30 September 2012

Rail Freight Diversion

I have been asked to join a group of interested persons who wish to continue to pursue the diversion of the freight service through Truro rather than the Adelaide Hills and City. While I feel I may be wasting more time and effort I still believe this is the only realistic long term option for freight, especially as the desire to use freight services increases and trains are longer and double stacked. The current proposed grade separation only seeks to move freight more quickly through the City and is unlikely to improve the amenity of many people. I will keep you posted after I have been to my first meeting in October.

25 September 2012

Goodwood Residents Demand Answers On Rail Upgrade

The following appeared on the Adelaide Now website today and will be in this week's Eastern Courier.
Goodwood residents demand answers on rail upgrade


Deidree Wilson wants answers on the rail upgrade. Picture: Helen Orr Source: adelaidenow

THE community has been left in the dark about the State Government's project to separate train lines at Goodwood, residents say.
Millswood Cres residents, whose homes back on to the train line, say they have been given little or no information about imminent works to separate the freight and commuter rail lines near Leader St.
John and Mary Vanderkolk, who have lived on Millswood Cres for 32 years, were angry about the lack of information. Transport Department staff visited the couple's house about six weeks ago to inspect a tree close to the property's back fence.
"They said they'd send out the information and we've got nothing," Mr Vanderkolk said.
Deidree Wilson was also disappointed. "The first I knew about it was when I was walking through the park and saw the signs that were put up by a local councillor," she said.
Unley councillor Jennie Boisvert said she had received dozens of emails from worried residents.
"They're concerned about dust, noise, significant trees, rehabilitation of the area and the diversion of Brown Hill Creek," she said.
She has called on the Government to hold a public meeting next month to inform residents about the plan.
A Transport Department spokeswoman said it had doorknocked the area and briefed Unley Council and community groups.
The Goodwood grade separation is the first stage of the state and federal governments' $443 million upgrade of the Goodwood rail junction and Torrens junction at Bowden.
Meanwhile, Brown Hill Creek will be diverted to make way for the Goodwood rail underpass.

Under the State Government changes to the rail line, a new passenger line underneath the freight line near Leader St would disrupt Brown Hill Creek's course and a culvert would be needed to divert its flow.

Brown Hill Keswick Creek Stormwater Project director Michael Salkeld last week told the Eastern Courier Messenger it was too early to tell how the rail upgrade would affect the plan to help flood-proof 7000 homes along Brown Hill and Keswick creeks.

"We are continuing to work with and be guided by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure to determine how Brown Hill Creek and proposed stormwater bypass flows can best be accommodated by the rail project," Mr Salkeld said.

A Transport Department spokeswoman said the government was working with the Stormwater Management Authority, and Unley and Mitcham councils to work out how to divert the creek.

