LATEST POSTS - gawler

Check back often see Tony's latest updates about your community. Articles featured on Tony's Blog will also be included in our regular paper newsletter, Enlightened.

OPINION: PUBLIC TRANSPORT – PEOPLE’S NEEDS FIRST

The bus services that the community and I fought so hard for in 2010 are being severely slashed in an appalling act of vandalism by the Marshall Liberal Government that is determined to privatise public transport services at any cost.

This will mean more cars on the road and more traffic and car parking chaos at busy railway stations, shopping centres and schools.

The public is also in the dark about which bus stops will be axed. There are over 500 bus stops to be axed across the network and many of these will be in the Light Electorate.

For those living in Willaston, Hewett and Gawler East you will see your 491 and 492 bus services axed.

If you live in Munno Para there will be less services for a new $260m B-12 school at Angle Vale, where public consultation on public transport seems non-existent from the Education Department, which will create total traffic chaos for school drop-offs and pick-ups.

This cut will impact families, particularly those who only run one car or no car at all, increasing their cost of living and putting more pressure on household budgets already stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These cuts go to the heart of the relationship between government and the community and show the different ways in which SA Labor and the Marshall Liberal Government prioritise community services.

The language used by the Minister for Transport in justifying these cuts is that of corporate management, not the language one would use to describe an essential community service.

The minister refers to increased efficiency, to provide lower cost services, but that is only achieved by drastically reducing these services.

So, it is efficiency versus effectiveness. I support effectiveness, because it considers need and not only cost.

Small businesses in the Light electorate will be affected by the bus cuts, as people will not be able to travel throughout the area to access these goods and services.

It is also clear that cuts do not address the needs of those living in our community with a disability. The minister says, 'Well, what's a few extra hundred metres if you have to walk to the bus stop?'

If you have a disability, are elderly or infirm, the 200 or 300 metres more to walk to a bus stop means the difference between accessing a public bus service and not.

That is the difference.

The minister then spoke about customers. Reducing the value of citizenship to simply paying customers. In other words, customers pay and you only deliver to those select people.

All citizens must be treated with dignity.

I believe that the services should be there for all people, according to need.

It is not about being treated as a customer. We need to look after the most vulnerable people in our community. Those who have paid taxes for fifty years and are now retired. What these cuts do, is undermine the basic needs of the people in our community.

We must put people’s basic needs first.

 

CONTINUE READING
Standard

PREMIER SHUTS LOCAL HOMELESS OUT IN THE COLD

Tags: Gawler / Light Electorate

  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Jun 16, 2020
PREMIER SHUTS LOCAL HOMELESS OUT IN THE COLD

Local MP Tony Piccolo with local Salvation Army Major, Darren Cox, from one of the local Churches who are trying to address the rough sleeper problem in Gawler and surrounding areas. They are near the river near Clonlea Park where some homeless people try to find a place to sleep.  

CONTINUE READING
Standard
PASSENGERS VENT THEIR ANGER ABOUT THE “DISEASE EXPRESS”

Photo: Seven News  

CONTINUE READING
Standard

Tulloch Road Chaos Continues

Tags: Gawler / Local Infrastructure / Roads / Safety

  • By Light Electoral Office
  • May 07, 2020
Tulloch Road Chaos Continues

  

CONTINUE READING
Standard

The Importance of Local Businesses

Tags: Gawler / Light Electorate

  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Apr 09, 2020
The Importance of Local Businesses

 In making this contribution to this bill, I indicate my broad general support for this bill, but I would like to talk about what I think are some of the key issues, and these are issues that relate to my portfolios of urban development and planning and also local government, but also how they relate to my local community because this bill will have an impact on all of those areas. The key themes that have come through in my portfolio since I have become shadow minister for urban development and planning and also local government have been issues around transparency, accountability and social licence or social contract. These are key issues that actually need to be considered in light of this bill, which gives wide-ranging powers to a number of individuals.

We delegate to governments, whether they be local, state or federal governments, a whole range of powers for them to act on our behalf, and it is quite right to do so. But, in return, the community expects transparency, accountability and that decisions meet the test of social licence, and that what we do in this place will only work if the community believes that it is fair and reasonable and it meets requirements of the social licence; in other words, that we actually pass laws which are fair, reasonable and necessary.

I also believe that transparency and accountability are shared responsibilities in our community and in our democracy. As legislators, we have the primary responsibility to ensure that our laws are fair, reasonable and necessary. The media has an important role to play in protecting our democracy by holding governments at all levels accountable for the decisions they make and that decisions are transparent and have the given social licence from the community.

