Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

The Public Meeting organised by local state member Steph Keys was held last night with the predominant feeling in the room being one of distrust of DPTI and their alleged lack of consultation.

Amidst sometimes heated debate about whether or not the “horse had bolted” an interim committee was formed to head up a resident’s action group to advocate through Steph to DPTI as the project moves forward. This I believe to be an important step towards residents affected by the project having some say on the project.

Maybe this will refocus people’s attention away from Council and back to where it belongs; the State Government and DPTI. Whilst the mood was clearly one of mistrust and non believing of what they were hearing from Luigi Rossi, who is DPTI’s Executive Director Public Transport Strategic Projects, we also heard an under current that the Council was to blame for all that they felt was going wrong.

This is disturbing as we have little or no say in what happens, where it happens and when it happens. What we could do was advocate for residents who believed that DPTI where not listening to them. This I think we did well and I am proud of concessions I have secured on behalf of those residents who voiced their concerns to me.

I would hate to think that any resident from my ward thought Council had not down all they could to represent them and advocate for them. Those from my ward and those who read this blog would be well aware of what Jennie and I have done to achieve the minimum disruption caused by a project that was going ahead irrespective of public opinion.

Unfortunately however the Brownhill Creek project, which is not scheduled to proceed for another three years and for which detail design was not going to be done until late next year, has had to be bought forward in the environs of this project because the tunnel of the Goodwood Junction will cut the creek in half.

This has meant Council and the Stormwater Management Authority(SMA) has had to rush the hydrology design for this area and to bring forward work in this area of the Brownhill Creek stormwater scheme to avoid flooding prior to the main stormwater project going ahead.

The culverts for the stormwater diversion have had to be redirected from where they conceptually had been planned and look like having to go through Forestville Reserve, something that was not originally expected by the SMA. My information suggests this was always going to have to be the case but the design time and consultation has been savagely compromised by having to do it now, before the tunnel is built. This is soemthing we (Coucnil) regrets but it has been totally out of our hands.

This is Council property so we have some say in what happens there however. It appears there is no option but to run it through the reserve but we do get the chance to determine what form it takes. A number of options are being considered.

True to form Council WILL consult on the options and we expect, given the rush being imposed on us by the January 2 start for Goodwood Junction, to have a public meeting on this next week. Our communities thoughts WILL be taken into consideration with what eventually is constructed there.