Full Council: 24th Sept 2012

The items  discussed this week included;
  • Development Act Delegations; this was deferred from last month although why was not shared with me as a Councillor.PASSED
  • Street Tree Removal-26 Porter St, Parkside; This was adjourned from last month as the structural engineer was unavailable for the last meeting. Decision is CONFIDENTIAL
  • Nomination for the Energy Consumers Council; Sounded interesting but you need to be an expert in some area of electricity supply. No one was nominated.
  • Centennial Park Authority Audit Committee; This is to approve the appointment of G Vogt and L Bishop to the committee and to confirm Lets Northcott from UCC as the staff representative.PASSED
  • Signing off Financial Statements; PASSED
  • Unley Oval Masterplan- Consultant brief; Contrary to what you may have read in the Eastern Courier, this is to employ a consultant to develop a plan not about what Council will do with the land in the short term. That is it has little to do with the Sturt Football Club other than as a stakeholder. The Masterplan will make suggestions, come up with ideas and present them to Council. PASSED
  • Elector Representation Review; This is an important one for all of us; do we like the ward structure, the number of representatives per ward and the election at large of our Mayor or do we want to see changes in this?This review is a legislative requirement. However, we must make some minor changes as the wards must have approximately the same number of electors and this is not currently the case. The removal of many from the supplementary role due to failure to re-enrol (another problem with legislative changes) has seen a significant drop in voters in some wards. In Fullarton the increasing numbers in retirement villages has added to it's numbers. I would like to see our Mayor elected by Councillors after the election of Ward Councillors; these people know the capabilities of the person they elect as they may have worked with them for many years; they are not fooled by slick campaigns or words that are not carried through to actions. PASSED. This will now go to Consultation.
  • Draft Community Plan- for Community Consultation; This is the end result from the Community of Possibilities. It will set a direction for the next 20 years. It is worth reading and commenting on if you have the time. PASSED
  • Preservation of Grey Box Trees at 18 Winifred St, Black Forest; I am disappointed that the report did not suggest a way forward. I moved  a motion that does. The trees are original specimens from the original black forest and a way forward for their preservation must be found. At this stage Council will further investigate their potential listing on our Significant Tree Register. PASSED
  • Update of Federally Funded Stormwater Projects; The money has now been used to complete Hamilton Boulevard (10ML),commence the Water Sensitive Urban design of Wattle St, developing tender documentation for the Ridge Park MAR (Managed Aquifer Recharge)(60 ML), Concept investigation of the Heyward Park MAR(60ML). The latter will store water from both Brownhill Creek and the Urrbrae Wetlands.PASSED
  • Purchase of Land by Centenial Park; (Confidential)
 The full agenda can be found at; http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Council%20Agenda%20Sept%202012.pdf

23 September 2012

How Healthy are We?

According to an article in today's Sunday Mail only 14% of Unley residents smoke and 4% have a drinking problem. This compares well to other Councils and rated us in the top 3 in these categories. Other measures were obesity and we neither rated in the top few or the bottom few which must be good as well.

A Crystal-ball Look at Local Governmennt

An interesting article written by Greg Crafter appeared in the Advertiser during the week.  The group he heads is an independent panel that has been given the task of looking at the work of South Australia's 68 Councils and to make recommendations for the future.
What is going well?
What are the current and emerging difficulties?
What do successful Councils look like?
The group must present their report by October 2013.
A discussion paper is currently available at www.lga.sa.gov.au/goto/localexcellence . You can have your say but only before October 8th 2012 ( now Oct 30th).

19 September 2012

Tennis SA ; Liquor License

Tennis SA has applied for a Liquor License for it's Chelmsford Ave club rooms. This was revealed in the most recent minutes of the Goodwood Oval Management Committee. All residents nearby should receive a notification of the hearing date and have an opportunity to express any concerns they might have. I haven't been able to ascertain the proposed operating hours. They are also considering a change of use for the front 4 courts that will be dealt with as part of their lease agreement renewal and/or a development application as a change of use. This is regarding more use for the club and potential loss of some access to local people.

17 September 2012

Swimming Centre Open Again

Swimming Centre

Winner of the 2010 Recreation South Australia Aquatic Facility of the Year Award.
Wheelchair Access SymbolEthel Street, ForestvillePool July 08
Phone: 8372 5456
Please Note: Season begins 15 September 2012 until 26 May 2013.
We greet dedicated lap swimmers and welcome water babies. Dive in to our clean, heated water or paddle and splash with your goggles and noodles. Relax and float away before cooling down at our Café.
Join our mailing list
Tell us what you think - we love customer feedback.
Water Safety - make sure you know how to be safe around water.
Swimming = Fantastic Exercise - read about the benefits of swimming.   http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1848

15 September 2012

14 September 2012

Unley Library Celebrates

Events @ Unley Libraries September 2012 Festival SpecialView our Events brochure online and book your place at the event.  
 The brochure is available at Events @ Unley Libraries Septermber 2012 Festival Special(899 kb) . The programme for the weekend looks interesting and full. Some things you need to book for, most are a gold coin donation or free.

