Councillor’s Update (May-June 2019)

Welcome!

Welcome to my latest newsletter! This has been a busy month on City Council with debates about increased transparency, greening in the city and new restrictions on Councillors talking to the media.

Last month, I also clocked up six months being back on Council. It’s been an honour to represent our community. This graphic highlights some of the things that have been achieved. I look forward to continuing to work with you!

Push for Councillors to declare developer contact

Early last month, I proposed that Councillors declare any contact they have with developers on an online register. This transparency measure would eliminate any perception of bias in decision making and ensure that Adelaide models best practice. The City of Vincent in Western Australia has had such a register in place for some time and I suggested that Council administration consider what they have in place as a template. You can read more about the proposal in InDaily here and The Advertiser here.

Unfortunately, the motion was defeated at the meeting on the 14 May. Councillors Anne Moran, Phillip Martin, Helen Donovan and Jesse Khera backed the plan but it was opposed by all other Councillors. The Lord Mayor was away and so the meeting was chaired by Deputy Lord Mayor Abiad. The vote was split on the floor of Council so he used his casting vote to defeat the motion. You can read about the debate in Indaily here and The Advertiser here.

At the subsequent meeting on the 28th of May, Councillor Moran proposed that a register be developed with voluntary disclosure of contact with members. This voluntary measure was opposed by the majority with Councillors Martin, Donovan, Khera and I all voting in support of Councillor Morans’ motion.

I am disappointed that such simple accountability measures were resisted by some of my colleagues and will continue to push for these.

Council investigates new greening opportunities

At our meeting on the 14th of May, Councillor Anne Moran proposed that we investigate opportunities to install gardens on top of roofs and carparks. This was supported unanimously. This idea has worked effectively in Melbourne and I look forward to seeing what comes next! You can read more about the idea here.

Lighting up North Adelaide

Following discussion with the North Adelaide Precinct Association, at the Council meeting on the 28th of May I proposed that Council administration investigate atmospheric lighting for O’Connell Street and Melbourne Street (similar to that on Rundle Street). This would make the streets more inviting for patrons and provide a boost for local businesses. Councillor Abrahimzadeh moved to amend the motion to include consideration of lighting as part of the ‘master planning process.’ I opposed the amendment on the basis that North Adelaide should not have to wait until the lengthy master planning process is concluded, before lighting in the area is improved. The amendment was defeated and the motion was supported unopposed.

Extending the City Dry Zone

At our Committee Meeting of the 4th of June, Council backed a 2 year extension of the Dry Zone. I remain concerned about the impact this has on vulnerable people and believe this policy stigmatises those dealing with drug and alcohol issues. Additionally, there was no evidence base to support the extension. Despite this, the extension was supported by a majority of Council, with Councillors Donovan, Martin and I voting against. It will come before Council for final sign off. You can read more about the dry zone here.

‘Gag Orders’ and changes to Council Standing Orders

Last week I was concerned to discover that Councillors would be prevented from talking to the media about our motions prior to meetings, under proposed changes to Council Standing Orders. Other changes include making the Deputy Lord Mayor chair of all committees and enforcing the wearing of robes at meetings, when requested by the Lord Mayor. I am concerned about many of these measures as I consider them to be an affront to local democracy. In particular, being able to talk to the community about ideas (through the media) is a fundamental part of a Councillor’s role. These restrictions will significantly impact on Councillor’s ability to represent our constituents and the community’s ‘right to know.’ You can read more about the changes here.

The changes were backed by a majority of Council at Committee on the 4h of June, with Councillors Donovan, Martin, Moran and I opposed. They will come to Council for endorsement tonight (11 June 2019).

New technology to improve pedestrian safety

Recently I spoke to Channel 7 News about some new technology being trialled in Melbourne and Sydney. Lighting up footpaths could improve safety for pedestrians (particularly those with vision impairment) and make our streets more visually attractive. I will look further at how this technology can be advanced in our city and would welcome your feedback. You can learn more about it here.

Contact me

If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909. I am based in Town Hall on Tuesdays. If you would like to arrange a time to meet please let me know!

Remember to subscribe to this newsletter please scroll down and enter your email address into the bottom left of this page.

Disclaimer

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

 

Councillor’s Update (April)

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(It was an honour to represent the Lord Mayor at the naming of Denise Norton Park outside of the Adelaide Aquatic Centre. Denise is the first South Australian to participate in the Commonwealth and Olympic Games).

Welcome!

This has been a busy month on Council, with ongoing debates about the parklands, improvements to Council’s procurement policies, a boost for childcare and the finalisation of our draft budget for consultation.

The helipad returns?

On the 9th of April, Councillor Philip Martin proposed that Council state its “implacable opposition” to any helipad on the Parklands following media reports that the idea may soon return to Council’s agenda.

I know that the community are strongly opposed to public land being used in this way. As I said at the meeting (reported by The Advertiser):

“When you talk to residents in the city, I can assure you that they don’t want to see the parklands being used for joy rides by the mega rich.”

Unfortunately, Councillor Martin’s motion was unsuccessful with just Councillors Moran, Donovan, Hyde and I joining Councillor Martin in support.  I will continue to stand with the community in opposing any future proposal to commercialise our parklands with a helipad.

Crows on the Parklands?

On the 9th of April, I moved that Council:

“- notes that an unsolicited proposal has been received from the Adelaide Football Club relating to the establishment of a Sports and Community Centre on the Adelaide Parklands

– Requests that administration arrange a public consultation (including a community forum in North Adelaide) to hear the views of residents and businesses on this.”

I am disappointed that many residents would only have learnt about this proposal through the announcement from the Federal Government that they will provide $15 million to support the Crows’ new centre. Given the Crows’ proposal relates to public land, it is only right that the community is engaged early on, before any concept is developed.

Unfortunately, my motion was opposed with just Councillors Martin and Moran backing my push for community consultation at this stage. I will continue to fight for the community to have their voice heard.

You can read more about the debate in InDaily and The Advertiser.

Fighting to secure the City Connector Bus

The future of the City Connector Bus has been in doubt with news that the State Government are reviewing the service. On the 9th of April, I moved that Council reiterate its support for the service in this Council budget and call on the State Government to continue to contribute. The motion was carried unanimously with an amendment from Councillor Simon Hou, asking Council to look at alternative routes and funding sources in the event that the Government fails to support the service.

The State Government have been cutting bus services throughout the state and I don’t want to see this happen in Adelaide. The City Connector Bus is a vital service for many city residents and visitors I’m committed to ensuring that it is protected.

You can read more about the debate here and here.

