2022 candidate for Mid Murray 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?
Yes. Our council is notorious in their lack of community inclusion and consultation.For years they worked closely with their federal and state liberal representatives on an agenda of economic growth and development to the detriment of our natural environment. They preserve our white cultural history when they can tie it to income and have been slow to acknowledge the Indigenous community. This is a safe Liberal region. They have denied and delayed action on the climate crisis for the 12 years I have been lobbying them on the matter and do not actively promote sustainability of any kind.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
They should have a register of historic places (Indigenous and colonial). They should insist on all new developments being fit for a warming climate. They should not allow developments in inappropriate places. They should implement far better communication strategies with ratepayers. They should develop guidelines for councilors to engage more with all their constituents, not just the influential few who promote economic outcomes and profit from certain decisions regarding heritage and new development. They should seek the advice of the local heritage group and Indigenous representatives. They should be engaged by State and Federal bodies to advocate on behalf of their council's ratepayers to protect and enhance local heritage places. They should use all the resources available to them via State and Federal Governments, Local Government Associations and any other sources deemed appropriate to protect and enhance their local places of heritage and build appropriate sustainable fit for purpose developments in a financially prudent manner. They should be a first stop for advice for community members and developers with detailed rules and regulations that reflect the values of heritage and history.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
Work with the community to promote the significance of our shared history. Encourage schools to participate in conversations and actions that draw attention to this shared history. Invite speakers to address council on heritage matters and coordinate pubic meetings and events that educate and encourage people to value our shared heritage. I would like to review the current policies and procedures for dealing with this matter and with community consultation and advice from relevant groups or bodies make changes that reflect the importance of reflecting our past and preserving where possible. Presently our council is a mishmash of heritage and new developments and it has not been carries out in a sympathetic or aesthetic manner.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
When people talk around here of heritage, they equate it with white settler history and relics. This is now considered dinosaur thinking and boring by many. Young people don't want to go to an old stone building and see old farming implements. They want an interactive, stimulating experience. I believe that we need to publicly acknowledge places of Aboriginal history that are uncomfortable reminders of white colonisation such as marking massacre sites with educational signage so that we can all become more understanding of our past. I also believe that as Australia is now a multicultural nation, we need to reflect this in our built environment and know the stories of all those who have chosen to settle here. These two things would hopefully lead to a more cohesive, compassionate society.
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?
Better consultation with councils and the affected communities.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
I believe we need to allow smaller buildings on smaller blocks. I also believe we need to promote cooperative housing and the promotion of lots of green space where people can participate in nature without having to travel great distances. I haven't heard that infill development is an issue for this council.
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 live in a house that was going to be demolished. Thankfully we had a vacant piece of land that we could move it to. This house was FREE. I would like to see a register of houses that are proposed for demolition that people could access in the first instance. This has been an extremely cheap way to get a home and others may be interested if they knew where to look. I would also like to see every council rubbish dump have a tip shop where people could buy second hand materials and up-cycled goods. Lastly, people should be rewarded in some way for taking such steps. Perhaps free "dumping" of building materials that can be repurposed.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
Better councilor consultations and engagement with their constituents. A regular mail out to ratepayers with area specific contact when necessary and community meetings with plans on view and developers and staff present to answer questions. All questions should be followed up if not answered at the meeting.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
I live in the scrub so have lots of tree canopy, but in the towns there appears to be a panic about tree limbs and bird poop and the need for more space for RVs, boat trailers and semi trailers. I would like to see more trees and green space with native plants that are beautiful but don't need as much water or pampering.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
A significant tree register including trees of significance to the aboriginal community. Information about any trees of significance being removed beforehand through the council's communication network. Local councilors consulting with their constituents.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
Things should be managed at a local level and only every over ridden in extreme cases.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
I have been advocating for action on climate change for 12 years with this council. They have paid token gestures with this issue. I would declare a Climate Emergency and work with all sectors of the community to address this according to their needs. Farming is a big industry here and I want to engage them in the discussion and help them with viable solutions and support from Landscape SA, Landcare, Livestock SA, the Agriculture Dept at the local schools, Farmers for Climate action and any other group that can be of assistance in educating and reviewing the way we farm and sell produce. I'd like to establish a working group on council that would review all climate change data affecting our region. I'd like to work with all business and shops in our communities to review their carbon footprints and find ways that individuals could be encouraged and rewarded for changing processes and procedures that would cut their emission. I would advocate that all staff get educated and receive appropriate training about the issue. Regular updates in council communications to the communities and also working with neighboring councils to implement larger scale projects.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
Our council promotes tourism over locals. This is a problem when it is peak tourism season and we find it hard to get a park. Also council approved a new shopping centre with the aim of getting locals out of the main street shopping area. They then refused the green tree dotted plan that the developers submitted in favor of a barren tarmac so large caravans and boat trailers could have access and now locals have to park in the hot summer sun of the heat island that has been created.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
Rail instead of road trains!!!!! Our roads are getting dangerous because of the heavy trucks wrecking the roads and the size of the trucks that are now being allowed in the area on new freight routes. We have a large council area and most people do a lot of driving.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Consultation with the community with a diverse selection of engagement opportunities.
Review of all council policies.
Focus on the best outcomes for local residents that lead to happy healthy communities.