Response from Ian Tooley
- Following the example of other similar councils across Australia, regarding action on climate change, what climate change mitigation and/or adaptation actions do you see as important for Gawler Council over the next 4 years? (For example https://www.resilientsouth.com)
Whilst the need for climate change adaptation is inevitable, Gawler Council must be a leader in actions for mitigation. The latest IPCC report outlines the devastation of 1.5C of warming and that 2C of warming MUST be avoided! Gawler Council must not only reduce its carbon footprint but it must lead our Gawler community on a journey towards carbon neutral! Reducing energy consumption; sourcing energy supply from renewables; divesting from fossil fuels and fossil fuel linked financing; converting to electric fleet vehicles; running community education programs; facilitating the uptake of solar PV and water conservation for residents and business are just some ways that council can lead in this space.
- Lots of residential development is happening in Gawler at the moment. Some concerns have been raised regarding subsequent financial and environmental impacts to the community and council, please describe your approach or concerns about the following two aspects: a.Ensuring, where possible, development incorporates sustainable design principles at design stage. b. Ensuring that ongoing financial and energy inputs, to council (e.g. in maintenance of open space areas after hand-back to council) are considered at design stage.
2 (a) It’s one thing to have energy efficient and sustainability design policy and principles but it is another thing to ensure that builders and developers are compliant – council must do both! Council MUST insist on energy, water and resource efficiencies at the design and planning stage, AND check and ensure that there is compliance at the construction phase! I have successfully got council to sign up for the SA Govt funding source for the energy and heritage upgrades of our historic buildings!2 (b) I was successful in having Gawler Council commit to fund and install a virtual power plant on its Administration Center. This will pay for itself in 3 years. This is both environmentally and financially prudent, puts downward pressure on rates and models good practice for our community.I have been, and remain, a fierce advocate for council and developers to agree on sustainable open space design and amenity at the design phase and remain opposed to downgrading open space that has already been approved, developed and marketed – this is totally unfair to the people who have purchased because of what was agreed to and marketed!
- The future of sustainable food production and other rural uses in Gawler’s Rural Zone has been an issue for Gawler Council over recent years. Proposals include changing the Rural Zone to focus on more residential development. What do you see as the future for Gawler’s Rural Zone?
I totally support the overwhelming desire of the vast majority of those living in the Rural Zone to have their case considered! The consistent message(s) in the hundreds of submissions from the residents and land owners in the Rural Zone are:--commercial food production is not possible nor viable on their relatively small land holdings.-there is no reliable nor affordable water supply to support commercial food production.-the concept of a Green Belt or Buffer Zone is ‘mythical’ as no one, not Government, Council nor individual, has purchased or committed land for such a purpose.-residents and land owners in the Rural Zone do not want dense urban sprawl, they want the opportunity to have consistent land division applied down to no smaller than around a half to one acre minimum. They want to see a low density green Rural Living zone established, similar to Hamilton Estate and Cockshell Estate at Gawler’s Eastern entrance.
- Gawler has been a car reliant town, how would you encourage the adoption of sustainable transport options to help address Gawler’s traffic and car parking problems? (Eg. Footpaths suitable for bike trailers and prams, shade trees along footpaths, bicycle parking in the shopping precinct, water drinking fountains.)
I’m an enthusiastic electric bike rider and strongly support the expansion of our walking and cycle trails. Whilst we have made progress in Gawler, most of our ‘dedicated’ cycle lanes are non-compliant by international standards and must be improved! Improved cycle infrastructure will provide the safety and security that encourages more to take up the cycle option! I am also strongly in favor of public transport and with the electrification of our rail line, I support investment in developing and expanding Park and Ride facilities and infrastructure. I support Walker Place becoming a green public square and community space. Electric vehicles are inevitable and Gawler could become an early adopter and advocate – starting with the Gawler Council fleet and buses!
- Tell us about your ownpersonal initiatives to make your lifestyle sustainable.
In 2014 I campaigned on a strong environmental platform and I have been true to that over the past 4 years. I have successfully influenced many decisions at council and successfully promoted many environmentally sustainable initiatives and policy developments.I am a trained Climate Change leader, presenter, activist and lobbyist with Al Gores The Climate Reality Project. My home and garden are used by Open Gardens SA as an example of energy and water efficiency through design, water harvesting, solar PV production and organic food production.