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Your views: on heritage, uni bullying, Le Cornu site, transport, SCAP and Centrelink

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on built heritage being sacrificed to roads, campus workplace harassment, North Adelaide’s development soap opera, a low-emission transport plan for a city which can’t sort out bikeways, Adelaide’s all-powerful planning body, and trying to find a job.

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Commenting on the opinion piece: Coalition of community groups calls on Premier to prevent Urrbrae gatehouse demolition

I was so pleased that the community at large has penned a letter to the Premier about this matter.

That said, I was livid to read the bureaucratic response from the State Government’s spokesperson. Where is the Premier? Is he on holidays already? Why is he not responding to this matter that has so many people and organisations upset? Or does he always have to refer matters to a “spokesperson”?

Not good enough, Mr Marshall. You are losing voters every day by the bad decisions being made by government departments under the auspices of progress. Progress does not have to be at the expense of heritage conservation – it happens elsewhere in the world, but apparently not in Adelaide.

Our forefathers must be turning in their graves. – Paula Furlani

Commenting on the opinion piece: Barbarians at the gatehouse

How fortunate we are!  I was just speaking with a retired friend who after a morning in a beautiful garden, went across to the Gatehouse on the Waite campus, then up along the driveway lined with majestic sugar gums to Urrbrae House where she took in the view of the Arboretum. 

From there she went to Carrick HIll – the first time she has been back since it re-opened – and then finally on through the Mitcham Village on her way home. If time had been on her side, she said, she would have gone across to Brownhill Creek, even if only as far as the Kaurna Shelter Tree. So much beauty in a relatively small area.

We are truly blessed to have so much heritage – both built and natural on our doorstep. Volumes of scientific evidence show us that we need to keep it, selfishly, for our own good. Generosity of spirit sees us wanting to preserve it for future generations.

We’re custodians of this heritage. Being a custodian of heritage, or whatever else it might is never an easy task – it brings with it significant responsibilities and few, if any, rights. Our bureaucrats and governments seem to have lost sight of this. Events of the past week should, we all hope, be serving to restore clarity of vision. 

The threatened destruction of the Waite bequest and gatehouse serve as a salient reminder to us that democracy is not something you have, but something you do. Joanna Wells

The Waite Gate House has become a symbolic canary in the coal mine.  

We have a crisis looming, yet our Government is fixated on ignoring the warning signs. The proposed demolition of the Waite Gate House is a foolish decision based on the unnecessary widening of a corner, when we need to urgently address climate change.  

The current infrastructure focuses on building wider roads which will heat neighbourhoods and encourage more and larger vehicles, including the major freight transport vehicles, to pollute the atmosphere. It will also destroy more trees, decreasing the essential canopy, and demolish historic buildings as they just don’t matter. This is some form of madness. 

It would make more sense for our infrastructure to encourage ‘active transport’ where people can walk, cycle and use public transport. We need footpaths that cater for wheelchairs and pushers and more trees for shade. 

We need to listen to Sir David Attenborough: “Our well-being, our economies, everything depends on a healthy planet, and yet we continue to neglect it.”  – Margaret Brown

Commenting on the story: ‘Bullying and harassment are rife in my workplace’: Adelaide Uni staff raise red flags

These survey results under score why UniSA staff were against a merger with Uni of Adelaide. – Irene Doskatsch

Of course, these findings come as no surprise to many who have previously worked in the university sector. 

I worked in three different universities for 15 years, in teaching and management, and experienced what could best be described as “subtle bullying”, especially in the management area.  Terry Ryan

Commenting on the story: $250m retail, residential development planned for old Le Cornu site

The taxpayer donates $10 million and the Adelaide Council pushes to allow buildings almost doubling the current height restrictions. That is after purchasing the site for $16 million above the rated worth.

Then Verschoor actually says that it will be an architectural enhancement. And we won’t know the return to the Adelaide community, as returns are commercial-in-confidence.

I only hope that they’ve only given C & G a 20 year lease with open tender for the following period. – Christopher Millington

What a shadow this will cast over North Adelaide, in more ways than one. Whilst this may restore the commercial side of the area, many residents will not want to be overlooked by such a relatively huge development, so some will move in but it will destroy the relatively suburban atmosphere of North Adelaide and I feel many will want to move out.

