Posts Tagged ‘Australian Politics’

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.

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

Makin candidate, Mark Aldridge, most in touch with his electorate.

June 30, 2016

Mark Aldridge Independent for Makin, is winning the grass roots support in his electorate, based on his representation on Social Media, and grass roots work in his electorate.

Mark 3

Marks recent media releases which paint a clear picture of where he stands on a variety of political topics, the very same topics. recent polls say are supported by the voters in his electorate.

“Protecting our Farmers and producers is one thing, but my position is the farms themselves are strategic assets, and ought not to be for sale to foreign interests” says Mark

Mr. Aldridge runs several farmers markets which service his electorate “Farm Direct” community markets, in Salisbury heights and Lights view, also spending years setting up and supporting other markets in the north, including his first major market in Parafield.

The markets are simply my attempt to bring change at a grass roots level, they were never set us as a political ploy, they are there to simply support my community and the local producers themselves.

“I grew up in the North, in Parafield Gardens, and now live in Penfield amongst the farmers, so uniting them both has been a tremendous success” says Mark

One of the great things about my advocacy work in the north is that I spend much of my time in the electorate chatting with the community, so I feel very connected to them. I believe this is why I have such great support and such a detailed understanding of their needs at a grass roots level.

When asked about recent media articles, Mark said “I have never been very popular with the media to be honest” they at times seem as out of touch with the people as the major party candidates. The election debate coverage so far between the supposed leaders, clearly shows they have no idea what change the public care even calling for.

Real jobs, securing our primary production sector, improved support for our pensioners and veterans are not on the agenda, in fact my opponents in Makin, are still calling for increased immigration and foreign aid, obviously little do they realise, the public do not agree.

The only issue my support is facing is a hostile media, who as usual, feel they have a right to dictate both the policy’s to be debated and restrict coverage to their favoured candidates.

“Makin voters should know me well enough by now to know what I stand for, sadly those that don’t will probably be swayed by media propaganda, rather than any open debate on the topics of concern. Even the Messenger press have refrained from letting their readers know who is running, which is very sad for local democracy”. Mark said.

Once the election is over, regardless of the outcome, I will still be here for the community and continue to work in their best interests, so losing an election only affects the resources I have to do my job. I will still be looking for ways to improve services and opportunities for the voters of Makin, long after the other candidates disappear for another few years.

 

Written by Mark Aldridge in the absence of any journos that are allowed to write about me J

AUSTRALIA’S INDEPENDENTS DAY JULY 2 2016

June 28, 2016

AUSTRALIA’S INDEPENDENTS DAY JULY 2 2016

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This week you have a chance to change politics, you can address political mediocrity, not necessarily based on a massive choice of inspirational candidates, but by sending a strong message that we the people demand our voices are heard.

Taking away the power of the two party systems, is the only way we can bring about political and social change.

Before globalization, Australia was leading the world, we had the best health care, topping the list with 17 beds per thousand in our hospitals, we led the world in innovation, research, small business flourished so did manufacturing, we made everything, exported it, and when you brought Aussie made, you know it would last.

We were a proud nation leading on the world stage; we were the envy of the world.

We exported more than we purchased, which created jobs, security, and our nation prospered, we were in deed the lucky country.

We now we have around 2 beds per thousand in our hospitals, we sold of our medical patents, we undermine innovation, Industry has been pushed of shore taking our job security with it, all in the name of globalisation and free trade.

Since we opened up our nation to globalization we have lost more than our rights, our self-determination, our sovereignty, we have lost our way and our way of life and our place as one of the best nations on earth.

Out of touch politicians with no idea how to recover are now selling the farm so to speak, selling our primary industries, farms and water to countries that would never let us buy theirs, they are now told what to do by people we never elected, again under this new global agenda.

Our supposed representatives lost sight of our long term future, coming up with short term answers to long term problems, increase our population by immigration, borrowing money to send of shore to help others. When that money ran out, they sold of our infrastructure, ports, and power production not to find money for us, to appease agreements made with others, again people we do not meet or get to elect.

This election, most of the candidates not only back this agenda, they want to increase immigration, increase foreign aid, borrow more money, make selling the farms even easier, and do that by further reducing our services, our health care, our education and undermining our sovereignty.

