Welcome to the 4th edition of my E-Newsletter! This month has been busy but productive. As foreshadowed during the election campaign, I have been advocating for improved disability access in the city – initiating an investigation into a range of options to encourage businesses to make their premises more accessible.
Following some community feedback, I have made changes to this newsletter – providing more information on the outcomes of Council and less on activities and events. Please do let me know what you think!
Adelaide City Council in the news
At the meeting of the Planning, Strategy and Partnerships Committee on 3 February, Deputy Lord Mayor Abiad moved the following motion:
“That a workshop be held at the earliest possible Committee meeting to discuss the electoral provisions relevant to the Adelaide City Council, including but not limited to representation reviews, community engagement, access to the electoral roll & voluntary voting, with a view to developing a proposal for legislative reform.”
In the context of the discussion, Deputy Lord Mayor Abiad raised the prospect of term-limits being applied to Councillors. This generated some discussion and debate within the media.
The motion for the workshop was carried. I however voted against the motion on the basis that Council undertook a representation review quite recently and I do not consider now to be the most appropriate time to re-open this debate. I also do not support the idea of two-term limits being applied to Councillors and believe that the current make up of Council (a mix of experience and new perspectives) demonstrates that the status quo is working well.
At the Economic and Community Development Committee on 17 February, Council administration proposed that 28 parking spaces be allowed on Pinky Flat for disability permit holders on Football match days to provide disability access for the Adelaide Oval. As reported in The Advertiser, the majority of Council did not support this recommendation.
I did not support Councillor Corbel’s motion to exclude the reference to Pinky Flats from the disability parking proposal. This was a very difficult decision for me as I am opposed to general parking on the Parklands and am passionate about resisting encroachment on this space. However, given the circumstances presented to the Committee, I believe an exception was warranted in this instance. Indeed, in my opinion, we have a responsibility to provide disability access and it appears that this is the only available solution at this time. Of course, a better option would be for disability parking to be provided under the oval or onto the north-side. The responsibility for this lies with the SAMA. I do hope that we can find a solution for disability parking for major events such as this.
A rainbow crossing for Adelaide?
As I reported in my last newsletter, I have been campaigning for a Rainbow Crossing in the City of Adelaide and on February 3 I wrote this opinion piece on the matter for the Gay News Network.
There was also a piece in the City Messenger (4 February) which referenced the costs associated with such a proposal interstate. In Sydney the crossing was positioned in Oxford Street (over a significant strip of road) and I am confident that a more cost effective solution can be found here in Adelaide. I also believe that such a project has the potential to generate new business if positioned in a neglected part of the city.
Radio Adelaide – Pride and Prejudice:
On the 5th of February I joined the Pride and Prejudice team at Radio Adelaide to discuss identity politics, the role of a councillor and the rainbow crossing idea. You can listen to the interview here.
Council Meeting, 7 February 2015
Execution and Affixation of a Common Seal – Funding Deed for Bicycle Fund Projects
The following motion was moved by Councillor Malani:
1. Notes the successful grant application for the 2014-2015 State Bicycle Fund Projects includes funding for the installation of the following listed projects and as set out in Attachment A to Item 8 on the Agenda for the meeting of the Adelaide City Council held on the 27 January 2014.
1.1 Shared use path in Kangatilla (Park 4) that runs adjacent to Barton Terrace East between O’Connell Street and LeFevre Terrace, and forms part of the future north-south Frome Bikeway linking to Prospect Road and Braund Road BikeDirect routes ($50K).
1.2 Shared use path in Kurangga (Park 20) that runs adjacent to South Terrace between Peacock Road and Unley Road, and forms part of the shared path network linking Mike Turtur Bikeway at King William Street/South Terrace to the Frome Bikeway ($50K).
2. Authorises the Lord Mayor and Chief Executive Officer to affix the Common Seal of the Council to the Funding Deed under the 2014/15 State Bicycle Fund.”
Councillor Martin moved a motion to exclude Margaret Street in North Adelaide from being consulted upon within the design plan . This motion was not supported by a majority of Council, including myself. While I have visited Margaret Street and recognise that it is a narrow road, I opposed Councillor Martin’s motion as I did not wish to see the bicycle plan calved up, potentially undermining the overall strategy. Additionally, we were advised that Margaret Street will be subject to community consultation and Council will have another opportunity to revisit this.
