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WAITE GATEHOUSE RALLY

THE WAITE GATEHOUSE REMAINS UNDER THREAT
RALLY SUNDAY 31st JANUARY 11am



Dear Supporter and Concerned Community Member,

Despite extensive and unprecedented community pushback, the State Government seems doggedly determined to ignore the imperative to save the 130 year old Waite Gatehouse.   If the Gatehouse is demolished it will be the first State Heritage listed structure to be destroyed by the State Government in SA history; a terrible legacy and a frightening precedent.

Minister Corey Wingard has chosen to ignore expert independent advice that the Gatehouse can safely be moved and preserved without any serious loss of trees.  The historic building has already been externally restored and can be renovated internally as part of the re-location process.

Contrary to misinformation from the Minister and his Department, there is adequate space and access to accommodate associated re-location processes and lay-down areas for excavated soil and equipment. 

There are a number of accessible re-location sites that will allow the Gatehouse, once again, to be connected to the avenue leading to Urrbrae House.  In a recent development, the Minister has attempted to deflect responsibility for a decision about the fate of the gatehouse by offering $2 million to the University of Adelaide to ‘solve the problem’.   This is a cynical attempt to compromise the University, which, if it rejects the offer, will be seen to be condemning the Gatehouse to demolition.

However, this money should not be disbursed in this way for political purposes.  If it accepts this ‘bribe’, the University will be complicit in diverting this fund away from its proper purpose, that is, supporting worthy heritage projects across the State.

As it turns out, in making this devious offer to the University, the Minister and his advisers have ‘wedged’ themselves.  In effect, it is an admission that the Government believes that the Gatehouse is worth saving and that $2 million should be made available to make this happen.  However this should come from the Department’s budget and not plundered from an earmarked general heritage fund.

And so, the fight goes on.   The Government must come to its senses and realise that the Electorate will never forget nor forgive the unnecessary and senseless destruction of the heritage Gatehouse.

You can help to put pressure on the Minister and his Government by: 
signing the online petition and sharing it with friends.
Downloading and collecting signatures on the hard copy petition to Parliament Writing to your State Member of Parliament (list of MP addresses)
Signing up to the Protect our Heritage website for email updates.

PLEASE JOIN US ON SITE FOR A PUBLIC RALLY 
SUNDAY 31st JANUARY at 11am.  
Waite Campus:  Corner Fullarton and Cross Roads, Urrbrae  (map)

Stay COVID safe.  Masks and distancing.
Thank you and see you there,Warren Jones AO 

Tell your State MP to stop the destruction  Please write to your State MP  and ask them to stop the destruction of the Waite Gatehouse.
The Transport Minister Corey Wingard needs to find a better solution. 
 Download a list of State MP contacts 

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment.   GPO Box 2021 Adelaide, SA 5001

Phone: 0419 852 622 
Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.
auwww.protectourheritage.org.au       
Facebook: protectourheritageSA

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WE MUST SAVE THE WAITE GATEHOUSE LODGE!

Please raise your voice to stop this vandalism
Hundreds of protestors rallied at the Lodge last Sunday to protect the Lodge.

Dear Supporter/Concerned Community Member, 

The Government has announced its intention to demolish the 130 year old State Heritage listed Waite Gatehouse Lodge to clear the way for an unnecessary and massive intersection widening at Fullarton and Cross Roads.  

This has provoked an angry protest from across the community last Sunday and an unprecedented push back and extensive coverage from our local media.  (Advertiser opinion piece).

The Protect our Heritage Alliance has joined with other organisations to demand the relocation of the Lodge to an adjacent site in the Waite Arboretum, and the minimisation of any tree loss.State Heritage buildings must always be protected from demolition or their identification and listing is meaningless.  

The Government’s indifference to the fate of this historic icon bodes ill for South Australia’s heritage when protections are weakened under the forthcoming Planning and Design Code.