England voted to restore its democracy, just as we should, but as you will see those who wish to dictate our way of life, those that want to engineer our society will really step up, and I would say in doing so they will expose themselves and their agenda.

We do not need free trade, trade deals what allow others to buy our farms yet won’t sell us theirs, and we don’t need to compete with those on $10 a week, because we never had to, we don’t need to buy our vehicles from overseas, we used to build and export ours to them, and we can build them again.

Don’t fall for the bullshit that globalization is good, or the only way forward.

We have to demand change now, we still have the know-how, the factories and the infrastructure to rebuild, we still own some farms and infrastructure, we can pay of our debt and buy back the farm, but it will take hard work and sacrifice, the same hard work and sacrifice that built this country in the first place.

We can ensure that sacrifice is shared with the corporate sector, by demanding they pay their fair share of the tax burden, by the re-introduction of tariff protections, and by abolishing any trade deals that disadvantage us as a nation.

We need to limit immigration, fix our trade deficit, restore protectionism, cut back foreign aid and get our back yard in order, and the last thing we need is foreign body’s, and dodgy trade deals telling us how to run our nation, because it is what has destroyed all the hard work of our forefathers in the first place.

The government and their Media mates have you believing all of this rubbish is good for you, and that people like me, that speak the truth are nutbags, but in your heart you know the truth.

Like the English BREXIT vote, we can take back that which is rightfully ours, our rights, our liberties and our freedoms, and regain the label of the lucky country, and then we can use that position to help those in need.

Not by sending them money, but providing the services they need.

The two party political systems have been written by the two parties’ to empower the two parties, they are nothing to do with democracy, in fact they work against democracy, the concept of a free and informed choice, against our sovereignty and our ability to determine our nation’s future and protect its peoples best interests.

Every term in government we give these people, in every country, is leading us further away from recovery; their election means less social services, less real jobs, increased selling of our strategic assets, farms and water. The further these parties lead us in a downward spiral, the harder it will become to rebuild.

All we have to do is deny them our vote, deny imported produce our money, and deny the media the power to educate us.

Be the change you want to see in this world, not just how you vote, but how you spend, and what you share on social media, and more than anything else, how you treat your fellow people.

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin……. A difference!

PUPPY FARM & ANIMAL WELFARE REFORMS, Mark Aldridge Independent

June 21, 2016
PUPPY FARM & ANIMAL WELFARE REFORMS

My views thus far;                                                anim

It is important to note that while we debate the way forward, specifically with measures to address the breeding of dogs, the legislative framework proposed should also apply equally to the breeding of cats and any future companion animals.

I would recommend that state and territory governments include the breeding of cats in any legislative reforms.

I would recommend that responsibility for the administration and enforcement of these initiatives be shared between state and territory departments of local councils, and state and Territory divisions of the RSPCA, in the case of the RSPCA powers of litigation must include debate in relation to set prosecution, enforcement and procedural guidelines.

I note that a number of states are already engaging in legislative reforms that will give effect to many of the strategies proposed. It is important that such amendments are nationally consistent) to prevent regulatory “black holes” which may undermine efforts to address these concerns.

Traceability

The ability to trace the origin of puppies to their mothers and breeders is crucial for facilitating appropriate regulation and transparency in dog breeding activities.

It will provide local government with a cost-effective mechanism for auditing and monitoring breeders to ensure they are complying with their statutory obligations.

It will also give prospective dog owners the reassurance they are seeking to ensure they do not contribute to the perpetuation of unscrupulous puppy farming/breeding operations.

Registration of breeders

All people who wish to engage in breeding companion animals should be required to register as a dog breeder with their local council. The application of this requirement should be broad and apply to any person who wishes to keep more than one entire female regardless of whether that person has a stated intention to engage in breeding.

Different registration requirements can of course apply to individuals seeking to register two breeding dogs, as opposed to those seeking registration for the operation of a larger scale commercial breeding establishment, which may consist of 4 or more breeding dogs.

All registration details should be collated in a state-based breeder register maintained by the administering authority, in this case it may be best to have the data base managed by local councils.

Members of the public should be able to search the register to ensure the accuracy of the breeder registration number provided by a breeder.

State and territory animal management legislation should be amended to provide for these requirements and the associated registration procedure.