At a Committee meeting on the 17th of April, Council discussed its approach to negotiations with the government around the service. I moved an amendment, ensuring that we advocate for the service to remain free of charge. As I told the meeting (reported in The Advertiser): If we ‘let the user pay’ genie out of the bottle, there is no putting it back in.” You can read more here. 

Council pushes for more money for mental health and homelessness

Sadly, homelessness is an ongoing issue in the City of Adelaide. Leadership is required from all levels of government to address this. On Tuesday night Council voted unanimously in favour of a motion from Councillor Mary Couros requesting that the Lord Mayor write to the Human Services Minister asking for increased funding for homelessness and mental health support.

I commented in the meeting (as quoted in InDaily) that the federal government should also be asked to step up and build more public housing in our city:

“The Federal government gifted $15 million to the [Adelaide] Crows. Imagine what they could do with this money -dealing with homelessness in the city of Adelaide. There are some big opportunities for all levels of government to show initiative.”

Given the increased poverty and homelessness we face in our city, is the funding for the Crows really the best way for the federal government to be spending tax paper money in Adelaide?

Time to ban corflutes from the CBD and North Adelaide?

Election season is here again! I know that many residents are sick to death of seeing corflutes (plastic signage) on our city streets. These signs are not just visual pollution of our public space, if not recycled appropriately they are also potentially damaging to our environment (using plastics and cable ties). SA is unique in having these signs on stobie polls on public streets.

The recent local government elections saw more corflutes than ever before. This leads to an arms race between candidates and at around $7 a sign, this can potentially price out candidates with limited financial resources.  As part of Council’s submission on the State Government’s Local Government Reforms, I proposed that a cap be imposed on spending by council candidates. This would level the playing field for all and partially address the corflute issue. Unfortunately this was not supported by a majority of Council.

Last night, I proposed that “Council investigate options for prohibiting election signage (eg: corflutes) from streets in the city and North Adelaide for future election campaigns.” Administration advised that the CEO could write to the State Government to advance this. Unfortunately the move was opposed by a majority of Council, with Councillors Hyde, Donovan, Moran and Martin voting in support. You can read more about my motion here. 

Time for the Parklands to be World Heritage Listed?

Last night, Council approved $100,000 to begin investigating World Heritage listing for the Park Lands and City Plan. These are currently included on the national list, but this is an exciting opportunity to see our parklands recognised internationally. Given the many benefits that would flow for our city I was very pleased to support this recommendation.

Supporting social enterprises in the city

Council has a significant operating budget of more than $200 million dollars so who we do business with has a significant impact. At last night’s meeting, I proposed that we include ‘social benefit’ as criteria in Council’s procurement policies and guidelines, potentially giving favourable consideration to businesses that support people living with disability and or social disadvantage. I know that there are a number of social enterprises operating in the City of Adelaide and it makes sense that we do what we can to support their work. The motion was carried unanimously and a report will be provided to Council in October.

During my last term of Council, I secured support for the inclusion of sustainability in Council’s procurement policies and have a long term interest in ensuring our work is both socially and environmentally responsible.

Boosting childcare in Adelaide

Adelaide is a great place to live and work but more can be done to encourage young families to move into the city. On Tuesday night, Councillor Anne Moran proposed that “Council start discussions with the State Government about changing planning laws to allow childcares in multistorey buildings… and explore opportunities to work with private developers as part of the push.” The decision was reported in The Advertiser.  It was terrific to see this motion win unanimous support from the Council.

Council knocks back guiding principles push

Councillor Phil Martin proposed a series of matters be considered as part of a workshop to develop guiding principles for the Crows’ proposal. This included consideration of issues such as whether Council would entertain removing vegetation and the use of ratepayer’s funds. Unfortunately, there was insufficient time to discuss the motion in detail as Councillor Abrihimzadeh moved that it be put before debate concluded. Councillor Martin’s motion was defeated with Councillors Moran, Donovan and I voting in support of his proposal.

Draft budget out for consultation!

Council’s draft budget for 2019-2020 will be open for consultation from 8 May until 29 May 2019. Details on how you can get involved will be provided here. Please do take up this opportunity to have your say!

Contact me

If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909.

I am based in Town Hall on Tuesdays. If you would like to arrange a time to meet please let me know!

Remember to subscribe to this newsletter please scroll down and enter your email address into the bottom left of this page.

Disclaimer

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

Councillor’s Update (March)

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(Clr Phil Martin and I meeting with climate change campaigners before Tuesday night’s meeting)

Welcome

This has been a busy month on Council, as we have worked to develop our budget and dealt with proposals for more action on climate change, improving amenity on Hindley Street and Council’s influence on the Adelaide Parklands Authority.

Rather than issuing my newsletter fortnightly, I have decided to move to a more detailed monthly format. Please let me know your thoughts on this approach!

More immediate updates are posted on my Facebook.

Car Parking In North Adelaide

On the 12th of March, North Ward Councillor Phil Martin proposed that Council “approves the issue of one on street parking permit for a period of one year to a nominated vehicle registered to a dwelling which has only one off street parking space. Such permits will be made available on application and will be strictly limited to one for each address except in special circumstances as may be determined by the Administration.”

The cost of the permit will be $100. I moved an amendment proposing that any money raised from the permits be directed towards cycling infrastructure in the city in recognition of the impact of cars on carbon emissions. Unfortunately the amendment was lost with just Councillor Donovan and I in support.

E-Scooter Trial Extended

The e-scooters have been a great success and I would like to see these continue but I’m also  keen to  look at options for Lime (or any other provider) to contribute towards maintenance of our footpaths via a small levy (given they are using our public space).

Councillor Abrahimzadeh moved an amendment to a motion from Councillor Hyde on e-scooters on the 12th of March to “extend the existing trial permit for Lime to operate in the City for up to four weeks while we undertake an EOI for up to two operators for a six-month permit, with an option to extend based on performance.”

I moved an amendment that Council investigate purchasing a fleet of e-scooters to generate income for the Council or investigate charging a small levy. While the idea was backed by Cllrs Moran, Martin and Donovan  – the other Councillors voted to defeat the amendment. I will continue to look at options to generate new revenue for the Council. Lime are a multi-million dollar US company, it seems unfair that all of their profits should go off-shore. Additionally, relying on revenue from car parking as our only business is not sustainable for the Council. You can read more about the outcome here.

Increased Support for City’s Homeless 

On the 12th of March, Councillor Hyde moved that Council “budgets a further contribution of $200,000 in the 2019-2020 budget consideration process, contingent on State Government funding the remaining requirement to implement other recommendations of the Institute on Global Homelessness report.” I supported this motion but moved an amendment to contribute the funds now (rather than waiting for the state government to make a commitment). Councillors Moran, Martin and Donovan voted in support of my amendment but it was defeated by the other Councillors.

