Welcome to the second edition of my e-newsletter! I’ve had a jam-packed month attending a number of community activities and events and also turning my mind to some important policy issues. In particular, I was delighted to win Council support for my motion on green roofs and walls and play a role in pushing for more public consultation on the future of the Le Cornu site…
Community news and events
White Ribbon Day
I was proud to join in Adelaide’s first ever White Ribbon Day march on the 29th of November. The rally featured a number of inspiring speakers from different backgrounds who spoke about the need to stand up against violence against women – whenever and wherever this occurs.
The Glendi Festival provided a terrific celebration of Greek history and culture. I visited on the 29th of November and enjoyed some delicious food and interesting discussions with stall owners.
Feast Picnic in the Park
I joined in the Feast Picnic in the Park on the 30th of November. This year’s event was in Pinky Flat and was a great way to celebrate the diversity of Adelaide’s Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community and the close of another successful Feast Festival season.
World AIDS Day
On the 1st of December I was privileged to represent the Lord Mayor at a World AIDS Day breakfast and opening of an art exhibition promoting HIV prevention at the Adelaide Art Gallery.
Call on the Governor
In the afternoon of the 1st of December, I joined in a tradition dating back to 1840 when I participated in the Call on the Governor (pictured below). The event involves a walk through the city to Government House and the swearing of an oath to the Queen’s representative.
Street Corner Meeting on Gilbert Street
I met with a group of residents on Gilbert Street to discuss issues affecting the local area. These included traffic, road speeds and street greening. If you’d like me to meet with you or some of your neighbours please drop me a line!
Access to Arts Celebration of International Day of People with Disability
On the 3rd of December I was proud to represent the Lord Mayor at an event organised in conjunction with Access to Arts celebrating International Day of People with Disability. The event involved the launching of an art project consisting of creative responses to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The event was a terrific way to promote and raise awareness of people with disability. You watch the videos here.
The Lord Mayor’s Christmas Reception
It was wonderful to join with the community in celebrating a big year for Adelaide at the Lord Mayor’s annual Christmas reception. Guests were invited to donate a gift to a children’s charity.
Christmas in Adelaide
As part of the City of Adelaide’s 5 Year Christmas Strategy, Council has launched a new Santa in the City application which really does help discover the magic of Christmas! Make sure you check it out 🙂
Le Cornu Site
While it has been encouraging to see development of the old Le Cornu site on the horizon, I am concerned that the short time of the voluntary consultation will be insufficient to capture community feedback. In particular, there are issues around heritage and amenity that need to be discussed and the community has a right to have its voice heard.
In light of this, I moved a motion at Council calling for more time and better consultation with North Adelaide residents (see the December 9 meeting below for more information).
I was concerned to learn of a push for horse racing to return to Victoria Park. No formal approach has been made to Council regarding this. My personal view is that the current arrangements are working well and there is no need to reopen this debate. In particular, Victoria Park is enjoyed by a broad cross-section of the community and I do not support any moves to privatize this public space.
I enjoyed participating in the 8th of December residents forum. A number of issues were raised including planning and welcoming/inducting new residents.
Last week the Liquor Licensing Commissioner announced that a Dry Zone will be trialed in the Parklands for 3 months between the hours of 8pm and 11am. I share the concerns of service providers who have warned that dry zones alone will not solve the problems of excessive drinking in the Parklands. Indeed these are complex social problem and a suite of responses will be required if we are to provide the help and support these vulnerable people need.
On the 16th of December Council supported a proposal by Councillor Moran to provide drivers with a ten minute leeway on parking meters during the Christmas period. The new rules began last week and will continue until the 11th of January.
Tragedy at home and abroad
On a sad note, in recent days I have joined with the rest of the community in shock and horror at tragic events here in Australia and overseas. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones.
Council Meeting, December 9
Please note these are just some of the key outcomes from the meeting and do not include all matters of discussion. Complete agendas and minutes are available from the Adelaide City Council website.
I was appointed to represent Council on the Adelaide Park Lands Authority, the Reconciliation Committee and the Risk Management Committee. I am also one of three nominees for the Adelaide Festival Corporation Board. Board appointments are for two years.
