24 July 2011

Full Council meeting July 2011

No matters from the committees were reserved for further debate and the decisions reported in the City Strategy blog will proceed.
New items debated were;

  • Petition regarding the Kelvin Ave pocket park; A petition signed by 20 people representing 14 homes has been presented for consideration in the debate on the pocket park. My understanding is that ETSA has requested some minor changes to the layout of the park and that the full report will come to the City Strategy meeting on the 15th August. Supported

  • Federal Stormwater Projects; This will allow for the reassigning of the money set aside for Orphanage Park (where the aquifer is unsuitable) to be used at Heywood Park and for a pipeline network to take water from Ridge Park to downstream parks and reserves. Many will be relieved that the project will not proceed at Orphanage Park. Supported

  • Centennial Park Cemetery Authority Charter; The proposed changes are minor in nature and mean that Unley and Mitcham recommend the same charter. Supported

  • Community Visiting Service; Council receives $112,860 to provide this service to the frail aged in nursing homes, this is granted by the Federal government. Supported

  • CEO Recruitment Panel ; The Council are being asked to engage a recruitment consultant to help with this task, the money allowed will be $30,000. Also discussed, at my instigation is gender equity on the panel. As I stated in my blog I am embarrassed and ashamed that my fellow Councillors did not see this as an issue. This was debated again within the motion presented to Council. The amendment that would have allowed for gender diversity lost by 6-5. The people of Unley are poorly served by this decision. The fact that the majority do not see the necessity for diversity is the very reason why it is necessary. At least the debate was public and those who did not support this were Cr. Hughes, Lapidge, Salaman, Sangster, Hudson and Koumi.

  • End of the Month Financial report ; At the end of June (before final auditing), the Council income was $35,972,000 favourable by $270,000. The operating expenditure was favourable by $1,483,000 and the capital expenditure favourable by $4,645,000. However, it is expected that this money will be expended when the capital works they were set aside for are completed.

  • Strategic Land Acquisition; This matter remains confidential.

The detailed agenda can be found at ; http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Council_Agenda_July_2011.pdf


  1. So -Cr. Hughes,Lapidge,Salaman,Sangster, Hudson and Koumi did not support the motion. I hope they are prepared to give a public statement as to their views on gender equity.

  2. Wow, I always thought it was a man's world!

  3. The all male Selection Panel of Councillors has no union representative and no staff representative. The Local Government Act makes the CEO responsible for the selection and dismissal of ALL other staff, so the Council's only influence on the humans that deliver or fail to deliver services; renewal of 5 year contract appointments of CEO's are highly likely unless they retire/resign. This is, arguably, the decision of Council with the greatest short and long-term impact on how the corporate body performs. Most other public sector selection panel composition rules have required people of both genders to serve on panels for over a decade. That, in 2007 and, repeatedly mistaken in 2011, the majority of the elected members of Council elect a selection panel to come from such a narrow range of selectors, compromises the capacity to make the best decision. Other Councils have selection panels with more than 6 selectors, so any argument to contend it is unwieldy in size, is not proven elsewhere; Adelaide City Council felt it so important a decision, all Council members were on their CEO's last selection Panel. It is likely that many capable female candidates will make their decision not to apply, as the die certainly appears to be cast.

  4. I have received many supporting emails. One suggestion was that the selection panel should include a resident, what a great idea and plenty of men and women to choose from. I will continue to work on this one. Next time I won't assume the CEO will do what he or she says they will do, I will take the initiative to work on better policies to ensure that there is better female representation on Council itself and on all selection panels.

  5. I wonder how many times in the past Councillors have changed their minds when a decision made was found not to reflect community expectations.
    Ah – I hear the Orphanage and Leicester Park bells ringing! There might be cobwebs in the belfry but they do not stop the bells ringing.