Hugh Edward Mortimer
2014 candidate for City of Onkaparinga.
Heritage survey responses.
What do you think Council's role is in protecting and conserving heritage?
Councils should become proactive and work to protect and preserve our heritage and ensure that development is sympathetic to areas of importance. To give an example, new residential construction along our Mid and South coast beaches, while desirable and inevitable, shouldn't be allowed to follow the high rise apartments that feature along the Gold Coast. Similarly, allowance for commercial development should only allowed after environmental factors are properly addressed. I grew up in the Port Adelaide area during the fifties and sixties and all that time, the Port River was nothing more that a gigantic sewer. Now, thanks to responsible environmental management, it has become a dolphin sanctuary and is enjoying a resurrection as a tourist attraction, with the subsequent financial benefits to the local community. Our council should follow this example and ensure that our world class natural attractions, such as the McLaren Vale wine region, aren't desecrated by developers who seek short term financial gain over conservation.
What measures and incentives do you support to protect and conserve local heritage?
I am actually involved in a project and perhaps you may be in a position to offer assistance. To explain, I am Vice President of the Chrysler Car Club of S.A. and, along with the other Chrysler based car clubs, are working to have the signage on the western facing of the old Lonsdale foundry and engine manufacturing factory preserved for posterity. We realize this is somewhat out of the box but our rationale is that Chrysler/Mitsubishi and GMH were and are extremely significant to the history of our state. After all, the growth of these vehicle manufacturers and their ancillary industries did much to open up S.A.; especially the influx of migrants who brought so much of their cultures, food and lifestyle; all of which has blended in to create the modern society we all enjoy. Given that we seem to be losing all of our manufacturing industries, the preservation of this signage and similar should serve as a reminder of how our community as a whole was shaped.
What is the most important heritage protection issue in your local government area?
Our beaches. They are world class with pristine sands and the highest quality of sea water. This includes the reefs at Port Noarlunga, Aldinga, Christies Beach etc., as they have marine life that is virtually unique to our part of the world. I have always been concerned about the Port Stanvac desal plant we 'Had' to have and the effects that increasing the salinity in the gulf would have on these regions.
What policies and programs will you advocate to protect and conserve heritage in your local area?
Better policing of these regions, especially during the warmer months. Increase fines for littering and dumping and give our council both the powers to compel the offenders to clean up their mess or, if they refuse, then allow our council to enforce payment of cleanup costs from said offenders. This would also apply to graffiti and vandalism
Do you support local Councils retaining development approval powers for projects over $3m in value?
Yes I do. These days, $3m buys far less than in days past. Even some new private residential construction would exceed this; not to mention medium density housing. My opinion is, as development approval is essentially a community issue, then it should be for the community authorities to decide. The State government is elected to look after the needs of the state as a whole, viz: education, transportation, health etc. and leave the councils to manage local issues.
Do you have any other thoughts about the protection of heritage in your Council area?
We live in a beautiful part of a beautiful city, that is starting to enjoy a higher international profile than at any other time in our history. We should all realize that the majority of our attractions need to be preserved, for us, interstate visitors and our children and grandchildren to enjoy.