The legislation should make compliance with a prescribed breeding standard a condition of registration, with an accompanying regular inspections regime to verify compliance.
 
Microchipping

State and territory animal management legislation should provide for a requirement to microchip puppies before they reach say “12 weeks of age” and prior to their sale or transfer.

The legislation should also require the information recorded on the microchip database to include the microchip ID number for the animal’s mother, and the breeder’s registration number and details.

The process of recording such information should be prescribed in legislation and include requirements for the owner to provide evidence of the accuracy of the details to be recorded.

Such evidence may include the provision of a driver’s licence or other personal identification, and registration certificate for the breeder bitch for instance. The microchip database should be licensed and regulated by the responsible authority.

To enable effective monitoring and enforcement, microchip databases should have a mechanism for recognizing maximum numbers of puppies that can be recorded to any one breeding bitch or breeder registration number, to again ensure accountability.

For instance, if a breeder is registered as having two entire females, the maximum number of pups that can be linked to that breeder’s registration number within one year may be set at an educated quantity.

If the maximum number is exceeded this should be flagged in the microchip database and an automated notification sent to the relevant local government authority. A local government officer could then contact the breeder to establish the reason for exceeding the prescribed limit and conduct further investigation if necessary.
 
Disclosure of breeder registration number
 
The animal management legislation should also impose a requirement for the breeder registration number to be displayed at the point of sale and in all advertisements for a companion animal. This would enable a prospective buyer to search the relevant breeder register to ensure the breeder number is legitimate.
 
Breeder Standards

Each state and territory should adopt mandatory standards for the breeding of dogs under their animal welfare legislation. Compliance with the standards should also be made a condition of registration as a breeder. Breaching the standards could therefore attract punitive penalties under animal welfare legislation, and revocation of the breeder’s registration at law.

To ensure the welfare of breeding animals, the breeder standards should include the following key welfare standards. Breeder standards should be informed by the five freedoms and ensure the animals’ physiological, behavioral and social needs are met.

Exercise and socialization

Daily opportunities to exercise, play, explore and socialize are necessary to maintain the mental and physical health of animals. Exercise and socialization must be sufficient to meet the animals’ behavioral, physiological and social needs.

These same standards should also be applied to shelters and organisations like the RSPCA and AWL.

Animals must be provided with opportunities to socialize not only with their peers, but also humans in a secure environment on a daily basis. The exercise area must be an additional and separate area to the area where the animal is normally housed.

In addition, opportunities to exercise in a secure outdoor area with natural lighting must be provided daily.

Staff / animal ratios for breeders

The ratio of staff to animals must be sufficient to ensure that each individual animal’s physiological, behavioral and social needs are met and that a high standard of care is provided.

Animal shelters and pounds should offer similar practice models.

Housing

Housing must meet the physiological, behavioral and social needs of the breeding animals and their offspring. Housing facilities must be designed and maintained to provide a clean, comfortable and safe environment.

The housing space should be as large as possible. At a minimum, the housing area must provide sufficient space to allow animals to walk around freely without obstruction, and to sleep and eat away from areas where they defecate.

In addition, housing should be designed to make use of natural lighting and to provide animals with access to outdoor enclosures. Animals should be housed as appropriate for the individual animal, individually or in compatible groups.

Housing standards must cover aspects including temperature, ventilation, clean air, noise, light, spaces, drainage and security etc.

Animals in non-kill shelters MUST be allowed to be housed in larger enclosures that offer greater room to move, and ought to allow areas that are not concreted.
 
Breeding Management

Breeding animals must be physically healthy, free of disease and inherited disorders. Prior to using an animal for breeding, the breeder must consult with a registered veterinarian to determine whether the animal is suitable for breeding.

If deemed suitable, the breeder must develop an appropriate breeding management program for each individual breeding animal based on veterinary advice.

Breeding animals must have reached full physical development (maturity) prior to breeding based on veterinary advice.

Breeders must screen potential breeding animals under veterinary advice for health problems (inherited disorders, genetic defects and exaggerated physical features) and behavioural problems. If such problems are detected the animal should be excluded from breeding.

Breeding mates must not be closely related to each other.

Where an animal exhibits or produces offspring with an inherited disorder or characteristic that has been identified as compromising the animal’s quality of life, health or welfare, that animal should be excluded from breeding and should be de-sexed.