Goodwood Junction update 14th September

Last nigh Don and I met with John Devine, the General Manager for infrastructure, to get a briefing as to where DPTI and Council are at with this project. The final date for Council's submission to the DAC has been pushed out to Wednesday 19th September. So while it is too late to write your own submission it is not too late to let me know how this will effect you and how making it different in some way will ease those concerns.
We still do not have a date for a meeting with residents but this may take the form of residents being invited to listen and participate in a Council briefing or a meeting specifically organised by DPTI. My suggested location is Clarence Park Community Centre and suggested date was the earliest possible date in October.
DPTI are now actively trying to find a solution that will not derail the No Dam option for storm water management in Brownhill Creek. This means they need to find a way to allow 38 cubic metres  of water per sec to pass in at least one point under the train line. The solution we saw may take the current water from the creek into a culvert that would now run north along the railway line. This would need the acquisition of at least one more property and an easement over the other properties. The water from the Arundel Ave culvert could then run along the length of Arundel Ave and into the original creek bed. This all sounds pretty tricky but looks better in a diagram. DPTI would still have to allow for a smaller culvert at the western end of Arundel Ave and at the eastern end of Fairfax Ave. However, while the first of these must be completed before the cutting is made for the train the latter could be 10 years away. The problem then exists as to what happens to all this water when it gets to Forrestville Reserve. Under the current SMA proposal this eventually finds it's way into a new culvert in Wilberforce Walk. Unfortunately, there is a gap between these spots of maybe 200m. If the engineers don't get this right the cutting for the train will be a swimming pool and the swimming pool a swamp.
The tenders to undertake this project have been received and only one of then requires the use of Millswood Park as a depot, if DPTI select this tender then there will be no changes to Millswood Park. In any case staff has determined that the tender would need to be approved by Council and we would have a right to refuse. What I'm hearing from people is that if safe access across the train line at that point can not be achieved then the application should be refused.

12 September 2012

Community Grants: Apply Now

The City of Unley provides grants to assist community groups and organisations to make a positive contribution to the community and cultural life of the City.
There are two funding streams:
·                 Community Grants - maximum $4,000
·                 Festivals and Events - maximum $3,000
The funding categories for Community Grants are:
·                 Recreation
·                 Culture
·                 Community
·                 Environment
Applications for the next round of grants are to be received by 5pm on Monday, 1 October 2012.
The outcome of grant applications to the September 2012 funding round will be announced and funds distributed to the successful applicants in early December 2012. 
The Application form CG Sept 2012 (217 kb) (Word version) and Guidelines CG Sept 2012 (296 kb) for Community Grants and the Application form FE Sept 2012 (230 kb) (Word version) and Guidelines FE Sept 2012 (294 kb) for Festivals and Events can be downloaded from this site. 
Please read the Guidelines carefully to determine the eligibility of your group and project.
For further information contact Matthew Ives on 8372 5134 or Pam Hocking on 8372 5108

Community, Cultural, Recreation & Environment Grants now open for applications

11 September 2012

Millswood Park

This small pocket of land, as most of you would be aware, has been earmarked by DPTI as a depot site during the rail works. Council have included the many comments received by Don and myself into their submission.While I detailed the concerns for the entire project in an earlier blog this more recent notification was not included.
It must be understood that this project is a federal government initiative that is being delivered by the state government. Unley Council has been consulted but that is it's only role.
If the terms of use can be agreed by Council then then a rental price will be paid and the land rehabilitated after the lease expires which at this time is anticipated to be October 2013. So far this is what you have told us;
You would prefer they chose another site but if there is no alternative then;
  • A lease or Memorandum of Understanding should be agreed between DPTI and UCC
  • The access across the train line must be kept safe and usable through out the project.
  • Safety must be assured for pedestrians , including children, that use the lane adjacent to the site.
  • DPTI should consult with residents, as they say they have, before we move any further (that is door knock at a time when you would expect people to be home (4.40 to 8) all houses bounded by Goodwood Rd, Cranbrook Ave, Millswood Cres and Mills St)
  • Clarity about the rent to be paid and who will be responsible for rehabilitation of the site,eg. guaranteed reinstatement.
  • Use of the rail corridor for soil removal where ever possible.
  • Operating hours restricted to Mon-Fri.
  • Retention of as much vegetation as possible on the site.
  • No car parking in the streets for workers at the site.
  • Dust minimisation
Thanks for the many phonecalls and emails, they keep me informed and let me know what you are thinking.

