Same Sex Marriage, who decides?

August 13, 2017

IF YOU’RE over the idea of reading yet another blog on marriage equality, I can emphasize with you.

 

 

Let’s be honest, debates like this make me want to turn of the news, and retreat into my sanctuary where the cynicism of modern-day politics does not exist.

If it was a brief informed discussion, or a simple democratic process, I would be more than happy, as always to consider what my 2 cents would be worth.

Marriage is a simple word, for so long it described the union of a man and a woman, parliament defined it, as is their power under the constitution, and they defined it in line with the Dictionary definition.

I have yet to have any of my gay friend’s demand marriage, I do remember the fight for social inclusion, and to have the same equity at law as those who held a government certificate (Marriage).

When this debate started, when was that now, a decade ago now? I always wondered if another word could be chosen, rather than marriage, something to adorn the top of their government certificate, that shows their commitment to each other.

Seems my idea was less than favorable, but it was simply my mind trying to find a way to end this debate and move on to the more important social issues we all face, regardless of our choice of partner.

Before you accuse me of a lack of compassion, may I argue my case?

I love my partner, she loves me, well I am pretty sure she still does, a government endorsed certificate does not define our love what so ever, are we married, yes we are. Why did we get married, hmmm that would be an interesting debate, was it to prove a commitment, a legal contract, I might get back to you on that 😊

I see posters that say “love is love” or I want my right! They are both right, Love is Love, even with out a government endorsement, and rights, well we all are suffering a lack of defined protections, regardless of our choice of partner.

Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones tweeted: “Re Gay Marriage. Love is a very elusive thing. If 2 people find love we shouldn’t be making judgments about it or getting in the way.”

Who is getting in the way of love, who is judging others, are those opposed homophobic?

Let’s get this debate back on track; “The only ones to blame are our elected representatives”, they represent electorates, if they don’t know what their electorate wants, they are in the wrong job. Parliament is empowered by the Constitution to define Marriage.

Fact is parliament have been doing as they please for years, so our will means little to them, and an expansive poll will do little to push them either way.

It is not as if they are not aware of the topic, it is not as if they cant simply draw up the changes and vote on them, like any other legislative redefining, they do it every day.

The fact is the very people you chose to represent you, are not, they are representing political parties, vested interests, so this debate simply exposes the flaws in our democratic process, flaws you already knew existed.

There is no need to waste 120 to 150 million asking the people, when the outcome will be wishy washy, dodgy and non-binding.

If any representative is unsure, let them poll their electorates, and if their parties won’t let them vote on legislative change, let them declare to their electorate where they stand, we can all do the maths can’t we.

There are those in the LGBTI community that are already far more vulnerable to anxiety and depression (they’re also up to 14 times more likely to attempt suicide) as a direct result of the past decades they have fought for acceptance alone.

The last thing they need is a huge national debate that will achieve nothing, what we all need is educated discussion with our representatives, and to empower their ability to achieve our will, everything else is divisional and a detraction.

Within hours of the government’s commitment to a plebiscite, former prime minister Tony Abbott was telling the nation: “If you’re worried about religious freedom and freedom of speech, vote ‘no’, and if you don’t like political correctness, vote ‘no’ because voting ‘no’ will help to stop political correctness in its tracks.”

Imagine lobbying for the ability to marry, and hearing one of the nation’s most prominent citizens dismissing the fight to end your sense of injustice and frustration as “political correctness”.

The government’s position is demeaning and disrespectful to all of us, the decision to conduct a plebiscite is a knee jerk reaction to cover up for the real inadequacies of our democratic process.

Yes, there are many other critical issues demanding the nation’s attention, and if we polled the people, SSM would not make the top of the list, but if a section of Australian society demand equity on their terms, like all social issues, they deserve to get a fair hearing and a timely decision.

For me personally, my love does not need government endorsement, my rights do, so lets all unite and fight for defined civil and human rights through a “Bill of Rights”, and let the Gay community be included in its definition.

Mark Aldridge.

INTERNET CYBER-BULLYING, Trolls or mental health concerns?

January 15, 2017
troll-001
WHAT IS AN INTERNET TROLL, WHAT ARE THEY?
 
Interesting question, one that we all may have an answer to, but there are many issues social media brings to the table.
 
In real life, if a person came up to you and called you names, they might risk a punch in the face, maybe most of us would walk away, or ignore them, very few of us would tease them with sticks to make them angrier, not so easy on line.
 
The best advice is a person comes onto your time line and is aggressive or disrespectful, is to block them, as if they will be gone, but we know that is not always the case, the more mentally unstable trolls, will already have multiple accounts, or head of to make a few.
 
I have endured trolls that are still around years later, as if I am the sole interest in their less than interesting lives. Only yesterday a person sent me a message about the devastation their family had endured and made mention of the trolls, only for me to have had similar problems years ago with the same people, so is being a troll the result of mental illness?
 
Later in this rant, I mention some research relating to the mental illness side of this post, but what we do see with on-line bullies, besides sadistic and psychopathic tendencies, is the obvious paranoia that everyone else is like them.
 
They think anyone who supports their pray, could be a fake profile, something I have noticed over the years and a good indicator of more sever psychosis.
 
The thing I find most interesting about these trolls, is their inability to comprehend the written word, or even embrace simple facts, they appear to just make it up as they go, they read what they want to read, so to speak.
 
While having dinner with friends Saturday night, leaving FB closed, I received a phone message, which included a screen shot, in which a “troll” had posted, I had just phoned and threatened them.
 
Did the person saying this get a call from another and assume it was me, because not only dont I know them, already had them blocked for whatever reason, and the site the comment was posted on even had me blocked, as I had not contacted anyone, which leads to another issue with trolls, the troll families.
 
Certain people appear to not only lack the moral turpitude to conduct themselves with respect on line, seems similar minded (or is that mindless) people flock together.
 
Going back to my first experience with “trolls” that never go away, was when I helped out an animal shelter several years ago, what appeared to be a handful of people did not like me helping out. One of the ring leaders now faces charges for theft, so had good reason to want me out the way, but that one person led a pack of maybe 4 or 5, who with their fake profiles numbered dozens on line.
No matter how many I blocked, more turned up, many years later, after issues this week, they are all back, as themselves and a few other fake profiles, and they are easy to spot, they still use all the same nasty memes they made all those years ago.
 
So it appears “Genuine trolls” become obsessed with their targets, so much so, when I was on holidays with friends after helping during the most recent fires, they targeted every FB page in the country I was visiting. I mean hundreds of FB pages, calling me a racist, a paedophile, and rapist, and a murder, anything they could do to cause me problems, not that it did.
 
For me as a reasonably well known bloke, each year more of these “Trolls” unite, and start up “Hate groups” aimed at me, yet these same names are mentioned by other victims, so I must only be a part of their obsession, with their main driver being to hurt others.
 
Currently all my special “Trolls” flocked together after channel 7 blessed me with some rather nasty media coverage, the coverage was rubbish, but that’s the media for you. On a 7 post, I have been accused of being a murderer, a thief, a pedo, and abuser, a drug manufacture, an animal murderer, and plenty of other very nasty terms, and many people reading those nasty untruths, have started saying, well all these people cant be wrong 😉
 
Where “Trolls” get even more scary is when they cant get to the subject of their obsession, and go after the friends and family of their victim, or even worse when they take their sick obsession into the real world.
 
Right now, many of my friends and family have temporarily closed their time lines, one had his car fire bombed, and others are still copping it.
 
In my most recent and nasty interactions, a post asking people not to let of fireworks near my sanctuary, resulted in a deliberate attack, on more than one night, gun shots at my home, explosives aimed at my sanctuary, and then a very nasty assault on my person and my vehicle, all by people I had blocked from one of my pages.
 
So like all of these morons, whoops “trolls” they made up even more stories to cover for their crimes, leaving me to wear a tirade of abuse and the destruction of what was left of my good name.
 
Of course that is never enough, now there are even more dedicated pages named after me, some aimed at my sanctuary and others aimed at my business. My friends places of employment, my markets, and my family now have to endure what could be months of abuse.
 
The worst thing is, that when I get my name cleared of any wrong doings, which could take 2 years, they will fire up all over again.
 
Maybe the issue here is not attributed to the word trolls, but more so bullies, haters and the socially inept, maybe it is a mental health issue, but whatever we call it, something has to be done about it.
 
I have no great answers to all this, the message being sent to me is not to help others or do good things for the community, but I ignore that message. The one main issue is the ability of anyone to make up new profiles and use them without fear of accountability; the other is the inability of the authorities to police this new social media phenomenon, leaving us to deal with all this on our own.
trolls-2
 
In Australia alone, on-line bullying is taking lives, and that number is increasing, so something needs to be done, maybe the use of ID to secure a social network account ought to be considered, and just maybe governments and or platforms like face Book, need to invest in better safe guards and monitoring.
 
There is lots of on-line research on this topic, and just as many sad stories of resulting suicides, Canadian and American researchers have found that many of these “Trolls” suffer from Narcissism, sadistic or psychopathic tendencies.
 
