Newsletter no.23 from Ald Anna Reynolds - December 2017
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My family and I are looking forward to a well-earned break over Christmas and New Year! It's been another big year, as Hobart City Council deals with major issues that shape our city's future.

I really appreciate the role of the community in actively engaging with the Council about the matters you care about. Thank you!

Whether it's about CBD building heights, changes to planning schemes, public transport and light rail, or improving pedestrian safety in our suburbs, your representations to Council are essential for good decision-making.
More than 500 people pack the Town Hall in July to protest highrise proposals.
Great ideas for Hobart
In September, I visited Portland, Calgary and Vancouver under the Hobart City Council’s professional development program. Since my return, I’ve been giving public talks to report back on what I learned.

Some highlights were:
  • Portland’s Transit Oriented Development (TOD) programs incentivise the building of residential development around bus and rail public transport corridors. It’s a great example of an effective and strategic use of a relatively small budget – since 2000 just $12 million of incentives has leveraged the development of 37 housing projects worth more than $600 million. Many of the 3,000 units that have been built are affordable housing.
  • The City of Calgary funds projects to motivate people to walk, play and be neighbourly. Grants of between $600 and $800 drive creative local interventions such as intersection painting projects like the one pictured, which helps traffic calming in local streets. 
  • Vancouver’s ambitious pledge to be the world’s ‘Greenest City’ by 2020 has made it a more liveable city and created a ‘green brand’ worth $31 billion. The Council attributes its booming green economy to this strategy.

Read my full report here.
If you'd like to receive a paper copy, please email me at
Dampening down democracy
Tasmanian Aldermen are regulated by a new Code of Conduct, under the Local Government Act. I'm concerned that it could be used to have a potentially chilling effect on free speech.
The Code is more than just a guide for representatives – it’s tethered to a complex complaints process. It can challenge bad behaviour or misuse of office, which is a good thing, of course. However, it becomes more problematic when complaints are based on subjective judgements and is used by political rivals to intimidate Aldermen from speaking openly as community representatives.
This happened to me recently in the debate around changes to the building height standards in the planning scheme for Hobart’s CBD. I proposed amendments in June when the standards were first introduced, which were not supported by other Aldermen.
Because I was going away in September, I made a submission to the Tasmanian Planning Commission, the ultimate decision-maker on whether the changes become law. My 
submission simply reiterated the amendments I had already proposed.
When the time came for Council to consider the comments made in more than 180 submissions from members of the public, I declared a perceived conflict of interest (because I had made a submission) and chose to remove myself from the discussion (by sitting in the public gallery). Now with the weight of public opinion behind the same amendments I had originally proposed, a majority of Aldermen voted for them.
I took a conservative approach and did not vote, although there was no actual conflict in that I received no personal or private gain. But a number of Aldermen were publicly critical of my approach, suggesting that I had not complied with the Code.
We need a strong Code that prevents misconduct. However, a poorly drafted Code that can be used to intimidate representatives into silence about community concerns is a perverse outcome.
A REAL crossing at last!
After a long community campaign (some say it's been going for a decade or more), a Council decision has finally recognised the importance of installing a proper pedestrian crossing on Hill Street! The raised zebra crossing (also known as a wombat crossing) will be installed early in 2018. Thanks to all the awesome community advocates! (pictured)
Street art with teeth
I love this signal box on the corner of Sandy Bay Rd and St George’s Terrace in Battery Point, newly decorated as a Tasmanian Devil.

The artist is 
Ben Clifford. Signal Box Hobart is an initiative of the Council's Creative Hobart program managed by Urban Smart Projects.

Over the past year, 459 Bushcare volunteers have worked to improve Hobart’s bushland. They have given 3,157 hours to improve habitat for wildlife, conserve threatened forests and maintain tracks. Thank you all! If you would like to join a local Bushcare group in 2018, please sign up here.
New playground

This big old Blue Gum will be at the centre of a new playground at Tolmans Hill. The community has been waiting and pushing for this for a long time – something that probably should have been provided by the developer of the subdivision many years ago!
Hobart: Grow Small

This wonderful piece of writing expresses what we love and value about Hobart. It's part of the Council's City Vision project to develop a shared vision for Hobart through community participation, which will guide Council's work into the future.
An expert guided tour of Portland's public transport
Light rail in Portland, Oregon

Intersection painting in Calgary
My full report is online
More than 180 people made submissions to the Tasmanian Planning Commission about Hobart City Council's proposed amendments to building height standards in the CBD planning scheme
Many submissions expressed concern about  establishing a 'high-rise  zone' in the CBD

I published an opinion piece about the Code of Conduct in the Mercury, 30 Nov



Thank you for your support this year! I look forward to seeing you in 2018.
A video message from kunanyi/Mt Wellington
Please stay in touch!

I'd love to hear your ideas and opinions, and receive your feedback on Council decisions.

Email me at
Call me on 0423222149
Write to me at Town Hall, Macquarie Street, Hobart 7001.
And please join my facebook page.

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Newsletter 1 (Jan 2015)
Newsletter 2 (Feb 2015)
Newsletter 3 (April 2015)
Newsletter 4 (May 2015)
Newsletter 5 (July 2015)
Newsletter 6 (August 2015)

Newsletter 7 (October 2015) - street planning
Newsletter 8 (December 2015) - affordable housing
Newsletter 9 (February 2016) - bushfires and urban bushland
Newsletter 10 (February 2016) - traffic congestion special
Newsletter 11 (April 2016) - what are Aldermen there for?
Newsletter 12 (June 2016) - Council/Senate newsletter
Newsletter 14 (August 2016) - woodchip trucks through the CBD?
Newsletter 15 (September 2016) - SOS and South Hobart development
Newsletter 16 (November 2016) - 'biggering' Hobart
Newsletter 17 (January 2017) - issues to watch this year
Newsletter 18 (March 2017) - cable car and kunanyi
Newsletter 19 (May 2017) - landlord approval and significant trees
Newsletter 20 (June 2017) - Codes of Conduct, tunnel vision, Odeon Theatre
Newsletter 21 (August 2017) - building heights, planning scheme changes, street trees, plastic ban
Newsletter 22 (September 2017) - urban bushfire, waste management


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Anna Reynolds · Town Hall · Hobart, Tas 7000 · Australia

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