The editorial piece in InDaily uses the Gatehouse as a symbolic example of everything that is wrong with priorities in urban planning in Adelaide.Despite the public outcry, the Department of Transport and Infrastructure persists with its absurd and disingenuous justifications for demolition

The Premier and the Minister responsible for heritage have been silent, but other Liberal MPs have spoken out.  The Government clearly has misread the mood and will of the electorate on the Waite Gatehouse issue.  It needs to reverse its ill-considered decision and to appropriate funding to save this precious structure.

You can help to put pressure on the Minister and his Government by: 
signing the online petition and sharing it with friends.
Downloading and collecting signatures on the hard copy petition to Parliament
Writing to your State Member of Parliament (list of MP addresses)
Signing up to the Protect our Heritage website for email updates.

Tell your State MP to stop the destruction of the lodge 

Please write to your State MP  and ask them to stop the destruction of the Waite Gatehouse. The Transport Minister Corey Wingard needs to find a better solution.  

Download a list of State MP contacts 

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment.   

GPO Box 2021 Adelaide, SA 5001

Phone: 0419 852 622 

Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.auwww.protectourheritage.org.au     

Facebook: protectourheritageSA

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RALLY SUNDAY 6 DECEMBER 11am

Dear Supporter/Concerned Community Member,

The State Government has announced that it proposes to proceed with plans to demolish the state heritage listed Gatehouse or Lodge on the University of Adelaide Waite Campus to make way for a massive enlargement of the Fulllarton/Cross Rd intersection.   The  iconic and historic landmark, dating from 1890, will be lost along with 20 mature trees, some up to 120 years old.

This pointless intrusion on University and public property has resulted from a $61 million Commonwealth/State pork barrelling ploy at the last Federal election.  Isolated extensive intersection widening is a planning dinosaur, particularly if it will be bookended, for the foreseeable future, by intractable traffic bottlenecks.

The misleading project plan states that moving The Gatehouse would be infeasible and too expensive.    In fact, the Government’s own engineering report offers the option of successful relocation using modern methodology that has been used before in Adelaide and is commonplace around the world.

Surely it is not beyond the wit, expertise and imagination of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport to modify the extent of the plans, restrict the residential resumption requirements and save The Gatehouse.

Read the summary of the plans and misinformation in the Government proposal as outlined in INDAILY yesterday.

Join us in opposing this needless desecration of our heritage and history…………….

DEMONSTRATION AT THE SITE.   
Waite Campus:  Corner Fullarton and Cross Roads (map)

Tomorrow
SUNDAY 6th DECEMBER at 11am.  
Stay COVID safe.  Masks and distancing.

Thank you and see you there,

Warren Jones AO

Tell your State MP to stop the destruction 

Please write to your State MP  and ask them to stop the destruction of the Waite Gatehouse. The Transport Minister Corey Wingard needs to find a better solution.  Download a list of State MP contacts

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment.   GPO Box 2021 Adelaide, SA 5001

Phone: 0419 852 622  Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au

www.protectourheritage.org.au       Facebook: protectourheritageSA

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Overbudget…Overtime….Underdeveloped.. Unstoppable

Dear Supporter/Concerned Community Member,

The State Government’s Planning and Design Code has staggered into its final phase. Its last sham ‘consultation’ period will conclude on 18th December, because the State Planning Commission (SPC) had instructed the Planning Minister Vickie Chapman that it ‘wants resolution of that process’ by Christmas.

For her part, the Minister anticipates Code implementation ‘early next year, at some stage’ (whatever that means) and she wants it to be ‘done and dusted by June 2021’.

The current truncated sop to community consultation has been predictably underwhelming. Nine planned ‘drop-in’ sessions have been cancelled for lack of interest and three regional planning sessions have been abandoned. These revelations came from the Planning Minister and her staff under questioning by Labor Shadow Minister Jayne Stinson at the parliamentary Budget Estimates Committee on 23rd November 2020.

For the first time, we also heard what we are paying for the privilege of having future planning for our built and natural environment distorted and turned on its head by the new system. The original budget for the Code was $25.8 million set by the then Minister John Rau in 2016. It is now $43.6 million, comprising $27.6 million for capital costs, and $16.0 million for operating expenses.

