Councils Overlooked Heritage for Decades, according to the ‘Tiser.

The Councils Overlooked Heritage for Decades, according to the ‘Tiser. This is a headline suggesting Councils have been derelict in their heritage responsibilities.

COUNCILS OVERLOOK HERITAGE FOR DECADESIs the ‘Tiser’ correct with this article? If you have a subscription you can read it here.

The article in today’s Advertiser has included the City of Unley in it’s list. Consequently, this (by default) suggests we too have overlooked Heritage for decades.

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Preserving our heritage is a hot topic right now, a concern shared by many. The SA Planning Commission, as they undertake the revision of our planning laws, share this concern.

So! Is our heritage at risk and have Councils been under-performing in recognising and promoting heritage properties for protection from demolition?

 

Our heritage deserves protection and is at risk.

The risk to our heritage I have already spoken about, in a blog post titled “Heritage at Risk”. Or is it?”.

I did attend the meeting noted in that blog post. The Commission Chairman at that meeting assured me that they share our concerns.

This was comforting to hear. As comforting as that may be, they can only produce what they are given. Consequently, this means the community (including you) need to let them know your views and concerns.

 

Have Councils been derelict in assessing and nominating heritage in their development plans? The City of Unley I suggest have been diligent, rather than derelict in assessing and nominating heritage plans in their development plan.

Today’s media article is sort of correct. They however did not recognise how significant such an exercise is. A lengthy process that requires significant resourcing. Resourcing that your rates fund.

They identified only the start of a process. As a result, not the completion. In addition, failing to recognise a lengthy process that requires significant resourcing. Resourcing that your rates fund.

The City of Unley did conduct a broad ‘Heritage’ and ‘Character’ survey of the whole City in 2005. As a result, using the results of the survey, this led to conducting the Unley Heritage Research Study from 2006 through to 2012. This provided a comprehensive evaluation of potential individual heritage places combined with a review of existing places.

Importantly, these studies were then used to inform the Local Heritage Places Development Plan Amendment.

This DPA was given Interim Effect in January 2013. The final DPA was authorised in January 2014.

 

Draft Clarence Park LATM awaits your final input

The Draft Clarence Park LATM, which is in response to your observations last year, awaits your final input. Please therefore, let us know your thoughts.

 

You should have received a letter from Council seeking your response to Draft Clarence Park LATM recommendations. To ensure we have the right solutions to the problems you identified, we need you to respond to this letter.

Draft Clarence Park LATM

Copy of Draft Clarence Park LATM letter

Please take the time to understand the solutions being offered, and have your say. Your contribution is important to us.

To assist you, there will also be a public meeting on Tuesday 30 July between 5-8 pm  at Clarence Park Community Centre where you can learn more and discuss the proposals with staff.

You can also read the full report at https://yoursay.unley.sa.gov.au/LATM3.

You can reply using the yoursay portal or by emailing council at [email protected] If you prefer you can use the good ol’ fashioned snail mail, or personally hand deliver it to the Unley Civic Centre.

Key areas of the Draft Clarence Park LATM identified in our ward are:

  • Pedestrian safety at the tram stop on East Ave and adjacent Rise & Grind
  • Rat running through Clarence Park
  • Cycling safety on Churchill Ave
  • Changing the traffic priority on the Ripon/ Homer/Lorraine Ave intersection
  • Improving disabled parking on Curzon Ave
  • Further parking restrictions in Chelmsford, Allenby, Fairfax and Argyle Avenues
  • Restricted parking at the entrance to Langdon Ave
  • Improving cycling and pedestrian safety in East Ave

If you have any thoughts on any of these please let us know. Once we receive your thoughts, we will review the LATM.

Council will take on board your thoughts. We will then consider ratifying the LATM, maybe in September, including any changes prompted by you.

Once ratified, high priority items will commence as early as later this year. Medium and low priority items will be considered in next year’s budget.

Improved Parking in King William Street

Look out for improved parking in the King William Road Precinct. The redevelopment of King William Road will provide improved parking, as opposed to reduced parking as promoted by the Media.

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Improved parking will result from the redevelopment of King William Road. The media however is correct. We are reducing on-street parking. This is fact.

We are sacrificing them in order to provide the outdoor dining, the seating rest areas and the trees you requested. We could have provided 20 more car parks by not providing the elements you asked for in the design.

