels were installed directly onto a metal frame which then became the carport in an urban shopping centre. I’m not sure if the shopping centre paid for and maintains its solar farm but it’s a great concept in generating energy, and providing cool place to park.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
I would love to see a commuter railway that links Adelaide with our region. This would reduce a 2.5hr drive to an hour train trip. This service would reduce the need for citizens to drive to Adelaide for hospital services, for food supply and delivery services, for connecting with friends and families as well as opening up the region to tourism. It’s 2022 and we do not have a national railway line that you can get on in Melbourne, go to Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Brisbane, Sydney and return to Melbourne without getting off the train and changing lines or taking buses. Really it’s a disgrace!
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Mandate planting and keeping trees and creating new open green spaces
Identify buildings, customs, places, language and beliefs which have heritage value to the community and create new by laws to protect same.
Reduce the wait times by employing more town planners