Councillor Don Palmer Providing Local Leadership & Working for You

Last night’s Council workshop revealed that the technical report on the Brownhill Creek Stormwater mitigation project is on the way. It is expected to be ready for us to review in August.

As I understand it, at that time we will be presented with the technical assessment of all 8 options that have been canvassed to date. Some heavy reading ahead it appears.

I also understand that creek clearing and cleansing must be part of the works that are undertaken. Keeping the creek in good health is something that should have been occurring previously, whether on public or on private land. This is something that I suggest not property owners were not previously aware, but will be going forward.

Whilst we await the reports but having read all previous reports it is also my belief that a dam, in one form or another, is a vital component of the best stormwater mitigation measures that can be taken. We will soon see if the technical report indicates likewise.

What was discussed is what should be the public consultation going forward.

There is a suggestion that we should receive the reports and jump straight into the minimum consultation allowed (3 weeks) under the Local Government Act. This would see the public consultation completed in time for a report to come back to council before the upcoming caretaker period.

My approach to this is this is the most important decision Council has probably ever faced or ever will so we should not rush it. We need to be considered in making any decision.

This decision (if made by the current council) has the effect of binding future councils, and the residents of Unley to the biggest undertaking we have ever been involved with. It had better not be rushed therefore. That would be totally irresponsible.

While the word on the street is that Mitcham will simply push for a no dam solution and while the Advertiser is suggesting West Torrens is about to pull out of the 5 council agreement Unley should remain consistent in its approach. That approach has always been to make sure we have the correct and fullest technical data possible before considering any option. This has always been my take on it and Unley has mirrored this.

We should not change that approach now, at the last minute, because there is a looming election.

I believe we should have say a 6 week public engagement period and at the very least all those people previously included in any particular consultation on the way should be included for consultation on this final report. Given the impact to our long term financial plan it may actually be prudent to take this to the whole community of Unley.

I also believe that we should have another workshop after receiving the final technical report and before it comes to Council so that we can fully appreciate the pros and cons of the different options. We need to be on top of this because, at the end of the day, it is our decision…………….well those of us still on Council after November if I am correct and my colleagues agree.

And there simply is not enough time to do this in my opinion before the caretaker period kicks in.

So!………….Needless to say with this project 
it is still a case of ……. watch this space.