These people actually receive pleasure from the act of causing suffering to others, they actually are creating an appetite for cruelty.
 
In the worst cases which are increasing in regularity, when their target closes their accounts, these twisted and dangerous people take their issues into the real world, as I am starting to see happen myself.
 
The fact the aggressors can stay anonymous adds to the fierceness of their attacks, as they do not fear any accountability, this is also taken into the real world, resulting in a global rise in violent crimes.
 
Until something is done, and that could be a long wait, best we adapt and change how we use social networking, for me, well I am not your every day user, and I am not about to close my account, even after all this, because I know Social Media can achieve great things.
 
Over the past few years I have utilised FB to organise search and rescue, raise money for people in need, grow my markets, market my business and meet some great people. So much can be achieve, as for the trolls, well don’t feed them, even when you are not their target.
 
Face book is a multi-billion dollar business, and with that comes greater responsibility than replies “This page or comments does not contravene our community standards” when a victim tries to report bullying or theft of intellectual property.
 
If you see a person being targeted, even if they are not your friends, block the abuser, and support the person, if you are a parent, make sure your children are safe, and ensure they know these people are out there.
 
Last but not least, don’t poke the trolls with sticks, ignore, block and if you need to, close your account for a while. With the increasing number of people starting to populate virtual reality (social networks), many of them immature to social interaction, the phenomenon of cyber-bullying will continue to grow.
 
Not sure there is any moral to this rant, other than to remind us the world is changing, and not always in a good way. People with sadistic and psychopathic profiles, have always brought terror into this world, social networking is allowing them to unleash themselves almost without any boundaries, so best we keep the importance of this message in mind when we are forced to deal with them.
 
Mark

Media and the term “Intellectual Prostitute” SA style

December 31, 2016

INTELLECTUAL PROSTITUTES

prostitute

“I don’t like intellectual prostitution. I like intellectual honesty,” but where do we search for such a thing with in the main stream media?

“There has been great intellectual manipulation over the last few decades. An excellent job has been done to manipulate public opinion in favor of many a journalists masters.

So who are their masters, and exactly what is their agenda?

When it comes to politics, it is hard to grasp more often than not, why the media in mass, are so supportive of the major political powers, even though a majority of their readers/viewers can see through the spin they try to sell.

The lean to the left, where the minority’s needs now override those of the majority, makes a mockery of democracy just as much as the current trend in journalism does.

The Brexit, Trump, and the vote away from political mediocrity, sends these intellectual prostitutes into a head spin, “Why are people not listening to us” we own public opinion, I am sure they scream, but they only hear each other.

If you ever have doubt as to who these poor prostitutes are, all one need do is question anything, and await the name calling. You see they have lost the art of genuine investigative journalism, they no longer question, they dictate.

They use terms like “The science is settled”, or will call you names like “Racist”, Sexist” “Call you a Denier” even when you have denied nothing and race or sex are not a part of the question you have asked.

To keep their jobs, their friends and their power, they will do as they are told, but to avoid accepting what they have become, they attack any who question what they do, doing so with a pack mentality.

They game the outcome of polls, the search engines and the law, to protect what they are now forced to do.

When John Swinton first coined the phrase “We are all intellectual prostitutes” back in the late 1800’s, he went on to say “There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with.

Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone”.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? Question John.

Very little has changed since John’s speech so long ago, other than increased anger by many a modern day prostitute.

I assume the only driver of that change is that John not only knew what he had become, but understood why, where todays intellectual prostitutes are employed because they do not.

 

Mark Aldridge

Do LDN actually deliver your pamphlets & flyers? NOT ALWAYS.

August 14, 2016

LDN

I HAD 20,000 FLYERS PRINTED FOR A VERY SPECIAL PURPOSE

“AS A CANDIDATE IN A FEDERAL ELECTION”

It was so important, as if I were to get over 4% of the vote, I was to receive federal funding, which would cover my election costs. I knew I could not win this seat in this election, but wanted to keep my name fresh for the state election.

My usual vote was between 4% and 17%, so when the media refused to publish anything with my name, I decided to get pamphlets into every letter box, to ensure people were reminded I was running, as I am reasonably well known and supported.

I found it odd that I received about 5 calls about my candidacy, but all were from one small area, as area a friend put out 250 of my how to votes, but none from the rest of the electorate where 20,000 were meant to be delivered.

I asked my 20,000 odd thousand supporters on FaceBook, if they had received my flyers, and not one had.

I will add a few thousand voted for me, yet none received my flyer/how to vote pamphlet.

Just after the election, I receive photos showing my pamphlets in a bin, seems all of them.

IMG_8806

The photos show thousands of flyers, this is one of the photos, bundles were in 250. So I emailed LDN asking what has happened, in the bon were boxes and pamphlets in bundles of 250, so there are thousands there.

They refused to help, and offered a few hundred dollars, unless I could provide a location, I think I was lucky to have the photos, because with out them, I would have been offered nothing, and I am not taking a token payment, as if they had been delivered, in the balance of probabilities, I would have gained the extra 1000 votes I needed.

That means their mistake has cost me 10K, so are they delivering your pamphlets?

Paying for a company like Salmat to deliver our printing, is about aiming to make profit, not lose money.

It may be safer and more productive to use Australia Post of pay someone you trust, might be a little more expensive, but at least you know your flyers/pamphlets arrive.

Mark Aldridge

Do we have to include our name on the Census?

August 8, 2016

Do we have to include our name on the Census?

sensus

Many people are raising concerns about how the ABS will now be retaining peoples’ names, whereas previously it destroyed identifying information before analyzing the data.

Retaining identifying information that can be linked to Census records has potentially significant privacy implications. Data provided to the ABS is purported to be protected by robust secrecy provisions in the Census and Statistics Act 1905 (the Act), But what about the security of the storage of data and the potential for its misuse.

The ABS now prefers on line collection of data, this also raises a host of new privacy issues.

It may be difficult to call into question the value of the Census, as the government tell is, it provides essential information for all levels of government, to facilitate the planning of services from hospitals, transport and infrastructure and schools to homelessness services, libraries and services for migrants and refugees.

I doubt many people will see the value of the data for its intended purpose when we consider how poorly the data has been used in the past, but does the ABS even have the power to ask the public to provide their name on the Census form?

An argument can be made that the ABS has no legal authority to do so, because the Act only permits the collection of ‘statistical information’ for the purpose of the Census, and names are not, or until have not been considered ‘statistical information’.

A lawyer and law teacher recently said, “I would never suggest that anyone refuse to fill in their name on their Census form or refuse to provide it to the ABS if directed to do so”. But the question of the scope of the legal authority of the ABS is a perfect example of a statutory interpretation problem that a legal mind might like to consider.

Section 8(3) of the Act provides that for the purposes of taking the Census, the Statistician shall collect statistical information in relation to the matters prescribed [by regulations] for the purpose of this section.’

In other words, the Statistician must collect statistical information for the purposes of taking the Census.

So what does “statistical information” actually mean?

“Statistical information” is not defined in the Act, but section 12 of the Act provides that the Statistician shall compile and analyse the statistical information collected under this Act and shall publish and disseminate the results of any such compilation and analysis, or abstracts of this result.

Does this suggest that information that is “statistical information” is information that will be compiled, assembled in order to be analysed, examined in the aggregate, for the purpose of publishing and disseminating the results.

It is a unique thought that the ABS intends to compile and analyse “names” as a category of information.

Instead, names are collected to undertake a matching process between Census records and other administrative records held by government, likely to include tax, social security and education records.

According to the ABS, this is a separate statistical exercise performed after the Census has been taken, and is not part of the Census itself. Therefore, is it arguable that “names” are not “statistical information”, meaning that the Act does not authorise the collection of names.

Offences under the Act also lack definition, and what happens if your paper census goes missing, is not received or there are debates relating to a persons snswers?

It is being suggested that failing to provide your name on the Census form is an offence, so is it?

Section 14 of the Act states that a person only commits an offence if they fail to comply with a direction by an authorised officer, either orally or in writing, to fill out the Census form or to complete a specified question that is necessary to obtain any statistical information in the Census.

In other words, failing to comply with a ‘direction’ is not just the act of not filling in your name, but failing to provide the information following a direction made to you individually.

Of course, refusing to provide your name following a demand from an authorised officer carries the prospect of a penalty, because we cannot predict how a court would deal with the question.

The fact is the threat of a heavy penalty will result in some panic, with people wanting to avoid that fine, something that may become an issue, with many reports of Australians yet to receive their census and many feeling uncertain of completing it on line.

Someone who decides to challenge the demands to include their names, may have a case, because if a name is not ‘”information”, no offence would be committed by not providing it.

Reading of the legislation shows the Census is only permitted to collect statistical information. In other words, the ABS may not have the power to commence prosecution of people who do not provide their name.

Some people might even argue that the Regulations, which prescribe “name” as a category of statistical information, are ultra vires – beyond the power of the lawmaker to enact.

This argument would be that as subordinate legislation, they must be made for the purpose of the lawmaking power, and cannot be inconsistent with the Act or other legislation.

