2022 candidate for City of Victor Harbor.
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?
We are a historic seaside town. I know the majority of responses to a proposal to build an X-convenience (in direct competition to a local business) were negative, but it went ahead with no changes so I wonder why they even sought feedback. Then again, I suppose it may be only 5% of citizens or less that give feedback on any issue, and how many even knew they could give feedback? This is something to assess and improve.
What role should Councils play in protecting local heritage places from demolition or inappropriate development?
As representatives of the community, councils should be the number one stakeholder in decisions around local heritage - in this capacity they must consider progress and historic value evenly, and make choices based on careful and informed reasoning (not just a bias for one or the other.)
How would you seek to improve protections for heritage places in your area?
Make an assessment of presently identified heritage areas, and which are protected. Ask the community which places matter to them. Apply for protection if necessary, and write guidelines dictating the approach to development of these areas in addition to any existing from heritage status.
We rarely see new places added to local heritage listings. Why do you think this is?
I think we should have some focus on identifying overlooked historical significance, it adds value to the community and could be a boon to tourism.
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?
Our locality is notable in that it was home to one of the few State Heritage properties to be demolished (the old causeway.) The pivot in council plans from "repair" to "replace" was quite rapid and probably could have been more transparent. There is a small but vocal group of residents who are passionate about maintaining local heritage - I would consult with them for guidance on this question.
What are the impacts of infill development in your area? What changes would you seek in the rules around infill development?
Infill development presents a catch 22 - it is highlighted in council's development plans as an effort to avoid "urban sprawl" and the town expanding outside the boundaries of our main entrances. But residents have given feedback on how infill development itself is a kind of urban sprawl. I think the general sentiment is that we should avoid multi-storey buildings that would eclipse the existing cityscape and block out the beauty of our natural surroundings.
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?
A shift in policy to promote builds that are both friendly to the environment and character area. At the same time I think rules regarding house style can be oppressive and discourage prospective property owners. An incentive could be offered for owners who would renovate a (structurally sound) residence or re-use the original materials.
How should the community be informed and involved in decisions about new developments?
I think we need to encourage people to sign up for town newsletters through their email, make sure notices are placed in newspapers. I think physical mail-outs are fairly foolproof but also a drain on resources and the environment, some brainstorming should be done around this.
Do you think there is adequate tree canopy across your local government area?
Some areas are lacking. I can't recall if we have a particular kind of tree earmarked for new planting / replacement but it should be something that doesn't present a hazard to pedestrians.
How would you like to see significant and regulated trees in your area protected from removal?
I think our town has a good plan for maintaining the heritage of our norfolk pines.
What involvement should Councils have in decisions about protecting or removing significant and regulated trees?
Council should be the first port of call in these decisions.
What actions would you advocate to slow or mitigate the impacts of climate change in your local government area?
We need to look at bringing forward our assessment of the sand banks on our coast. Erosion is increasing in speed and impact, which will also effect our seaside nesting birds. All new developments should involve integrating of eco measures like solar panels, roof gardens, etc.
What issues are there with traffic and parking in your area?
There seem to be pedestrian crossings and other changes to traffic control earmarked in town development plans that are taking many years to eventuate. We need to keep pushing for these road safety issues to be looked at, keep applying for relevant grants from state government. New developments have been consistent in removing parking from the city centre and slow in replacing them.
How could transport options be improved in your area?
More regular buses between localities (currently there is several hours between each returning stop.) Improved transport to Adelaide. Encourage disability focused transport - that the taxi services must have a running wheelchair accessible vehicle at all times, for example.
What would your top three priorities be for improving planning policy and outcomes in your local government area?
Implement design thinking principles for greater efficiency.
Don't lose sight of the commitments made in city development plans.
Improve communication as a two-way street, with less jargon and non-answers.