Encouraging Public Transport Use

Councillor Houssam Abiad moved a motion to “investigate an automated system for uParks to allow City Businesses to validate customers UPark Tickets.” While I understand the need to encourage more people back into the city, I don’t believe that we should only reward customers that travel by car. Surely we should be encouraging people to come into the city through various modes of transport? In particular, we need to look at how we can encourage more sustainable transport options. To that end, I moved to amend the motion to include an investigation of a scheme to reimburse public transport users. This was supported by Councillors Donovan, Martin and Moran but opposed by the majority on Council. I’m disappointed that Council refused to even investigate the idea and will continue to advocate for alternatives to cars to be included in any of Council’s business activation plans. You can read more about the discussion in Indaily and The Advertiser.

Freezing the Rates?

Earlier this month, Councillors Knoll and Moran both proposed motions looking at freezing the rate in the dollar. I opposed these on the basis that I am concerned this could lead to cuts to community services. You can read more about the discussion here.

Climate Emergency

On Tuesday night I proposed that Council join 400 other local councils around the world in “recognising that there is a climate emergency that represents a serious threat to our wellbeing, economy, built infrastructure, services, water supplies, environment and reputation as a liveable city”.

The motion also called on the council’s administration to investigate how it could improve water resilience and ensure an equitable distribution of trees across the city as part of the future budget consideration process. I also proposed that the Lord Mayor lobby the State Government to decarbonise the city’s free connector bus and to electrify its passenger vehicle fleet, through the Capital City Committee. See this article in InDaily for more information.

Three other Councils in SA, Light, Marion and Adelaide Hills were debating similar motions. Had the motion passed, Adelaide would have become the first capital city in the country to join the movement to declare a climate emergency. Unfortunately the motion was amended by Councillor Abiad to remove the reference to a climate emergency and so this opportunity was lost.

Despite this setback, we further highlighted the urgent need for climate action and secured funding in this budget for climate initiatives. I was pleased that all Councillors backed the investigation of more opportunities to green our streets and improve water resilience. This article summarises the debate. Light and Adelaide Hills Councils both passed climate emergency motions.

Action on Hindley Street

The state of the footpaths and failure to enforce regulations have been issues of ongoing concern for West End traders. I moved that Council:

“1.Notes that:

the pavers on the footpaths along Hindley Street (from Morphett Street to King William Street) are in an unsatisfactory condition and require repair or replacement;

– a number of regulations relating to outdoor dining and queuing on Hindley Street at night are not being enforced.

2.Requests that administration prepare costings (as part of the 2019-2020 budget process) for:

-repairing or replacing the pavers on the footpaths on Hindley Street, from Morphett Street to King William;

– creating the position of Night Time Precinct Officer to enforce Council regulations on Hindley Street at night.”

Councillor Abiad amended the motion to note previous motions he had moved on Hindley Street and put administration on notice to comply with these. I offered to accept this amendment as a variation but this was rejected by the Deputy Lord Mayor, who chose to move his an amended motion. I voted in favour of the amended motion as it wasn’t in contradiction.

Future of the Free City Bus

One of the reasons I oppose freezing rates is the impact this can have on service delivery. A potential budget saving identified by administration was cutting the free city connector bus. Cuts to community grants and festivals were also proposed.

While these are now off the table, in favour of ‘efficiencies to be made across the organisation’, according to media reports the State Government are reviewing their support for the bus. This is very concerning to me. I will continue to advocate for the bus to be funded into the future.

Council Surrenders Power on Parklands Authority

On Tuesday night, a majority of Council voted to replace Councillors Moran, Martin, Donovan and I with external experts, on the Parklands Authority. Councillor Alex Hyde has been elected Council’s sole representative on the Authority. While I make no criticism of the external representatives, this is surely the first time that Council has willingly reduced its influence in this way. I worry it could create an APLA that is more compliant to the government and less responsive to community concerns.

My comments on this were reported in The Advertiser and InDaily

Is it time for an Adelaide Parklands Foundation?

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With the Parklands under attack like never before, perhaps now is the right time to consider an independent Parklands Foundation. The Foundation model has worked in Sydney and allows members of the community to make tax-deductible donations to support building community awareness and appreciation of the Parklands. I spoke to The Advertiser about my plans (see above, 20 March 2019). The Adelaide Park Lands Authority agreed to investigate the idea. Let me know what you think!

The Return of the Helipad?

I was alarmed to read media reports that the Helipad on the River Torrens is back on the agenda. As I told The Advertiser, residents will not want a return of the helipad.

“Helipads on the parklands are a political cold sore for the council. Just when you think the idea is gone, it comes back again.”

I am on the public record opposing this project and will continue to speak up for residents. The parklands belong to all of us and should not be used for joy-rides for the mega rich. You can read the full article here.

Assisting the City’s Homeless

A new website has been launched to assist with referring people in need to support services.

If you see someone who is sleeping rough in the city or the parklands, you may wish to refer them to Street Connect. You can do this through the new website: www.streetconnect.sa.gov.au  

The website allows you to pinpoint someone’s exact location, so that support workers can find them and offer assistance.

If someone is in immediate danger, please call 000.

Contact Me

If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909.

I am based in Town Hall on Tuesdays. If you would like to arrange a time to meet please let me know!

Remember to subscribe to this newsletter please scroll down and enter your email address into the bottom left of this page.

Disclaimer

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

Councillor’s Update (Edition 6)

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WELCOME

At Tuesday night’s meeting we dealt with a range of issues, including social and affordable housing in the CBD, the completion of the East West Bikeway and a push for rate-relief for owner occupiers. The key outcomes are summarised below.

OWNER OCCUPIER RATE REBATES

Cllr Moran proposed that “Council investigate the reintroduction of the owner/occupier rate rebate or something similar to encourage home ownership in Adelaide and North Adelaide.” She argued that residents who live in the city, rather than negatively gear their property, should receive some rate relief.

The motion was amended by Cllr Abrahimzadeh to include business owners. I opposed the amendment as it seemed to be against the spirit of the original motion – turning what was intended to be a rate incentive to encourage more residential owner occupiers into a general rate relief package. If rate rebates are provided, I believe these should be means-tested to ensure that we are not giving financial relief to people who do not require it. The amendment was carried by Cllrs Abiad, Khera, Knoll, Couros, Hou and Hyde voting in support.

DO WE REALLY NEED MORE CAR PARKS?

