Council Meeting Agenda – January 17th 2017
Wow, first meeting of Council for the year, already! I think it will be an interesting ride this year, so sit back and read my thoughts on the agenda items of the January Council meeting where most relevant to Northfield Ward.
ITEM 12.1.4 AUSTRALIA DAY AWARDS 2017 – CITIZEN OF THE YEAR
And the winner is….Yunus Noori (as recommended by staff).
Now, some of you may be wondering why I am publicly declaring who the likely winner is, when in the past this was only announced publicly at the Australia Day Awards Ceremony itself.
Well, firstly, this is not a slight on Yunus, who is a fine chap and worthy winner (if Council votes that way) – he is even a Facebook friend of mine.
The issue is that due to changes to the Local Government Act from the &^%$@!s in the Office of Local Government, led by the invisible Minister, Geoff Brock, Council can no longer legally decide in private who wins this award and then declare it at the ceremony.
Not allowed any more, as Mr Brock says we must have transparency in local government. I agree, even though I wish Mr Brock and his State colleagues were so keen on transparency for State MPs as well, but then, everyone wants that – apart from State MPs.
Thanks to this poorly worded legislation, there is no longer, legally, any way we can now decide the winner of the Australia Day Awards, privately, and thus not only is the surprise element gone, but we have to tread carefully in debate, if there is one, on the qualities of the various nominees.
What was once a positive experience for all, is now fraught with trouble.
Whilst we’re at it, I can also say the staff have also proposed that the Young Citizen of the Year is Kyran Dixon, the Community Event of the Year is Izla’s Purple Crusade, with the Emerging Event/Community Group of the Year jointly awarded to Port River Shellfish Restoration Group and Vaisakhi Mela*.
The following individuals/groups are awarded 2017 Service to Community Awards: • Pamela Joan Brook* • Perry Nelson Brook* • Melissa Burnie • James Dwyer • Norman Richard Ogier* • Desmond Tucker • Rahim Shah Zaidi • Power Community Ltd – Power to End Violence Against Women Program.
I won’t be able to vote on the above (apart from the Young Citizen of the Year) as I have a perceived conflict of interest as I lodged nominations in some categories (marked by *) so I won’t be in the chamber to listen to the debate.
ITEM 12.2.1 PARKING CONTROL – GRAND JUNCTION ROAD, NORTHFIELD
Believe it or not, some people are parking their cars in the slip lane that leads into the Adelaide Women’s Prison
This is dangerous of course and so Council is proceeding to paint yellow lines there to make it clear that it is a ‘No Stopping’ area.
ITEM 12.2.10 REQUEST FOR TOILETS – ROY AMER RESERVE
Toilets at the Roy Amer Reserve has been a matter of conjecture since the park opened in 1995 (I know, I was there).
There were toilets built, somewhat almost unhelpfully, 500m to the west at what is now Harry Wierda Reserve, but patrons of the lakes reserve (as I prefer to call it) have either had to cross their legs, hide behind a tree, or plead to use the facilities at the Lakeside Cafe.
The Lakeside Cafe did allow their toilet to be used for years, but too many people who were not patrons over years have stopped that due to their poor behaviour in the toilets, to the extent that the owner of the building and the Cafe both refused point blank to entertain any idea of public use of that facility any more, which legally they could do.
However, there were still hurdles to pass to build toilets – firstly, the opposition by some residents to the siting of the toilets, citing the usual issues such as dodgy behaviour, smell and it looking out of place; and secondly, opposition from Council staff who were adamant that it would cause problems and its high cost could not be justified.
Along comes Cr Osborn who decides to take this matter up, and as someone who lives quite close to the reserve, was a keen supporter of a public toilet there. Cr Osborn asked me in 2015 why the toilets had been rejected, to which I gave the reasons as above in a potted history, and he enlisted my help to have them constructed, which I willingly gave.
Thankfully, after a lot of community consultation and planning work by staff, we now have a recommendation to put the toilet in.
The main issues have been resolved by it being a modern Exeloo toilet which can be designed to blend into its surrounding environment, it will open automatically after 10 minutes of use (no reading the paper in there, grandpa!), it is self cleaning and its outer shell is built of graffiti resistant material.
Council will also check on it regularly to make sure it is in satisfactory condition.
I have asked a question of Council staff to whether its siting will cause any issue if there was a flooding incident.
So, after all these years, I am glad to say, the lakes reserve will finally have a convenient convenience, if the Council votes that way.
ITEM 12.2.11 UNMETERED ELECTRICITY SUPPLY PRICE INCREASE
I find it staggering that Council, or rather – us, the ratepayers, will have to foot an increase of $250,000 (65%) in the next financial year for local street lighting charges due to the current state of the electricity market.
The LGA went to tender for our street lighting, and only two companies wanted the business, Origin and AGL, and Origin was slightly cheaper.
We have decided to sign up to a one year plan hoping prices settle down. I doubt it but if something isn’t done soon, the state will be going broke on electricity prices alone.
What do you think?