In simple, the changes to include a person’s name are inconsistent with the intent of the legislation.

It is important to note that section 15 of the Act provides that a person commits an offence if they are ‘required, requested or directed’ to fill in a census form and then knowingly make a statement or provide a reply/document that contains false or misleading information.

This provision is different from section 14, because it relates to the information you actually provide on the Census form. Giving a false or misleading name is clearly an offence, where not providing your name, may at least have a legal defence.

So to a strong degree from my amateur interpretation of the act, to offend the legislation, one must provide false and miss leading information, or ignore a request/direction to do a certain thing, by an authorised officer. Whether or not a request or demand can include your name, is open to legal debate.

So in summary, people who do not provide their name on the Census form would not face the prospect of a penalty unless they subsequently refused to follow a direction made to them by an authorised officer.

It would be up to the ABS to determine whether to refer a case for prosecution and for the Director of Public Prosecutions to consider whether to pursue a prosecution.

There are very few cases one can research to see how many people have failed to follow the direction of an authorised officer have been prosecuted, so one can imagine the issues that face the ABS in 2016, if hundreds of thousands refuse to say “Include their names”.

Ultimately, it will be up to the courts to determine the proper construction of the Act and regulations. But people who object to providing their name on the Census form have an arguable legal basis for so doing.

 

Mark Aldridge “community advocate”

PS; do not take this as legal advice, please see a lawyer.

PROTECTING CHILDREN IS THE JOB OF EVERY AUSTRALIAN

July 31, 2016

Reporting suspected child abuse for many reasons might feel hard to do, but remaining silent  is so much worse.

child abuse

Silence is not golden when it comes to our children, especially the most vulnerable.

We as parents, grandparents and as adults need to be open to the signs of abuse and follow our natural instincts.

“In a most cases children don’t make direct disclosures, so we have to look for signs, and if we see any, for the child’s sake err on the side of caution and speak up.” Says Mark Aldridge

Child safety MUST remain the priority at all times.

“They might say, ‘This happened to a friend’ as a way to test the reaction of the person they want to tell. They want to assess whether they will be believed and whether the adult will stand up for them.

“Trust your gut. If you feel that something is not right, seek out support. It is difficult; people are often reluctant to contact the authorities due to a misguided fear of breaking up a family unit.

“If you have even a suspicion that something is wrong, it’s better to call than not call the authorities and voice your concerns, if not open up to friends and family for support to act.

“You don’t know who else might have already made a report” –a teacher, a doctor, a neighbour might have also spoken up. All those accounts help child protection specialists understand the full picture. You are adding your piece of the puzzle to that picture.”

“As a society we have moved away from the idea that the family unit is somehow a sacrosanct, closed space which we’re not allowed to enter. If we believe a child is at risk, we must act.”

Children are often scared to speak up, despite improved awareness about child abuse, so we must be their voice.

“For children, there is improved education in schools now about approaching a trusted adult, a teacher or a school counsellor,” so if they approach you, then you must act in a timely and compassionate manner.

“When there is abuse in the home it can be very hard for a child to go forward to anyone because they are worried about breaking up the family or being punished. Often the child feels as if they are to blame.”

Professionals such as teachers, health care workers and police have a legal obligation to report suspected abuse. I believe this should be applied to every adult in this country and all over the world.

Until we have a legal obligation, let our moral one lead the way, and let’s wipe out child abuse and continue on to demand heavier penalties to deter any future abhorrent behavior.

Mark Aldridge “Community Advocate” Public officer of S.C.A.A.T. (Stop Child Abuse Australia Team)

Farm Direct “Statement of effect” draft for debate

July 19, 2016

Development application “Statement of Effect” Farm Direct Community Markets.

Farm direct logo 7

 

STATEMENT OF EFFECT

Farm direct markets have invested its hard work successfully over the past 4 years, into creating the best markets in the state which are dedicated to providing for the City of Salisbury’s rate payers.

We are also lobbying the state government and appealing the recent ERC court findings, as we are committed to protect all community events in the north.

We have opened 2 of South Australia’s largest and most successful markets in the Salisbury council area, and have operated without any adverse effects to the City, the development objectives and the community.

Farm Direct has drained all its resources on the drawn out approval process and the following legal battle, so is unable to employ a suitable development expert to produce our statement of effect, we therefore apologise for any deficiency in the contents.

OVERVIEW

Farm Direct Markets have operated professionally and without incident in the Salisbury area for well over 4 years in 2 locations, Salisbury Height’s and Parafield.

Regardless of the new precedents relating to the definition of a stall, Farm Direct is still simply a temporary produce market, that has no permanency and the market is supported by the community in general. Merit applications are still development applications that are supported by and benefit the community, which means they are in line with community standards and the Markets definitely fulfils that wish.

I would like to remind the development planners, the council and the elected members that the market “Farm Direct” has now operated on site for over 12 months, without any adverse impact on the site, local traffic, parking, health and safety, significant tree’s, the heritage aspects of the site etc etc.

We have met and exceeded many directives of the city of Salisbury, increased employment opportunity, the promotion of healthy eating, access to affordable fresh produce. We remain environmental friendly, we encourage a sustainable future through growing produce to meet demand and we are helping unite the community.

The Market relocated from the initial site in Parafield (PALS car parking area) to the Old Spot hotel car park just over 12 months ago. On July the 21st 2015 we applied for development approvals and passed a raft of application processes as a “Merit” type use.

The Market underwent a category 3 public notification process, passed referrals to DPTI, DENWR, Development engineering, Civic design and traffic, Environmental health and safety, passing in each case.

The approval was disputed on competitive grounds, and the ERD court found that a Market was in fact a non-complying development, that a trestle table with goods for sale or display, was a shop for the purpose of the definitions of the development Act.

This set a new precedent on how development law is defined in relation to any temporary stall, but we ought not forget a stall is not a building, and has no lasting impression on the land, so when defining any application that utilises stalls, will never be the same as those applied to bricks and mortar, regardless of the definitions.

The fact that development law and planning has overlooked stalls, markets and fetes in their definitions, allowed the recent redefining to include a stall in the definition of the word shop. The fact community events were never considered developments, but rather events, events of a regular basis, development definitions failed to protect community events. Community events have been a part of the city of Salisbury history since its inception.

The location of Farm Directs present Salisbury Height’s Market at the Old Spot hotel is on private land, land that’s primary use is retail based, the zoning of “Open Space” is based more on the adjacent river and walk ways/trails, than the area built to have its primary use to be that of a car park for retail and hotel trading.

Farm direct helps maintain the “Open Space” concept and promotes the local community to embrace and utilise the current area in an appropriate manner.

Farm Direct has appealed the ERD court’s decision before the full bench of the Supreme Court, which is being heard on the 1st of August 2016, in hope of overturning the decision of the court, therefore restoring the original development approvals put in place by the City of Salisbury.

Farm Direct is financing the legal challenge to protect your development planning’s sections decision.

Farm Direct has submitted a non-complying development application “Statement of Support” which has been accepted by the council development section, and best be read in conjunction with this statement of effect.

 

  1. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT

A Farmers type market of up to 40 stalls when operating at its peak, operating in the Northern car park of the Old Spot hotel on Saturdays and a smaller market of approximately 1/3 that size operating on a Wednesday, between the hours of 8.00am and 1.00pm, operating independently of the operations of the existing hotel.

The site supports approx. 240 on site car parking spaces’, parking has been boosted during market days by improved access to a run off car park on the hill, and a temporary stall holder carpark on the northern boundary has also been created.

The Market stalls and walkways occupy approx. 1800m2 (45 to 49 car parking spaces and a bus bay) of the northern carpark area.

Although not promoted by the market, the Carisbrooke Park carpark on the western side of Main North road adjacent the site has been utilised by some patrons. Access from the Carisbrooke car park, is easily and safely achieved by a pedestrian walkway under main north road.

The Markets also promote the use of existing walking trails to access the market for the local community as a part of its promotion of healthy living.

Stalls predominantly offer fresh produce, with an assurance that all produce and product is locally sourced where possible, and that anything sold will have been produced or grown in Australia. Other stalls with in the Market will include local handicraft, plants, Australian nuts, locally produced olive oil, Fresh baked goods, cakes and takeaway.

Toilet facilities are available in Carisbrook Park, but patrons are advised by the market to utilise facilities with in the Hotel and Bottle shop, which are open for use during the markets operation times.

  1. SUBJECT LAND

The subject land is contained in lot 200 of DP 41172 being certificate of title, Volume 6050 Folio 968 also known as 1955 main north rd, Salisbury Heights.

The privately owned land is irregular in shape and bounded by open space and the Little Para River to the north and open space to the east and south, Main North road is the sites Western boundary.

In recent times improvements to the hotel were approved by council and the additions are of a retail nature.

An easement 30 meters wide in favour of Transmission Lessor Corporation and Electranet PL traverses the northern portion of the site. A second and substantially smaller easement in favour od the Distribution Lessor Corporation is located further south.