Cllr Khera moved that “with a view towards enabling an expansion of the number of on-street parking spaces within the Adelaide Central Business District, Administration provide a report for consideration at The Committee no later than 2 April 2019, which provides an overview of:

– The current status of the number and location of available on-street parking spaces within the Adelaide Central Business District,

– The change in this status over the past one, two and three year periods respectively,

– The method by which an effective audit of parking spaces within that area may be undertaken,

– The method by which avenues of increasing available on-street parking on a street-by-street basis may be thoroughly investigated.”

I argued against the proposal on the basis that the city of Adelaide already has considerable carparks and administration already regularly audit car parking. I would rather our energies be directed towards encouraging active transport options. The motion was carried with Cllrs Donovan, Martin, Moran and I opposed.

BOOSTING SOCIAL AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING

I moved that:

“ (1) administration advise Council on options available to the City of Adelaide to promote and facilitate the development of social and affordable housing in the city, including the investigation of rate incentives and other initiatives such as The Big Issue’s Homes for Homes;

(2) the advice be reported back to Council for consideration by no later than 30 June 2019.”

As I outlined in an interview with InDaily, I believe Council has a role to play in encouraging more diverse housing in the CBD.

Councillor Knoll moved to amend the motion to include accessing federal and state government support. He initially proposed removing social housing from the motion, arguing that this was not within Council’s remit. Councillors Moran, Donovan, Martin and I all spoke against this and argued that Council has a responsibility to show some leadership in this area.

In response to the discussion, Councillor Abiad proposed a variance to the amendment with the inclusion of social housing:

“That administration advise Council on options available to the City of Adelaide to facilitate the development of social and affordable housing in the city, including access to Federal Government, State Government, Private and Not for Profit Sector Support.”

I welcomed this. The amendment motion was carried unanimously and I look forward to seeing administration’s report in coming months.

THE FUTURE OF THE EAST-WEST BIKEWAY

Councillor Donovan moved that Administration:

“1. Provide a workshop briefing to Councillors by 31 March 2019 which contains:

1.1. A summary of the Bikeways project to date

1.2. An overview of Bikeways as part of Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy

1.3. Opportunities to discuss options for the dedicated East-West bikeway, and

1.4. A proposed consultation strategy for businesses, residents, and visitors to the city

2. Commence the consultation on delivery of the East West bike way in April 2019.”

I seconded the motion and after years of false starts and delays, I want to see the roll out of East West as soon as possible.

Councillor Hyde argued that to proceed with consultation on East West would be rushing the process and proposed:

“That Administration:

1. Provide a workshop briefing to Councillors by 31 March 2019 which contains:

1.1. A summary of the Bikeways project to date

1.2. An overview of Bikeways as part of Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy

1.3. Opportunities to discuss options for the dedicated East-West bikeway, and

1.4. Pays consideration to reroute or find new funding to support a separated bike way as part of the Tram Upgrade on King William St

1.5. A proposed consultation strategy for business, property owners, residents and visitors to the city, that may be used as a framework for future cycling infrastructure works.

2. Table for the Next Capital City Committee Meeting an item to discuss Smart Move 2.0 in partnership with the State Government. “

Cllrs Martin, Donovan, Moran and I opposed the motion as there was no provision to commence consultation on East West. It was carried with all other Councillors in support. I fear as a result of Tuesdays’ meeting we will see more debate and discussion about the bikeway, instead of real action. I will continue to argue to us to complete the city’s bike network.

You can read more about the meeting in Indaily here. 

PILL TESTING AT CITY EVENTS?

At Committee last week, Cllr Martin suggested that Council’s Safety Strategy include support for pill testing at city events and options for working with the state government and police to implement it. I supported the call and believe Council has a responsibility to do all that it can to minimise harm and save lives.

You can read more about the discussion here.

A NEW CITY SKATE PARK… AT LAST!

After years of waiting, the city’s skating community will finally get a new skate park. The new skate park which is being funded by the state government will be on Park 25, Gladys Elphick Park.

Council has been advocating for a new skate park for years so it is wondeful to finally see this get the green light. You can read more about the annoucement in The Advertiser here.

ASSISTING THE CITY’S HOMELESS

A new website has been launched to assist with referring people in need to support services.

If you see someone who is sleeping rough in the city or the parklands, you may wish to refer them to Street Connect. You can do this through the new website: www.streetconnect.sa.gov.au  

The website allows you to pinpoint someone’s exact location, so that support workers can find them and offer assistance.

If someone is in immediate danger, please call 000.

CONTACT ME

If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909.

I am based in Town Hall on Tuesdays. If you would like to arrange a time to meet please let me know!

Remember to subscribe to this newsletter please scroll down and enter your email address into the bottom left of this page.

DISCLAIMER

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

Councillor’s Update (Edition 5)

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Welcome

Welcome to my latest newsletter! At Tuesday night’s meeting we discussed a range of matters including the future of the controversial pontoon, the date of Australia Day and a push for the old Le Cornu site to be considered as an alternative location for the Adelaide Oval Hotel. The outcomes are summarised below.

The Riverbank Pontoon

After hearing passionate arguments from Councillors Moran and Martin, Council unanimously voted against any extension to the pontoon’s lease. This means the pontoon will be used for this Adelaide Festival only and the lease will expire at the end of April.

I recognise there are diverse views on this matter. In the end, I voted in favour of ending the lease as I do not believe the pontoon has ever lived up to community expectations. Many in the community have been dissatisfied with the site and the commercialisation of our public space that has occurred outside of the festival season.

A Hotel for 88 O’Connell Street?

Councillor Moran moved “that Council request that Council’s Reference Group ask the EOI proponents for 88 O’Connell Street, to consider that the site be used by the SMA for the development of a hotel.”

I supported the motion as it was simply encouraging the consideration of the old Le Cornu site site, as an alternative to the deeply unpopular Adelaide Oval Hotel, which has been proposed for public land. In the end, the motion was defeated with a majority of Councillors expressing concern that Councillor Moran’s motion could undermine the expressions of interest process that is already in train. Councillor Martin and I voted in support of Councillor Morans’ motion.

Transport on the LGA’s agenda

Councillor Donovan moved that Council:

  1. Approves submission of the following Proposed Item of Business to the Greater Adelaide Regional Organisation of Councils for consideration for inclusion on the agenda of the LGA Ordinary General Meeting:

1.1. The Ordinary General Meeting requests that the LGA:

  1. Establishes a local government sector advocacy group with the intent to:
  •  Keep informed of current and future trends in movement and transport strategies, with relevance to metropolitan Adelaide and regions across the state
  • Identify priority movement and transport projects, with a key focus on mobility sharing, cycling, walking and public transport
  • Identify strategic, capital and operational funding opportunities at all levels of government as well as seek partnerships to deliver strategies and projects
  • Ensure movement and transport strategies are aligned and cohesive across council areas
  • Discuss opportunities to partner on projects, cross-promote and share information, ideas, and learnings.
  1. Membership could include all councils who elect to sign up to the group, the LGA, as well as representatives from the State Government (eg DPTI and ODASA).
  1. The scope could include discussion of a metropolitan Adelaide without boundaries, and assisting councils and other key stakeholders (eg RAA, Bike SA, BISA, AILA, Engineers Australia, Property Council etc) to create, influence and implement:
  • Major projects
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Green infrastructure provision
  • Customer centricity
  • Business cases and the process for Infrastructure Australia (IA)
  • Consistent approaches to design and infrastructure
  • Consistent approaches to transport mode integration.’

