Informed Decision or a Popular Decision on the Norman Terrace Vote.

Making an informed decision or a popular decision is one of the challenges facing those in leadership. This is what I and Council was confronted with last night.

Our City Strategy & Development Policy Committee was faced with making a recommendation to Council. The topic, a development plan amendment of an aged care precinct. The precinct is bounded by Norman Terrace, Fourth Avenue and Ross Street Everard Park.

To help inform us in our decision making we sought the input of our ratepayers. Many believe that this is a vote and the majority public view should be the view expressed by Council when they vote.

Councillors are elected to represent the ratepayers. That is true. It is one of their two basic roles. The other is to make decisions for the good of the community as members (if you like) of a board of directors.

We are duty bound then to seek the views of those we represent. We must however make informed decisions. To do this we must make every endeavour to be informed (beyond the views of ratepayers) before making a decision.

 

Informed decisions will often therefore be unpopular decisions. Such was the case with the residents of Everard Park.

 

An Informed Decision or a Popular Decision

Line of sight from the footpath and from the front door opposite

This was the dilemma facing our rate payers and (last night) council. Being able to envisage what a 4 storey development would look like in the streets behind 2 storey houses. Many a councillor I believe was reluctant to make the decision we know we should make. We did not want to alienate the community.

The question. Do we make an informed Decision or a Popular Decision.

This is when it was important for me to step up to the plate.

In my work life it was necessary for me to be able to visualise built form before construction. This is a skill very few people have. I know this, as many of my clients back then often said to me at practical completion of their project “so this is what it was going to look like”.

I moved what was a motion for an informed decision. The reasons behind can be found here, along with diagrams I produced to make sure my line of sight assessment was accurate. While members followed this lead with a 10 to 2 vote, we all felt for the ratepayers who honestly believe other than what I debated.

Unley seeking to liaise with the Government on the North South Corridor.

What is happening to South Road through Black Forest and Everard Park. Don’t know? That is why the City of Unley is seeking to liaise with the Government.

 

Residents & property owners are desperate to know what Government’s plans are for our section of South Road. That includes the section that runs through the City of Unley.

Many ratepayers have expressed concern, anguish and/or just a keen interest in what will happen to our section of South Road. And for good reason. Everywhere work has already occurred the landscape has changed dramatically.

Access into and out of Black Forest will change dramatically.

It is possible that rat running through Black Forest will disappear. Likewise we should see a reduction in traffic on East Avenue. On the other hand, residents are likely to have to use a different route to leave and return home.

And it is not just properties on South Road that are affected. It is those properties in the side streets connecting to South Road and beyond.

The last Council made overtures to the then State Government for Council to be informed. We remain without knowledge. Information has been scarce and lacking sufficiency to allay concerns and fears that many in our community have.

The current Government recently publicly announced a desire to provide a tunnel solution through our section of the north-south corridor. This is as much as we know.

Assuming a leadership role to ensure we can all be on the same page, I moved at our last Council meeting the following motion on notice.

This approach will hopefully encourage a better recognition and co-operation with local residents and business owners than we experienced during the electrification of the Seaford Rail Corridor.

Seeking to liaise with the Government, their trusting us to contribute positively does work. We saw that with a range of development plan amendments a few years back with the previous Government.

I am looking forward the Government will respond in kind. Commencing of course with a briefing of Council.