  1. LOCALITY;

The site is located in a location that includes retail sales and open space zoning.

Open space zoning is all about limiting construction to preserve the looks, dynamics and public access to development zones.

Farm Direct community markets even as a non-complying development meets those demands, it is aesthetically pleasing to the land scape when it is in operation, had no lasting impact on the land and promotes community participation in the zone, also utilising the connecting open space utilities and councils park and trial facilities.

The site contains the state heritage listed Old Spot hotel, and a freestanding bottle shop and drive through, both of which are considered retail by their nature.

Car parking (approximately) 240 spaces and bus bays, both formalised and un-formalised, together with landscaping have been provided and stablished on site, in association with the hotel.

Two vehicle access/regress points off Main North road service the site, the main cross over is located at the north end of the site adjacent the bottle shop, the second cross over is located adjacent the southern side of the property boundary.

Farm Direct has utilised the current parking and access/exit points without issue for over 12 months, they have also invested with the site owners in upgrades to parking facilities and the overflow parking on the hill top, and added parking for the stall holders on Market day.

The Market there fore is promoting the use and access to the use of the zone as intended by the legislation.

  1. BACKGROUND

Farm Direct markets have operated in the Salisbury area for around 3 years prior to moving to the Old Spot market location in or around May 2015, in both cases the market utilized existing car parking facilities adjacent hotel developments.

Farm Direct complied with all development planning assessments at its original site adjacent Roulettes tavern and bottle shop. The move to the new location was forced by lease agreements and issues with adherence to development planning regulations not being adhered to by the land owner at the previous site.

An initial one of market was held on the site as a trial, on Saturday the 23rd of June.

The first application was to operate a Special event “Farmers Market” on the subject site. A special event is defined with in schedule 9 (11(2) of the development regulations 2008, as meaning a “community, cultural, arts, entertainment, recreational, sorting or similar event” which is in line with a merit application.

Development approval was granted for the special event (produce market) between the 29th May and 13th of June, and the market operated without issue.

The second application was to obtain Development Approval for the ongoing “Produce Market” on the site.

The development approval went through a category 3 development applications as a merit form of application, the councils lawyers supported the application as a market, and to be considered as a merit application, not as shop, which is still undergoing legal scrutiny.

The council’s approval of the markets was challenged by a market competitor in the Environment and development court, the preliminary point of argument was that a stall/trestle was indeed a shop for the purpose of the application of development law.

The argument was upheld; as such the granted approval was rendered invalid as the council had approved the market as a merit application, rather than as a non-complying application.

Farm Direct community Markets then lodged an appeal before the full bench of the Supreme court to dispute the judge’s finding, this matter is to be heard on the 1st of August, with a finding to be handed down some time in the following 6 weeks from the hearing.

  1. Social, economic and the environmental effects of the development on its locality.

Farm Directs initial Statement of support covered the social, economic and environmental benefits of the Markets on the present location in detail, so ought to be read in conjunction with this “Statement of effect”

  • SOCIAL; Farm direct attracts people from the local community and from the surrounding suburbs into the local area, to increase participation in the open space zone. We promote use of the walking trials, community participation in the market itself, the local parks and encourage the whole families and neighbour hoods to enjoy the atmosphere the market creates.

 

  • ECONOMIC; Farm direct supports the local economy in a variety of ways, by bringing outside investment into the Salisbury area, by creating local jobs and ensuring access to affordable fresh produce. The Markets customer base is extensive attracting financial support from all over South Australia to the local area.

 

  • JOB CREATION; Farm direct Markets in Salisbury alone when we include our original market site which still operates, not only employs hundreds of South Australians, many from within the cities superb. We also help encourage and support small business enterprise, bring investment into the City and help local business improve their sales.

 

  • HEALTHY EATING; Farm Direct promotes healthy eating, community activity and helps educate local children about healthy eating and food production by supporting school trips to the market by several local primary level classes.

 

  • ENVIRONMENTAL; Farm directs environmental impacts have been a huge bonus to the area. We have no adverse impact on the locality, we have improved access to the trials and ensure we clean up every day we operate beyond any impact we have. Our producers now grow to suit our customer base alleviating waste, and any excess produce is utilised by donating to those who feed the homeless and to support local animal sanctuary’s.

 

  1. Characterisation and public notification

Farm Direct community markets initial development application process was considered a Category 3, which allowed for a public notification process.

The development panel heard from all objectors and found in favour of approving the market as a after a lengthy debate, the decision was majority support.

  1. Statutory – Referrals

Farm direct passed all of the statutory referrals during the previous application process, and has operated under them for over 12 months without any issue arising.

  1. DPTI

Traffic flow to and from Main North Road as proposed is supported and should be appropriately managed through the course of each market to ensure driver compliance.

DPTI strongly recommended that a traffic management plan be developed by the applicant to ensure that satisfactory traffic measures are put in place for market days.

  • Adequate onsite car parking be provided;
  • All temporary signage promoting the market should be contained on the subject land and installed and removed prior to and after each market

Farm Direct has complied with the directions and recommendations of DPTI, and continues to employ professional staff to manage internal traffic flow and parking, without any issue for over 12 months.

 

  1. DEWNR

The impact of the proposed use on the heritage significance of the state heritage place (Old Spot Hotel) is considered acceptable, as the market stalls are temporary structures, are located some distance from the hotel and will not affect the setting of the state heritage place

 

  1. DEVELOPMENT ENGINEERING

The proposal was supported as it has no fixed structures.

The vicinity of the market is not subject to flooding

 

  1. TRAFFIC

In order to provide efficient and safe circulation on site whilst providing pedestrian safety within the site at all times, a traffic management plan presently in place provides for accredited traffic management staff to be in place during the market operation on every Saturday.

The Market even at its busiest has been successful in handling traffic management over the past 12 months without issue.

The market attendance is expected to remain at present demand, which has resulted in vacant parking bays even at peek attendance times.

 

  1. HEALTH

Control of waste; Reasonable steps are already in place as a result of the original approvals.

Waste from the market is managed in accordance with the South Australian Public Health Act 2011 to prevent offensive odours and not accessible to pests and vermin

All waste water generated from the activity is effectively disposed to SA Water sewerage system to prevent any risk to public health; and

The Market stall holders all have their individual Food business notifications and have passed two on site council inspections since the start of operations at the Old Spot location.

 

  1. DEVELOPMENT DATA Site Characteristics Guideline Proposed Site Area Farmers Market

Area Total land size approx 26,400m2, Market use is approx. 2400m2

Site Dimensions Main North Road Frontage: Depth: 185m approx. 169m approx.(varies) Site Gradient Majority of site relatively flat with a low grade to the north and Little Para River.

Southern portion of the site supports a large embankment and plateaued at the top Easement Easements exist over the site to Transmission Lessor Corporation and Electranet P/L; and Distribution Lessor Corporation

  1. Number of carparks

No guidance in presently allowed for in the Development Plan for a produce market

Over 190 car parking spaces are available on site, for both the market and hotel when both are operating.

Market operation times are not in conflict with hotel main operating times on the days of the market operation, Market has increase parking by way of stall holder parking in a temporary area, and excess parking allowed as a flow over on the northern boundary, with access limited to market operational days.

  1. Buildings Temporary stalls comprising canopies and tables

 

  1. Affected Trees No significant trees affected

 

 

  1. Regulated Trees No regulated trees affected

 

  1. Street Infrastructure Existing crossover utilised

 

 

  1. SEP No SEPs affected

 

  1. Electricity pole No Electricity poles affected

 

 

  1. Telecommunication pit No Telecommunication pits affected

 

  1. Gas No gas infrastructure affected

 

  1. Water No water infrastructure affected

 

 

  1. Street Trees No street trees affected

 

  1. Flooding The proposed market location is not prone to flooding

 

 

  1. ASSESSMENT

No serious Variance Pursuant to Section 35(2) of the Development Act 1993

It was initially recommended that the assessment Panel determine that the proposal is not seriously at variance with the Salisbury (City) Development Plan – Consolidated 20 March 2014, which passed the development panel’s approval process.

The following reasons are proffered to support this recommendation:

  • The site, although within the Open Space Zone, is already utilized for commercial purposes as a hotel incorporating retail activities.
  • The proposed stalls are only temporary, erected and removed on each market day.
  • The proposed use is within the carpark of the Old Spot Hotel and operates at a time when hotel patronage is low; and
  • The temporary nature of the market will not detrimentally impact on the state heritage place or the intent of the zone.

It has been demonstrated that the proposed development has minimal or no unreasonable external impacts, so consent could reasonably be expected to be upheld even as a “Non-complying application”

Performance of the Markets operation over the past 12 months, clearly show it has had no adverse effects on the land, the surrounding area or the community in general.

The Market has remained well supported by the local community, and has not breached any of the directives of the council or the associated development initiatives.

It should be considered that the proposed development is not ‘seriously at variance’ with the City of Salisbury Development Plan.