09 September 2012

City Strategy Meeting 10th September 2012

There has been much discussion recently among Councillors of the benefits of having this meeting and a Full Council meeting or simply two Council meetings each month. It is a legislative requirement to have a City Strategy meeting but not one that involves the entire Council, rather it could be a committee of Council. The difference being that those items that come first to City Strategy may be reserved out for further discussion by a member and decisions made at Council while reversible ( by way of a rescission motion)  are considered final. The type of topic should be more strategic that goes to this committee, however, over time the choice of which meeting Items should go to have been more a matter of expediency than content.

This week's Agenda saw the  following being debated;
Commercial Dog Training in Parks;   The report proposes that an annual fee of $500 be charged for commercial dog training activities. This will give Council the opportunity to register current users and to ensure that the parks managed in an equitable manner. The trainers will need to be qualified, the location suitable for the number of dogs and the activity must not clash with other park use. PASSED
Unley Oval Masterplan;    This Masterplan was agreed to by Council in July. The way forward is to engage a consultant with a brief that outlines the expectations that the users of that facility have already discussed during the Community Asset  Review. The plan will need to consider an environment that will be flexible in it's use for now and the future, safe, innovative, practice water sensitive design and have minimised maintenance costs when coming up with a clear vision for the place This will enable a qualified and experienced consultant to be selected to undertake the work. PASSED
Strategic Urban Design and Planning Policy Programme- Quarterly Update; Some issues have been raised by the state government about DPA3A ( Greenhill Rd and Unley Rd), these include limits to public notification, increases in floor area, flexibility in building height and a 45degree interface along Unley Rd (rather that 35 degree). Most of these will be hard fought by residents in those precincts.
The draft Community Plan is now in Councillor's hands and will be ready for consultation after being endorsed by Council.
The Heritage DPA should be ready for consultation soon. This one from my point of view has taken 6 years now, the previous CEO promised me after delay after delay that it would be on the Minister's desk before the 2010 election and it was, now two years later it is still there, no doubt a little dusty. The government seems to set unrealistic deadlines for others and then fails to meet the information that they are provided with the respect and expediency it deserves.

07 September 2012

Bunting: Princess Margaret Playground

Council have been advised of apparent structural cracking in the cross beams that support this shade structure and vines.
The structure has now been inspected by a structural engineer and the area has been bunted off to restrict access to the area pending a review of the problem and remedial action, if required.
Council should know next week what repairs are necessary and how long the repairs will take.

Grade Separation; Submissions closed

Thank you for copying me in on many of the submissions that you have made to DAC regarding this project. So far I have read excellent concerns regarding;
  • The location and size of culverts and suggesting the culverts stay to the east of the railway and only cross under it once near the tram overpass. While the culverts would be larger the extra length and disruption to Millswood residents would be minimised, reducing additional costs to the Stormwater Management Authority. This would also give greater flood protection as soon as completed in 12 months and not in 5-10 years.
  • Ensuring noise emissions are less than residents now have
  • Ensuring the protection of as many trees as possible
  • Ensuring access over the railway lines is protected during construction and safe to use after the lines are reopened and discussion if they should be at grade or elevated.(Fairfax and Arundel)
  • Re landscaping with mature trees
  • Ensuring minimal disruption to residents during construction from noise, dust, hours of operation and removal of spoil (via the rail corridor and not residential streets)
  • Diversion of traffic when Victoria St is closed.
  • Safe bikepaths under or over he rail line especially at Goodwood Station
  • Ensure no workers cars are parked in any residential streets (should provide sufficient on site parking at work depots)
  • Ensuring the Greenways project is completed at the same time
  • Risk audit is undertaken regarding safety and graffiti protection.

05 September 2012

How safe is the bike/pedestrian underpass at Goodwood?

Over the last few days I have had two people ask me to investigate the safety of persons using this underpass. The path is the shared use area for train commuters, bicycles on the Mike Turtur bikeway and other persons just trying to safely cross under the rail line. The signage requests bike riders should dismount and walk through the area. My understanding is that this does not happen often enough. One person even observed the postie using the path on his motor bike!  Any observations or suggestions are welcome.

