Mayors seek endorsement from Councils to support AdeLINK study

Mayors of Councils affected by the State Government’s proposed AdeLINK project are supportive of the concept. They will all be seeking endorsement of a study proposed by the Minister for Transport & Infrastructure from their councils to test the feasibility of AdeLINK.

Last Thursday the Lord mayor hosted a summit on Light Rail.  At the summit Stephen Mulligan, the State Government Minister for Transport & Infrastructure, outlined his vision for light rail in Adelaide, known as AdeLINK. A series of presenters then provided examples of how light rail has positively impacted on Sydney and the Gold Coast.

Unley-Central-Concept-Image-for-YSU

I found the summit very informative and enlightening. A panel of experts presented to us and the media. They highlighted successful examples of light rail projects in Sydney and the Gold Coast.

There was a consensus amongst the presenters that Light Rail is much more than a transport project. It was more a City Building Project. Examples were provided where property development has been encouraged by the promise of light rail in the precinct. Examples were also provided to demonstrate that business profitability has improved where light rail precincts have occurred.

I must say I saw evidence of vibrancy around light rail in my recent trip to the Gold Coast, supporting these claims.

In the absence of our Mayor and at the invitation of the Lord Mayor I then attended a meeting after the Summit of the Mayors of the affected councils and the Minister.

At that meeting the mayors agreed on positive ways forward on light rail plans.

The meeting was supportive of AdeLINK and agreed to:

 Make light rail a key priority

 Provide in principle support for AdeLINK and to take this back to respective Councils for endorsement

 Participate in the development of the State Government’s business case for AdeLINK

 Consider all funding options (but are not in favour of new taxes on the community)

 Reconvene within 2-4 weeks

As an attendee at that meeting and after debriefing our Mayor I will be putting forward a motion at our upcoming council meeting, this Tuesday reflecting this.

Unley under attack

Unley under attack is the consistent image out there right now, ever since the the clock turned over to 2016 and for a myriad of reasons.

While we believe we have been working hard to improve the community of Unley others have not seen it this way. They have found reason to attack us it seems daily in the first two months of the year. The attacks have been continuous with little time to come up for air before copping another salvo.

It all started at the arrival of the new year. This was when Eastern Courier Columnist Andrew Faulkner denigrating council over it’s allocating  $2.0 m under “general” in its accounts.  This article insinuated impropriety on our part. My blog of 21 January hopefully put it into context. Abiding by the legislation that governs us has made us to look like we are guilty of something sinister.Unley Paid Parking

This was followed with criticism by the Minister for Transport. While were looking after our rate payers, he has us as being greedy by fleecing and discouraging public transport use against his governments policies.

My blog of 26 February responded to the messages out there at the time. Curiously his diatribe about going behind his back seems focused on only one street. The other street in our trial IS fortunately on council land I am assured and he has not commented on this street.

With little time to breath we then saw local state MP for Unley David Pisoni criticising our 2nd generation tree policy. This is currently out for public consultation. His observations, welcomed as part of the consultation, but which were made in public indicate we are going to decimate our tree population. This is curious as the intent of the policy is to ensure we protect our tree assets by having a targeted replacement program over time rather than wait and find we have to replace most of our trees in a short time frame because they have come to the end of their life around the same time.

Then to finish it off (I hope) West Torrens Mayor John Trainer (a resident of Unley) purportedly has spoken with us about a concern he has with sight lines at one of our intersections (one I suspect he uses regularly) which I am sure we will investigate. It becomes a public claim however (don’t know how) keeping the media pressure on Unley.

Of course in the background to all this and which all this feeds into is the ongoing murmurings of those who would see Local Government removed in favour of the State Government looking after local matters such as which street should be upgraded and which park should have improvements. In my opinion and irrespective of how it may have been reported we are seeing why Local Government should stay.

Can you surely expect the State Government to be as interested as we are in the local community. I think not.