Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

After months of broken promises residents along the Noarlunga (Seaford) railway corridor are having trouble accepting the promises of the man who has been commissioned by DPTI to complete the electrification and associated projects along the corridor.

David Bartlett has been directed by DPTI CEO Rod Hook to co-ordinate both the electrification project and the Greenways project along the corridor, to oversee the two projects and to act as the community liaison on both. In words I used recently that makes him the go to man.

This all eventuated after two personal discussions I had with DPTI, firstly with Rod Hook and then with the Goodwood Junction Project Manager Luigi Rossi. At these two meetings, both attended by our own CEO Peter Tsokas, I availed Rod and Luigi with some cold hard facts about where the community sees their efforts at communication and consultation.

At the last of these meetings it was agreed there was a need to have one man (a go to man) to address these issues and to ensure that, as the various projects move to completion, resident concerns be channeled through David (as DPTI nominee) to the various team leaders. This way we might see one message go out to residents rather than conflicting messages coming from the different project teams.

I have had four meetings now with David, with fellow Ward Councillors affected by the projects, the whole Council, then at a recent CAG meeting and last Thursday night with residents of one of the affected streets.

David confirmed he was the man to liaise between the residents and the various project teams at those last two meetings. He also made commitments on local issues (relevant to that street) that would ensure the residents get a say in the environment they would inherit.

This included confirmation that there would be no gate at the end of their street, even though workers the previous day were operating off a plan that included a gate. The fence that WILL be installed there he indicated would be Council’s responsibility to design (with DPTI paying for it).

I then gave a personal commitment that Council would design this fence in consultation with residents, with our General Manager Infrastructure John Devine, and our Sustainable Landscape Specialist Trevor Stein (who would have responsibility for the design process) attending this meeting.

David then offered the expertise of a sound engineer to advise Council and the residents on what sound abatement options we/they have.

History might have residents wondering whether this is all going to happen. I am confident myself that David Bartlett’s intentions are honorable. The one stumbling block is the section of rail between Edwardstown (in Marion Council) and Keswick (just north of the City of Unley section) is the only section where mast locations are yet to be finalised. Until this is determined, Council and the Residents cant design the re-vegetation of their environment.

Having said that yours truly did manage to get DPTI, through David, to alter what was then considered the final mast positions given observations I made relative to the street in question that would have been the worst possible solution.

The level of trust, which I trust will now start to improve, may have been the biggest contributing factor behind the length of the meeting….. three hours. And I thought Council meetings were long.

Over to you David. I am looking forward to you vindicating my trust.