Providing Local Leadership: Protecting Heritage and character areas

Protecting heritage and character areas is something the City of Unley has fought hard for. This was our first goal in working with the Government when they first started revising the Development Act.

 

Renewing Our Heritage Planning

Protecting heritage and character areas was our first focus when the previous State Government introduced their wish to change the planning system. In return we guaranteed we could provide the numbers of additional housing to meet their 30 year plan.

Afterwards, the then Minister challenged the concept of character housing. The current Government appears to have a similar view to him.

They appear to have a view that demolition of local heritage buildings be by a simple merit based consideration. Considerations not much different to standard housing. Their focus right now is not only on local heritage but on character housing zones.

It appears the Government is looking to water down the provisions of protecting local heritage and character zones. They are looking to make demolition easier. They see the answer being the use of generic rules. Rules that in my opinion may work in one area but not reasonably in another, such as Unley.

 

The current Council has continued to lobby for protections seen as important by Unley’s community. The new Council will need to continue the fight.

The new council will need briefing as soon as is practicable. Immediately after they are commissioned in order that we can continue the fight is preferable. This whole planning overhaul is moving in a way that limits our ability to respond on behalf of our community.

The new council, in this background, needs to be provided an opportunity to understand the history, the process and the schedule going forward so as to contribute appropriately. Accordingly, I have already prompted our Management to engage the new Council immediately they are commissioned.

With the aim of protecting heritage and character areas, if re-elected, I will  continue in providing local leadership to guide the new Council through the lobbying yet to do.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Providing Local Leadership: Working For You, advocating for and representing you.

One of the greatest pleasures I experience as a Councillor is when I am working for you directly. When I am advocating for and representing you with the bureaucracy.

 

A councillor has two roles. One of these according the Local Government Act is.

as a person elected to the council—to represent the interests of residents and

ratepayers, to provide community leadership and guidance, and to facilitate

communication between the community and the council.

Advocating for & representing youSo, when I am not in the chamber participating in the deliberations of Council, I am working for you to address concerns you may have with council. I am helping you to navigate through the bureaucracy. Advocating for and representing you.

I love this part of the job. As much as I enjoy the responsibility of making decisions on your behalf, helping you is the most rewarding.

The bureaucracy can be an intimidating, sometimes remote beast that can be challenging at the best of times. My experience on Council, indeed my relationships with the staff, allow me to mentor and guide you when it seems like we don’t care.

Sometimes my assistance will simply be guiding you in how to communicate to Council and its staff. Often it will be to represent you and advocate for you.

Many of you have asked for my assistance in communicating with Council. Working for you and with you has resulted in numerous successes. While not successful on all occasions, I am proud that I have won many a concession for and on your behalf.

That said, as many of you know I have a passion for improving the communication between you and council. I will be blogging shortly on my mission to ensure training of our staff in communication skills.

If I achieve this you should not need my intervention as much. Gee. I might do myself out of a job. Until then and beyond I will continue to be advocating for and representing you.

 

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

 

 

Waste collection- Fortnightly or Weekly

It seems every year the fortnightly or weekly bin debate recurs. This has been the storey dominating the media cycle today. So frequently what we continue to hear is it is all about cost saving.

Council waste binsI have entered this debate frequently in the past. Each time I have advocated that the question should not be about reducing the blue bin but about increasing the frequency of the green bin collection.

Our food stuff, the smelly stuff, the stuff that attracts ants should go in the green bin. We should therefore be talking about this bin being collected weekly. Conversely the blue bin, which goes to landfill, should be fortnightly.

In other words this should not be a debate focused on fortnightly or weekly. It should be about green verses blue.

An opinion incidentally I expressed today to Channel 9 when interviewed by chance in my own street.

We believe however and are being told the blue bin contains the smelly, ant attracting rubbish. This means that we as a society are not interested in getting biodegradable rubbish away from landfill.

It’s important to note, in spite of what you may be hearing, is that the LGA does not yet have an endorsed position on waste collection frequency. Until its member councils are consulted, the LGA cannot hold a position. This has not yet happened. All it is doing is trying to start the conversation.

The State Government must take the lead as the frequency of collections is set in their legislation. Any position that the LGA (on behalf of councils) might take, they (we) can only lobby the State Government to consider changing the collection.

Based on comments however made by both the Government and the Opposition today, it appears unlikely that there is support in Parliament for changes to the current system. This means they are not interested in taking the lead in better waste disposal.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Providing Local Leadership: Managing Higher Density Development.

Managing higher density development in Clarence Park Ward commenced a few years back in the City of Unley .

 

Managing Higher DensityIn particular the suburb of Black Forest was under threat of a development plan encouraging extreme high density development potential. Another suburb similarly exposed was Clarence Park.

