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Your views: on park lands and Centrelink

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on use and development of Adelaide’s park lands, and Centrelink’s use of a now-illegal debt-recovery scheme.

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Commenting on the story: Who will stop Adelaide’s incremental march towards sameness?

As one urban planner to another, I take issue with the general theme of Stephanie’s story that our parklands must be protected from pretty well any kind of development.

I appreciate how fortunate we are that our capital city is encircled by a greenbelt of trees, grass and general ‘openness’ but the suggestion that all development in the parklands must be opposed flies in the face of common sense and, dare I say it, good planning.

The new Royal Adelaide Hospital and Adelaide High School are but two examples of new development in the parklands which satisfy a need for centrally located facilities.

Furthermore they also activate the parklands which surely delivers any number of positive social spinoffs.

The same could be said for numerous older developments such as the Zoo, Government House and Parliament House.

I’m not a fan of motorsport but I defend the right to host this major event in the parklands too. Yes it can be an inconvenience, but it cannot be denied that this event caters to huge numbers of local and interstate visitors.  

I am not advocating for an open slather approach, but rather one which takes into consideration the social, environmental and economic impact of these developments.

Colonel Light’s plan for the parklands was one of great foresight, but I’m sure even he would be turning in his grave at Stephanie’s suggestion that nothing at all should happen here except being used as “a quiet spot to read or take a lunchtime nap”. Graham Burns

Many of Adelaide’s and surrounding residents have varied views on uses for our parklands.

I wonder if all the non commercial development lobby have ever bothered to go and look at some of our less-than-beautiful parklands.

Go down and have a look at the back of Park 23, 24, 25. For those that don’t know, these parklands border the western boundary of Adelaide; once they may have contained native vegetation and fauna, now they are infested with weeds or dry ground, some stagnant creeks, in fact certain areas of Park 23 as recently as the late 1990’s were used as a council tip.

While I am not for or against any development, I do believe Adelaide needs to take a good look at its parklands and decide what should happen with such a wonderful resource.

Are they to remain as open space? If so, at least get them looking like they should with native vegetation plantings and return them to natural woodlands as they were in Colonel Light’s time, and then maintain them as such.

If not, allow carefully planned commercial development that will enhance the parklands – some examples like Adelaide Oval, North Adelaide Golf Links – and remove the blights we now have in various little-used areas of the parklands. – Steve Mitchell

Stephanie Johnston states: ‘Yet a recent study recorded nine million visits per annum to the park lands, the equivalent of each person in South Australia visiting five times a year.’

This statement is a key factor in supporting the article’s title, but its source isn’t revealed.

An ACC site, Adelaide Parklands Usage, states 10m a year, but again no source.

Who is visiting, where are they going and why? This lack of information sources makes life difficult for those of us who try to justify more protection of the parklands. – Alan Strickland

Many who live interstate, including some Premiers, might regard Adelaide as a backwater based on their terms but many of us do like living here.

Part of that satisfaction, in my opinion, is that we haven’t allowed the parklands to be compromised by financial imperatives or by immature thinking, those who think we should be making aesthetic or cultural changes based on how we compare ourselves to others.

By incrementally impinging on this unique asset we diminish ourselves.

I’d rather be known as living in a backwater than live with such base intrusions into our beautiful heritage, for the parklands are not only a beautiful place but a beautiful idea. – Scott Murison

Commenting on the story:  Govt “idiots” over illegal Centrelink robo-debt: Labor

I believe a better system is required.

I have documented reported earnings in my diary and submitted payslips/bank statements to show income received.

However, I am now appealing Centrelink’s decision that I am still required to pay back a debt as I have a capacity to do so.

I live solely on DSP. There was no explanation by the panel as to how they believe overpayment was made, however they are putting the onus on me to pay back a debt I honestly believe I do not have. – Cate Cook

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