'Engage your residents'

MIXED EMOTIONS: Whyalla residents Irene and Guy Milton have lived across from the Bevan Crescent site for 46 years and say they are happy a resolution has been made, but admit they are disappointed it has taken so long. Mr Milton said he would like to see an elderly home built on the land, rather than Whyalla City Council's proposed residential housing estate.
MIXED EMOTIONS: Whyalla residents Irene and Guy Milton have lived across from the Bevan Crescent site for 46 years and say they are happy a resolution has been made, but admit they are disappointed it has taken so long. Mr Milton said he would like to see an elderly home built on the land, rather than Whyalla City Council's proposed residential housing estate.

Member for Giles Eddie Hughes is calling on Whyalla City Council to actively engage its residents before any redevelopments take place at Bevan Crescent.

Whyalla City Council recently secured the land after an agreement was reached with the Commonwealth government.

Last month, the council's City Strategy and Policy Committee endorsed a proposal to pursue a joint venture and partnership approach for the redevelopment of the site through various forms of residential housing.

Mr Hughes, who has been a long time advocate in trying to gain closure to the Bevan Crescent saga during his 21 years on the council, said he was happy to hear residents finally had some closure and described the Bevan Crescent site as a "disgraceful eyesore".

Mr Hughes said he hoped the council would listen to the community, especially those who had been affected during the saga.

"There's a great, vibrant community around Bevan Crescent and low cost housing might be one of the options, it may be a sensible option," Mr Hughes said.

"I hope the council explores all options and involves the residents.

"I raised this issue a number of times during my time on the council but the first time I raised it we didn't get anywhere.

"The second time I raised it things started to move but once again it's been slow and frustrating."

Mr Hughes said it had been a battle to determine who had rightful ownership of the land.

Long time resident Guy Milton said he would prefer to see an elderly home to help with the city's growing elderly population.

Mr Milton said a park as an option would create another "problem".

"We have a park around the corner and that can be a problem," he said.

"You have to have people in it to keep in under control.

"The ideal thing would be to have an elderly home and I don't mean a lock up or anything like that."

Mr Milton said he was happy Whyalla City Council and the Commonwealth had come to an agreement and said residents deserved their say.

"It could be for people who need some sort of help but still want and need their independence," he said

"The people in this town are getting more elderly all the time and the time is now."