Mr Michael Picton
April 2014 Mitcham Community News
Brown Hill Creek Resolution
During my time on Council I have twice seen the Council public gallery literally ‘packed to the rafters’ with people to witness a historic occasion for Mitcham. The first time was when the decision to build bike trails across the Mitcham hills was carried by Council. The second time was on Tuesday 25 February when Mitcham Council unanimously passed a simple motion that said: ‘That the Brown Hill Keswick Creek Steering Committee places priority on investigating a creek upgrade solution for the upper reaches of Brown Hill Keswick Creek’ and ‘that specific community engagement occurs with affected property owners to identify any issues associated with this solution’.
This simple, yet historic motion has now been moved or endorsed by the four other Councils involved in the Brown Hill and Keswick Creek Stormwater project – Unley, Burnside, West Torrens andAdelaide. The Councils are now united on a way forward to mitigate flooding that could be caused from the Keswick, Parklands, Glen Osmond and Brown Hill Creeks.
This motion gives the Council’s project team the authority to investigate and talk to residents on the ways in which the Brown Hill Creek channel can be upgraded, cleaned out and have its banks laid back or widened to protect properties along the creek from flooding. Some planning work has already been completed, based on new up to date data from the Bureau of Meteorology. Further complex flood mapping needs to be finalised to definitively show if a no dam, no culvert solution can work in the Mitcham and Unley areas. This is a huge step forward resulting from the respective Councils listening to the community and taking notice of the 10,087 signature petition that was presented to the Mitcham Council on the 25 February by the No Dam in Brown Hill Creek Community Action Group.
The five Councils now await news from the Federal and State Governments on their intentions to fund a third share each of this project, estimated to cost in the vicinity of $150 million.
2014 History Festival
Mitcham’s Local History Adviser, Therese Willis and the dedicated team at the Heritage Research Centre at 103bPrinces Road, Mitcham have again lined up an interesting range of events for this year’s state wide History Festival.
There are activities and events that everyone will find of interest. Example of these activities include ‘Is that a Queen Anne?’ where Therese will give an insight into the different house styles found in the area and the ever popular Mitcham Cemetery Tour ‘In Loving Memory’. This tour will take you on a walk through the historicMitchamCemeteryand give you an insight into the lives (and deaths) of some of Mitcham’s earliest pioneers.
Most Elected Members have been attending a series of important workshops held over the last few months to discuss Council’s Draft 2015/2016 Budget and the Draft Long Term Financial Plan. While there can’t been any decisions made at these meetings, the discussions have enabled staff to prepare a report that has considered future rate increases, new recurrent services and a draft list of operating projects for the next financial year.
If you are interested in becoming an Elected Member of Council, or know someone who is interested, now is a good time to start thinking about joining Council. It is a wonderful experience where you will have the opportunity to become involved in community life right across the city.
The Local Government Associations ‘Council Members’ Guide’ (can be found at www.lga.sa.gov.au) describes being a Councillor as a ‘challenging and rewarding role, but one that requires time, commitment, the capacity to see the “bigger picture” and, importantly, an ability to represent the local community’.
An Elected Member’s most important role is to attend Council Meetings. At Mitcham we hold these meetings fortnightly on a Tuesday night. Briefings are generally held on the other Tuesday nights of the month with other Committee meetings occurring on other nights of the week.
The expectation for Elected Members is for them to spend at least every Tuesday night at Council, where we debate and consider issues with other elected members, Council staff and interested residents. Decisions made at the Council meetings give direction to the Chief Executive Officer who then works with staff to act upon these.
Being an Elected Member can be a time consuming role, however it is one that brings immense personal rewards for those who are elected for the position.