For this and many other reasons I was deeply saddened when I heard last week that my local newspaper, The Bunyip, closed its doors after publishing for 157 years. It was devastating to my community and I felt it immensely. It was published through wars and depression, but recent financial challenges and COVID-19 made the newspaper unsustainable in the short term. I do trust, though, that The Bunyip will return and return quickly.

We need more media, not less. We need local media, not less. Local papers inform, educate and connect. Their role is important every day and more so when we are living through a crisis. We need The Bunyip and other local newspapers to publish again as they provide an important oversight of democracy at the local level. We need The Bunyip to ensure that governments at all levels make transparent decisions and are accountable for them.

Local papers reflect the views and values of local communities, and ensure that government decisions and laws have social licence. In my portfolio areas, The Bunyip has done an excellent job to report and generate discussion on important local government urban development and planning issues, as have a number of other local papers throughout the state. The role for Gawler's local paper cannot be shared or delegated to other media. Unfortunately there are some in our community who have not lamented the close of The Bunyip, and that is sad. You cannot expect other media to pick up where The Bunyip has left off. It is not the same.

Every local community, and particularly those in rural communities, understand that each community has its own culture and values that cannot be conveyed correctly or appropriately in a true sense from other papers. If you believe in local democracy, you will support your local media who knows and understands your local community. All local papers do a good job in reflecting their local community, and I say local community, not adjacent communities. As I said, each community has its own culture and their local papers best reflect that.

There may be those local decision-makers, whether they are at the local, state or federal level, who do not like the scrutiny they receive from their local media, and that is understandable. However, the critical issue is, who will hold future decision-makers accountable if there is no local media? That is why all levels of government need to stand by, and stand up for, their local media. Their communities quite rightly expect them to do so. In times of crisis, local media help local people to remain connected and informed.

This is central to our democracy. I would like to return to the sadness and shock I felt when I heard that The Bunyip was closing. I am hopeful that local, state and federal decision-makers will stand up and support our local media in their hour of need so they will be there in our hour of need.

I think the issues raised by The Bunyip in their last, and hopefully not their final, edition raised key issues that I would like to quickly touch upon. I will read some passages from the paper:

Regional newspapers through Country Press SA and also our national association Country Press Australia, have been lobbying governments—

all governments—

for many years to support our industry. This has fallen on deaf ears as governments continue to shift their ad spend to online platforms.

It goes on to say:

We are the medium relied upon to generate public discussion and debate to ensure decision makers are accountable. We are the medium expected to publish the government's media releases of their good deeds, stories of expenditure on vast public works projects and grant funding, yet we receive less and less of the government/s' spend each year.

It then goes on to say:

Some of our mastheads—

this is the group of local media—

are more than 150 years old and our communities depend on us as the only local voice that holds government and business to account and acts as a voice to the community.

Democracy as we know it today will be changed forever, unless something is done now.

I could not have said it better myself. With the few seconds I have left, I would like to end where I started this contribution: accountability, transparency and social licence underpin our democracy and we need our local media for that.

Debate adjourned on motion of Mr Pederick.


 

CONTINUE READING
Standard
GAWLER & DISTRICT COLLEGE SET FOR $10 MILLION UPGRADE

Looking forward to the $10 million upgrade are (from left) reception students Alyssa Taylor and Taite Turner, Tony Piccolo MP, College Principal, Angie Michaels and Year 7 students Jack Perry and Skye Bradley.  

CONTINUE READING
Standard

Tony Reaches his Century Run

Tags: Gawler / Building Communities / Volunteers

  • By Light Electoral Office
  • Feb 18, 2020
Tony Reaches his Century Run

  

CONTINUE READING
Standard
Arts Festival Rising From The Plains

Members of the Steering Committee (from left) Gawler Community Gallery (Judy Gillet-Ferguson), Lea Rebane (Admin support); Youth Representative (Charlotte Stomaci), Gawler Business Development Group (Raff Stomaci), Youth Representative (Luke Halford), Tony Piccolo MP, Textiles Group (Sue Prothero, Inclusion (Tara Tauba)  

CONTINUE READING
Standard

Facebook

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter

Recent Post

  1. UNCERTAINITY BIGGEST BARRIER TO COVID-19 RECOVERY Light Electoral Office 30-Jun-2020
  2. BUS-TED !!!!! Light Electoral Office 29-Jun-2020
  3. OPINION: PUBLIC TRANSPORT – PEOPLE’S NEEDS FIRST Light Electoral Office 22-Jun-2020
  4. TRAFFIC TO MORROW NEVER DIES Light Electoral Office 16-Jun-2020
  5. PREMIER SHUTS LOCAL HOMELESS OUT IN THE COLD Light Electoral Office 16-Jun-2020