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It's Time

Tags: Tony Piccolo MP / Gawler / Light Electorate / Shadow Ministry

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  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Mar 13, 2019
It's Time

 

It’s time the Gawler Council started to speak and engage with local residents and ratepayers about issues that are important to them and their communities, says the Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo.

 

Mr Piccolo’s stand comes after the release of documents that show the Minister for Planning, Hon Stephan Knoll MP, has rejected Gawler Council’s push for a secret Development Plan Amendment for Gawler’s Southern Rural Areas because the Council had failed to consult properly with the affected communities.

 

Mr Piccolo said the decision by the Minister represented a humiliating defeat for the Gawler Council, which had sought to keep the process and proposal a secret until it was enacted.

 

“Residents and ratepayers have tried very hard for over two years to engage with the Council to find common ground and reach a policy consensus regarding the future character of the rural areas of Hillier, Kudla and Evanston South,” Mr Piccolo said.

 

Mr Piccolo congratulated the new Council on making the right decision to release the relevant documents, and in particular, the Jensen Number No. 2 report which can act as a starting point for negotiations over this troubled policy area.

 

“While I strongly commend and congratulate the new Council for righting a wrong, it is now incumbent upon them to seize this historic opportunity and start immediate, genuine discussions with residents to find a fair and responsible outcome to this policy impasse,” Mr Piccolo said.

 

“If the Council now decide to pick up their bat and ball and walk off the field because they have been bowled a bouncer by the Minister, it would not only represent another policy failure but also a huge slap in the face to local residents and ratepayers.

 

“I remain hopeful that this new Council will dump the baggage of the past and enter into meaningful dialogue with residents and ratepayers.”

 

Mr Piccolo adds that he has met with representatives of the affected residents and ratepayers who are keen to meet with Council and find a way forward.

 

“They hold no ill feeling towards Council but do expect them to come to the negotiating table,” Mr Piccolo said.

 

“Residents have spent thousands of dollars of their own money in attempting to engage the Council, but without success.

 

“The decision on this matter will be a gauge of whether this new Council is willing and able to deal with residents in a new and dignified manner, moving from secrecy and paternalism, to openness and transparency.

 

“Residents are ready to be equal partners at the negotiating table, and the Council should do the same.”

 

 

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