  1. Assessment against Development Plan Objectives and Principles Primary Development Objectives and Principles of Development Control (PDC) Development Plan Reference Assessment Zoning & Land Use General Section Centres and retail Development Objective

1 PDC 10 and 12 Zone Provisions Open Space Zone Objective(s) 1, 2 and 5 PDC 1,

4 Recreation Policies Area 15 Objectives 1 and 2 PDC 1

The proposal satisfies the requirement of Objective 2 of Precinct 15 as it will provide an additional use (market) expanding the range of activities envisaged within the precinct on a site that is commercially developed (Old Spot Hotel) and supported within PDC 5 of the Precinct.

The market is retail in nature primarily offering produce (including local content) together with arts, craft and food stalls and will service the needs in part, both from a produce and entertainment point of view, of the broader community.

The market comprises no fixed structures and will operated twice weekly from 8.00am to 1.00pm from the carpark of the hotel.

Given its temporary nature (stalls erected and removed on the day), it could be argued that the proposal will have no greater detrimental impact than what currently exists (Old Spot Hotel and carpark) on the open space character intended for zone.

The market since operation in June 2015 has complimented the site, increased participation in the local park and trail facilities and has been well supported by the local community.

 

  1. Appearance of Land and Buildings (Amenity)

The proposal involves temporary canopies erected and removed on the day of the market.

No permanent structures are proposed, or erected.

Whilst noted, the relevance of objective 1 and the PDCs within the General Section (Design and Appearance) in this case is somewhat diminished as the canopies are not structures and temporary.

The intent of the objective and PDCs are linked to permanent structures on land, rather than the use of temporary gazebos.

The proposed temporary canopies are small in scale and size and clustered well away from the heritage listed Hotel and Main North Road, to the point where it could be argued that they have minimal visual impact on the locality and satisfy the requirements of PDC 7 and 9 of the Open Space Zone and PDC 5b of the precinct.

Heritage SA has supplied no objections to the inclusion of temporary structures of this type and the market has now operated for over 12 months without objections of any kind relating to the general appearance of the market in its current location.

  1. Building set-backs

The proposal involves temporary canopies erected and removed on the day of the market. The proposed temporary canopies are located well back from Main North Road (over 50 metres) separated from the road by a landscaped buffer and behind the current building line.

Given this, it ought to be the view that the proposal will have minimal visual impact on the existing streetscape.

  1. Impact on Retail Centres

The proposal provides for a retail trading area of approximately 1200m2.

Whilst the argument has been put that the proposed market may now fall under the definition of shop, given the retail nature of the market and its limited times of operation, assessment against the relevant objective and principles ought to concur, what it is proposed the Market does not hinder the development of centres.

The Development Plan envisages retail development with a gross leasable floor area greater than 250m2 within integrated centres.

Clearly the majority of stalls within the market are not unique (ie fruit and vegetable stalls, bakery products and the like) and could easily be located within centre zones, admittedly at some expense (leasing of premises and overheads).

The market provides stall holders with a substantially cheaper avenue to sell their products from temporary facilities.

Representations received during the original approval process, indicate the potential for the market to impact upon the trade of existing fixed premises selling the same products.

During the first 12 months of trading on the site, no adverse effects on local centres have been noted.

Shopping development that is more appropriately located outside of business centres and shopping zones or areas, should also be of a size and type which will not hinder the development or function of any centre zone.

The nearest centre to the subject property is the Elizabeth Vale Shopping Centre (1.5km approx) other major centres include:

  • Elizabeth South Shopping Centre (3.6km approx);
  • Elizabeth Town Centre (4.0km approx.); and
  • Salisbury Town Centre (4.5km approx.).

These centres provide more than the day to day needs of people living within the locality.

Based on the type of stalls, the primary purpose of the market is to sell produce, both locally and from interstate. The retail trading area (approximately 1200m2) on the days the market is running at full capacity may be considerable, but the market does not always operate at full capacity.

Add to that the limitation on operational times and weather restrictions that will inevitably undermine the ability of the Market to affect the performance of the centres.

The market will operate from the site twice a week between the hours of 8.00am and 1.00pm and become a permanent attraction to the locality.

The Wednesday operation only encompasses an area of approximately 350m2, and is utilised by local schools, so its impact on retail centres is of a minor nature.

It is clear the 1200m2 of retail trading area proposed for the market has not had a detrimental impact on uses within nearby centres.

Two of the four nearest centres are District Centres, Elizabeth Town Centre and Salisbury Town Centre. The other two, are Elizabeth Vale Shopping Centre on Sir John Rice Avenue, Elizabeth Vale (Suburban Activity Node Zone) and Elizabeth South Shopping Centre on Phillip Highway, Elizabeth South (Neighbourhood Centre Zone) which on inspection appeared to be operating at 100% occupancy.

Whilst potentially impacting on specific similar type businesses, I do not believe it could be argued that the market would hinder the development, function and viability of those centres.

  1. Car Parking and Access

Existing car parking on site for the Old Spot Hotel and bottle shop totals approximately 240 spaces.

This is made up of over 210 paved and line marked carparks at grade with the hotel and bottle shop and an additional 30 spaces in a grassed area at the top of the embankment at the southern end of the site.

Approximately 49 spaces of the northern carpark will be taken over by the market stalls and walkways leaving 191 carparks for the benefit of the market and hotel.

The Market has also improved access to the grassed overrun parking on the grassed area on top of the rear embankment and created another 25 spaces on the northern edge of the market to accommodate stall holder parking during Saturdays market trading.

There is no car parking standards that I am aware of for markets. That said, as the market is retail in nature, a car parking rate similar to a shop (7/100m2 of gross leasable area) as outlined in Table Sal/2 (Off Street Vehicle Parking Requirements) could be applied.

Gross leasable area (GLA) is defined in Schedule 1 of the Development Regulations 2008 as meaning; “The total floor area of a building excluding public or common tenancy areas such as malls, verandas or public toilets” The market covers a maximum 2000m2 of the northern carpark and comprises both stalls (approximately 60%) and walkways (approximately 40%).

With the GLA definition in mind and noting that the proposed market is not within a building or comprise leasable floor area, based on the car parking rate of 7/100m2, it could be assumed that the proposal would generate a demand of 84 spaces leaving approximately 107 spaces for hotel and bottle-shop use.

Site visits by Council staff during the course of the Special Event revealed that the proposed market required substantially more carparks than the 84 spaces envisaged for the retail trading area, although since operating for nearly 12 months, current parking facilities have been adequate.

The proposed market intends to operate on the subject land when hotel patronage is generally low, that being in the early – mid morning period. The nature of the proposed use is such that the peak demand (given the primary use is the sale of produce – fruit and vegetables) has been early – mid morning and thus coincide with the low period of the hotel.

This was confirmed by Council Staff observations during the initial trial periods. During the peak period of the market (approximately 9.30am -11.30am) Council staff observed that the carpark demand on site exceed supply.

The Market operators opened up added parking spaces and employed licensed parking operators to ensure access to parking spaces was improved

At the same time, the proposed stall holder’s staff carpark at the top of the embankment had no more than six vehicles parked there. Since then the Market operators have made changes to internal parking, resulting in spare customer parking spaces even during peak operating times.

Even during the markets grand opening where it was running at full capacity, there appeared to be no significant queuing or detriment impact on traffic movement on Main North Road. This appeared to be in part due to patrons of the market using the Carisbrooke Park public carpark on the west side of Main North Road adjacent the subject site and assistance by the Markets professional road traffic controllers.

Council staff during the busiest markets reported they also observed that during the markets busiest days from approximately 11.30am, car parking spaces were always available on the subject land with the carparks never reaching capacity.

Substantially more spaces were available in the Carisbrooke Park carpark during the same period.

The peak car parking demand associated with the market had passed and would continue to decrease till closing. Combined, it appeared that the subject land and Carisbrooke Park carpark provided adequate off road car parking for both uses on the subject land at peak demand (approximately 9.30am -11.00am).

Due to convenience, it is likely some market patrons are likely to use the Carisbrooke Park carpark irrespective of whether car parking spaces were available on the subject land.

The traffic management plan put forward by the market identifies intended traffic circulation on site during market days and includes details of signage to be erected. This plan has been followed by the market management and traffic controllers for the past 12 months, and is preforming well.

With this Traffic Management Plan in place, the relocation of stall holder vehicles to the proposed staff carpark as proposed and use of Carisbrooke Park carpark , the proposal easily satisfies the provisions of Objective 2 and provide safe and efficient movement into, out of and within the site.

 

  1. Landscaping; Existing landscaping is to be retained. No additional landscaping is proposed.

 

  1. Environmental management;

The proposal complies with the relevant requirements. Stormwater management for the site is currently in place. The proposed market will not generate any additional runoff flow.

The applicant has put measures in place that comply with Councils Health Department requirements relating to the management of waste water.

 

  1. Transportation (Movement of People and Goods)

The proposal generally satisfies the Development Plan requirements relating to this section.

The applicant has submitted a Traffic Management Plan in support of the proposal. The plan supports the northern crossover into the site as entry only and the southern crossover as exit only.

