28 April 2012

When will this end?

Mayor Lachlan Clyne appeared in court again yesterday. It is my understanding that he was to be required to plead guilty or not guilty so that the Magistrate could refer the matter for trial in the District Court or indicate that there was no case to answer and dismiss the case. Yet again lawyers asked for more time to examine the evidence collected by the prosecution (the state) and the matter will be back in court, this time in July. The election that this relates to was held in November 2010, we are now 18 months into this term of office. At this point in time it would seem unlikely to proceed to trial for 2 full years from the date of the alleged offences. This should be unacceptable to all parties; the person whose life has been effected by the alleged actions and the Mayor who will continue to have a cloud over his office until he is acquitted or the case is dropped. If he is found to be guilty at trial and receives a suspended sentevnce of at least 12 months he would  have to resign. Yesterday's story can be found at;

27 April 2012

Speed Cameras ;Leader St

After some comments and emails about this camera, about which I knew nothing, I have done research and think I have found the answer. This is a state government initiative in an effort to save lives and reduce speeds at level crossings. The cynical among you will describe it as revenue raising. As far as I aware this has not even be discussed by the Road Safety Committee and was not requested by Council in any  forum. The link  below will give you the full article.


26 April 2012

World Championships; Millswood Croquet

This weekend and next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you will have an opportunity to see world class croquet at the Millswood Lawns complex. The world championships are being held  at his venue.

Play will be from 8.30 am till probably 5.30 each day.

25 April 2012

Anzac Dawn Service

This morning I attended the dawn service at the Memorial Gardens. Each year there would seem to be more and more people attending. By my estimate there were well over 2,000 people there at 6am when the service began. As usual it was a moving tribute to our men and women who have died at war, served in the armed forces or lost loved ones in wars. It gave me time to reflect on my own father's service in the Navy during World War 2.  He said he chose the Navy as that way he would always know where his bed was!

Unley Drivers Flout Speed Limit

The following story appeared in the Eastern Courier this week. This follows up on the recent blog about streets in Goodwood South. The comments at the link make interesting reading and show little support for Unley's 40km speed limit.

24 Apr 12 @ 07:30am by Emily Griffiths
AT LEAST every second motorist is breaking the 40km/h limit on 19 Unley streets, a council survey has revealed.
More than a decade after Unley lowered the limit - and despite an extensive publicity campaign including posting “check your speed” stickers on household bins - people are continuing to speed.
Information gathered between March and August last year showed more than half the drivers on 19 streets exceeded the limit.
The worst road was Frederick St, Unley,where 81 per cent of drivers sped at up to 53km/h.
The council has forwarded a list of the 19 worst streets to police and urged them to increase their patrols.Other speeding hotspots included Marlborough St, Malvern, Aroha Tce, Black Forest,Regent St, Millswood, and Jellicoe Ave, Kings Park.

Parkside resident Cindy Groth said there was still confusion about the 40km/h speed limit. She said many locals assumed the speed limit was 50 km/h on wider streets.
Unley Councillor Michael Saies said he was not surprised.“(Frederick St) is wide and an obvious thoroughfare,” Mr Saies said. He believed many drivers trying to avoid Unley Rd used the street as a “rat-run” and warned accidents could easily happen.

Unley chief executive Peter Tsokas said the council was not concerned by the report.
“Traffic speeds were recorded on 101 streets and 19 were identified as requiring further investigation - so in overall terms that is not a significant issue,” Mr Tsokas said in an emailed statement.
“There have been numerous studies of Unley’s 40km/h speed limit and they have come to the conclusion that the streets are safer because of the lower speed limit.”
The link to the comments is below;

Is the 40km/h speed limit on Unley backstreets working?

22 April 2012

Does Heritage Cost Too Much?

Yesterday I attended the inaugural South Australia Heritage Conference, being held as part of Heritage Week. It was an interesting day with many guest speakers supporting the heritage view and many not supportive. For Goodwood South only Millswood is a Heritage Conservation Zone, other areas have less stringent heritage protection. What is the right amount of protection is a current issue state wide and certainly in Adelaide. For Unley the more pressing issue is how much money Council itself should contribute to enabling owners of heritage listed buildings to upgrade their properties. In 2011/12 Council allocated $50,000 and this amount was fully subscribed in the first round of applications ( we usually have two rounds). I'd love to get you to share your ideas on this one with a comment. You just need to enter a name and it will go to be moderated and published.

Goodwood Saints Jumper Presentation

I was invited to attend this event last Friday and had a drink with club officials before the presentation. Although I couldn't stay for the presentation as I had family commitments it was by all accounts a wonderful event. The boys were exited to be getting their new jumpers and the team spirit is enviable. Over 250 boys participated in this event and will play in the junior leagues this season. Well done to all.