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Providing Leadership most often is not determining for others what is best for them. It is providing them with the chance to make that judgement themselves. Beyond that, it is ensuring they take the opportunity to represent themselves.

This is what I did, along with my co-councillor Jennie Boisvert, when DPA2 was out for public consultation.

On the development front, the new and current government is proceeding in the same direction as its predecessor. In so doing we will see the evolution in the next period of time of the SA Planning Library.

As the Government works on the SA Planning Library, Black Forest and Clarence Park will again come under the microscope. The Planning Library is all about having generic rules that apply across all  of suburbia.

Unless we work together (you & I) at the appropriate time local nuances will potentially be ignored. By providing local leadership I will help fight for a sensible planning solution.

As in the past when first challenged with higher density, I will again work for you and work with you. And with the Government to seek the best solution that works for all.

Authorised & printed by Don Palmer. 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park.

Providing Local Leadership: Independent Elected Members not Party Political affiliates.

Speculation is high that party politics have entered into the City of Adelaide elections. As a result, it is time to reflect on what has been great about local government in South Australia.

That is that our councils are filled with independent elected members not party political affiliates. Certainly, this is the way it should be in Local Government.

Indpendent CandidateLet me start with stating that I do not have and never have had any party political affiliations.

In my 8 years on Council there has also been no evidence of party politics in the Unley chamber.

So, the members in that time did not have any party political affiliation. Certainly, if they did, it was never apparent to me.

Elected members, having said, have put their hand up for State Parliament. These members have by so doing indicated a leaning one way or another politically.

The former Mayor, Lachlan Clyne, did recently run for state parliament of the Liberal Party. His affiliation however never impacted, in my opinion, in the chamber. As Mayor, his role was limited to chairing the meetings. From memory he only ever had a vote on a handful of occasions, to break a deadlock.

We read this week that the Greens have deplored the City of Adelaide Lord Mayor allegedly endorsing Liberal affiliated candidates in their election.  So, they are apparently endorsing members of their party as candidates.

Do you want your local government representatives being truly independent? What about keeping party politics out of the Council Chamber? Do you want independent elected members, not party political affiliates?

If you do, I encourage you to seek a commitment from the candidates in your ward that they are independent.

PS  Vote 1 Don Palmer for a truly independent candidate.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Providing Local Leadership: Righting a Wrong. Decision to implement parking restrictions reversed.

When was the last time you found yourself righting a wrong. My last time was last night. That is when I moved a motion to have a previous council decision to implement parking restrictions reversed.

After the original decision was made I felt sick. I knew we had made the wrong decision. Accordingly I apologised to the residents for what had occurred, believing that the decision could not be reversed.

Meredyth Avenue, MillswoodMillswood residents (around Goodwood Oval) were surveyed recently for their thoughts as to whether or not they were experiencing commuter inspired parking issues. They were prompted in this survey whether these issues warrant implementing parking restrictions. The residents in Graham & Meredyth Avenues were not included in the survey and therefore had no say.

Having not been included in the survey, their streets were therefore not included in a motion proposed by our administration. In their wisdom, Council amended this motion in what we believed was a way to recognise the missing streets. As can happen on the night in the chamber we got it horribly wrong.  We created a situation for the residents of the two streets that were indeed worse for them.

 

Last night I moved a motion to correct this. I tabled a motion to have the council decision to implement parking restrictions reversed.

 

In putting the motion, I argued that it was not fair to link them to the results of a survey they were not party to. Equally it was unwise to implement a solution to a problem that may not exist in the future.

Council agreed with me. The motion was seconded by my co-councillor Jennie Boisvert. It was passed unanimously.

In other words Council obviously saw and accepted their error. They showed they had the collective strength of character to  accept they were wrong and correct it.

With the decision to implement parking restrictions reversed we can now focus on whether or not providing parking restrictions in nearby streets will impact on their streets or not. This we will do over the next 6 months.

If we find that parking issues have arisen and that parking restrictions need to be considered we will consult first with the residents, as always we should.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Providing Local Leadership: Future use of the Hockey Field.

What will be the future use of the hockey field at Goodwood Oval?

 

Future Use of Hockey FieldA study into the future use of the hockey field at Goodwood Oval will commence soon. Providing local leadership, Co-Councillor Jennie & I pushed to have this included in the current budget of Council.

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The Forestville Hockey Club will soon, as we all know, be moving to the Women’s Memorial Playing Fields. The move however is well into the future, as much as 3 or more years away. Rather than wait however, it is important that we consider the future use of this area now.

There are many possible solutions. There is bound to be many a competing interest in the strip of dirt located in the south east corner of the Goodwood Oval precinct.