Let’s hope that desperation for a solution does not allow height rules to be breached. What a lose-lose situation. – Peter Annear

I wonder how environmentally friendly this project will be? This could be a moment to showcase some leading technology this state and country produce. – Samuel Petts

The latest instalment in the North Adelaide Le Cornu site has finally been released. That it is over height is no surprise, with the site value progressively inflated by each development group, who hoped to be able to exceed the planning criteria of the day.

The only way to make a return on investment now is to greatly exceed the height limit in the development plan and the Council’s guiding principles for the site. So apart from the commercial imperative, what is the driver for this level of over development?

The design may be well conceived, but to say the proposal will have minimal impact on the neighbourhood is naïve. The podium alone will be higher than most surrounding buildings, and the towers, which appear to be set back from O’Connell St but not from residences to the east, will overshadow multiple properties and the public realm.  The 400 carparking spaces are also likely to increase traffic volumes.

And who are the unnamed architects responsible for the design, who should have been credited with authorship of the images.  The council and the developer have praised their work but, along with the journalist, have not recognised their moral rights.  – Nicolette Di Lernia

Commenting on the story: SA Govt promises to prioritise cycling and walking in ‘low emissions’ transport revamp

I await the funding announcement with bated breath, from the government who only weeks ago wanted to tax electric vehicles. – Cressida O’Hanlon.

And the new tax on emission-free electric vehicles… – David Tuff

Hopefully more than just slogans and good ideas.

One of first things in the right direction towards a more sustainable transport system would be to reverse the decision to slap on a new tax on EVs!

What sort of backward thinking is this decision really? We should encourage the uptake of electric cars and trucks and even manufacture them here, instead of hanging onto the old diesel and petrol fleet.

Is the petroleum lobby still so powerful that we have to go against the trend of the rest of the world? Surely not. Makes the rest of the statements about changes to our transport system sound absolutely hollow.

In hope for a greener planet. – Klaus Frohlich

There are some great plans in this but I feel there is at least one thing missing. I admit I have just read the article, not the full plan. The minister talks about energy efficiency in government buildings, but what about improvements in this area in public housing?

New builds are poor enough with the 6 star energy rating system on its own being inadequate – among other things, nothing is mentioned about landscaping – but the existing stock is woeful.

Victoria has a plan to help with improving the efficiency and comfort of existing dwellings, so why not do similar here. Complementing this would be plans to significantly add to the greenscape of the city – lowering demand for cooling in particular. – John Boland

I’d be happy if they just fixed the air-conditioning on the buses! – Audrey Kumin

Commenting on the story: Gas supplier takes SA planning authority to court over ‘irrational’ housing estate approval

Category 1 assignment removing the right of third parties to appeal is  the sort of development rules you would find in a Communist country.

Obviously, what is presented to SCAP in such Category 1 cases should be challengeable, if there are oversights which could impact the eventual purchasers or services with an existing right of way. SCAP have too much power. – Geoff Wood

Commenting on the story: Crunching the numbers on who’s claiming Centrelink unemployment benefits

I am in my late fifties, a jobseeker who is finding it incredibly difficult to find employment.

I think you will find in the stats, if you dig a bit deeper, the age group currently on JobSeeker will show you an alarmingly high percentage of fifty and sixty-year-olds. There is no work for us. Businesses are not interested in our age group. No matter what your qualifications are.

I have found it interesting when applying for work that most jobs are seeking young people. SEEK will tell you when placing an ad; if you want to attract the younger workforce you need to use the words ‘energetic’ or ‘enthusiastic’ Every second ad on SEEK uses those words.

Ha! What a slap in the face. I have worked with young people and found that they are mostly not ‘energetic’ or ‘enthusiastic’.

Anyway, my point is, since most businesses are looking for young people, can I suggest Centrelink cut their benefits first. They will get the jobs. Businesses are looking for them. – Teresa Jooste

Survival on JobSeeker is the lowest form of income available. It is not a lifestyle choice for slackers as the government portrays, where the public has been mislead almost into a hate situation.

If Australia is to be the lucky country, look after the unemployed and instead of being made to feel unworthy, they will become worthy because the large majority of Aussies are great people. Also very capable if treated with understanding and empathy for their situation of hardship, not treated like mentally-inept children straining Australia’s economy. 

Thank you for taking an interest finally in the future of maybe a better understanding of the unemployed, and distribution of adequate funding available so incredibly long overdue.

Everyone matters. – Timothy Gleeson

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