Extracted from Hansard- House of Assembly 24 September 2020
I rise today to speak in relation to a local community issue in the Walkerville area between the INEA YMCA on Smith Street and the Town of Walkerville. It is important to state that there are two separate complex issues that Labor are purposefully conflating to cause division and confusion. On 31 August, the Mayor of Walkerville, Elizabeth Fricker, wrote to all residents:
It is important to note there are two separate public issues in relation to 39 Smith Street—the revocation of the Community Land Status and the current lease over the building at the site, which is held by the Inner North East Adelaide (INEA) YMCA. The current consultation is in regards to the revocation and is neither connected nor relevant to the lease arrangements over the site as Council has previously resolved not to renew or extend the existing tenancy agreement.
The mayor went on to say:
…INEA YMCA has been aware of Councils intentions for the site since circa 2013, and has been fully aware since 2014 (reiterated both in 2017, then 2019) that no further renewal or extension of the lease will be granted.
It is important to acknowledge that this is primarily a dispute between the council and the INEA. For many years, I have been advocating for the residents to ensure their interests are represented regarding this issue. I have also advocated both to the council and the INEA YMCA individually in my attempt to encourage an outcome acceptable to all parties and to facilitate negotiations between the two. I have discussed this issue with both the former and current Minister for Planning and Local Government.
The first attempt to revoke the land status classification was withdrawn by the council, as the statutory requirements from the 2016 process for consultation had to be rectified because discrepancies had been identified. A request for revocation of community land status has not been referred to the state government, as the matter is still under consultation. Revocation of community land is not rezoning the community use. In this case, it is a reclassification not a change of use. Once again, Labor is fearmongering. I refer to the correspondence I received from the Mayor of Walkerville on 21 September:
… since 2013, both past and present Councils have made clear their intention to improve and redevelop all Council-owned land (including the aging and deteriorating buildings) between Smith and Fuller streets (Entirety of the land) for the benefit of the community. In order to continue with this wish, Council needs to revoke the current Community Land Classification from the remaining land, which retains the said classification to enable flexibility for redevelopment opportunities and leasing purposes and to ultimately improve the entirety of the land and facilities on the site; thus increasing community access to, use of and engagement with the entirety of the land…
Council has resolved not to sell the land under any circumstances…
…I fear there is a significant amount of misinformation presently being circulated... [by Labor]… As you know, the latter is a commercial matter for Council (to which it has no intention of proceeding with) and the former is determined by both a procedural and merits based review by the Minister upon the completion of the consultation process. Council commenced consultation on 1 September…and the process will conclude 16 October…Council intends to consider the matter at its meeting in November…and will then determine to seek the Minister's consent. Therefore until such time a formal application is made to the Minister, the State Government has no basis to stop the process.
Most recently on 9 September, I wrote to the mayor, urging the council to do all they can to ensure a smooth transition and help the future arrangements for INEA YMCA. It is important to ensure that the services provided to local residents are maintained in the local area wherever possible, in particular health and fitness activities such as Strength for Life classes, which are well attended by residents. I also referenced an earlier email with the results of my sporting survey, which summarised local utilisation and preferences for the sporting and community precinct.
It is disappointing that Labor is once again politicising and polarising the community. Comments by the opposition that this land is going to be sold off, despite the council explicitly stating they will not sell off any land, is simply false and an example of Labor fearmongering. Hypocritically, the member for Croydon and Leader of the Opposition is not showing anywhere near the attention to his own electorate regarding numerous revocations being undertaken. The opposition should be ashamed of their actions.