The motion was carried unanimously and I’m excited about this opportunity for greater collaboration across Council regions on transport matters.

Council calls for greater refugee intake

Councillor Donovan moved that Council:

“1. Notes that globally, 65 million people are now forcibly displaced – including more than 22 million refugees, and wealthy countries like Australia need to create more opportunities for safe, legal and supported entry, and one evidence-based way to do this is through community-led sponsorship;

  1. Recognises the significant success of the ‘gold standard’ community-led refugee sponsorship in Canada, in which tens of thousands of refugees have been successfully sponsored by the community, and through this community support have learned the new local language faster, found jobs faster and in greater numbers, and formed stronger bonds within their new communities than non-community supported refugees;
  1. Supports an expansion and improvement to the Australian Government’s version of this program, the Community Sponsorship Program; and
  2. Requests that the Lord Mayor write to the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, calling on the federal government to improve and expand the Community Sponsorship Program to ensure the program:
  1. Does not take places from others in need
  2. Provides adequate support and services
  3. Limits the costs on sponsors
  4. Allows community, family and businesses to act as sponsors
  5. Creates more places for people in need of protection to settle in Australia.”

I seconded the motion and was delighted to see it pass unanimously. In my view, Council has a leadership role to play on these matters and many Councils across the country have already been advocating for an expansion of the program. Given the immorality of Australia’s mandatory detention policy, which allows innocent people to languish on island prisons, anything that increases opportunities for refugees to come to Australia in safety should be supported.

You can read more about Councillor Donovan’s motion here and here .

Change the Date?

This year there has been increased momentum for changing the date of Australia Day in recognition of the great injustices done to Aboriginal people beginning on January 26.

My personal view has always been that the date should change and our national day should be held at a time when all Australians can celebrate. To persist in celebrating Australia Day on a date that is associated with so much suffering for Aboriginal people, seems grossly insensitive and insulting.

Councillor Martin proposed that Council ask the Reconcilitation Committee its view on the matter. He moved:

“That Council;

Following the lead of the Australia Day Council in South Australia inviting Kaurna representatives to lead our City’s street parade last month with a banner proclaiming “Change the Date”, asks its Reconciliation Committee to recommend if the City of Adelaide should;

1) begin a discussion about the way Australia Day is celebrated

2) with whom and how that discussion should be conducted, and

3) the issues associated with changing the date from January 26th, including proposals for alternative days.”

Unfortunately the motion was lost. Councillors Donovan, Abrihimzadeh, Martin and I all voted in favour.

Assisting the city’s homeless

A new website has been launched to assist with referring people in need to support services.

If you see someone who is sleeping rough in the city or the parklands, you may wish to refer them to Street Connect. You can do this through the new website: www.streetconnect.sa.gov.au  

The wensite allows you to pinpoint someone’s exact location, so that support workers can find them and offer assistance.

If someone is in immediate danger, please call 000.

CONTACT ME

If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909.

I am based in Town Hall on Tuesdays. If you would like to arrange a time to meet please let me know!

Remember to subscribe to this newsletter please scroll down and enter your email address into the bottom left of this page.

DISCLAIMER

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

Councillor’s Update (Edition 4)

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Welcome!

Welcome to my latest newsletter. On Tuesday night, Council considered a range of issues, including the Adelaide Oval Hotel, a submission on single-use plastics and an e-bike trial. This newsletter summarises some of the key outcomes.

Committee Recommendations

Council unanimously supported the recommendations from last week’s Committee Meeting. You can read more about these here. I know that the status of the trees on Hurtle Square is an issue of concern for many in the community. Council endorsed the Committee’s recommendation that the two trees that were set for removal be retained.

Participatory Budget Processes

I moved that Council request administration prepare a report on the potential to utilise participatory budgetary processes for the 2019-20 budget, with particular regard to the experience of the City of Melbourne. The motion was seconded by Councillor Moran.

Participatory budgeting involves more direct engagement with the public around budget measures. As we approach the next budget cycle, I thought that this represented an opportunity to look at best practice from interstate.

The City of Melbourne has used this approach and had a very positive response from the community. You can read more about that here.

Councillors Moran, Martin, Khera and Donovan supported the motion. Unfortunately, Councillors Abiad, Knoll, Couros,  Abrahimzadeh, Hou and Hyde were not open to administration even investigating the idea and defeated the motion. The reasons for this position were not entirely clear to me.

I will continue to advocate for the community to be more actively engaged in Councils’ budget processes.

Improving Transparency in Local Government Elections

I moved that Council:

  • notes that the State Government will soon be reviewing the Local Government Act
  • supports the disclosure of political party memberships and donations received (above the value of $500) by candidates seeking election to local council, on an online register before commencement of the voting period
  • requests that the Lord Mayor write to the Local Government Minister, detailing Council’s support for this reform and encouraging the Government to consider this as part of its review of the Local Government Act.

The motion was seconded by Councillor Moran.

During the last election, political party memberships and ties were a key topic of conversation within the community. While my membership of the Greens is well known and on the public record, this was not true of all candidates. In my opinion, voters should have access to this information prior to casting their vote, so that they are able to make an informed choice based on a candidate’s political values and associations. My motion would have simply called on the State Government to amend the Local Government Act to require these disclosures before people vote (rather than current practice, which is after the election).

Councillor Hyde amended the motion and instead called for a workshop looking at the Local Government Act and City of Adelaide Act more broadly. I opposed the amendment and argued in favour of my original motion, as I considered it to be an opportunity for Council to take the initiative on an issue around which there is broad consensus within the community. The amendment was successful with Councillor’s Abiad, Knoll, Couros, Abrahimzadeh, Hou, Hyde and Khera in support and my original motion was not supported.

I will strongly advocate for improved accountability measures during the coming workshop.

Reducing Single Use Plastics

As I reported in my recent newsletter, the State Government has recently released discussion papers on reducing single-use plastics and expanding the container deposit scheme. I moved a motion that administration prepare a submission on these papers for endorsement by Council. The motion was carried unanimously.