Full Council Meeting 23rd April 2012

The items on this Agenda include;
  • Acquisition of Land; Maud St; This matter is confidential.
  • Unley Business and Economic Development Committee Membership; It is recommended that Craig Phillips, a local businessman, fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term (December 2012).Passed
  • Draft Annual Business Plan 2012-13; The budget is almost ready to go to public consultation with some things still being debated as to if they should be included or not. I am particularly disappointed in the potential share of the budget that seems likely to be spent in Goodwood South. We have a further workshop to finalise this on May10th, at this time I will  do the best that I can to get closer to ward equity and publish what will most likely be funded. Passed but with debate only on process.
  • Local Government Meeting Procedures; Many changes are recommended, most will not change the substance of how Council debates matters although one of the proposals would allow for each member to speak for 9 minutes on each item; that equates to  one and a half hours debate on any one item and could make for intolerably long meetings if introduced. As this is at the draft stage in State regulations Council has an opportunity to comment and, hopefully, influence the final outcome. This was adjourned to the next meeting for further input from elected members and staff.
  • Improving Governance-Discussion Paper;This is another state initiative to formalise the way in which Councillors can or cannot behave; much of this would appear to reinforce current practice although I will debate he necessity for all  a person's interests needing to be declared when they run for office rather than when elected. Passed
  • Third Quarter Budget Review;  At this point in time the Council has spent just over a half a million dollars less that it had in the budget. However, this also means that some projects are behind schedule and will need to be rolled into the next budget for completion. Passed
  • NRM Funding Levee; The NRM Board has requested that Council collect $1,073,540 on it's behalf  when collecting rates or 2012/13. This is a 13.9% increase from this year and an imposition on Council. Very little of the revenue has ever been spent in Unley. Council rates increase is only likely to be 5.1% in comparison. their was considerable debate on this especially on the share of revenue that Unley is required to collect. This does not seem to relate to population, effect of water ways or even rate revenue. I have asked for further detail on how this is calculated.
  • Update of Federal Stormwater projects;  The stormwater collection and aquifer recharge at Heywood Park is yet to be consulted, however, it is my understanding that this is an ideal site for mechanical filtration before pumping the collected water into the aquifer. The mechanism can be housed with in the existing toilet block and should not deter from the beauty of the park. Passed

16 April 2012

South Australia Day Knockback

Proclamation Day it still is.
The following has been reported from the Eastern Courier website;
UNLEY Council’s move to rename Proclamation Day as South Australia Day has been knocked back.
The council sought support from fellow councils at the Local Government Association’s general meeting today (Friday, April 13).
But the move was quashed by the majority of councils.
West Torrens Mayor John Trainer was among those who said changing the historic day’s name was not the business of local government

Interestingly there has been no press release or comment from the Mayor on this. This entire fiasco has been nothing but an embarrassment and waste of Council's time and reflects poorly on it's reputation.
It also shows up a weakness in our system in that this matter did not come as a Motion on Notice by Cr Hudson (so it could be debated seperately) before it became part of the Item regarding the Local Government Association. This weakness has also been evident in recent budget negotiations. I will give details of this when they are no longer confidential.

11 April 2012

Speed Data Worrying

The most recent traffic data to go to the Road Safety Committee (11/4/12) has some worrying statistics for Goodwood South. There has not been significant increases in the volume of traffic in the streets where the data is collected, however, the speed of traffic has increased in many streets. If the data shows 30-50% of vehicles exceed the posted speed limit the Speed Observation Sign is deployed by Council (this machine tells you how fast you are traveling). If more than 50% of vehicles are exceeding the posted limit, and the 85% speed is 15-20% over the posted limit then the information is passed to police for enforcement. That is they become the most likely streets that people will be penalised for speeding. The SOS sign has been deployed in Chelmsford St, Hartland Ave and East Ave. Police have been given the data for enforcement in Aroha Tce, Byron Rd and Frederick St.

This data confirms my view that an area study for the streets bounded by South Rd, the railway line, East Ave and Forest Ave is long overdue; while promised in this year's budget is likely to be undertaken in 2012/13.

The data collected in the middle of 2011 for each street in which data is collected can be found at;

09 April 2012

City Strategy Meeting 10th April 2012

There were only three items on this month's Agenda. These are;

  • Provision of Environmental Health Services by the Eastern Health Authority; the benefits of this are some cost savings over time, more consistent provision of services, consolidation of the skills of the Environmental Health Officer and an opportunity to provide shared services. Council already uses the services of the EHA to provide immunization services and supported residential facility licensing. The vaccination programme alone costs council$85,000 per year. Council voted to make further approaches to Mitcham Council regarding the sharing of these services and to report back to Council in June. Members were concerned that the EHA would have 7 member Councils and our share would be set at 23%. ( this would seem to be, on face value, more than our share although we do have more restaurants than most other Councils and the Show grounds would add significantly to inspections and compliance of other establishments that sell food)

  • Unley Libraries Strategic Plan; the new policy was accepted by the Library Strategy Reference Group in March. There are few changes from the policy that went to public consultation. The report recommends that an Advisory Committee is established to oversee this vision. Cr's Hewitson and Hughes will be on the committee until Nov 2014.