Traffic circulation on site will be managed to achieve this. The Traffic Management Plan will if properly instigated by the applicant provide safe access for vehicles into, out of the site and circulation within the site.

DPTI have reviewed the Traffic Management Plan prepared by the applicant (not the most recent plan) and supporting information and in principle have raised no objection subject to vehicles accessing the site from the northern crossover and exiting the site via the southern crossover as the applicant proposes.

Farm direct has had no adverse impact on local traffic flow in the last 12 months, and even during the abnormal busy promotional periods.

The Market operators have installed extensive internal signage and employ 2 professional traffic controllers during their Saturday markets, which have proven able to effectively prevent any adverse issues, and ensure safe use of the existing plan over the past 12 months of operation.

  1. Outdoor Advertisements;

The proposal will satisfy the requirements relating to outdoor advertisements.

All signs associated with the proposed use will be temporary. The main sign promoting the market will be an A-framed sign mounted on a trailer adjacent the northern entry into the site. All other signs apart from stall identification will be small directional signs to direct vehicle traffic on site.

The proposed signs will not result in the disfigurement of the local urban environment or result in visual clutter. The main sign advertising the market is not illuminated and of a size that is not likely to distract drivers on Main North Road from their primary driving task. It is not variable (changing message) thus satisfying a DPTI requirement.

 

CONCLUSION

The applicant has applied for a farmers market comprising a maximum of 40 stalls and occupying approximately 2000m2 of the northern carpark of the heritage listed Old Spot Hotel at 1955 Main North Road, Salisbury Heights.

The market intends to trade on the Wednesday and Saturday of each week between the hours of 8.00am and 1.00pm. Whilst the market is retail in nature, for the reasons outlined in the background section of this report, it should be assessed as an undefined use.

The Market has operated successfully for over 12 months, with excellent support from the local community as a whole.

The Department of Environment, Waste and Natural Resources (State Heritage Unit) have advised that the proposed market will not have any adverse impacts on the heritage listed Hotel.

The proposal underwent Category 3 notification. Six (6) representations were received. The key concerns raised by representors related to onsite car parking and traffic management and the external impact of the use on traffic movement on Main North Road and local streets.

The Market has overcome all these concerns, and has operated without any recent concerns.

The proposed market will support a maximum retail trading area of approximately 1200m2 comprising a variety of stalls. The Development Plan encourages development with retail floor areas greater than 250m2 within centre zones unless it can be proven that they do not hinder the development, function and viability of centres.

It is the view of the applicant that given the nature of the use (retail) and type of activity proposed (market), whist potentially impacting commercially on selected uses within centres (predominantly fruit and vegetable stores), the proposal will not detrimentally impact on the overall function and viability of the nearest centres.

ITEM 5.1.1 Page 30 City of Salisbury Development Assessment Panel Agenda – 21 July 2015 Item 5.1.1 On market days, 191 carpark spaces will be available on site for patrons of both the market and Old Spot Hotel and bottle-shop, since then the facilities have been improved.

It is clear given the nature of the use and from the councils own observations of the market at its busiest operational times, that the demand for onsite spaces during the peak period, exceeds onsite parking availability. That said, adequate parking is available on both the subject land and adjacent Carisbrooke Park carpark to accommodate the peak demand of the market.

I note that since the councils own observations, the Markets general trade has softened and even though this is the case, internal parking has been expanded to ensure even during special events, the Market is able to ensure they can handle any traffic flow in and out of the property.

Whist the Carisbrooke Park carpark has not been encouraged as a carpark ancillary to the market, it should be noted that it is a public carpark and available to everyone. Outside, of the peak market period, onsite parking provision appears to be in balance with or exceeds demand.

The Department of Planning Transport and Infrastructure (Traffic Safety) in principle support the proposal, the current success of the market in handling “Traffic Safety” should have alleviated any concerns DPTI may have had.

The Market has submitted and adhered to an internal traffic management plan during the past 12 months of operation, which has been a success.

The applicant can see no valid reason for this application not to proceed to approval, based on the application itself and the performance of the market over the past 14 months in operation and over 4 years in the Salisbury area.

 

Mark Aldridge

Farm Direct community markets.

COMPLYING FARM DIRECT AS A SHOPPING CENTER (initial proposal)

July 16, 2016

Farm direct Salisbury “merits argument”

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT

market and some cars, x trail 050

“Farm Direct community markets have been successfully operating in the Salisbury area for well over 3 years”.

The markets huge success is evidence in its community support and by how well it is supported by the Salisbury small business community, this is exaggerated by the very fact upon relocation to our new site at the Old Spot hotel, our old location behind PALS liqueur has been able to also rebuild and attract continued support.

In the Salisbury area alone, this represents hundreds of local jobs and increased employment opportunities, while delivering support services for a variety of local small businesses.

The recent legal fight to undermine our market and its development approvals, has been trade and competition based and nothing to do with development issues or safety concerns. Development law was never written with the intention to undermine competition, but rather to ensure any change of use is in line with community expectations, and Farm Direct has the majority support of the local community.

Our recently approved development application as “Merit use” ought not to be overlooked, as Community support is the founding basis of the word “merit” in development law and planning.

Farm Direct has a successful track record in the Salisbury area for over 3 years, and have proven our ability to operate on the current site without any adverse effect to the location or surrounding area. In fact we leave no lasting imprint on the site or the local environment at all.

The fact that development law and planning has overlooked stalls, markets and fetes in their definitions, allowing the recent redefining to include a stall in the definition of the word shop, is due to the fact community events were never considered developments, but rather events, events of a regular basis, have been a part of the city of Salisbury history since its inception.

The location of Farm Directs present Salisbury Height’s Market at the Old Spot hotel is on private land, land that’s primary use is retail based, the zoning of “Open Space” is based more on the adjacent river and walk ways/trails, than the area built to have its primary use to be that of a car park for retail and hotel trading.

Before I touch on the merits of our application in an area presently zoned “Open Space” now we are considered non-complying, I would like to compare the merit of our application with the city of Salisbury’s planning objectives.

Salisbury City has a range or initiatives that drive its development planning agenda, these are based around a range of ideals that work in with the State’s current planning objectives, they include;

Salisbury – Sustainable Futures – Sustainable Futures is a local response to current and future needs of the Salisbury community. It seeks to address the unique challenges of Salisbury by developing and benefiting from a range of opportunities and partnerships.

Farm Direct offers a range of opportunities for the North, that interact well with every aspect of Salisbury’s future and current objectives, through job creation, environmental benefits, health and exercise, affordable access to fresh local produce, innovation in primary production, attracting community participation and helping bring more income to the city.

Farm Direct not only leaves the area it uses clean, we also ensure we remove litter from the surrounding trails and river banks.

 

Key Direction (1) Shaping Our Future – Develop our City as prosperous and progressive by attracting and sustaining increased business investment and by providing accessible learning opportunities to grow and support a skilled workforce.

Farm Direct community market helps employ over 100 people directly and as we grow, so does the employment opportunities, especially as an avenue to support and nurture new small and micro business opportunities in the area.

 

Key Direction 2: Sustaining Our Environment – Become a Sustainable City in which its residents and businesses embrace sustainability best practices as part of their day-to-day lives and activities.

Farm Directs stall holders, are growing and producing to suit customer demand, helping alleviate waste, we operate in an environmentally sustainable manner, and any excess produce is used to help feed the most vulnerable in our community.

 

Key Direction 3: Salisbury the Living City – Maintain a strong and vibrant community by providing safe and supportive environments that promote opportunity, healthy and creative lifestyles.

Farm Direct promotes healthy lifestyles, by getting the local community out of their homes, walking around our market area and meeting their neighbours. We promote using the local open spaces, and eating healthy by promoting and offering local fresh affordable produce to the Salisbury community.

We utilising local cooking demonstrations, involve the local schools and community groups at our Midweek markets, and encouraging community participation.

 

Key Direction (4) Salisbury Success – Remain a high performing and innovative organisation that strives to achieve excellence in every area

Community and Farmers markets are a sought after community asset by most suburban and regional councils, most present locations where markets like ours operate are in similar if not the same zoning that Farm Direct presently operate.

A similar market to ours has just been complied in the Gawler Township, located in a carpark on “open space” zoning, in that case, the council themselves are in partnership with the market, offering free land use, secure contracts and investing over $60,000 of local rate payer’s moneys a year ensuring their market has the best facilities and marketing.

Farm Direct offers all the same benefits without any costs to the Salisbury council or there rate payers, offering excellence in our operations and facilities, and assisting in ensuring the supply of fresh affordable produce to those rate payers living on or below the poverty line.

Farm Direct community markets looks forward to assisting the Salisbury community and the council in its future directives at every level.

 

Salisbury’s Policy & Planning Stream (2)

Your policy; “Health and Wellbeing Based on the premise that wellbeing covers physical, emotional and financial aspects of life, encompasses social integration, respect for diversity, community participation and a safe, vibrant and creative environment.”