We need time to work through options that will surface. Providing local leadership and working with and for you will see the best solution become apparent over time. Knowing the needs and aspirations of those who may stake a claim will prove a valuable asset to whomever will be providing local leadership during this exercise.

As a frequent user/visitor of Goodwood Oval I know what its limitations are. I also know the opportunities. Already having a relationship with all the possible interest groups as we consider the future use of the hockey field places me well to work with you and for you to enable the best solution to reveal itself.

Authorised & printed by Don Palmer. 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park.

Providing Local Leadership: Managing the use of Goodwood Oval

Managing the use of Goodwood Oval is the elephant in the room as we redevelop the grandstand and consider the use of the Hockey Field.

Indeed, it may be fairer to say managing the overuse of Goodwood Oval.

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Everyone should know how proud I am of the various sporting clubs residing in the west of the City of Unley. This small geographical area boasts some very successful clubs. Leaders in their competitions. The Goodwood Saints Football Club and the Goodwood Roos Cricket Club feature prominently.

Both are community clubs. Both have extensive junior programs. This may be the testimony to their undoubted success. Their programs, particularly their junior programs, fit beautifully into the Active Unley program of Council.

Trouble is they are doing so well that the facility known as Goodwood Oval is suffering from overuse. There is a need therefore for to be better managing the use of Goodwood Oval.

The community and the Council need to encourage the clubs to continue to provide what they are offering. We need however to find ways to help them do this and to allow the rest of the community access to this marvellous facility.

In managing the use of Goodwood Oval, we have two directions I will be promoting.

Council has, under my guiding, endorsed the first of these. That is to investigate redeveloping Ridge Park up at Myrtle Bank for junior sport. This will commence soon.

The second I have started prompting on. That is to explore resurfacing the whole of the Oval. If this is an option, if this potentially creates an oval that can handle the traffic, it needs to be explored.

Now is the time to do this too. With the Grandstand soon to be demolished and a new one built there can be no better time to explore our options here.

At the very least we need to examine the reconstruction of the centre pitch area.

By providing local leadership I am intent on advocating on behalf of the whole Clarence Park ward community for this to occur. Sporting Clubs and residents alike.

Providing Local Leadership: Redevelop the Millswood Croquet Clubroom.

On public record with my description a few years back of it being a “death trap” it is time to redevelop the Millswood Croquet Clubroom.

 

Millswood Croquet Clubroom RedevelopmentTo redevelop the Millswood Croquet Clubroom is something Council owes the Millswood Croquet Club. We recently re-directed money we had allocated to their clubroom in our long term financial plan to the Goodwood Oval Grandstand.

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With money on the table courtesy of Jayne Stinson during the recent State Government election for the grandstand we had no choice. The grant funding was subject to us lifting our own contribution.

 

Due to this, the Croquet Club has been placed on the back foot. Not sure of their future and using this “death trap” the club deserves to have Council back on their side.

The Club has a long and steep history. They are approaching their 100th year. In addition, they have spent their own money in re-configuring their lawns. They financed, with assistance from Council, the recent upgrade of their lights.

Like all our sporting clubs, the Millswood Croquet Club provide opportunities for our community to live active lives. They can do it far better and at much less cost than we do.

We provide the facility that allows our community to be active. Because they are better equipped than us, we contract them to provide the opportunity.

Consequently to redevelop the Millswood Croquet Clubroom is a project we owe them.

Authorised & printed by Don Palmer. 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park.

Providing Local Leadership: Learn to follow in order to Lead

I have long been a believer that you need to learn to follow before you can learn to lead. Hopefully I have lived that philosophy.

Learn to FollowThis means being able to listen. Whether it is providing local leadership by participating in the deliberations of Council or representing you in your dealing with Council I need to know what you believe the community needs.

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Once again, hopefully I have been a good listener. Of course, only you can testify whether I have or not.

I know I have made mistakes along the way. On occasion maybe I have not listened that well.

I am here to undertake that it will remain my objective to listen to you and to take your lead before representing you.

You will find in this “providing local leadership” series of blog posts that my focus is to lead the deliberations. To have no set position on any issue. In other words I am recognising there is usually more than one view point. That we need to consider all the viewpoints before coming to a decision on policy.

As you read through this series of blog posts I would appreciate your thoughts on the topics in question and others not mentioned. If you have thoughts I want to hear them. Happy to receive them before the election, or after. Seeking your views does not stop with the election.

In providing your views please relay them to me either by phoning me or by emailing me at [email protected]. Unfortunately Local Government Election legislation forbids me from displaying your thoughts digitally in the lead up to the election if they can be seen as designed to influence the result of an election.