Small business is the backbone of the South Australian economy and plays such an important role in the fabric of our local community.
Throughout the year, I have continued to extend my support to all businesses who require assistance.
Green leafy suburbs make this community a unique and beautiful place to live.
As you would appreciate, there are an array of different environmental policies that endeavour to protect our environment. I have been focusing on both ends of the policy spectrum by being proactive in the areas I can influence, such as:
✅ Encouraging the removal of weeds and pests species that damage our local environment
- By actively meeting with local land care groups that are removing olives throughout the Sturt Gorge and Brownhill Creek Recreation Parks.
✅ Supporting the Department of Environment & Water with their fire management to conduct planned burns in our area
- I participated in the Keelty Bushfire Review and regularly meet with the local CFS brigades, National Parks Rangers and the Department to ensure we receive adequate planned burns.
✅ Rejuvenating sites by planting native species and greening our suburbs
- Joined with over 100 volunteers and the Blackwood Reconciliation Group to plant 600 native trees at Colebrook Reconciliation Park as well as a tree planting day in the Wittunga Botanic Gardens
✅ Promoting less waste and picking up litter
- Successfully banning single-use plastics in South Australia (see my speech here)
- Supporting Blackwood Action Group again in their 10th Annual Clean Up Australia Day and promoting the Keep Australia Beautiful Week 2020
✅ Working towards more action on Climate Changes in our State
- Through both policy South Australian Government Climate Change Action Plan 2021-25 and investment in energy reducing and renewable technologies
There are also other issues such as the removal of mature and significant trees in our community. I wrote to the Attorney-General asking more information about how the New Planning and Design Code will impact trees in our community.
You can see my speech on the importance of balancing the new Planning and Design Code to ensure we are not developing at the cost of heritage and the environment.
I am proud to acknowledge the great amount of activity that has occurred and the important work of protecting our heritage and environment.
The Statutes Amendment (Local Government) Review Bill 2020 has now passed Parliament.
The legislation will improve transparency and efficiencies for Local Government and reduce costs within Councils by improving dispute resolutions processes, implementing a rate-monitoring scheme and updating election procedures.
After witnessing two supplementary elections for the same ward area (Gault Ward in the City of Mitcham), I tabled amendments to the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999 to reduce the possibility of this happening in the future and inevitably save rate payers money.
Last year, the South Australian Electoral Commission were tasked with organising 10 supplementary elections, and so far, this year, have been tasked with another 11. At a cost of between $30,000 - $60,000 to hold each election, this is an unnecessary bill for ratepayers to foot.
The new amendments will mean a Council vacancy can be filled 12 months after a periodic election or a supplementary election by the next highest polling candidate (after the successful candidate) in the most recent election (if the candidate is still willing and eligible to be elected and, if not, the next highest polling candidate will be offered the vacancy, and so on, until the vacancy is filled). I hope the image below explains this process.
The Federal and South Australian Governments have together committed $40 million in funding to undertake several key projects to improve the Mitcham Hills Road Corridor.
The package of infrastructure upgrades, which is being delivered over a four-year period between 2018 and 2022 are starting to take shape.
Community groups and sporting clubs are an integral part of this community.
That’s why I’m pleased that the $25M Grassroots Grants Program has now been expanded to include all sports, a key feature of the 2020/21 State Budget.
I’m also glad to announce that 26 sporting and community clubs in Waite received funds of up to $3,000 to help purchase equipment as part of the Active Club Program Round 49.
These important funds will assist grassroots organisations and I’m excited to see the new equipment being used in the community.
Schools are closed but the work continues for our trades people as they set their tools to improving our public education facilities.
The families and teaching staff from our local schools will be glad to know the State Government is providing the following financial support.
Casting the mind back to 2015, it is all too easy to forget the previous State Labor Government’s ‘Transforming Health’ policy debacle. Labor’s position to decommission the Repatriation General Hospital was clear from the onset.
Our community responded promptly to defend this vital service. This was a great example of people power creating change.
For the last two years, the community of Waite has been fighting to keep the Mitcham Service SA branch open.
The services provided at this branch are used by many in the community and for that reason, I have continued to lobby the Government to continue funding this Centre.
In June 2020, the State Government proposed a dramatic overhaul of our bus services.
This announcement included removing key routes throughout the Mitcham and Adelaide Hills as well as uncertainty over the future of the Torrens Park train station.
Our community was quick to protect our public transport services, with over 740 signatories signing a petition against the proposed changes.