So, how is this an improvement you ask?

The media have not picked up on what we are doing to improve car parking. We will be directing drivers to parks currently not being used.

There are over 400 off-street car parks available. Most of these car parks are not being used however. Car parks that many, maybe most don’t know exist.

Some areas are being used quite well, others however unfortunately aren’t. Indeed some car park areas are simply not being  used at all.

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Council is addressing this as part of the redevelopment. We are going digital.  Using Smart City answers. In other words, we are using smart technology to direct drivers to the available carparks.

 

Are you familiar with the use of smart technology used in carparking stations? We will be using smart technology to direct you individual carpark spaces that are available by way of digital signs.

This technology works on the use of a sensor embedded in the paving of the individual carpark. When covered by a car it triggers a red carpark in use sign. Conversely, when there is no car, the sensor triggers a green carpark available sign.

City of Casey Smart Sign provides improved parking

City of Casey Smart Sign

For King William Road we will have signs that show the number of carparks available behind various shops. Signs which will be located at the junction of King William Road and the lane leading to that carpark.

Signs such as the City of Casey sign shown above.

Why Pavers on King William Road

Why pavers on King William Road. The current public conversation is asking that question.

King-William-Road-Concept-IllustrationWhy pavers on King William Road? Because that is what you asked for. Certainly that is what I heard you saying. Accordingly, it influenced my vote. With a unanimous vote it must be what the rest of the Councillors heard too.

You made this a paramount request of us from the very beginning of the design process. You were telling us the pavers are what makes King William Road unique. That the street came alive back in the 80’s after that Red Scheme project because of the pavers.

In response to that prevailing observation you were telling us, we provided you with three different approaches to paving the street. You chose the one we are providing.

The three choices are shown on the Design King William website. They were as follows:

  • All paved.
  • Bitumen Paved.
  • A Hybrid bitumen and paved road

Option 1 was for a paved road, paved footpath, paved parking. The bitumen option included paving to the parking bays and the footpath. The 3rd option was for a Hybrid. A bitumen paved road with brick infills at the intersections. It also included paving to the parking bays and the footpaths.

You told us overwhelmingly that you wanted option 1. 54% of you wanted this option. A clear majority. The option we are therefore  implementing.

30% of you wanted the hybrid version. This was a compromise solution if you want and it was your 2nd preference.

Only 16% of you favoured the bitumen option. That is 1 in 6 of you.

And yet this is not what we are hearing. What we are hearing is that this is the way we should have gone with the 2nd Option, the least preferred option previously. We are hearing that the disruption would have been less with this option. Therefore we should have listened to those who did not want pavers.

Sorry!

We listened to the majority. The significant majority. I am sure the majority will enjoy it.

City of Unley Transforming King William Road

A far cry from the Killing King William Road message out there, as reported in my last blog post. Those in the know, know council is actually transforming King William Road.

 

Our community asked us to do something about the troubles being experienced in King William Road. They asked us to save the street.

The street was in trouble. This therefore was our prime motivator for doing what we are  doing.

In addition, we learnt a few years ago (after conducting some core testing) that the structure of the road needed repair. This was something we could not avoid. It was something we simply had to do.

Repairing the road we therefore saw as a great opportunity to address the concerns of our community. And from day one, when Design King William was born, our communities’ views were the paramount contributor to the solution we found.

 

Claims by a few that we did not consult them are simply not true. Our consultation was extensive. Indeed, so well done and so extensive, the City of Unley was commended for our engagement. We received a 2018 Form Innovation Award.

 

King-William-Road-Concept-IllustrationThe project commenced with seeking the views of traders and residents alike on what they wanted out of a redeveloped street. Inspired by their responses, we then asked them both about their preferred road surface, what kerbs and footpaths they wanted, the extent of landscaping and on street parking.

Then, armed with this information, we put a proposed design before them. A design incorporating what they had been telling us.  We had overwhelming approval from them for this design.

 

Subsequent to winning the award and Council unanimously approving the design we continued the consultation with Traders.

 

This consultation covered how and when we would carry out the redevelopment. What time of year. Whether we would work day and night. Whether we would stage it or not. How we would stage it.

The program we are currently conducting is a direct result of that lengthy and ongoing engagement.