In order to meet this 100% budget blowout, the Planning Department, through successive Ministers, has plundered $25.5 million from the supposedly quarantined Planning and Development (Open Space) Fund. This Fund was established to enhance our environment by mitigating the damaging effects of the crowded development it is now paradoxically supporting in the Code.

This short changing of our community amenity is compounded by the de-funding of Councils through an annual levy of up to $50,000 to support the Code e-planning platform and by the centralised diversion of planning application fees.

The key role of the SPC in this sorry saga is characterised by an out-of-control, but cumbersome and inefficient bureaucracy which seems to have bypassed community aspirations and government scrutiny.

The inordinate influence of the SPC on planning policy and process is tainted by concerns about its structure and function. Three of its four members have links to the development industry.

Understandably, there is an inherent public perception of conflict of interest in a system where developers dictate and monitor planning policy with such widespread implications for the lives of all South Australians. This perception is validated by the 41 instances of declared conflicts of interest by SPC members in 64 meetings to June 2020.

The transparency and accountability of the SPC must also be questioned when its agenda items are analysed. In a total of 182 items, 90 or 50% were designated confidential, and for the current year, presumably when the Commission became more sensitive to public concerns, this figure rose to 63%. Indeed, in the last meeting on 12th November, six of the seven agenda items were confidential.

Whilst it is possible that the majority of the SPC business is commercially confidential, if this is the case, it raises questions about the emphasis on private development and commercial interests in the planning system, at the expense of the rights of the community at large.

The governance of the SPC and the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP), along with the future of the Planning and Design Code, and its impending impact on the electorate, are issues that the Labor Opposition must address if it wishes to establish a credible position in the lead up to the March 2022 Election.

The damaging effects of the implementation of a still flawed Code on heritage, trees, local planning and development and lived amenity across the State, but particularly in metropolitan Adelaide, will escalate in the electorate over the next eighteen months. Labor must now recognise and respond to this important issue.

I urge you to write to members of the Opposition and cross bench to ask them to stand up for the community and the integrity of the planning system and insist on a rethink of the Planning and Design Code.

Warren Jones AO

TIME FOR LABOR TO STAND UP FOR THE COMMUNITY

Please write to Labor and cross bench MPs and ask them to stand up for the community to stop the Planning and Design Code being forced on metropolitan Adelaide before it is ready and the public has fully understood what is at risk.

Download a list of State MP contacts

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment. GPO Box 2021 Adelaide, SA 5001

Phone: 0419 852 622

Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au

http://www.protectourheritage.org.au

Facebook: protectourheritageSA

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Planning Minister’s letter received

Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning and Local Government, Vickie Chapman MP, has written to FOCUS in response to correspondence sent to her on 1 November 2020, from the President of FOCUS, Philip Henschke. It relates to the Planning and Design code current being developed by the Marshall Government in South Australia.

This response letter dated 24 November 2020 can be downloaded,

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FOCUS President

You have received and hopefully read our President’s report around the time of our Nov 10 AGM. You would thereby know of Warren Jones’s decision to step down from his impressive leadership role. Unlike our US friends the FOCUS Presidential election was free of rancour and legal dispute. As sole nominee and eligible I was elected unopposed.

First, I briefly introduce myself before repeating elements of my tribute to Warren at the AGM (no thunder and lightning accompaniments).

I have lived in Unley since purchasing our Fisher St villa in 1973. Our three daughters could almost see the Unley Rd bus stop for their city secondary school travel. I also had a relatively painless commute to the Repatriation General and Flinders Medical Centre until retiring in 2010. I now additionally enjoy crisscrossing the Council area as a recreational and commuting cyclist.

My link with FOCUS began with our inaugural President and continuing committee member Ros Islip asking me to join the group when Unley was challenged by inappropriate high rise developments.

Unley residents within and beyond FOCUS know of Warren’s impressive advocacy in pressuring politicians on both sides of the divide over planning shortcomings in health services.

Warren continues to tackle Health ministers and bureaucrats in media, print and face to face to secure improved health services in our State hospital system, currently the Women’s and Children’s being the main issue.