Any animal that does not meet with the requirements to breed, must be either provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility or re-homed to a suitable carer. These animals should not be euthanized unless it is deemed necessary and in the best interests of the animal by a veterinarian.

The breeder must not euthanasia/cull healthy offspring simply because they do not conform to a ‘breed standard’, to ensure compliance all births and deaths should be covered in a yearly report.
 
Veterinary and General Care

Veterinary care and general care (e.g. grooming, parasite control etc) must be provided as required to ensure the health and welfare of the animal, as found in present animal welfare legislation

All animals in shelters or breeding facilities must be checked every day and receive appropriate and sufficient food and water.

If an animal displays signs of illness or injury, veterinary care must be provided immediately. Euthanasia of all companion animals, must only be performed by a veterinarian.

Retirement and re-homing policy

Retired breeding animals, animals that are unable to breed or animals that are unsuitable for breeding, should be de-sexed and either provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility or re-homed to a suitable carer or re-homing facility.

Any unsold or returned animals must be provided with a high standard of housing and care at the breeder facility either permanently or until they can be re-homed to a suitable carer or re-homing facility.

Transfer/transport of animals

Animals must be transported safely, securely and comfortably. Transportation must be appropriate for the animals’ biological needs and must not compromise animal health or welfare.

Animals must be in good health and fit for the intended journey. The only exception to this requirement is when the animal is being transported to a veterinarian for treatment.

Transport containers should enable the animal to lie down flat, turn around, stand erect and stretch with clearance. They should be robust and escape-proof, sufficiently enclosed to provide a sense of security whilst allowing adequate ventilation, appropriate temperature and the ability to inspect the animal during the journey.

Transfer/transporting guidelines must be researched and apply to all carriage of animals.

Animals must be provided with sufficient food, water and rest before, during and after the journey, according to their biological needs.

The transporters/handlers must be trained and competent in the transport of companion animals to ensure the health and welfare of the animal. The transporter is responsible for the care of the animal

Interim Orders

It is not uncommon for defendants in animal management and welfare prosecutions to challenge enforcement action, and to appeal court decisions resulting in long and drawn-out legal proceedings.

I have also seen the court process dragged out by prosecution authorities (abuse of process) where there is financial gain in doing so, all prosecutions must meet a national set of procedural guidelines to ensure just and equitable use of the courts time.

When this occurs it is important that the welfare of any seized animals can be appropriately provided for while the matter is before the courts. Often in cases involving puppy farms the number of animals seized and the ongoing veterinary treatment and care required can result in the incursion of significant costs.

State and territory animal management and welfare legislation must provide mechanisms for the relevant prosecuting agency to apply for orders with respect to the ongoing ownership of the animals, the costs associated with the ongoing care of the animals, and prohibiting the defendant(s) from continuing to engage in the business of puppy farming while the matter is before the courts.

Any party that is found to abuse the court system as either a defendant or prosecutor ought to be responsible for all costs orders.

No animals seized should be killed or adopted out until ownership has been fully debated, the original owner should be able chose where they are housed and cover the costs until an outcome has been concluded.
 
Interim Ownership Orders

Most state animal welfare Acts already have provisions which allow inspectors to apply to a magistrate for an order that any seized animal(s) be forfeited (transfer of legal ownership) to the State while legal proceedings relating to those animals are still before the courts.

Presently these orders of forfeiture award the power to deal with the animal in any way fit, including destruction, changes need to me made to ensure the best services for the animals, until any legal proceedings are concluded.

In most cases, such an application will be decided “in the interests of the animal(s)” concerned. Equivalent provisions should also be inserted into animal management Acts to allow for such applications to be made following enforcement action taken by government departments for breaches of breeder licencing obligations, for instance “non-compliance with mandatory breeder standards”.

Orders against an animal’s owners ought to allow freedom of choice as to which authority looks after the animals during the court process, to ensure transparent cost and support factors.

Interim Prohibition Orders
 
It is not uncommon for unscrupulous breeders to continue engaging in the business of puppy farming while legal proceedings are still before the courts. This puts further animals at risk and places additional strain on the resources of enforcement agencies.