We are doing what they asked for. We are transforming King William Road. In addition, we are also doing it at the time of their preference, and in the manner they asked us to do it.

I have to question anyone therefore (who claims to represent our community) and who disagrees with my observations. Where they were when we were engaging in extensive consultation with our community. As someone actually elected to represent our community, I have not heard from any who have been paraded this week by the current media announcements bemoaning what we are doing.

Terrible Council is Killing King William Road

The Unley community has been pounded this week by a singular message. That terrible Council is killing King William Road. Destroying the businesses.

 

The focus has been consistent. Each day a new storey reinforcing the message awaits us as we get out of bed in the morning.

Amongst other claims, we have a prominent landlord in the street quoted as slamming Council for destroying the street. In addition, we have a business relocating allegedly after just one day of construction activity. A business who I understand made that commitment some 6 months ago. And then, a claim apparently on behalf of a Ratepayer Association we don’t know claiming the people of Unley no longer have confidence in the Council’s CEO.

Killing King WilliamRight now, the road certainly looks like it is ground zero. It certainly does look like a bomb has exploded.

You have to ask. How could this happen? How could a Council be allowed to run rampant over its community and not consult with them or listen to what they are saying.

Do you believe this rhetoric. I hope not. How about some truth coming into the conversation to avoid the street falling over purely and simply because of the doom and gloom being portrayed.

 

Let’s get one thing straight from the get go. It is not true the terrible Council is killing King William Road. They are transforming King William Road, giving it its best chance of survival.

 

The project was conceived because of the doom and gloom that has surrounded the street over the last (say) ten years. Many a long term business along the street have left the street during that time. New businesses have also come and gone.

The facts were clear. We needed to act. The street needed transforming. Transforming the street is precisely what we believe we are doing.

We are doing what we have been asked by our community to do. We are also doing it in then manner they requested. For details explaining this check out my next blog post, “Transforming King William Road”. Try also getting the facts from the Design King William website.

Budget lifted 0.15% to cover Waste to Landfill Levy

Budget lifted 0.15% to cover the Waste to Landfill Levy was the decision last night by Council. A unanimous decision made after much reasoned and considered debate last night.

Deputy Mayor Peter Hughes presented Council with an alternative budget position at our traditional budget meeting.  An alternative to the one we presented you just a couple of months back. His alternate motion was to lift the rate increase from 2.1% to 2.25%. An increase of 0.15%.

We learnt last night the impact of the 40% waste to landfill levy on our budget. The levy would add $ 115,000 to our costs. Lifting the rate will cover around half this.

The Budget lifted 0.15% will raise an extra $ 57,000. With some 26,000 rate payers this means an increase of $ 2.00 for the year to each ratepayer.

With such a small individual contribution we could have considered passing on the whole impact. We chose instead to show some leadership and restrict the impact on you.

Like last year, with the China Sword, we opted to share the impact. We are committing ourselves to finding $ 57,000 of savings over the year.

We would like to think we are showing, yet again, our ability to set responsible and considered budgets. Being financially responsible as I promoting during the last election campaign. This, in the face of a Government promoting otherwise while throwing significant last minute surprises at us.

Even with the extra, the rate increase is 0.65% below what it could have been under the government’s proposed rate capping agenda.

I am proud of this Council.

It is showing itself to be a Council that takes their responsibility seriously. Just seven months in, it is a council that is following in the footsteps of the Unley Councils of recent times.

We are a Council I believe you can rely on to take the responsible decisions. To be fiscally responsible.

Recycling Industry Inquiry Underway

Parliament’s Environment, Resources and Development Committee is about to conduct a recycling industry inquiry.

They will investigate and report on the current crisis in waste management that exists in South Australia.

Green Bin (weekly)

Green bin every week, not the blue

They will obviously consider how China’s National Sword Policy has impacted on us.  Accordingly, they will explore how South Australia has responded to China’s recent restriction on its importation of recyclable material.

They will however also examine current policy and legislative frameworks that govern resource recovery in this State. This will hopefully examine the potential for desirable reforms.

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I suggest that the problem is not China Sword. Not directly at least. All China Sword has done is highlight a structural deficiency in our waste handling process.

The structural deficiency in our waste handling process needs to be addressed.