  • Ron Young Grant Programme; This has undertaken some small changes to ensure that the grants are given within the intent of the founder of the grant's programme.

The full Agenda can be found at;


08 April 2012


If you are 16-19 years old and looking for work in the Unley area (either full or part time) then this new initiative may be of some help.

Try www.facebook.com/wherebusinessmeetsyouth to check for local jobs for local people.

The program provides:

  • An online job registry for businesses to reach job seekers

  • Learning For Earning, a pathway to employment skill development initiative

  • Summer Music Program, young musicians performing on main street

  • An incentive program to encourage young people to shop locally
    Benefits include:

  • Building a positive relationship between business and youth communities

  • Supporting local young people to access local employment opportunities

  • Supporting local businesses to secure new local employees

  • Building community capacity

04 April 2012

Trees: 12 and 16 Ripon Rd, Clarence Park

This letter was recently sent to nearby residents. The trees are all but dead in my opinion. I have door knocked the nearest neighbours and left my card but have not heard back from them.

Street Tree Removal
12 & 16 Ripon Road, Clarence Park

In the near future Council’s Arboricultural team is proposing to remove the street trees at 12 & 16 Ripon Road, Clarence Park.

Council’s Team Leader, Arboriculture has undertaken a detailed Visual Tree Assessment and has identified amongst other issues that:

The health and structure of the two Koelreuteria paniculata, Golden Rain Trees are in decline.

The tree will be replaced over the winter months with two Koelteuteria paniculata, (Golden Rain) Trees.

Council apologises in advance for any inconvenience the removal of this tree causes to residents of Ripon Road, Clarence Park.

Should you have any comments or concerns relating to the removal of this tree do not hesitate to contact Council’s Team Leader, Arboriculture, Joel Ashforth on 83725160 or by email pobox1@unley.sa.gov.au .

03 April 2012

First Settler's Day or South Australia Day?

What's in a name? Despite ridicule from residents and the media on this matter the item was eventually debated last night. The original motion was clearly flawed and John Koumi and I voted against it. The original mover realised it was flawed, after all the first settlers were surely the Aboriginal people, and he decided to have another shot at it. Proclamation Day seems to have been celebrated quite well for 176 years on the 28th December and it isn't the business of Unley City Council to change it. Nevertheless Councillors again saw fit to pass the motion. I can't argue that it's not a better name than the last try but I still don't believe that two wrongs make a right. All I can hope at this time is that the LGA, to whom the motion is going to further debate, will see that it is soundly defeated.

01 April 2012

April 2012 Update

I've been busy responding to some of the items below as well as attending various budget deliberation sessions and briefings on other matters;

  • East Avenue Refuge; the Staff recommended refusal for this based on feedback from DPTI, however, the Road Safety Committee chose to defer the debate and decision while more information is obtained. The staff suggested a location a little to the south.
    Page Park Toilets; These are now able to be used.

  • Mills St Traffic Controls; The results from the consultation were overwhelmingly in favour of the to proposals, making it more difficult to U turn on Goodwood Rd at the intersection with Mills St and replacing t the most easterly angled slow point with an ordinary one. Millswood Crescent Parking Controls; Staff are investigating lengthening the new yellow lines and painting a central bar at the fist corner. When we inspected this site there was a tow truck illegally parked in the corner which made it very dangerous.

  • The Goodwood Precinct Sign; This sign is continuously graffited. Staffs are investigating the painting of a protective coat to allow easy removal that will not damage the plastic surface.

  • Ecobums; I attended one of the meetings on 21st March that was attended by a few soon to be Mums young women. Their enthusiasm for a more ecological solution for nappies rather than the disposal ones was unquestionable. On average it is estimated to cost $3,500 to keep a baby in disposable nappies for 21/2 to 3 years; the cost for reusable cloth nappies is $960. If the family anticipate using the cloth nappies for more than one child the savings are even greater. On average from recent waste audits it is estimated that 6% of waste in the blue bins is made up of disposable nappies. This equates to 31 full trucks per year of nappies alone. At 10 tons per truck load this is 310 tons of used nappies. The cost for disposal is currently 77$ per ton; the total cost for disposal alone is therefore $23,000.

  • Clarence Park Community Centre- Critical Incident; more important than the incident itself has been the response by Council and how learnings from this experience will better inform Council practice in the future to ensure the safety of the people working at the Centre and the people who use the centre. These learnings will result in new emergency procedures for CPCC and for the City of Unley.

  • Merlon Ave; This street has been approved for new planting, the existing trees are in a pretty poor state. The selected tree is the golden rain tree.

  • King William Rd; 40km or 50km

  • Oakley Ave: There has been a request for additional line marking in Oakley Ave to improve the safety of the bike pathway. This is being investigated and will go to consultation in the near future.

  • Langdon Ave; How to move forward with the replacement of trees?