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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