20 October 2010

The truth about footpaths

The Truth About Footpaths

Each footpath that is yet to be paved has been rated and ranked by Council Works management on its present condition. The worse they are, the sooner they will be replaced. Council has been experimenting with different footpath treatments, especially where there are trees. As you will be aware, trees near paved footpaths tend to lift individual pavers, causing trip hazards. You can see these alternative treatments on Cambridge Tce in Unley.

Each year, when Unley sets its Budget, Council makes a collective decision on the amount to be spent on foot paths, including footpath replacements. The amount that is allocated to each Ward is dependent upon the percentage of footpaths already-re-paved by Ward and the condition of the footpaths listed next to be paved.

Citywide, the allocation for footpath replacement in 2010/11 has dropped from $572000 in 2009/10 to $526000 in 2010/11 for a very good reason – meeting Council’s legal requirement to install pedestrian ramps to serve people with disabilities had to come first.
Goodwood South Ward is allocated 19% of the footpath replacement budget, slightly more than 16.7% if each of the 6 Wards gained an equal share. Aroha Terrace is separately funded in excess of $1M for the footpath and road re-construction.

This year we will see 5 streets – Aroha, David, Henry, Ormonde and Spiers Streets re-paved.

In 2011/12, Chelmsford, Lincoln, Oakley and School Avenues are to be re-paved.

In 2012/13, Churchill Avenue and Meredyth Avenue are to be re-paved.

In 2013/14, Fairfax and Birkdale Avenues are to be re-paved.

I will seek a report on the prospect of re-paving all the remaining 30% of Unley’s footpaths over the next 4 years, asking the staff to project escalating construction costs against estimated interest costs to borrow funds to accelerate this improvement to infrastructure to assess what is a prudent financial decision.

Let me assure you, if re-elected I will continue to strongly advocate for GSW to ensure we continue to get our fair share of moneys budgeted in each years budget and that works are completed to schedule.


  1. I understand the drop in 2010/11 for footpath replacement and maintenance, but why has the allocation dropped from $800,000 per year a few years ago?

  2. The amount of $800,000 was allocated in the 2007/08 budget as a one-off increase from the scheduled pattern. While I supported continuation of that level of footpath re-surfacing, the majority on Council wanted to re-allocate the approx. $300 000 for other items such as the rainwater tank rebate scheme and the watering of significant trees during the drought. The other option would have been to increase rates by an additional 1% to finance a continuation of that footpath re-paving allocation but that didn't enjoy majority support either. I feel that foot paths should again be a priority; this would also seem to be the view of many residents.