Mid Coast Ward councillors Bill Jamieson and Sue Tonkin

Published on 30 September 2021

In Focus – Mid Coast Ward

Do you live in Reynella, Lonsdale, O’Sullivan Beach, Christie Downs, Christies Beach, Noarlunga Centre, Port Noarlunga, Noarlunga Downs, Seaford Meadows or Port Noarlunga South?

If so, you’re represented by City of Onkaparinga Mid Coast Ward councillors, Bill Jamieson and Sue Tonkin, who are ready to listen and advocate on your behalf on the local issues important to you.

Onkaparinga Now is shining a spotlight on Council’s elected members, as the three-quarter mark of their four-year term approaches, for a series of articles called In Focus, and Mid Coast is the fifth ward to feature, following recent Southern ValesKnoxPimpala and Thalassa Ward interviews

Dive in below to learn more about who they are and what they’re passionate about, and don’t hesitate to reach out them using the contact details below.

ONKAPARINGA NOW (O NOW): Why did you want to become an elected member?

BILL: I moved into Christies Beach following an extensive search to find a home for my family. I eventually decided on a house, which allowed me walk out the back or front of my house and see the ocean, and I could swim in an ocean that was clean and had some movement in the water.

Over time the area started filling out and I was involved in clubs, both sport and organisations my kids were involved in. From my coastal walks, I formed the opinion that the Mid Coast had great potential. So, I spoke to my local councillors about the area’s potential. Unfortunately, my view wasn’t shared by the councillors. They lacked an exciting vision for the area, so I stood for election.

SUE: I was an inaugural member of the City of Onkaparinga following a term as a councillor on Happy Valley Council. I enjoyed my time on Council, getting to know the local residents and area. I’ve now settled in Christies Beach and can see the potential for greatness. Meeting the local groups and finding out more about the area you live in is why I want to be involved more. We have such a diverse range of groups supporting our residents and I want to help them where I can.

O NOW: What local issues are you most passionate about?

BILL: It’s a difficult question because I’m involved in sports, lifesaving clubs and the changes to Christies and Port Noarlunga under the state government’s 30-year urban infill plan. I’m passionate about promoting the great opportunities that I believe we have in the City of Onkaparinga. Onkaparinga’s not a mature council, it’s still growing, but there are still opportunities like:

  • Paddling on and walking around the Onkaparinga Estuary and exploring our reefs
  • I’d like everyone to visit Christie Downs’ Morton Road courts. Obviously, it has tennis courts, but it also has one of the area’s best skate parks. A perfect example what council’s capable of
  • Two other developments budgeted for are the Witton Bluff Base Trail and the Wearing Street Precinct—projects that have been on the books for 20 years
  • Port Noarlunga Sports Complex will be started this year
  • Council has committed to upgrades for Beach Road and major events at Port Noarlunga celebrating the 100 years of the jetty
  • A coastal drive from Sellicks Beach to O’Sullivan Beach is in the planning stage. Thirty-one kilometres of ever-changing coastline.

SUE: Some of the things I’m keen to see are:

  • Finding ways to enrich the lives of all our residents.
  • Completion of the projects that have been left on the shelf for far too long.
  • Encouraging tourism to the area and finding the right balance between showcasing and preserving our wonderful coastline.
  • Biodiversity and care of our natural resources.
  • Leaving a legacy of a vibrant and renowned coastal region.
  • Community gardens instigated across our city. Smaller homes mean smaller lots, and less opportunity to know the joy of gardening.

O NOW: What do you want to hear about from residents?

BILL: The relationship between elected members and residents is a partnership that has the aim to create new opportunities in their ward. That is—we work together to create a ward that meets the needs and expectations of all the residents.

A big issue for the Mid Coast Ward relates to its status as a coastal medium density area. Now, it’s going through a transitional period. Thus, discussion around issues we need to resolve are the transition of dwellings, sufficient parking, traffic speeds, opportunities for small businesses, placemaking and quality open space.

Up to now, families on the Mid Coast had large blocks with plenty of private open space. Unfortunately, because of the state government’s 30-year plan, we’ll now need to create great public open spaces to replace our losses in private open space.

SUE: I want to hear about your successes, concerns about your area, ideas to make living in our city better, what I can do to help you make those ideas become reality, what you think Council and your elected members have done well, and what you think Council and your elected members can do better.

O NOW: What’s the best thing about the Onkaparinga region?

BILL: We have a plethora of great opportunities to enjoy life, whether it’s in the ocean or hiking in the Onkaparinga Gorge and other rural areas through the Vale or in the Hills area. Council has been installing bike and walking trails along the coast and the Onkaparinga Estuary, and is linking those trails with those that have a west-east orientation.

We have 31km of coast plus the Onkaparinga Estuary, so there are opportunities to fish, sail, canoe, surf, swim, or just relax on one of our pristine beaches. Another option is to drive through our wine areas and visit some of our villages, finishing the day with a fantastic drive along our coast.

Perhaps after one active weekend you may divert and catch a show at the Hopgood, or visit the Port Noarlunga arts precinct or the Fleurieu Arthouse in McLaren Vale. Or maybe just relax in one of our fabulous parks and restaurants and enjoy the ambience of our city.

SUE: I’ve lived in Onkaparinga for almost 50 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else. Its diversity is its most appealing aspect. From the hills to the sea, every area has its own feel and culture. Beautiful waterways, beaches, wine region, hills, scenery, history. The rich Indigenous history in this area that makes it so unique. All these things make up our council area. I’m so proud to live here.