Oh Mr Hart! The Subway Project still alive and well. The Community wants it.

Jennie & I, along with neighbouring Unley Park councillor Michael Rabbitt and our Acting Mayor Peter Hughes, met with Steph Key yesterday. Topic of discussion was to discuss the consultation report on the Subway Project.

subwayn project consultationSteph may no longer be the local member of Parliament, but she is still passionate about getting the Subway Project up and running. She presented, along with Mark Thomson from her electorate office, the results of the consultation from late last year to the group above.

The results of the consultation are quite clear. The local community wants some form of artwork on the underpass. They provided some great ideas to the project group.

The strongest support clearly is for a “green” solution. This could be anything from paint to live greening or a combination of both.

We all agreed last night the project should not be limited to the concrete walls.  It should extend to the surrounding “precinct”. This would mean replicating elsewhere what has been done in the north west corner of the precinct. It would mean beautifying the vacant land in the south east, adjacent the now successful re-opened Millswood Rail Station.

It seems like this project has been going for ever. Well before my entry into Council. My predecessor Les Birch championed the Subway Project way back in the 90’s.

Seems now that, with community backing and some clever thoughts on how artwork could help maintain the infrastructure and extend its life that DPTI may well be on board. Well tentatively at least.

You can check out the recent history of the project on the project groups website or their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/goodwoodsubway17/

Steph will present the Subway Project Consultation Report to Unley Council (possibly at the June meeting) the results of the consultation. She will also suggest the next step.

With the replacement artwork in tow at the Capri Cinema, this may well be an ideal next project for artwork in Goodwood.

Community participation in government community engagement programs do impact

The benefit of community participation in government community engagement programs can be seen behind the headlines in yesterday’s Advertiser “New Laws pave way for $200m in high-rise projects.

The report goes on to indicate that Adelaide is set to go sky high. The State Government has approved taller building height limits for eight hubs across the metropolitan area. Actually 8 specific sites would be a more accurate description. This means four sites in total were removed from the DPA, including one in Unley.

The community engagement on the Development Plan Amendment (DPA) covered twelve sites, 4 of which are in the City of Unley. The sites removed were all hotly contested by the relevant local community. That included our own site 7 at Unley Road Malvern.

 “I have not approved rezoning for the 4 sites where the community was strongly opposed to the rezoning, and where impacts on adjoining residents would be more difficult to manage,” Planning Minister John Rau said.

“The size and location of those sites meant that the interface with existing houses would be challenging.”

His observations of the impact of such development at Malvern are “spot on”.

Had it not been though for the community reaction of the local residents would likely not have been made. Truthfully, they are that obvious the sites should not have been considered in the first place.

 A victory therefore for people power. But only because they stood up and spoke. It is rare for the community to stand up at the DPA stage of the process. Rather the end of the process when an actual development is likely not at serious variance to the approved plan.

Cr Michael Rabbitt is to be congratulated for alerting the residents in this area. This is like Jennie and I did a couple of years back when DPA2 was on the books and with similar result.

It will be interesting to see how the local residents react when a development application is lodged at the other 8 sites, including the 3 in Unley.