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Bange, Jane

Mrs Jane Bange

Position Elected Member for The Park Ward
Ward The Park Ward
Suburbs The Park Ward encompasses the suburbs of Glenalta, Hawthorndene, part of Belair, part of Coromandel Valley, part of Upper Sturt and part of Crafers West
Address PO Box 21
Mitcham Shopping Centre
20 Gannet Avenue
Contact Details Mobile: 0478 076 400
Home: 08 8278 8352
Fax: 08 8372 8101
Term Dates From 16/09/2016

This time last year I was still door knocking, with the hope of getting onto Council. Approaching my first year as your Elected Member, I love my role and, through it, feel more connected with my community. 

There have been a lot of positive things happening on Council, such as planning for the Mitcham Memorial Library expansion and upgrade, adoption of a Public Art Policy, increased Community Grants Funding, an Award for our Water Sensitive Urban Design project, and finalisation of our Annual Business Plan with a rate increase kept under 3% and a healthier budget position overall. 

This comes against the background of a hotly contested State seat in the hills, with both major parties pledging to upgrade the Blackwood Roundabout, works commenced on improving Springbank Road, and now the announcement of a fix for the notorious dogleg at the Daws/Springbank Intersection. But, for me personally, the most exciting news concerns the discussions Councillors and staff have had in regard to improving the Blackwood Town Centre. 

Instead of calling for yet another study - and we've now had thirty six over the years so I'm told - Council planners, together with a real estate specialist, have been speaking with Blackwood shop owners and are currently involved in negotiations which, if successful, will provide much needed investment for Blackwood's commercial district. Our overall aim is to improve pedestrian access and parking in our town centre and this should have a favourable impact for businesses and their customers. Action rather than yet another report. 

What has been striking in these discussions about the future of the Blackwood Town Centre is that Elected Members have effectively sidelined the hills/plains divide and come together in a spirit of co-operation and goodwill to find practical solutions. Our town centre needs investment and revitalisation and, if it's not coming from individual shop owners, then I believe Council definitely has a leadership role to play. 

I look to Prospect Council and the initiatives it took to increase commercial investment in its main street. What a transformation from a few years back, with the latest investor being the Palace Cinemas Complex. It’s my view that there are times when councils definitely have a role to play in kickstarting local commercial development in their towns, through good planning and by offering incentives to shop owners who maintain and improve the public facades of their properties. If we have a positive belief and vision for our area, we need to put our money where our mouth is. Yes, this does involve some risk but the alternative is to let our town centre continue to stagnate. 

Of course, the jewel in the crown for Blackwood will be a new Library complex and this is definitely our longer term goal. But the building of the upgraded roundabout and the revitalisation of the Blackwood will keep our focus for a while yet before we can move onto this next stage.

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City of Mitcham -ABN 92 180 069 793
131 Belair Road, Torrens Park SA 5062
T: +61 8 8372 8888 | F: +61 8 83728101
Last date modified: 2017-11-25T10:36:30
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