Motions on Notice
Assisting People with Disabilities
I moved the following motion:
- Administration investigate how Council can support businesses in the City to be more accessible to people with disability;
- The investigation explores amongst various options, the idea of an incentive scheme to encourage increased accessibility by assisting businesses in making adaptions or renovations to their properties to ensure access for people with disability;
- Whilst conducting such an investigation administration consider best practice internationally and domestically, cost and administrative implications;
- A report on the above be presented to Council by June 2015.”
The motion was carried unanimously. This story from The City (page 7, 18, February 2015) provides some additional information on the benefits of any potential incentive scheme.
I look forward to looking at Council’s report in coming months and advocating for these initiatives during the budget process.
Ronald McDonald House
Councillor Martin moved the following motion:
1. Adelaide City Council provide a rebate of rates to the Ronald McDonald House accomodation building located at 270-272 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide and to the disabled cottages which form part of the complex at the rear at 99-101 Old Street, North Adelaide. This rebate should be backdated to the date of the charity’s application in May 2011.
2. Adelaide City Council continues to provide the rebate the charity has received for Ronald McDonald House for the past 15 years.”
I seconded Councillor Martin’s motion on the basis that I considered it appropriate for Council to honour arrangements that had been made in the past with respect to the rebate, then consider the broader policy implications.
Councillor Hender moved an amendment to the motion that it be referred to the Finance & Business Services Committee for further detailed consideration. Given the policy implications of Councillor Martin’s motion I supported this amendment.
Motions without notice
Review of discrimination against LGBTI people
I was pleased to see the Government foreshadowing a review of discrimination against individuals and families on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or intersex status at the opening of parliament last week and know this will be welcome by the LGBTI community in Adelaide. In light of this I moved the following motion, which was carried:
“That Council welcomes and supports the following statements made by His Excellency, The Governor of South Australia in his address* to the Opening of the South Australian Parliament today”
* Relevant extract from Governor’s Speech:
‘My Government will invite the South Australian Law Reform Institute to review
legislative or regulatory discrimination against individuals and families on the
grounds of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or intersex status.
Their recommendations will then be considered in the South Australian Parliament.’
Women’s Change Room – Park 12
Councillor Malani moved the following motion:
“That Administration investigate the opportunity and implications of retaining the Women’s Change Room in Park 12 scheduled for demolition at the end of the month as part the endorsed building consolidation plan, including discussions with the University of Adelaide, to ensure an appropriate level of facility and amenity is provided to women’s sport in the area.”
I understand that as part of the Building Consolidation Plan it was agreed that the Women’s Changing Room would be demolished and replaced by a new facility. I supported Councillor Malani’s motion to explore the retention of the Women’s Changing Room to ensure that women in sport do not lose any important amenity as a result.
This newsletter summarises the key outcomes from the Council meeting but if you would like to read the minutes in full these are available from the Adelaide City Council website.
Community Activities and Events
Over the last few weeks I have attended the following community activities and events. If you have an event or activity in your neighbourhood that you would like me to attend, please do let me know.
- Tour of Adelaide’s Creative Enterprises spaces, 28 January
- Adelaide Parklands Authority Meeting, 29 January
- Welcome of students from Guangzho province (China) to Adelaide Town Hall, 3 February
- Strategy, Planning and Partnerships Committee (ACC), 3 February
- Infrastructure and Public Space Committee (ACC), 3 February
- Sunrise Ceremony and Kuarna Welcome to Fringe Festival, 4 February
- Community Meeting on the Dry Zone, 4 February
- Vigil for Hope, Amnesty International protest against the death penalty, 5 February
- Red Cross Community Event, 11 February
- Garden of Unearthly Delights Opening, 12 February
- Fringe Opening, 13 February
- Economic and Community Development Committee (ACC), 17 February
- Finance and Business Services (ACC), 17 February
- ‘Show and Tell’ at Whitmore Square and forum in the South West Residents Association, 18 February
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.