Should further enforcement action be required, Animal welfare and management legislation should provide for an application to be made to a magistrate for such defendants to be prohibited from engaging in puppy farming activities while legal proceedings against them are before the courts.

If the prosecuting agents case is found wanting, under current animal welfare legislation it is the minister who is responsible, in such cases the minister ought to find remedy in the courts against said authority.

Contracts between the minister, appointed inspectors or their employing agency’s must be available for public scrutiny.

Monitoring and Enforcement
 
In recent times there have been many issues with the RSPCA’s awarded powers of prosecution, which appear to have no procedural checks and balances, the RSPCA indeed have the Experience to police animal welfare legislation, but prosecution practices may be best left to Police services.
 
Monitoring and enforcement operations for any new legislative agenda, best be shared between local government animal management officers and state and territory RSPCA inspectors.

A targeted inspections regime that consists of both proactive routine (yet unannounced) inspections, and a reactive inspections strategy that responds to identified data discrepancies and complaints from the general public, should be developed between the relevant government authorities who are empowered to do so by animal welfare legislation reforms.

Prosecutions must be kept in line with community expectations and best practice; this would be best achieved by the development of a nationwide set of Compliance Prosecution and Enforcement Policies.

Said guidelines could be in line with the present Department of Agriculture policy in WA, to ensure openness and transparency, consistency and public interest criteria, and any contractual agreements between government and corporate entity’s empowered by animal welfare legislation, Must be made public as should any  Compliance, Enforcement and Prosecution policy.

Intent;
 
In recent years while doing an over view of current animal welfare legislation in most states, it has become relevant to debate animal abuse cases in relation to intention, presently animal welfare legislation in terms of recent litigation, uses wording that is open to misrepresentation and misunderstanding..

Failure to mitigate harm, has been a charge laid on carers, where the animal in question came into their care with existing medical or behavioral conditions, the lack of the inclusion of the intention has seen many carers face unwarranted charges, creating even more reason for improved prosecution guidelines.

Support services, improved education and animal welfare orders are a much more pro-active approach to ensure the best interests of the animals and their carers is paramount.

Overview;
 
Support for those who care for or rescue companion animals or in fact native animals is very limited, as are their protections.

Improved and understandable regulatory reforms are long overdue, to ensure animal welfare standards are kept up with community expectations across the board.

QUESTIONS ALSO RAISED; 
 
The ability of people to purchase entire animals, I suggest an application for a permit through the regulatory authority.
 
Working dogs and animals used in rural locations.
 
Kill rates in shelters and the use of Behavioral issues to excuse kill rates.
 
Genuine financial reporting of government funded charity’s and rescue groups.
 
The need for an ombudsman to address complaints against entities and inspectors empowered under animal welfare legislation

We have a long way to come to bring animal welfare protections up to meet the expectations of the community at large. Educated debate is the only way forward, which is best served by community forums with a view to legislative reform.

I am only an amateur, but every little step in the right direction is a good step.

Mark Aldridge  Independent Candidate for Makin
 
Community advocate & animal and civil rights lobbyist 

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE CALLS ON THE POLICE COMMISSIONER FOR A PUBLIC APOLOGY.

June 12, 2016

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE CALLS ON THE POLICE COMMISSIONER FOR A PUBLIC APOLOGY.

 

Mark Aldridge Independent candidate for Makin calls on the South Australia Police Commissioner for a public apology.

While running in the 2013 Federal election, Mr Aldridge had his home raided, and endured a false arrest and detention on top of a host of improper conduct by SAPOL officers, which have been found to have occurred without any reasonable basis at law.

It destroyed my credibility as a federal election candidate for the seat of Wakefield in 2013, to such a degree I have had to change seats in the hope that the Makin electorate, where my good name may not have been so adversely tainted by the media coverage of my poor treatment at the time.

I am a law abiding citizen and a well-known community advocate, and I take the application of the law very seriously.

The Police ombudsman’s report on the matter which is backed by the police commissioner is of the view that I should seek recompense against the state for my treatment and illegal arrest and detention.

It is all good to consider compensation, but my good name has been brought into disrepute by SAPOL through their actions, so an official apology is well earned and long overdue.

It was not only the raid on my home, the false arrest and detention, but the continued harassment by a range of officers, that at the time made headline news, that has caused the most damage.