The Cenotaph

Last year Council received a deputation from Dr David Faber about the Cenotaoh relocation. On Tuesday night, Councillor Donovan moved that Council:

  1. Notes that the Australasian Soldiers Dardanelles Cenotaph, the first war memorial in Australia, has been relocated from Golden Wattle Park / Mirnu Wirra to the Anzac Memorial Walk.
  2. Requests that a design project be identified in the 2019-20 draft Integrated Business Plan to explore opportunities to create a commemorative location and community destination in the south Park Lands, to consider:

2.1 Both the original location of the Cenotaph in Wattle Grove adjacent Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue and the later location of Lundie Gardens;

2.2. Reinstating the grove of wattle trees in Wattle Grove adjacent Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue; and

2.3. Options for a new memorial in one of these locations to commemorate a significant wartime event.

  1. Authorises the CEO or delegate to negotiate with Veterans SA, the Veteran’s Advisory Council and other similar bodies to seek design advice and request potential funding assistance.’

The motion was carried unanimously.

Adelaide Oval Hotel

On Tuesday morning, The Advertiser reported on my plans to move for Council to refer the Adelaide Oval Hotel proposal to the Commonwealth Government, under the provisions of the EPBC Act 1999 for consideration as an action which may impact on the National Heritage Listing of the Adelaide Parklands and City Layout.   You can read the story here.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act) provides a mechanism to protect nationally and internationally important flora, fauna and heritage places. Projects that impact on our heritage places should be referred to the federal government for consideration under the act.

In 2008 the Parklands were included on the National Heritage List in recognition of their importance to South Australians and the nation more broadly. In my opinion, projects that threaten this status should not proceed.

It is baffling that neither the SMA nor State Government referred their Hotel proposal to the Commonwealth for consideration of the heritage implications. After publication of The Advertiser’s story, the SMA revealed that they now plan to refer the proposal themselves. This is win for those who care about environmental protection and should have occurred to begin with.

Council noted the referral and reserves its right to refer the matter if the SMA does not do so. I will continue to follow this matter closely and do what I can to oppose the commercialisation of our public land.

Additionally, Councillor Moran stated that she will be bringing her motion to encourage the SMA to consider the 88 O’connell Street site as an alternative hotel location, to the next Council meeting.

E-Scooters?

Councillor Hyde moved that the Council:
  • Notes that the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure is exploring options to legalise e-scooters on public roads and footpaths, which may include a temporary exemption for e-scooter share operators to facilitate a trial during Adelaide’s 2019 festival season.
  • Delegates authority to the CEO to develop a temporary permit for up to two e-scooter share program operators to facilitate a trial in the City of Adelaide (should the State grant a temporary exemption for e-scooter share operators to facilitate a trial) including, but not limited to, considerations of safety, placement of scooters, monitoring fleet, complaints process for inappropriately located bikes, and number of e-scooters in each program.

I’m excited by this idea and hope that the Government will give it the green light! You can read more about the concept here. Councillor Hyde’s motion was supported unanimously.

Pontoon Poll

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me sharing their views about the potential extension of the licence for the pontoon on the River Torrens. I conducted a poll on my Facebook page. Of 322 respondents, 53 per cent were in favour of an extension and 47 per cent were against. I welcome ongoing feedback on this and other Council issues.

Contact Me

If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909.

I am based in Town Hall on Tuesdays. If you would like to arrange a time to meet please let me know!

Remember to subscribe to this newsletter please scroll down and enter your email address into the bottom left of this page.

Disclaimer

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

Councillor’s Update (Edition 3)

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(Happy Birthday to the Adelaide Central Market – which turned 150 on 23 January!)

Welcome

Welcome to my first newsletter for 2019! I hope that you have had a positive start to the year.

Council has hit the ground running, with a series of meetings over recent weeks. We had our first meeting on January 15 and a Committee meeting on the 22nd of January. Key issues for consideration have been the ongoing debate about the Adelaide Oval Hotel, the barge on the River Torrens and trees in Hurtle Square. Some of the outcomes are summarised below.

Archie’s Club House

At a Special Meeting of Council held on the 15th January, the Adelaide Festival Corporation for Adelaide Pontoon Corporation applied for six extra operating dates for the event, ‘Archie’s Clubhouse’ at the Pontoon on the River Torrens.

The event includes an interactive art exhibition, local Adelaide music, stand-up comedy, cult movies, local food outlets and a bar. The additional opening hours will be:

  • Wednesday 16 January 6pm to 12 midnight
  • Friday 18 January 6pm to 2am
  • Saturday 19 January 12pm to 2am
  • Wednesday 23 January 6pm to 12 midnight
  • Friday 25 January 6pm to 2am
  • Saturday 26 January 12pm to 2am (times subject to final discussions with Australia Day event)

I understand that the use of the Torrens in this way has been controversial, however I decided to support the proposal on the basis that there will be a significant arts component to the activation (including an interactive art exhibition and installations from many young Adelaide artists). A motion from Cllr Abiad to approve the proposal was carried with all Councillors but Councillors Moran and Martin in support. The debate was reported in The Advertiser.

At the meeting, administration advised that there had been an application for the pontoon to remain on the Torrens after April. I have some reservations about this and would welcome your feedback.

 

Bike Share

The Committee approved an application for a Bike Share On-Street Activity Permit from AirBike to start a bike sharing scheme in Adelaide. The scheme will involve 200 bikes in the City and North Adelaide and bikes left in dangerous positions will be removed. You can read more about the scheme here.

I was pleased to support the proposal and see this as an exciting opportunity to encourage more cycling in the city. The unanimous recommendation from the Committee will go to Council for consideration next week.

Adelaide Oval Hotel

On 5 December 2018 the South Australian Legislative Council established a Select Committee to ‘inquire into and report on a redeveloped Adelaide Oval’, including the proposed Hotel development. Council administration drafted a submission for consideration by Council. The draft is available here (see page 68).

Committee unanimously approved the submission with some amendments from Councillor Martin that strengthened the document by highlighting the SMA’s deficient  consultation. The debate was reported in InDaily here.  As I stated at the meeting, I believe Council has been treated with complete contempt by the Stadium Management Authority and the approach taken has been a slap in the face to residents and ratepayers. I will continue to work with my Council colleagues and the community in opposing this absurd Hotel proposal.

Councillor Moran has indicated that she will be bringing a motion to Council next week, asking that the Adelaide City Council request a meeting with the State Government and Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority to discuss building the hotel on the vacant site on 88 O’Connell Street. You can read more about Cllr Moran’s proposal here.  I am open to this as a way of activating OConnell Street and providing an alternative for the Government to consider.

