Local government councils across Eyre Peninsula are to be congratulated on their successful grant applications in the recent allocation of funds in the Local Government Infrastructure Partnership Program.
Port Lincoln citizens, however, are concerned that their views are not being listened to, let alone heard.
In a recent survey (Survey Monkey), respondents could register from strongly agree through to strongly disagree on a variety of issues.
A problem with this particular survey is that the statements were loaded. For example, Q7 wasn't actually a question, despite the question mark at the end: Q7 I like the all ages (sic.) accessible play space (sic.) designs for the Foreshore Redevelopment project?
A more honest approach to seeking responses to the above would be: It would be good to have more play spaces on the foreshore.
The manner in which that particular part of the survey was constructed thus raises doubts about its validity and reliability.
Percentages for Strongly Agree and Agree were reported to be around 51 per cent and Strongly Disagree and Disagree around 29 per cent, the remainder being neutral.
Free responses were also invited ('Let us know what you like and don't like'). Considering those for Q7, many included more than one suggestion resulting in almost 300 responses.
Some were not related to the foreshore (one per cent). The remainder present a totally different picture from the above percentages. Statements reflecting 'dislike' (72 per cent) far exceeded statements 'liking' the proposal (28 per cent) and responses could be categorised as follows.
Statements reflecting 'like' (percentages rounded): Support the proposal eight per cent, Support some elements (e.g. youth activities) 13 per cent, Adjacent expansion of existing playground six per cent,
Statements reflecting 'dislike' (percentages rounded): Keep the grassed area of the foreshore as is 30 per cent, Do not remove the existing playground 15 per cent, Concerned about parking eight per cent, No merit in existing plan seven per cent, Concerned about safety, security and accessibility six per cent, Higher priority: repair jetty, walkways and seawall three per cent.
Independent submissions were also sought by Council. These (32 pages) were submitted, uncollated, at the Council meeting, March 15, 2021.
When the 'foreshore redevelopment proposal' submissions were collated, however, the majority again did not support the proposals. While 43 people contributed to the foreshore proposal, many raised more than one issue or suggestion.
The total comments thus exceeded 130 with 24 per cent approving and 76 per cent objecting to the proposals, including listing higher priorities.
Supporting the redevelopment proposals (percentages rounded): Additional activity spaces five per cent, More vibrant CBD four per cent, Boardwalk extension two per cent, Parking improvements two per cent, Other 10 per cent.
Objections to the redevelopment proposal (rounded): Leave foreshore as is incl. no viewing platform 17 per cent, Retain existing playground 13 per cent, Loss of parking 10 per cent, Repair jetty nine per cent, Improve paths and access to facilities five per cent, No pop-up restaurants four per cent, Waste of dollars four per cent, Don't duplicate existing facilities four per cent, Other five per cent.
In a recent drop-in session held in the Nautilus Arts Centre, a councillor was asked how much consultation he had engaged in with Port Lincoln rate payers.
He replied that he had not gone to the public meeting at the Yacht Club, didn't see a need to do so, would go to a meeting if it was organised by council and felt that he knew what was best for Port Lincoln.
Many contributors implored the city council to hear what the community is saying. 'Hey, council will just do want they want' was one of many submitted comments reflecting the current insularity of the council.
The above results are a clear indication that the people of Port Lincoln know what is wanted. Councillors, please listen.
Overtaking lane a hazard
The Port Lincoln Times recently quoted a DIT spokesman as saying the new road train overtaking lanes on Eyre Peninsula "will result in improved road safety". Don't believe it. The overtaking lane under construction on Lincoln Highway at Louth Bay is a serious road crash waiting to happen.
The department is forcing owners and residents on the sea side of the highway to stop in the new overtaking lane to turn right when travelling from Port Lincoln.
Everyone using the road for the duration of the overtaking lane is at increased risk of a critical road crash.
If you use Lincoln Highway, there is a high likelihood that you will encounter a situation where you have to try to avoid a collision due to a stationary vehicle in the overtaking lane. Please let DIT know that you think this is unsafe.
At the very least those who have turn turn right should be given a slip lane to safely get off the overtaking lane and out of the way of the many road trains, trucks, cars and motorbikes who will be constantly using the lane.
It would appear that the use of one of the shortest words in the English language, "no", is being avoided because the application of consequences when this word is ignored are not being enforced.
Parents, after repeatedly telling their toddlers not to open the kitchen cupboards, quickly install childproof locks, rather than discipline them.
Grandparents, when their grandchildren, despite being told incessantly to leave objects on the coffee table alone, hurriedly move them to higher places, just prior to their arrival, to avoid confrontation.
Teachers face the same issue when dealing with the inappropriate use of mobile phones by some students during lesson time at school.
A range of strategies have been used with limited success: collecting phones and placing them in a box, depositing phones with the front office before school and collecting them after and finally using lockable electronic pouches during lesson time.
None of the above encourage the development of personal responsibility for an individual's actions, compliance toward established rules or the acceptance of the consequences which may be applied for inappropriate use.
There also needs to be greater recognition that they are no longer just phones, but an electronic device with a range of applications and functions: internet capability, dictionary, thesaurus, calculator, video camera, voice recorder, word processor and stop watch.
As a beginning teacher many years ago, it was impressed upon us that "we should never punish the whole class" for the actions of another.
A simple "no" should be sufficient before any set consequence is applied and enforced upon those culprits not adhering to school policy or behaviour expectations.
Disability housing a priority
I wrote to the council regarding a lack of housing for people with a disability - four long years with the National Disability Support Scheme, three of which involves companies in Port Lincoln then left in the dark.
I have written to the NDIS some months ago - again with little help.
As for that so called "look-out" tower ... I find this a total waste of ratepayers' money. It would make more sense to build units for the disabled or perhaps one big complex for a commune-type environment including a games room, mini-mart, mini-golf and veggie patch, not some ridiculous platform to overlook the entire bay.
This platform would black out the views from the local shops and eateries. Who thinks of these not-so-great ideas?
Rethink your plans
To the City Council of Port Lincoln regarding the new plans for the foreshore and the library complex - I wish to express my opposition, as a ratepayer of more than 70 years.
The library complex is planned for the worst possible location at the intersection of two of the busiest roads in Port Lincoln.
In recent years, with the closure of grain freight by rail, it has become worse still, not to mention four schools plus a kindergarten with more than 2000 children coming and going each day.
I have done the school run many times over the years so I know how hectic it can be.
From the picture in the Times - the proposed structure on the foreshore, with a "lookout" on top of the toilets, is the ugliest thing I have ever seen. It will ruin our beautiful beach area.
The money could be far better spent with a little more thought on the disadvantages of these decisions.
Help with car damage incident
On Thursday, March 11, I had my car parked in front of the CWA Hall, in Hallett Place, when it was damaged about 2pm.
I need someone who saw the incident to contact the Port Lincoln police with any evidence that they may have.
I have had to pay the excess on my insurance policy to be able to get my car repaired.
I would be very grateful for any information.