Farm Direct fulfils all the aims of this initiative, assisting in financial assistance to those on limited budgets, the promotion of social integration and community participation, we promote diversity through offering produce from a diverse range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, in a vibrant and creative environment. This clearly supports our original merit based application, and fulfils the merits required to be considered an acceptable form of any non-complying application process for the proposed location.

 

Goal 2.3 – Health and Nutrition “City of Salisbury”

Your position; There is increasing awareness of the importance of primary health measures, nutrition education and access to affordable healthy food – plus regular physical exercise – to offset preventable conditions such as obesity.

While this is an issue across communities, there is a need to ensure that people experiencing financial disadvantage – plus those who have not had the benefit of health and nutrition education – have the opportunity to learn about and access ‘healthy’ food and health behaviours (such as exercise).

There is the opportunity to provide these opportunities to children and families via schools, community centres, sporting groups, recreation centres and other community facilities.

It is here I believe Farm Direct is the best initiative in the city of Salisbury to fulfil these criteria from a single bi weekly event, with any added cost to the city and its rate payers.

  1. We work with local schools to provide opportunities for them to further their education relating to healthy eating
  2. We offer excellent facilities to promote family and community activities, by getting family’s to come to our market do their shopping as a family and embrace the local parks, walking trails and play equipment
  3. Farm Direct offers free cooking classes, tasting, and healthy eating behaviour.
  4. We provide access to affordable healthy produce, and promote healthy eating in general.
  5. We get regular feedback both on site and on line from our customers that support these statements, from feeling healthier, losing weight, and even more so seeing their children embracing healthy food over fast food and processed sugars.

 

Farm Directs strategy is to offer assistance and support to local small business and primary production, while promoting healthy eating and sustainability.

  1. Support the health and safety of the community.
  2. Ensure the services and infrastructure we provide meet community needs.
  3. Facilitate information and communication opportunities.
  4. Ensure local community resources are accessible to every sector of the community.
  5. Promote increased civic participation in community and Council activities.
  6. Identify and actively support and promote the recreation and leisure needs of the community.
  7. Enhance learning and employment opportunities across our community.
  8. Strengthen and unite the local community.

 

 

THE PRINCIPLES OF DEVELOPMENT CONTROL FOR “OPEN SPACE AND RECREATIONAL AREAS, includes several sections that support our present market model;

I have highlighted in bold where we directly adhere to the current “Open Space” zoning regulations.

Farm Direct leaves a clean foot print; we account for a small minority use of the land, and fulfil a majority of the directives driving present development planning.

2 (a) Facilitate a range of formal and informal recreation activities

(b) Provide for the movement of pedestrians and cyclists

3 Open space should be designed to incorporate:

(a) pedestrian, cycle linkages to other open spaces, centres, schools and public transport nodes

(b) park furniture, shaded areas and resting places to enhance pedestrian comfort

(c) safe crossing points where pedestrian routes intersect the road network

(h) Opportunities to be active and participate in physical activity

  1. Buildings in open space, including structures and associated car parking areas, should be designed, located and of a scale that is unobtrusive and does not detract from the desired open space character.

11 Development in open space should:

(a) Be clustered where practical to ensure that the majority of the site remains open

13 Landscaping associated with open space and recreation areas should:

(a) Not compromise the drainage function of any drainage channel

(b) Provide shade and windbreaks along cyclist and pedestrian routes, around picnic and barbecue

areas and seating, and in car parking areas

(d) Enhance the visual amenity of the area and complement existing buildings

(e) Be designed and selected to minimise maintenance costs

14 Development of recreational activities in areas not zoned for that purpose should be compatible with surrounding activities.

15 Recreation facilities development should be sited and designed to minimise negative impacts on the amenity of the locality.

 

 

COMMUNITY PLAN acceptance

Objective 1.2 Build a local community that is proud of Salisbury

Objective 1.4 Create a vibrant and active, event-filled Council area

Objective 2.1 Physical and social infrastructure to match population growth

Objective 2.5 Manage growth through the real connection of people and places

Objective 2.6 Local economic activity to create local job opportunities and generate increased local wealth

Objective 3.7 Create a safe, community environment

Objective 5.1 Support and encourage community teamwork

Objective 5.4 Create and support community partnerships that contribute to the

Farm Direct is an asset to the City of Salisbury, a draw card that attracts many into the Salisbury area and compliments the many innovative directives of its host city.

If the only objections are those of a market competitive nature, there is no reason to deny the development application based on the markets merits.

Farm Direct is well supported by the local community, it is in line with council and state government initiatives and brings people into the area, and the community together.

Mark Aldridge

 

Photos below are of the Market during trading, and show our Wednesday market entertaining local school children in an attempt to educate on healthy eating.

 

HOW TO RE RUN THE 2016 FEDERAL ELECTION, TO ENSURE DEMOCRACY IS SERVED

July 15, 2016

HOW TO RE RUN THE 2016 FEDERAL ELECTION.

voting

Mark Aldridge for “Electoral Commissioner” 🙂

 

  1. ENSURE ELECTORAL ROLLS ARE ACCURATE (SPOT CHECKS ACROSS THE COUNTRY)
  2. MAKE THE ROLLS ELECTRONIC, (TO OVERCOME MULTIPLE VOTERS)
  3. ENSURE VOTERS HAVE A BOOKLET DELIVERED, WHICH INCLUDES HOW TO VOTE, INCLUDES SAMPLE BALLOT PAPERS AND A LIST OF CANDIDATES WITH BRIEF DETAILS AND CONTACT INFORMATION. (TO ENSURE VOTERS CAN CAST AN INFORMED VOTE) (Booklets like this were on offer up until a few years ago, and are used in council elections)
  4. MAKE ALL VOTES OPTIONAL PREFERENTIAL.
  5. VOTERS TO PRESENT ID BEFORE THEY CAN VOTE.
  6. SUPPLY PAPER BALLOTS WITH PERMANENT MARKERS, ALL MISTAKES TO BE ISSUED A REPLACEMENT BALLOT PAPER, WITH ALL SPOILED BALLOTS TO BE ACCOUNTED FOR.
  7. DENY ACCESS TO THE ELECTION PROCESS TO ALL CANDIDATES AND THEIR PARTIES, INCLUDING POSTAL APPLICATIONS & MAIL INTERCEPTION.
  8. ALLOW ALL AEC WORKERS TO COME FORWARD, SHOULD THEY SEE ANYTHING UNTOWARD.
  9. HAVE LIVE STREAM CAMERA IN EVERY POLLING BOOTH AND DURING SCRUTINEERING.
  10. MAKE IT LAW, THAT IF THE MEDIA ARE TO PUBLISH AN OVERVIEW OF ANY ELECTORATE, THEY “MUST” INCLUDE EVERY CANDIDATES NAME AS A MINIMUM REQUIREMENT.
  11. CHANGE THE COUNTING OF VOTES TO ENSURE THOSE ELECTED HAVE THE MOST SUPPORT, BY ABOLISHING THE TWO PARTY COUNTING SYSTEM.
  12. RE-OPEN ALL THE POLLING BOOTHS AND RESTORE ALL MOBILE SERVICES, WITH STREAMED VIDEO COVERAGE.
  13. EMPLOY PRIVATE SECURITY SERVICES TO SECURE EVERY POLLING BOOTH FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE THE ELECTION UNTIL THE FINALISATION OF THE COUNT.
  14. ENSURE EVERY CANDIDATE IS CAPABLE AT LAW OF BEING ELECTED.
  15. ENSURE ALL BALLOT PAPERS HAVE THE NAME OF THE CANDIDATE NEXT TO THEIR VOTING SQUARE, AND IF LOGOS ARE TO BE USED, ALL CANDIDATES CAN UTILIZE THEM.
  16. MAKE IT LAW THAT ALL FUTURE ELECTORAL LAW AMENDMENTS ARE MADE BY AN INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY, THROUGH A TRANSPARENT COMMUNITY BASED PROCESS.
  17. MAKE IT LAW THAT ANY MISSING BALLOT PAPERS THAT EXCEED ANY WINNING MARGIN, RESULTS IN A RE-ELECTION PROCESS FOR THAT ELECTORATE OR HOUSE.
  18. ANY CANDIDATE OR PARTY THAT MAKES AN ELECTORAL PROMISE MUST FOLLOW THROUGH TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY OR IS REMOVED FROM OFFICE, AND THE CANDIDATE THAT CAME SECOND IN THAT ELECTORATE TAKES THEIR PLACE.
  19. IF ANY VOTER ARRIVES TO VOTE AND CANNOT THROUGH ANY ISSUE RESULTING FROM A DEFICIENCY OF ANY KIND, THEY ARE PROVIDED WITH A CARD TO ALLOW THEM TO VOTE ON A FOLLOWING DATE.
  20. MINIMUM JAIL SENTANCES FOR ANY ELECTORAL CORRUPTION OR VOTE MANIPULATION.

Mark Aldridge

FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER “Demanding a new election”

July 11, 2016

FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSIONER

 

Regarding the conduct and counting of the 2016 Federal election.

