2022 candidate for City of Port Adelaide Enfield.
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?
Absolutely. Local government is a brilliant vehicle to give local community members a greater voice in planning and development decisions. Where the City of Port Adelaide Enfield is concerned, Have Your Say PAE has become a versatile online tool to seek community input through consultations and surveys, and I look to exploring further ways community members can have a reliable and direct say on planning and development decisions among others. Local communities deserve to have considerable sway over decisions in a fair and constructive way, even beyond online forums.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
Local government, at its best, should play an active role in mobilising their community over issues of local public importance. Through councillors, local governments have their vehicle to connect with local community members and advocate for our interests through influencing both the priorities of its staff as well as their lobbying priorities with other (state and federal) levels of government. When local heritage places are threatened by demolition or inappropriate development, our councils need to be front and centre within the local coalitions opposing the threat, empowering local community members and groups with resources and their networks for lobbying efforts and media coverage.
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
Through the council's advocacy role to state and federal government, we need to be putting local community members' voices front and centre. Many concerned community members and groups have already done our homework. We now need allies on our councils and other places of power to listen to and empower the community's stance on heritage places. Among many necessary changes to better safeguard heritage places, we know how and what we need to start to include in local planning schemes, and we know that SA Heritage Council requires better funding to fulfil its obligations and strategic objectives. If elected, I will maintain my belief that natural and built cultural heritage is a precious asset and resource to be respected and protected for current and future generations, and I will vote and use my influence accordingly.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
Natural and built cultural heritage is a precious asset and resource to be respected and protected for current and future generations. Even though I acknowledge current heritage listing protections are inadequate, there are still significant benefits to adding local heritage places to these listings. By legally classifying heritage places as such, we can get a better picture of what exactly is lost to inappropriate development at scale. I think heritage places are not being added to local heritage listings because we have elected leaders who prioritise profits over the value of heritage places. These are values that supersede developer interests. Often, heritage places generate work for tourism, arts, and other industries, however, these jobs and careers are also often undervalued over developer interests. By putting the interests of people over profit, we can have our councils come to appreciate what local heritage places do for our communities in a new light.
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?
Over recent decades, we have seen more and more local government powers to assess development applications be handed over to the State Planning Commission (formerly the Development Assessment Commission) by consecutive state governments. Although there are Hearing Panels, this has inevitably made decisions on the heritage, amenity, and environment of all areas more centralised and separate from the work of local governments. It is impossible to justify how and why this centralisation came about if we accept that local community members deserve a greater voice in planning and development decisions affecting our local areas.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
The City of Port Adelaide Enfield is developing a Local Affordable Housing Plan, due in December 2022, and I look forward to seeing the role this report has for infill development so that the land is better utilised for people over profit.
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?
Especially for heritage places, we should prioritise reuse wherever possible as a preference to demolition. With material shortages now, this is an earnest opportunity to reimagine how we can create more work while being more sustainable and then continue these new practices regardless by preferencing renovation over rebuilding where it is proven safe to do so.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
Hearings are not enough. We used to have way more. We deserve way more. With local government's say over development significantly diminished, now is more important than ever for our councils to be front and centre within the local coalitions opposing threats to our heritage places, empowering local community members and groups with resources and their networks for lobbying efforts and media coverage.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
The best-case scenario is to revegetate native biodiversity. Doing so in consultation with and through the education of nearby local community members is always going to be a far more rewarding and just option, as you will be re-establishing the foundations for our environment and people to live in harmony.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
Efforts to simultaneously improve and strengthen heritage protection legislation must include significant and regulated trees, and my advocacy through my local government, empowered if my campaign is successful, will always maintain this intersectional nature.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
By challenging the centralisation of development applications, we can win back the powers local governments once held and then ensure these returned powers in turn further enable local community members to better protect local significant and regulated trees through greater local consultation.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
Climate change is an issue of survival for my generation, not one of inconvenience. I cannot in good conscience see this as anything other than the single most important issue of my lifetime. I don't have the luxury of complacency. My actions will reflect this urgency while at the same time ensuring we are not burning any necessary bridges to delivering climate action that puts people over profit. To quote one of my new favourite books, Living Democracy by Tim Hollo, "While it might be the end of the world as we know it, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world."
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
We have significant issues with traffic, especially on Sir Ross Smith Boulevard and Sudholz Road which the new northern Oakden development is inevitably going to further aggravate. My continued advocacy for greater public transport will seek, and has always sought, to address these issues. If elected, I will ramp up my advocacy for more of our local buses to go from 30-minute intervals to 15-minute 'Go Zones', starting with the 206 and 208 bus routes.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
We need to reimagine transport as everyone deserves the right to the autonomy that comes with mobility and accessible infrastructure. For my area, that means expanding our public transport and using the influence of local government to continue to advocate for such improvements.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Enable objection and appeal processes for heritage decisions and lobby for these to halt works
Ensure large projects, including infrastructure projects, are subject to full environmental, heritage, and social impact assessments
Prioritise adaptive reuse of heritage buildings wherever possible as a preference to demolition