Warren has not only led FOCUS in addressing shortcomings in the Planning and Design Code but applied his detailed knowledge of matters therein to being Convenor of a Statewide Protect our Heritage Alliance. FOCUS under Warren’s presidency has linked with a range of groups and individuals to educate citizens on the links between climate control and our living environment. We thank you Warren.

As Barry Jones says in his latest book “What’s to be done”. To effect change in these complex areas governments are too often found wanting. He calls on voters to engage, engage engage with our leaders. FOCUS provides one platform for your engagement

Regards

Philip Henschke
President FOCUS

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PRESIDENT’S REPORT

(Tuesday 10th November 2020)

This has been a most unusual year. But your Committee of Management has remained active and engaged.

A major interest has been the Government’s proposed new planning system, promulgated as the draft Planning and Design Code. Along with other community groups and key organisations FOCUS has engaged with the Protect our Heritage Alliance in a campaign to modify the harmful effects of the Code on heritage and our built and natural environment. To this end, we supported a Petition of 14,000 signatures calling on the Parliament to defer, review and repair the Code.

The Committee has participated in regular quarterly meetings with Hon David Pisoni MP and with Unley Mayor Michael Hewitson and CEO Peter Tsokas and Council officers. We have engaged with Council and Elected Members on issues such as the Planning and Design code, the Tree Strategy, the Village Green project, Unley Oval and the Julia Farr Centre Site.

The FOCUS Constitution has been revised and updated.

We have supported the Unley Bicycle Users Group, participated in Council workshops and monitored the activities of the Council Assessment Panel.
On behalf of our members, the Committee has protested the increase in crowded infill and the regular loss of private trees.

We have been particularly concerned about the ugly and inappropriate developments at Culross Ave and Fullarton Rd, Norman Tce and Third Ave, Everard Park, and the high rise at 246 Unley Rd.

A public highlight of our year was the lecture on Biodiversity presented to an overflowing audience by Chris Daniels, Director, Cleland Wild Life Park.

With the launch of our new FOCUS brochure we plan to embark on a membership drive. Now, more than ever, we need community support in maintaining and enhancing the amenity of the City of Unley.

I wish to thank my tireless Committee of Management and the many friends and supporters who have made my time as President a pleasant privilege.

Warren Jones AO
President

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BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE….

WE CALL FOR GENUINE CONSULTATION
on the Planning and Design Code

Dear Supporter and Concerned Member of the Community,

The convoluted and unsatisfactory process enveloping the Government’s proposed Planning and Design Code is entering its end game. After a prolonged period of sham ‘consultation’, endless complicated and confusing Reports and rolling delays, Phase 3 of the Code looks like being implemented in metropolitan Adelaide and regional cities the New Year, perhaps as early as March.

In the meantime the already ‘activated’ Phase 2 (rural) Code in regional South Australia has been unsatisfactory and will be subject to further review. It is not clear whether community feedback will be part of this process.

However, it has been announced that another, close to definitive, version of the Phase 3 Code will be released shortly for public consultation and feedback. This second and final chance consultation will be a vital test of the credibility of the State Planning Commission in finally meeting public demand for genuine and meaningful engagement on this important policy document.

Unfortunately there are indications that this final consultation may once again fail to meet the standards for public consultation in the Planning, Development an Infrastructure Act and the Community Engagement Charter, further disenfranchising the community from meaningful participation.

I also understand that this, supposedly ‘final’ version of the Code will still be incomplete, and feedback will only be entertained on components that have been modified in the last version, and not on the whole document.

This means that any of the many of the original mistakes, errors and unacceptable components that have survived into this iteration cannot be identified and corrected.

There are many reasons to doubt the genuineness and effectiveness of this forthcoming and possibly final opportunity for public review and feedback.

New Planning Minister Vickie Chapman has shown a willingness to listen to community feedback. Therefore I urge and invite you to download the attached Open Letter signed by 18 community organisations about the need for genuine public consultation on the Planning and Design Code and send to her via email to bragg@parliament.sa.gov.au and also to your local State MP.

Thank you for your support. This may be our last chance to influence the final version of the Code and shape the future of our urban environment, trees and heritage.
Yours Sincerely

Warren Jones AO

DEMAND GENUINE CONSULTATION ON THE CODE!

