Local government plays a huge role in protecting and preserving the environment, and The City of Onkaparinga has a strong tradition of introducing positive measures and initiatives based on environmental and sustainability issues.
For that reason, a number of local environmental and community groups have contacted all the candidates standing for Mayor of Onkaparinga City, as well as those standing in the Southern Vales and South Coast Wards, to offer them the opportunity to introduce themselves to our collective membership, and to let us know where they stand on a number of key environmental issues in the City of Onkaparinga.
Each candidate was given the same ten questions to answer. Here are the responses of Mark Nielsen, Candidate for Mayor of Onkaparinga
10 Questions Council Election
- Where do you live? What attracted you to where you live?
I have lived in Hackham for the last 32 years since getting married.
I was attracted to the area because it was cheap but since moving there I have come to love the area and the people,
- What’s your political background?
No political background.
- To which community groups or associations do you belong?
I have been involved in Edge Church and a couple of Scuba Diving Clubs
- If elected, what will be your priorities?
Freeze the rate rise then aim for a rate reduction by ending wasteful projects and sending others back to state or federal government. Having all the big plans for your community is great but unfortunately without money nothing happens. We hear now that the Council has borrowed money to pay wages. That is action of a corporation just about ready to declare bankruptcy! This has become more urgent than we thought.
- What are your policies regarding the environment and biodiversity?
We are keen to plant more trees but to consult with rate payers about what trees they want, especially those that are planted in front of their homes. We want to see an increase of the tree canopy and even community gardens. We also support giving free fruit trees to rate payers using local suppliers.
- Do you think the City of Onkaparinga should re-visit declaring a Climate Emergency?
- How can Council accelerate decarbonisation within the community?
This is a political partisan issue and we decry politics so we will leave this to state government.
- How would you make Onkaparinga a better place to live with less resource consumption?
We need to fix up roads, footpaths, maintain parks & our building assets.
- How would you, as Mayor or Councillor, aim to influence Elected Members to be effective decision makers?
I am a real estate agent/property manager. That involves bringing people together who have vastly different priorities. These skills will translate well into the arena of Council negotiations.
- Do you have ideas for championing improvements in the energy efficiency and lower resource footprints of new and retrofit development, both domestic and commercial?
Most of the decision making for building design and compliance has been taken away from Council and given to State Government in the new Planning and Design Code. Thanks to the last Council we have little say on these things any more. That’s the reality. Council can no long send letters to rate payers warning them of a new development in their area. Even if your neighbour were to build a 2 storey home right on your boundary, as long as it complies with the new code, you would not be permitted to complain. That’s a travesty.