Rather than focus on what we can’t control, we must look into what we can control. This requires looking at what we do and what we don’t do. It requires us to determine what we can do better. It also requires us to recognise what we should stop doing.

The Environment, Resources and Development Committee will surely look at the ability of our industry to innovate. Developing an industry capable of achieving the much heralded circular economy is essential.

Whatever happens with the Recycling Industry Inquiry, we must change our kerbside collection system.

We must review the efficiency and effectiveness of the kerbside-collection three bin system. This is the foundation of our system. Get this wrong and we will not solve any problems.

Contamination of the yellow bin collections is the reason China is rejecting our waste. If we do not address this contamination we are expecting our industry to do what China can’t or won’t.

The blue bin goes to land fill and is the dearest to process. Because it is collected weekly, it encourages incorrect use.

I therefore confirm again my belief that we must focus on what we put in our bins. The green bin should be a weekly collection. If it were, items incorrectly put in the blue bin (red in some councils) would be appropriately redirected to the green bin. If it grows it goes.

Clarence Park LATM comes back to you for your final input

The Clarence Park LATM comes back to you for your final input. A complex suite of initiatives and numerous options as solutions awaits you if Council endorses the next step on Monday night.

 

That is the decision awaiting Council at our next full Council meeting this coming Monday night. While Council’s budget and therefore rate rises (see my blog post of 17 June) will be the focus of most attention, the Clarence Park LATM will be residents of the Clarence Park Wards most anticipated.

Check the Council website to find the agenda, the motion in question (item 4.2) and the report and supporting documents. Better yet, come along on Monday night and witness the debate.

The suite of recommendations in the report is complex. Options are being offered. They will require additional input from you.

At my request, a Community Drop in Session will play a central role in the consultation.

Jennie and I were briefed on the suite of options we are asking your opinion on at our last Ward Briefing. At this meeting I pushed for the community consultation to include a community forum.

I did so because I believe that the suite of solutions is complex enough that there is potential for widely varying opinions from you and your neighbours. A Forum will help you understand better what is being proposed. It will also help you get a feel for what others are thinking.

It is important to get this right. The best way to achieve that is for you to participate. Please attend the forum. Please also submit your thoughts.

You will receive your invitations shortly, assuming Council passes the recommended motion. The venue will be the Clarence park Community Centre and a date (and time) ti be advised in the invitation we will send you.

 

Hypocritical State Government Deals Savage Blow to Local Government

Our hypocritical State Government has dealt Local Government a Savage  Blow. They have done this by raising the waste levy by 40%. Compounding this, they do it in the week Councils are due to bring down their budgets.

Green Bin (weekly)

Green bin every week, not the blue

Yes! The same hypocritical State Government who claims we (local government) are incapable of keeping council rates at an affordable level. The levy, which is paid on all dumping to land fill, has been lifted in the State budget from $ 100.00 per ton to $ 140.00 per ton. An increase of 40%.

Wait a minute, CPI for the year sits at 2.9%. This means the waste levy impost is 13 times inflation. And they tell us our rates should be capped because we are irresponsible financial mangers.

The timing could not be worse. Local Governments this week are due to confirm their annual business plans and budgets this week for the upcoming year.

 

The treasurer, unashamedly he advised at the SA Press Club luncheon today, says this will encourage Councils to be more efficient in waste reduction.

An incentive to get rubbish away from landfill. But will he be using this money to assist us. No. He will be using it to solve sand drift problems at West Beach and Henley Beach. A non waster levy issue to say the least.

There is little we can do to reduce landfill when the blue bin continues to be the bin that is picked up weekly. Until they legislate for the green bin to be picked up weekly and the blue bin fortnightly the amount going to landfill will not reduce.

 

We are now forced to conduct a last minute review of our business plan and our budget.

We now need to work out what the impact of this increase will have on us. A last minute rush to ensure it does not cause us budget grief. Once we know the impact, we will then be faced with making a decision to do one of three things:

  • Do nothing. This may be appropriate if the cost increase is not too large.
  • Reduce operating costs by an amount similar to the increase. This will mean reconsidering our priorities. This could mean significantly reducing the scope of a project or even eliminating one or more projects we were committing ourselves to.
  • Increase rates at the last minute to recover the extra.

Please keep us in your thoughts as we deal with this conundrum.