Write to your local MP and tell them that the community expects a genuine consultation on the final draft version of the Planning and Design Code before it is implemented in metropolitan areas.

Download a list of State MP contacts

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment. GPO Box 2021 Adelaide, SA 5001

Phone: 0419 852 622
Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au
www.protectourheritage.org.au
Facebook: protectourheritageSA

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The illusory promise of trees, greening, open space and car parking management in urban infill, and the fudged and false reassurance about the protection of Contributory Items.

Urban Infill Paradise?

There is no doubt that the spin from the State Planning Commission (SPC) and the Department of Planning is becoming more refined and, even, sophisticated.

It is a pity that more effort is not put into making the Code workable and acceptable rather than trying to justify and promote the ongoing mess it is creating.

The latest document ‘Raising the bar on Residential Infill in the Planning and Design Code’ and its accompanying letter from the SPC Chair view the latest proposals around urban infill through rose-tinted glasses.

The original basic criteria for trees, greening, open space, parking, street ‘appeal’ and water management have been embellished with the addition of illusory promises and un- enforceable pseudo-regulations.

There is liberal and disturbing use of the terms ‘deemed to satisfy’, ‘performance outcome’ and ‘performance assessed’ which are code for flexible interpretation of the ‘provisions’ and an invitation to owners and developers to do what they like.

Contributory Item Confusion

A key element of the Planning and Design Code is the failure to transition Contributory Items (CIs) to any sort of identifiable protected status.
CIs are typically part of a group of buildings of historical importance that contribute to the character of an area. The vast majority lie in Historic Conservation Zones or their proposed counterpart, Historic Area Overlays.

Councils have been encouraged to re-designate CIs as Local Heritage, to give them some degree of protection. This will happen for only a minority of Cis.

The remaining large majority will lose whatever specific protections currently exist for these places. This is not clear in the information promulgated by the SPC….to MPs, Councils and the community.

The vague and confusing Historic Area Statements proposed in the Code offer no reassurance of robust protection for CIs.

The, albeit weak, demolition controls protecting Heritage Items do not apply to CIs, but this is not readily apparent in the contrived and misleading verbiage we are fed by the Planning bureaucracy.

This is Planning Policy ‘On the Run’

We must remain suspicious and sceptical about the motivation and process of the SPC as it tries to patch up the mess it has created.

What is happening now is expedient policy making ‘on the run’. It is eight months since the unsuccessful ‘consultation’ process concluded. There has been no further public consultation on the Planning and Design Code since then.

Now we are seeing new, more fanciful and unhelpful reports and documents appearing, in what appears to be a new strategy of the SPC to debate its ill-formed policies in the public arena.

This circuitous process must be brought to an end. The failures, shortcomings and budgetary problems surrounding the Code and the associated e-planning systems must be exposed to the light of day.

What is needed is a strong political directive to defer, consult, correct and repair the damaged Code in order to find a way forward.

A key starting point will be the institution of a new and genuine consultation process which will establish the imperatives for the, eventual, creation of a workable and broadly acceptable Code.

Professor Warren Jones AO is the Convenor of the Protect our Heritage Alliance, a coalition of concerned organisations and individuals, working to protect our built and natural environment.

Phone: 0419 852 622

Email: convenor@protectourheritage.org.au

www.protectourheritage.org.au

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NOW IS THE TIME

The new Planning Minister Vickie Chapman has publicly stated that she is prepared to review some of the many problems with the Planning and Design Code, and to delay its implementation.

We now have a window of opportunity to capitalise on this delay and convince the Government that this flawed and unpopular attempt at planning reform is attracting increased community attention, and may threaten their re-election prospects.

I urge you, again, to write to your local MPs and to members of the Upper House (list of MPs)

In response to many requests, I also attach a draft Letter for this purpose which you may chose to use as it is, or to use it to inform your own words.

Letters to our politicians need not be long and they can be repetitious. The main thing is to communicate so that an extensive correspondence is generated and logged in their parliamentary and electoral offices.

With Best Regards
Warren Jones AO

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