Adelaide City Skate Park
I asked administration to report on the status of negotiations with the State Government regarding the location and funding of a new Adelaide City Skate Park and advise of any arrangements to accommodate skaters while these negotiations are taking place. I was advised that discussions with the Government are continuing. I will follow this issue up in the New Year.
Motions on Notice
Greening the City of Adelaide
I moved a motion to kick-start greening the city, which was carried unanimously with an amendment by Cllr Hender for the inclusion of a pilot program.
Here is the full text of the motion, with Cllr Hender’s amendment.
- A report is presented to the appropriate Committee of Council on how to rapidly progress the actions of the endorsed Green Infrastructure Guidelines and the Street Tree and Planting Themes components of the Urban Design Framework to support the City of Adelaide as a greener, more environmentally resilient capital;
- That the report is brought back to Council in early 2015 to investigate best-practice approach to greening the city, including consideration of:
- Identification of opportunities to add greening to Council-owned buildings as a series of demonstration projects, including funding and staging requirements.
- Recommendation for prioritization of greening throughout the city including trees, street plantings, green infrastructure and green roofs and walls, within capital works projects and asset renewal programs.
- Recommendation for how Council can provide for a greener city through policy change and/or incentive programs for example, to foster developer, business and community uptake of living architecture, including green roofs and walls.
Greening the city was a key part of my election platform and in discussions with residents and businesses I found there was considerable enthusiasm for these ideas. I look forward to progressing this further in 2015. You can read more about plans to green the city in this article in InDaily.
Real-Time Online Video Streaming
Councillor Abiad moved a motion that Administration provide a report outlining costs and a timeframe for better engaging the public digitally via Real-Time Online Video Streaming of Council Meetings and (possibly) Committee Meetings. The motion was carried unanimously. I enthusiastically supported the motion and I’m excited about the potential to further democratize Council and open our decision making up to the public.
Motions Without Notice
Former Le Cornu Site
I moved a motion requesting that the Makris Group extend its voluntary consultation over plans for the former Le Cornu site and that Council consult with North Adelaide residents and make the outcome of this consultation available to the Makris Group. This was carried unanimously. Unfortunately, it seems the Makris Group did not take up this opportunity. For more information about the motion see this article in The Advertiser. You can also read the full text below.
- Council notes that the Makris Group has commenced a voluntary community consultation period regarding its proposal to develop the vacant site at 88 O’Connell Street (former Le Cornu site).
- Council requests that the CEO writes to the Makris Group seeking an extension of the consultation period until the close of business, Friday 16 January 2015 and inviting them to join Council in hosting a public meeting with an independent facilitator providing North Adelaide ratepayers and residents with an opportunity to discuss and provide comment on the proposal.
- Council requests that the CEO conducts an appropriate consultation with North Adelaide ratepayers and residents specifically in relation to the proposal once a response to 2. above has been received, with the outcome of this consultation and the potential above public meeting made available to the public and the Makris Group as soon as practical and used to inform a Council submission during the statutory referral process once the development has been formally lodged with DAC.
Councillor Antic moved a motion inviting Minister Bignell and the proponents of horse racing in Victoria Park to brief Council at the earliest possible opportunity about the proposal. He also requested that administration provide a briefing on the history of proposals for infrastructure in the park and current usage. The motion was carried unanimously.
I supported Councillor Antic’s motion as I believe it’s appropriate for the Minister to discuss any plans with Council directly (rather than through the media).
Council meeting, 16 December
There was another Council meeting on 16 December. I was an apology for this meeting as I was overseas on a pre-arranged trip. Copies of the agenda and minutes from this meeting are available from the Adelaide City Council website.
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just days away! I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family all the best for a happy and safe festive season. Thank you for your support in 2014 and I look forward to an exciting and productive year on City Council!
Keep in touch
If you have an issue you would like me to take on, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. It would be great to hear your ideas for how I can help improve our city! You can call me on: 8203 7945 (office) or 0438 358 204 (mobile) or email me at: email@example.com . Alternatively, we can connect on Facebook and Twitter.
Please note, this newsletter reflects the personal views of Councillor Robert Simms and does not purport to represent the views of Adelaide City Council.