Welcome to the first edition of my E-Newsletter for 2015! January has been a busy month and I have pursued a number of initiatives to make our city more inclusive. In particular, I’ve been looking at a new icon to celebrate diversity and the provision of increased support for homeless people during extreme heat.
Community news and events
New Year in the City
I was delighted to join thousands of South Australians for a free concert and fire-works along the River Torrens to welcome in the New Year. My congratulations to all involved with organising this terrific event.
Australia Day Lunch
I enjoyed attending the Australia Day lunch at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on the 16th of January. This provided a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the contribution of some remarkable South Australians and reflect on the unique culture and identity of our country.
On the 11th of January I joined Deputy Lord Mayor Natasha Malani at a fundraiser at the Hampshire Hotel to raise money for those affected by the recent bushfires. This was a terrific community event and it was inspiring to see so many people coming together to help those in hardship.
On the 20th of January Council’s four committees met for the first time. I was elected Deputy Chair of Council’s Strategy, Planning and Partnership’s Committee.
Adelaide Writers Week
I attended the launch of Adelaide Writer’s Week on the 21st of January. There is an exciting line-up ahead for this year’s festival so make sure you pick up your free program!
Lord Mayor’s Citizenship Ceremony
I was delighted to join the Lord Mayor and other elected members in welcoming new Australians at Council’s citizenship ceremony. It was also a privilege to join in celebrating the contributions of this year’s award recipients. Among them were Frank Ford AM (Adelaide Citizen of the Year) and Feast Festival (Community Event of the Year). Frank and Feast CEO Cassandra and Chair Josh are pictured with Senator Penny Wong below. My congratulations to all!
The event was followed by the South Australian of the Year Awards at Government House.
Australia Day in the City
On Australia Day I attended a number of community events. The Multi-faith service at Bonython Hall involving our city’s religious leaders (pictured below) was a lovely way to start the day and celebrate the diversity of our multicultural country. In the evening, I attended the Street Parade and later the free concert hosted by Adelaide City Council.
We have much to be thankful for and to celebrate in our country. However, I recognise that for many Aboriginal people Australia Day represents British colonisation and the destruction of Aboriginal culture and tradition. In recognition of that I continue to believe that Australia Day should be celebrated on more appropriate day, one that our whole community can enjoy.
Council Meeting, 27 January 2015
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.
Execution and Affixation of a Common Seal – Funding Deed for Bicycle Fund Projects
While I support the projects, following a deputation from Ms Kelly Henderson, I supported a motion moved by Councillor Moran that a decision on this matter be deferred so that Council administration have an opportunity to respond to Ms Henderson’s statement.
Motions on Notice
Support for vulnerable people in extreme weather
I moved that the Guidelines of the Community Development Grants Program be amended to include a Program Priority for applications that provide services to vulnerable people who are affected by extreme weather conditions.
The motion was carried. This will allow agencies who work with vulnerable people to apply for support for services to assist them. I’m particularly concerned about the welfare of homeless people during heatwaves but there is the capacity for this grant to provide support during winter months as well. I spoke to InDaily last week about some of the ideas that have been used successfully interstate, including provision of movie tickets to give people respite from the heat.
A Rainbow Crossing in the City?
I moved that administration bring back a report that investigates locations, costs and approvals required for a permanent Rainbow crossing in the city. The motion was carried.
Adelaide currently does not have any permanent monument that celebrates LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) community and culture. A rainbow crossing would be a positive symbol of pride, inclusion and diversity in our city. As a result of my motion, administration will now look at potential locations and options for a crossing and provide a report to Council in coming months.
The proposal has generated considerable community interest and debate and since first floating the idea with Blaze last week I’ve received losts of positive feeback.. Click here for more discussion of the proposal.
KPIs for Adelaide’s 2040 Plan
Deputy Lord Mayor Natasha Malani moved that Administration bring back to Council a report in regards to setting strategic key performance indicators for the Adelaide 2040 Plan. I supported the motion on the basis that it makes sense to have our progress towards the 2040 plan measured.
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.