I pride myself in the good work I do for my community, and to think there are now people out there that think I am a criminal by way of my past treatment by SAPOL officers, that is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.

Independent candidates are not awarded much in the way of media attention during election processes, so the last thing I needed during my campaign was coverage of an invalid raid and arrest.

My legal team will file a damages claim in the coming weeks, but I want my good name restored immediately.

I ensured the commissioner was well aware of my treatment at all times during this debacle, so he would be well aware of the treatment I endured, and ought to know it would have had an effect on my good name, because the report is clear as to that fact.

I supplied the commissioner with extensive evidence regarding the issue that was not considered during the Ombudsman’s investigation, so he will be well aware that even though the findings exonerated me, the whole truth is very damaging not just to my good name, but the good name and mental health of my family as a whole.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin.

08 82847482 / 0403379500

Independent candidate wants to end “Discount Democracy”

June 7, 2016

Independent candidate wants to end “Discount Democracy”

democracy 1

 

The Australian electoral commission for the past 2 decades has endured funding cuts, where one would hope we would expect increased funding in relation to secure democracy in this country.

Where once every Australian home received a now to vote guide in the mail, to ensure they knew how to vote, what their voting rights were, where the polling booths were, and how to make applications, all we receive now is propaganda.

Even worse, political parties are writing electoral law, even though they have the most to gain from structural biases, they are now even handling electoral applications, like postal ballot applications and the like.

Return addresses for postal ballot applications are now the head offices of political parties, in fact the political parties are now even printing electoral material, something most voters would never support and undermines the security of the ballot.

For those voters confused by new laws, or those who are either first time voters or new to this country, a call to the AEC to have questions answered are now being answered by Centrelink workers whose recent crash course in electoral law is resulting in misinformation.

Australia still embraces pencils and cardboard boxes, yet continue to claim to be one of the best democracy’s on the planet, and maybe we once were.

It is interesting to note here, that council elections are now afforded more robust electoral practices, the electorate receive a how to vote guide, a list of the candidates and in some areas, a basic overview of what the candidates stand for, so why are state and federal elections not considered worthy of these reforms?

Voting in a democracy is meant to be all about the Free will of an informed electorate, and the return of an election guide could ensure that happens.

Voters need to know how to vote, where to vote and know who the candidates are, I personally would toss in the freedom to only preference those they prefer, and only having to vote if they are inspired to, but I doubt parliament will support too much freedom.

In recent years election facts are clear that the system is failing, with missing ballot papers on the rise as are invalid votes, and one would hope that every vote was more important than that.

When winning margins can be a handful of votes, one would expect we ought to ensure every vote is treasured and protected.

I have been in and out of the court of disputed returns for 20 years fighting for electoral reform that empowers this nation’s voters. Simply because I truly believe we can repair the divide between the people and their representatives, by simply ensuring a fair and transparent system of democratic practice.

Bring back the how to vote guide, because democracy is the corner stone of society, and deserves more than the current discount system we are forced to endure.

 

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin & community advocate.

08 82847482 / 0403379500

Independent candidate wants direct democracy phone app

June 6, 2016

“Handing Democracy back to the People”

Let every elector in Makin decide issues of importance, by utilising latest technology.

Let all the federal candidates consider change

Independent candidate Mark Aldridge running for the seat of Makin is determined to hand democracy back to the people.

Mark has fought for over a decade to help restore the rights and freedoms of voters, and working with other informed Independents has come up with a bold plan to give constituents their own voice in the parliamentary decisions.

Mr Aldridge said our elected representatives should represent we the people, not dictate to us.

If elected, he will work with experts to develop a mobile phone app that will let residents have their say directly on important issues and legislative reform.

“The little people need to take the power back,” Mr Aldridge said.

“Through this use of technology, I hope to engage the public and help make the residents of Makin the most politically involved electorate in Australia, and set an example for every other elected Member of Parliament to follow, if they dare to actually support real democracy.”

The idea would be to study any reform I am asked to vote on, send out an overview, and let the people decide what their will is, and I will present that to parliament.

For too long now, parliament has taken the position that we don’t understand, and in some cases we need not know, and that is not what democracy is meant to be about.

I will do my best to present both sides of any debate, offer my opinion and let the electorate decide, said Mark.

