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Your views: on planning, councils and old punks

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on SA’s e-planning reform, council funding and spending, and COVID-19 claiming The Stranglers’ keyboardist.

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Commenting on the story: REVEALED: Planning reform tsar sacker staffer over ‘work from home’ standoff

It is interesting to see how Planning SA is tackling the issue of implementation of the e-Planning system and how the shortcomings that have already been pointed out to the department are starting to affect performance and delivery.

All this together with past resignations by senior officers in the department related to the e-Planning system.

It makes no sense for the Minister to push Planning SA employees to have a flawed electronic lodgement system for development applications become operative on obsolete timelines, given the circumstances brought on by Covid-19, and inherent operational flaws that will most definitely create problems and delays in the planning process if the inherent issues are not resolved.

 Planning SA’s claim that Ray Partridge  “continues to lead the delivery of the e-Planning system, which is on track with final technical testing well underway in partnership with councils and industry partners” is a somewhat misleading and inaccurate assessment.

Many council officers and private certifier colleagues with which I have had numerous discussions on the e-lodgement system appear to be frustrated by the lack of consultation and informative training.

The initial introduction of the system to a select few “industry partners” in late January this year revealed how it was flawed and required more work to allow the implementation of phase 2 and phase 3 in the schedule timeframes.

It was logical and sensible to delay the next phases of the system to allow refinement of the system and processes and to consult and train the users of the system.

To date private certifiers, architects and many builders as well as council development officers are still waiting to be further consulted and to be trained in the system as the department had expressed they would do before the implementation of phase 2.

 It is clearly apparent that the only illusion that all is going well and to plan is with the executive of DPTI Planning and Land Use Services and Planning Minister Stephan Knoll. – Sozo Nikias

Commenting on the story: Cash-strapped council puts city projects on ice due to virus impact

Surely the Adelaide City Council administration were not seriously floating a proposal that the elected members vote to cut $95,000 from council’s current year budget of $200,000 in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.

It is very worrying to me that anyone employed by our capital city council would see fit to even raise the idea.

I would rather have expected to see discussion about vastly increased emergency funding to cater for the vastly increased numbers of homeless who have and will emerge as a result of the current economic downturn and through family breakups.

I would be flabbergasted if any council member were to vote in favour of such an unconscionable proposal. The real issue for the council administration and members to consider, and urgently discuss with the State Government, is what is going to happen to the 500 homeless people who have been housed in motels as temporary accommodation in a stated attempt “…to stem the flow of COVID-19.”

This is apparently costing the State $1.5m per month. In my view, $18m is peanuts for a civilised state like South Australia to pay to give the venerable and underprivileged a sufficient level of comfort, food and safety.

It is very interesting to learn that our homeless can be housed at the “flick of a switch” when the body politic decides so. Reflecting on this, it makes it a tad disgraceful that it has taken a crisis like this to take such an obvious step.

As a civilised society, we cannot just put these people back out of the street because the COVID-19 risk subsides. The state must continue to rent motel accommodation to cater for these people into the future.

No doubt that would assist a proportion to get jobs and back on their feet over time. – Mark Hamilton

Is it any wonder councils are cash strapped when there are so many of them?

Each has a CEO, departmental staff, elected members, consultants, infrastructure, plant and equipment – and a small ratepayer population to pay for it all.

People say they like the personal nature of multiple small councils, but are they happy with the ever-increasing pressure to fund them? Alan Strickland

Commenting on the story: Virus claims The Stranglers’ keyboardist

Saddened to hear of the passing of Dave Greenfield.

To incorporate keyboard sounds into punk music is no mean feat. The Stranglers were, are, and will always be one of my favourite bands of all time.

Had a great night on 22 April 2016 at Thebby Theatre as the  crew of lads I hung out with from the northern suburbs enjoyed one of their best live performances ever (minus High Cornwell).

Old punks never die – they just play in a different venue. Vale! – Phil Harrison

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