Tree removal on Hurtle Square

At its meeting on 24 July 2018 Council resolved that: “Council requests Administration to replace all of the trees along the eastern side of the North Eastern quadrant of Hurtle Square with ‘matching, same size trees ensuring consistency of growth and enhancement of the panoramic vista of the area.” The motion was in response to a petition tabled in June that year and related to two trees.

A review into the decision cited community confusion about the nature of the petition, the failure of Council to consider the expert arborist’s recommendation that the trees be retained and Council’s own policy in favour of retention of healthy trees, as factors that demonstrate Council’s decision making could have been more “robust.”

Council administration recommended that there be further consultation with the community about the status of the trees. Councillor Martin moved that rather than undertaking more consultation, Council should rescind the original decision and keep the trees. I supported this position as I believe we should only remove trees as a last resort. The trees in question are healthy and pose no risk or danger to the community.

The motion was opposed by Councillors Abiad and Khera but supported by the remaining Council members. The Committee recommendation will go to Council for consideration next week.

Local Government Reforms

The Local Government Amendment Bill is currently before the state parliament contains a number of provisions relating to governance and transparency of local councils. A lot of these measures are positive but others are unworkable for Council. For instance, some measures would allow the Council to pass a motion of ‘no confidence’ in a Lord Mayor. This creates a conflict when both Councillors and Lord Mayors are directly elected.

Administration has prepared a submission on the Bill, which was supported unanimously by Committee. This will be considered by Council next week. Additionally, I will be moving a Motion on Notice asking Council to endorse the disclosure of political party memberships and any donations received, before the voting period for Council elections. I believe this will improve transparency and allow voters to make an informed choice. You can read more about my proposal here.

Standing Orders

Council is in the process of reviewing its Standing Orders. As reported in The Advertiser, I have suggested that the prayer at the start of meetings be replaced with something that better reflects the diversity of our community.

If you have any suggestions for changes to Standing Orders, please let me know!

Phasing Out Single Use Plastics?

The State Government has recently announced two discussion papers on waste – one looking at improvements to the Container Deposit Scheme and the other on phasing out single use plastics. I’m delighted to see the government showing leadership in this area and will be moving at the next Council meeting for administration to prepare a submission on the proposals. If you would like to make your own submission you can do so online.

Contact Me

If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909.

I am based in Town Hall on Tuesdays. If you would like to arrange a time to meet please let me know!

Remember to subscribe to this newsletter please scroll down and enter your email address into the bottom left of this page.

Disclaimer

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

Councillor’s Update (Edition 2)

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Congratulations to Sarah Boese (pictured) on her stunning mural, ‘Pandora’s Box’ unveiled outside of the Box Factory on December 1. 

Welcome

Welcome to the latest edition of my e-Newsletter. On Tuesday night, at our last meeting of Council for the year, we dealt with a range of issues including protection of the Park Lands, divestment from fossil fuels and the use of the old Le Cornu site. Key discussions and outcomes are summarised below:

Board and Committee appointments and Council Governance

At the meeting Council made the following Board and Committee appointments:

  • Central Market Authority: Cllr Houssam Abiad
  • Rundle Mall Management Authority: Cllr Franz Knoll
  •  Festival Centre Board: Lord Mayor Verschoor, Cllrs Khera and Simms (Minister will choose one name)
  • Adelaide Parklands Authority: Cllrs Moran, Martin, Donovan and Simms (with Lord Mayor presiding)
  • Capital City Committee: Lord Mayor, Cllrs Abiad, Hyde and Donovan (proxy)
  • Reconciliation Committee: Cllrs Donovan, Knoll and Simms
  • Council Audit Committee: Cllr Martin

A range of other Boards and Committee appointments will be made in the New Year.

Council also resolved to return to a Committee Structure which will meet fortnightly, between Council meetings.

Divestment from Fossil Fuels

In April 2015 during my first term on Council I proposed that Council investigate divesting from fossil fuels. This was pursued again by Councillor Phil Martin in August of this year and Council resolved to prepare another report on the impact of giving preference to banks and other financial agencies which do not invest in the fossil fuel industry. This would only apply where there is a competitive rate of return and in compliance with Council’s treasury policy.

Administration researched the matter and recommended that divestment be adopted as part of a revision to the Treasury Policy presented to Tuesday night’s meeting.

Given there would be no financial disadvantage to the City of Adelaide by adopting this policy, I was optimistic that Council would finally divest from fossil fuels. I moved that the revised Treasury Policy be adopted (seconded Councillor Martin). Unfortunately, Councillor Khera moved to amend the motion so that the Treasury Policy be adopted with divestment from fossil fuels omitted. His motion was seconded by Councillor Houssam Abiad. Councillors Franz Knoll, Simon Hou, Mary Couros, Arman Abrahimzadeh and Alexander Hyde supported the amendment and hence defeated the motion to divest from fossil fuels.

I thank Councillors Martin, Moran and Donovan for their support of divestment. Indaily have published a useful summary of the debate here.

This outcome is very disappointing and represents a missed opportunity for Council. By backing Administration’s recommendation, Adelaide could have joined 33 other Councils across the country (including Melbourne, Freemantle and Hobart) in divesting from fossil fuels and become the first Council in SA to take this stance. Despite this setback, I will continue to pursue this matter and look for opportunities for Council to lead the way in the area of environmental responsibility.

Adelaide Oval Hotel

Cllr Anne Moran moved that “Council oppose the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority Plan to build a hotel on the Park Lands and asks the Lord Mayor to immediately write to the Premier and Members of State Cabinet setting out Council’s position on the development while also foreshadowing the inclusion of the matter on the agenda of the next meeting of the Capital City Committee.” I seconded the motion.

As stated at the meeting, I consider the plan to be “commercialisation of our public space, bank rolled by the State Government.” The Advertiser provided a useful summary of the debate which can be accessed here. The motion was carried unanimously and it is encouraging that Council has taken such a strong position.

88 O’Connell Street (the former Le Cornu site)

Cllr Couros moved two motions in relation to the use of 88 O’Connell Street in North Adelaide (the former Le Cornu site). The first related to looking at ways to open up car parking at 88 O’Connell Street and the second was a proposal “for administration to prepare a report on how a temporary activation, similar to a box part concept, could be established… to attract complementary and non-competing operators to North Adelaide.”

I asked administration about the kinds of businesses that would be considered “non-competing” given the existing offering on O’Connell Street (retail, coffee shops, wine bars and restaurants). I am also concerned about the potential of any temporary activation to delay development of the site. I decided not to support the motion on that basis but will await the additional information  provided in the future report with interest.