Obviously being elected by my electorate to represent them provides me with a mandate to do so, but given the fact only a percentage will have elected me, I see good reason to include them all when it comes to being their voice.

Most people these days are savvy when it comes to computer and mobile phone technology, so I believe the idea will be well received.

Mark Aldridge

 

Mark 3

New voting laws for the 2016 election “The Truth”

May 15, 2016

I have lobbied for years to protect, reform and secure your voting rights, here is an overview of the new laws based on my understanding of the new laws.

 

The following are instructions on how to vote in the Senate from the AEC’s web page, similar instructions are shown on the AEC’s television advertising. The trouble is that what they are saying is the law, doesn’t compare with the legislation, or is the enacted legislation wrong?

What you need to know

 

To vote for Senators in your state or territory at the 2016 federal election, you must fill in your ballot paper in the order of your choice. You can do this by voting either above the line or below the line, as had been the case for many years, changes now say;

 

Voting above the line

 

If you vote above the line, you must number at least six boxes from 1 to 6 is what you are being told, but from what I read, you can vote simply 1, or 1 to 6 or any number you want in any order. If you make a mistake your voting will be valid up until that mistake is made. In other words if by accident you vote 1,2, 3, 5, it is valid up to and including 3.

ballot paper upper house

 

ballot paper uppper hpuse 2

 

 

By voting above the line, your preferences will be distributed in the order that the candidates appear below the line for the party or group you have chosen. Your preferences will first be distributed to the candidates in the party or group of your first choice, then to candidates in the party or group of your second choice and so on, until all your preferences have been distributed.

 

So if you mark a box with a 1, you vote counts for all the candidates under that box, candidates for that party or independent group, then onto the next group and so on.

 

If you vote 1 in one box only, your vote will count for that groups candidates only, if they are not elected, your vote finishes there.

 

(This is because those that write the laws, are well aware people wont understand them, and need to be able to count their vote where possible)

 

Voting below the line

 

If you vote below the line, you must number at least twelve boxes from 1 to 12, you are being told, you can vote the same as above the line, you can vote in order for as many or as few as you prefer.  By voting below the line your preferences will be distributed to the individual candidates as numbered on your ballot paper, in the order of your choice.

 

House of Representatives

 

The electoral changes were all about a double dissolution, not democratic reform, so the lower house (House of reps) has not changed, but similar rules apply, you are told to make every box in order of your preference, yet if you vote 1 in 1 box only, your vote will be counted for all the candidates as chosen by the candidate of that box (full preferential voting) there are also sections of the law that allow the Electoral Commission to guess your intention.

 

You can check the AEC’s web page instructions here: http://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/How_to_vote/files/senate-how-to-vote-2016-large%20print.pdf

 

You can compare the legislation here:

 

COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL 2016 c

 

http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/ems/r5626_ems_955e56de-c7ba-4a4a-8ca1-01ab948694f5/upload_pdf/Revised%20EM_%20Commonwealth%20Electoral%20Amendment%20Bill%202016.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

 

So voting is getting very confusing, simply because those that write the laws have the most to gain from structural biases, they write the law to empower themselves not we the people, so until this system is replaced by a truly independent board in respect to voting reform, our ability to express our genuine will, will continue to be diminished.

Mark Aldridge

Independent candidate for Makin

“Protecting the power of your vote”

How much does AUSTRALIA donate in foreign aid?

June 12, 2014

How much does Australia donate to other countries?

 

Australia donates Billions of dollars every year in foreign Aid, even if it has to borrow to meets its obligations.

Australia 1

The amount Australia presently donates is not in line with our UN masters, the following graph shows the massive increases we are being told to make.

Australia 2

The following graphs are the current “AusAid” donations, these do not include massive military costs, the huge Carbon tax payments and various other costs amounting to billions exposed in my articles from last year.

 

5.6 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO SOUTH AND WEST ASIA—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Afghanistan 165.1 29.1m 172 of 187 Basic service delivery (health and education), rural livelihoods, governance, support for vulnerable populations
Pakistan 92.8 184.8 million 145 of 187 Education and scholarships; health; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; economic growth; governance
Bangladesh 92.0 164.4 million 146 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability, governance
Sri Lanka 43.5 20.4 million 97 of 187 Humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; education and scholarships; economic growth; climate change and environmental sustainability; governance
Nepal 26.6 29.9 million 157 of 187 Health, education and scholarships
India 25.0 1.2 billion 134 of 187 Climate change and environmental sustainability, health
Bhutan 8.0 708 484 141 of 187 Education, justice and democracy
Maldives 5.0 313 920 109 of 187 Education, justice and democracy
Regional Programs 7.1 Multiple countries varied Economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability, health
Source: AusAID.

