Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

The “official” Unley Oval Picket Consultation has now ended. Based on responses I have personally received I am concerned the public are not aware of what we are proposing and seeking their feed back on.

As identified in my other blog today we (the elected members) are getting direct feedback from some. When I read this feedback I am convinced many, both for and against, do not know what they are being asked to comment on.

Given my penchant for identifying where we might be lacking in communication skills I was disturbed by this.

My reading of the responses I have received indicate to me that many believe that the fencing will be permanent around the “full” perimeter of the oval. I also read from those that were speaking against the fencing that they were most unimpressed that the oval would be cut off and isolated. Those speaking in support were highlighting that kids and dogs could now be separated or that kids would now be stopped from running away from mum and dad straight out onto the street.

Having not seen our communication because I have been focused on matters home here in Goodwood South I checked our Have Your say website to find out why.

In putting the motion to go out to public consultation I spoke that I wanted to know and I wanted you to know where the openings would be,  how many openings there would be, and how big they would be. My theory was let our people know exactly what we are proposing so they can provide informed comment.

The only reference to openings on the landing page was a photo showing a very small gate through which the picture is focused and white around  the entire boundary shown in the photo. So first impression is the openings are going to be quite small, big enough only I trust for disabled access, prams etc but essentially personal access only.

I then went looking to see if there was information answering these questions. Nope! not on that page.

There was a FAQ list but it did not present what I was looking for until pressing on “more”. What I found then was openings would be 50 m apart but not located. We could not determine how wide they would be, yet?

For my money I reckon a significant percentage of people would not have looked that far and therefore would have only been guessing when responding.

I had expected to see a layout showing the where, the how big etc. I also expected that the openings would be larger requiring lengths of temporary fencing to still be required on “game” day. Apparently not, meaning I also don’t know what is being proposed and this means there exists a communication gap between me and our staff.

As the mover of the motion I can only say that this serves again to highlight to me that communication remains our most important challenge to solve in the next term of Council and going forward.