 

10th of July 2016

By email; Trudi.Fenton@aec.gov.au

Copy sent; Paul.Langtree@aec.gov.au

Dear Electoral Commissioners

Re; Formal Complaint

 

Formal petition link; https://www.change.org/p/australian-electoral-commission-australians-demanding-a-new-election-2016?recruiter=11899917&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-custom_msg&recuruit_context=fb_share_mention_control&fb_ref=Default

 

I am writing in response to numerous complaints regarding the conduct of the 2016 Federal election, complaints I have received from people across Australia which raise concerns in relation to the conduct the counting and the advice given to voters from electoral commission staff and the advice given by Centrelink on behalf of the AEC.

I would like to remind the commission of the legal precedent “Woodward V Sarsons” which enables a common-law argument to invalidate a general election if the conduct of the election strays too far from the legislative provisions, to enable it to be considered an election at law.

To date the many complaints I have received, concur with the many media reports that also expose a variety of conduct issues including but not restricted to;

  • People being turned away from polling booths without being allowed to vote due to a deficiency in ballot papers. (231. Right of elector to receive ballot paper)
  • People being asked to tick of their names, even though they were unable to cast a vote due to again an absence of ballot papers in numerous polling booth locations.
  • People in a variety of location being unable to vote due to a lack of access to polling booths and or mobile polling services.
  • People missing out on their vote due to irregularities in the maintenance of the electoral roll.
  • People being given unauthorised ballot papers. (missing the official marks required for formal acceptance) therefore deeming making valid votes informal under electoral law.
  • The opening of ballot boxes before the end of the voting period, causing all said ballot papers to be informal.
  • People being asked to hand ballot papers to polling workers because the ballot boxes were full, unacceptable under the electoral act.
  • People in remote communities missing out on voting because of polling booth closures and a lack or transport services.
  • ADF (Australian defence employees) missing out on their votes due to restrictions in mobile polling services
  • Complaints from enrolled voters undergoing hospitalisation missing out again due to mobile polling cutbacks and a lack of credible mobile polling services.
  • Postal ballot applications being delayed due to political interference with the application process.
  • People being provided with the wrong ballot papers for electorates outside of their areas and in some cases outside their state.
  • Ballot boxes not being correctly sealed as per the electoral act laws.
  • Ballot boxes unattended which had been ripped open to allow easy access.
  • Absentee voters missing out on their votes, due to a shortage of absentee ballot papers.
  • Counting and scrutiny issues being reported by polling booth staff and scrutineers.
  • Incorrect voting information being provided by polling booth staff and centre link workers to voters across the nation.
  • Voters being told they could not vote with a pen.
  • Voters arriving to find their names missing from the electoral rolls, then denied their right to vote.
  • Reports of missing ballot papers in the final count averaging 25% of the total vote cast.
  • Reports of counting irregularities in both houses.
  • Voter intention on all senate ballot papers being unable to be ascertained as a result of being provided wrong information about formal voting procedures.
  • Many candidates being nominated and contesting the election, that were allowed by the AEC to be nominated and contest the election even though at law they should have been declined by the AEC due to holding offices of the crown or having an allegiance to a foreign power.
  • Polling booth workers not asking the required questions before providing a ballot paper.
  • Media blackout laws were being ignored by several political parties
  • Postal workers exposing issues processing postal ballot papers due to the interception of applications by the Liberal party.
  • The issue of pre-poll and postal ballot papers to voters that did not meet the legislative criteria to be issued these services.
  • Issues exposed relating to security at polling booths.
  • The Major parties handling postal ballot applications, which were intercepted by their offices rather than the reply paid envelopes being addressed to the commission.

 

I therefore lodge a formal complaint and call for a full investigation into these issues, irregularities and the general handling of the election conduct.

(Questions as to why electoral laws were changed the day before the election are also being raised?)

 

  1. How many ballot papers were printed and how many have been accounted for?

 

1a; How many ballot papers were printed and have they all been accounted for?

 

  1. Why did the commission close hundreds of polling booths?

 

2a; how many polling booths were removed from service in comparison to the 2013 and 2010 elections?

 

  1. Why was the commission forced to utilise centre link voters to answer AEC enquiries and what training were they provided to those workers.

 

  1. What advice was recommended to polling workers in relation to the new senate voting laws?

 

  1. Is the AEC going to make a formal complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority, regarding the thousands of breaches of the media blackout laws?

 

7a; Does the commission believe that the breaches of these rules has affected the election outcome?

 

  1. How many postal ballot applications were handled by the major parties?

 

  1. Was it lawful for the Liberal party to intercept and open postal ballot applications before on sending them to the Electoral Commission?

 

  1. Why did polling booths run out of ballot papers, when voter attendance was down some 20 to 30%?

 

  1. Why some voters were not asked the required questions before receiving their ballot papers (229. Questions to be put to voter)

 

  1. How many voters were denied a ballot paper or their right to vote? (Section 231.  Ensures the right of elector to receive ballot paper)

 

  1. Why were how to vote papers being left in polling booth voting areas?

 

  1. Will the commission allow their employees to come forward with their complaints without taking legal action against them under their present employment contracts?

 

  1. How many voters were allowed to mark their names of as having voted, that were denied ballot papers?

 

  1. How many polling booths reported running out of senate ballot papers?

 

  1. How many polling booths reported running out of absentee ballot papers?

 

  1. How many polling booths closed early due to running out of ballot papers?

 

  1. How many hospitals were denied mobile polling services in 2016 compared to the 2013 and 2010 federal elections?

 

  1. How many nursing homes were removed from the usual mobile polling services?

 

  1. How many polling booths were closed down in comparison to 2013 and 2010?

 

  1. Did all the absentee and postal ballot applications in line with the legislative requirements?

 

  1. What is the commission position in the massive increase in informal votes?

 

  1. What is the Electoral position relating to the massive sudden increase in none attendance?

 

  1. Why were voters, in particular absentee voters given conflicting advice on voting formally?

 

  1. Do you personally believe the election conduct was in line with your personal expectations?

 

  1. How many voters deliberately missed out on their vote as a direct result of reduced voting/polling services?

 

  1. How much funding was cut to the AEC during this election process compared to 2013 and 2010.

 

  1. How many permanent positions were axed between 2013 and 2016.

 

  1. How many pre-poll/postal applicants applied for AEC services?

 

  1. What we’re polling booth staffs expectations when and if a voter spoiled a ballot paper?

 

  1. What as the extent of training provided to Centre link workers and casual polling staff?

 

  1. How many voters received incorrect ballot papers?

 

  1. How many ballot papers under scrutiny did not have the official mark?

 

  1. How many ballot boxes sustained damage?

 

  1. Will the commission be ignoring electoral law and counting senate and other ballots that do not have the required mark? (209A.   Official mark)

 

  1. How many ballot boxes were not correctly sealed and how many were opened and tampered with prior to the closing of the polls.

 

  1. Why did the commission excuse electoral advertising laws and black out times?

 

  1. What reason does the electoral commissioner give for the sudden rise in informal ballot papers?

 

  1. What reasons does the electoral commissioner give for the huge lack of attendance of around 3 million voters?

 

  1. Will those candidates whose names appeared on ballot papers, but were ineligible to run as a candidate still receive electoral funding?

 

38a will those same candidates preferences be passed on to other candidates where a how to vote was distributed?

 

  1. How many people registered for postal voting?

 

38a; how many of the applicants had a legal right to apply for a postal ballot under schedule          2 of the Electoral Act 1918

 

  1. How many applications or postal ballots were delivered too late to be counted?

 

  1. How many official and unofficial complaints were received by the AEC?

 

  1. Does the commission support a re-election process?

 

  1. What steps can the commissioner take to ensure the voters are aware of who is running in each seat, media reporting in my state only covered 3 parties, and even the how to vote lift outs in local papers excluded all others?

 

  1. Is the move to a position of electronic voting by the major parties a direct result of the

multitude of errors evident during the conduct of the 2016 process?

 

  1. With winning margins in some seats being below 100, are the tens of thousands of missing votes in each of those seats, enough to consider supporting a rerun of the election?

 

  1. Will there be a Petition by Electoral Commission to dispute the outcome of the election under section 357 of the electoral ACT 1918, as a result of the multitude of concerns raised and the deviation away from the legislative requirements of a general election process.

 

On behalf of Australian voters, I would hope the commission can see fit to answer these questions, and offer a full overview of the final conduct and voting facts.

As a federal candidate for the 2016 election I request answers to the questions asked where it is within my rights to ask as a candidate and enrolled voter.

*COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACT 1918 – SECT 364 Real justice to be observed

I believe as an informed voter and experienced political candidate that the election process has deviated to far from the legislative provisions of a proper election process to be considered an election at law.

I therefore demand the commissioner issues a petition to dispute the election outcome, and formally requests that a new election be held, in which the process is restored to be in line with the correct procedures required of a general election process.

Mark Aldridge

P O Box 1073 Virginia SA 5120

Date of Birth 02/08/65

201 Taylors road Penfield Gardens

08 82847482 / 0403379500

aldridgemark@bigpond.com.