 

5.5 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO EAST ASIA—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Indonesia 558.1 240 million 124 of 187 Education and scholarships; economic growth; health; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; civil society, justice and democracy; economic and public sector reform; climate change and environmental sustainability
Vietnam 137.9 89 million 128 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth, climate change and environmental sustainability
Philippines 123.1 93.6 million 112 of 187 Education and scholarships; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; climate change and environmental sustainability
East Timor 123.7 1.2 million 147 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, governance
Cambodia 77.4 15.1 million 139 of 187 Education and scholarships; health; economic growth; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Burma 47.6 50.5 million 149 of 187 Health, education and scholarships, economic growth
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 42.1 6.4 million 138 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth, governance
China 35.7 1.4 billion 101 of 187 Equitable development, health, climate change and environmental sustainability
Mongolia 12.2 2.7 million 110 of 187 Education, water and sanitation
East Asia Regional Programs 108.0 Multiple countries varied Economic growth; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; health; climate change and environmental sustainability
Source: AusAID.

 

5.4 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO THE PACIFIC—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Papua New Guinea 482.3 6.9 million 153 of 187 Education, health, law and justice, transport infrastructure
Solomon Islands 261.6 515 817 142 of 187 Health, education and scholarships, economic growth, equitable development and governance
Vanuatu 70.1 245 786 125 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, economic growth, governance
Samoa 43.7 178 943 99 of 187 Economic growth, health, education and scholarships, governance, climate change and environmental sustainability
Fiji 37.5 854 098 100 of 187 Education and scholarships, health, equitable development, economic growth
Tonga 32.1 104 260 90 of 187 Governance, health, education and scholarships, economic growth
Kiribati 28.2 99 547 122 of 187 Education and scholarships, economic growth
Nauru 26.2 10 254 unranked Governance, education and scholarships, health, economic growth
Tuvalu 9.9 9 970 unranked Contribution to the Tuvalu Trust Fund, with a focus on improving health and education services
Cook Islands 4.4 19 933 unranked Contributions to NZ aid program, focusing on education, infrastructure, private sector development and water and sanitation
Niue 4.6 1 438 unranked Contribution to the Niue Trust Fund, support for the delivery of essential services
North Pacific 10.7 Multiple countries varied Minor, targeted interventions such as in the environment, public sector strengthening, and water and sanitation areas
Pacific Regional Programs 149.7 Multiple countries varied Education, climate change and environmental sustainability, economic growth, governance
Source: AusAID.

 

5.7 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EAST—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA 
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Africa Regional Program 291.3 Multiple countries Varied, but comprising many of the lowest-ranked countries Health; economic growth; governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Iraq 36.6 31.5 million 132 of 187 Governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid
Palestinian Territories 56.0 4.4 million 114 of 187 Governance; humanitarian, emergency and refugee aid; economic growth
Arab Spring Countries 99.5 Multiple countries varied Food security and rural development, post-conflict stabilisation and recovery, humanitarian assistance
Source: AusAID.

 

5.8 AUSTRALIA’S ASSISTANCE TO LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN—2011–12
Country 2011–12 ODA 
budget ($m)
Population (no.) HDI rank Priority areas
Latin America Regional Program 27.2 Multiple countries varied Rural development, human resource development, natural resource governance
Caribbean Regional Program 20.7 Multiple countries varied Climate change and environmental sustainability, governance
Source: AusAID.

 

Helping others is not an issue, until you are expected as a nation to go with out the very same services, or the money is borrowed on behalf of your children, but that is a decision for the reader, the latest Liberal governments federal policy, already has people up in arms, and these facts show they will have to find even more money to appease the UN directives.

So did you vote for the Liberals, maybe you voted for Labor, but none of us voted for the UN, and they it appears are dictating policy, I dont see that as democratic.

 

Mark Aldridge