I did not support the motion in relation to car parking as I understand residents have some concerns about the impact of this.

Improved Waste Management

Cllr Donovan moved that administration “prepare a report reviewing waste management services provided by Council, prepares a waste management policy for Council which provides options for waste services (including organics) for city businesses (the policy would also address applicable fee for service models, including reducing fees for strata groups).”

I supported the motion and look forward to seeing Councils’ report. There are lots of opportunities to improve waste management in the city (including recycling!) and I congratulate Cllr Donovan for putting this on the agenda. The motion was passed unanimously.

City of Adelaide Golf Links

Councillor Martin proposed that Council “publicly release an extract of the Golf Course Master Plan… which is currently the subject of a confidentiality order.” Given community concern about the future of the Park Lands, I supported Councillor Martin’s motion so that the community can view the draft plans. More background on Cllr Martin’s proposal is provided in this Advertiser story:  Unfortunately the motion was defeated on the Council floor.

Still waiting for a Skate Park?

Adelaide’s skating community is still waiting for a permanent skate park and this starting to look a lot like ‘waiting for godo!’… I asked Administration to provide an update on efforts to secure State Government funding for a permanent site.

Administration advised that a draft City Skate Strategy is currently being finalised to present to the Parklands Authority and Council in March/April next year. Once a site is selected, Council will have further discussions with the State Government about funding and design and construction will be sought for 2019/2020. I will continue to pursue this issue in the New Year.

Edmund Wright House

Like many residents and ratepayers I was saddened to see that the State Government has decided to sell the historic Edmund Wright House on King William Street. A city ratepayer recently contacted me about littering and graffiti on the building.

I asked Administration to provide an update on the current status of the ‘for sale’ process and whether they had advocated for the government to put in place a maintenance program to prevent further damage.

Administration advised that tender for the property closed on 4 October and that no formal announcement has been made. Administration will engage with the relevant State Government agency and raise Council concerns about the presentation of the building.

Bikeway Network Implementation?

Cllr Donovan asked administration to provide an update on the progress of the Bikeway Network Implementation Plan as outlined in the Smart Move Action Plan. Administration advised that they are working their way through the Smart Move Interim Action Plan (2016-18) actions and the preparation of the Bikeways Network Implementation will be considered as part of the 2019-20 business plan and budget.
I share Cllr Donovan’s interest in this area and will continue to advocate for more bikeways in the city.

Crows on the Park Lands?

You may have seen media reports about the Crows seeking to move their Club House onto the Adelaide Park Lands. I do not believe that the Parklands should be privatised in this way. As I said to the Advertiser: “I’m sick to death of private enterprise trying to sink their teeth into our parklands.” At this stage, Council has received no formal proposal from the Crows.

It is clear that privitisation and commercialisation of our public space will be a key issue for this term of Council.

New Contact Details

My new Council phone and email have been set up. If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909.

From January, I will be based in Town Hall on Tuesdays. If you would like to arrange a time to meet please let me know!

Remember to subscribe to this newsletter please scroll down and enter your email address into the bottom left of this page.

Season’s Greetings!

As this is my last communication for the year, I want to wish you and your family a safe and happy Christmas season. I look forward to working with you in 2019!

Disclaimer

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

Councillor’s Update (Edition 1)

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Welcome

Welcome to the first edition of my e-Newsletter! I will be issuing these after each Council meeting as a way of updating the community on my work. If you have any suggestions about how these newsletters can be improved, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The last few weeks have been busy and rewarding as new Councillors have been setting up our offices, undertaking key training and meeting with Council staff.  It’s an honour to be able to represent our community once more and I’m looking forward to a positive and productive 4 years!

The new Council was sworn in on the 22nd of November and met for the first time on Tuesday the 27th of November. Key Council decisions and discussions are summarised below:

Cenotaph Removal

Dr David Faber gave a deputation to Council about the removal of the Australasian Dardanelles Cenotaph from the park lands. The Cenotaph was erected in 1915 to honour soldiers from Unley and Adelaide who fought during World War I and is of great significace to many in the local community. I am concerned about its removal and will continue to argue for greater community consultation in relation to these matters.

Corporate Facilities Pass

Council approved the continuation of the ‘Corporate Facilities Pass’ for former Councillors (and Lord Mayors) who have served a cumulative 8 years on Council. The pass provides free access to the U-Park, Acquatic Centre and Golf Course and has been provided by previous Councils. Council will hold a workshop in the new year looking at other ways to acknowledge community service. Given increasing community concern about these kinds of arrangements, I look forward to the opportunity to discuss alternatives that may better meet community expectations.

Deputy Lord Mayor

Central Ward Councillor, Houssam Abiad was elected Deputy Lord Mayor (unopposed) for the period of November 2018 – November 2019. I congratulate him on his appointment.

Sustainable Events Guidelines 

There was some discussion about the approval of the Draft Sustainable Events Guidelines. These guidelines set ambitious targets around sustainability for event organisers and provide practical tips on how to make events more environmentally friendly. Some elected members expressed concern that the guidelines will be too onerous for business, however Councillors Martin, Donovan and I argued that these are not mandatory and have been developed in consultation with key stakeholders. In the end, Council agreed to adopt the guidelines and a workshop will be held next year to discuss their implementation. I consider this to be a win for the environment and this best practice guide will hopefully serve as a template for other Councils to follow.

South West Community Centre

Council approved the execution of a lease with the new owners of the South West Community Centre. The lease will continue until September 2020. This is a great outcome and testament to a strong campaign run by many in the community. I will continue to argue fo the protection of the centre in the long term, beyond 2020.

Adelaide Oval Hotel?

You may have seen media reports about a proposal to add a hotel to the Adelaide Oval. The Stadium Management Authority has proposed a $42 million hotel complex be built on the eastern side. The State Government is supportive of the project and offered to loan the Authority the money to make it happen. I worry that the increasing commercialisation of this space sets a dangerous precedent for our Parklands. It also  potentially reduces foot traffic to other businesses and hotels in the city and the use of public money to fund a commercial enterprise (when public sevices are being cut!) is of serious concern.

Councillor Phil Martin asked administration about the power of Council to influence the development. Administration advised that while the State Government is required to consult with Council, we have no authority to approve or influence the proposal. This is regretable in my opinion. It is clear that there will need to be a significant community campaign to prevent such proposal from getting the green light.

New Contact Details

My new Council phone and email have been set up. If I can assist you with a local issue, please do not hesitate to contact me on: R.Simms@adelaidecitycouncil.com.au or 0466 829 909.

Disclaimer

Please note, the views in this newsletter are my own and do not purport to be those of Adelaide City Council.

 

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