04 September 2012

Mitcham takes Notice

Thee following motion was moved and passed at the most recent Mitcham Council meeting on August 28th. They show that others are now concerned about what is happening with Brownhill Creek at the Goodwood junction.

MOVED Cr Weaver
(1) That Administration submits a response by 5 September 2012 to the
Department of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure’s (DPTI)
application to the Development Assessment Commission (DAC)
addressing issues surrounding the Goodwood Junction Rail Upgrade
Project (GJRUP). This submission is to highlight:
(a) Council’s concerns with the proposed route of the Malcolm
Street to the tramway by-pass culvert as identified in DPTI
plans and the proposed route of the culvert identified in the
Brownhill and Keswick Creek Stormwater Project (BHKCSP) –
Stormwater Management Plan 2012 and Council staff to
identify alternative route(s) for the culvert if possible;
(b) Council’s concern that the crossing points of the BHCK
Diversion Culvert and the High Flow By-Pass Culvert are not
sufficiently large enough to carry the expected flows emanating
from upstream of Brownhill Creek;
(c) Council’s concern that the Brown Hill Keswick Creek Steering
Project team is made aware of the plans submitted by DPTI to
the DAC and is confident that the crossing points and sizes
proposed will accommodate any flow expected along Brownhill
Creek in a 90 minute and 36 hour rainfall event upstream of
Leader Street;
(d) Any other concerns that may develop before the response is
forwarded to DAC.
(2) That the Mayor and Deputy Mayor work with Administration to
formulate the response to DAC.
(3) That the response be used as a basis for a letter to be sent to DPTI as
well, outlining Council's concerns with the GJRUP.

02 September 2012

September Update 2012

The following points should be of interest;
  • Frederick St; Children Crossing signs are soon to be erected near the Scouts and Guides building to remind traffic to slow down.
  • Princess Margaret Playground; Council are currently consulting about suggestions for minor upgrading including some equipment and additional shelter. Closes Sept 15th.  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZBDLM72
  • 50kph changes on Goodwood Rd have been welcomed by businesses and residents.
  • Streets for People compendium has now been released by the government. This makes interesting reading and may allow you to think for a minute where suitable streets might be for a trial. http://www.health.sa.gov.au/pehs/branches/health-promotion/21%20Watts-PHCS-HPB-20111212.pdf 
  • Clarence Park Community Centre AGM is12:30pm on Sept 25th.
  • Grade Separation consultation closes 5th September. Please read and have your say at www.dac.sa.gov.au  . Interestingly public meetings may be held after this date.
  • 669 South Rd; What should Council do regarding the annexing of Council car parks to access the rear of the property? Alternatives include removing the dividing fence, refusing consent and fixing the fence or charging for the loss of car parks at an agreed sum (suggested $15,000 per car park).
  • Dunrobin St trees; The arborist report is complete  and Council is still negotiating a way forward .
  • Fairfax Ave will soon have it's footpaths paved.
  • Residents have  called for an audit of some of the street trees in Millswood Cresent.
  • Goodwood Oval  Advisory Group meeting will be held on Wed 5th Sept in the Tennis Clubrooms.The Agenda is at http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/GOAG%20Agenda%205%20September%202012.pdf
  • The report from the consultant regarding the Representation Review will be discussed at a workshop this week. It will then be debated at Council before again going back to the people to have their say. The report recommends some changes to the existing boundaries as well as some more radical changes. However, it is deficient in that it fails to discuss the loss of Supplementary voters due to legislative change and how to get these entitled voters back onto the roll. It also fails to address ways that might ensure better equality in representation by gender, age or cultural diversity.
  • While some things seem to take forever to get done others happen quickly. After my letter boxing a couple of week ends ago I sent an email to staff letting them know the things I had noted. The rubbish was gone in 24 hours, the sewer inspection point that had been paved over was repaired and graffiti removed in 2 days, the broken street light fixed by ETSA in 3 days and the weeding and tidying up are in process ( Gray St).