31 December 2013

Bullying:It's not just kids

The following item from last Sunday's Mail is of interest as I have to deal, in my school teacher role, with bullying. In the end it hurts both the victim and the perpetrator. The one thing i find most confusing is that the kid who is bullied, given the opportunity to find their own victim, will in their turn bully them. As such I am lead to believe that these behaviors are both tolerated and taught by our  society. What made this article special is that Billy has been my student for 6 years; I have watched him develop and grow into a wonderful young man with empathy for all. Despite all the odds he has just completed his SACE and should be as proud of his achievement as students who gained merits as he has worked just as hard.
But bullying doesn't stop at school and it is rife throughout almost every organisation I have worked in, this includes Council. From time to time I receive emails from residents that can only be described as bullying and in committing this act I wonder what the resident was hoping to achieve? I'm not the sort of person that doesn't stand up for themselves, however, I have learned that a lot of arguments are won by knowing when not to respond.

Online hate in disguise Evil lurking behind
Sunday Mail Adelaide, Adelaide  29 Dec 2013

ADELAIDE teenagers are escalating their social media attacks by threatening violence against each other in the latest form of online bullying.

The attacks have been launched through a Facebook burn book page which was disguised to avoid detection from anti-bullying campaigners.

The page has led to warnings for parents to monitor their childrens online use.


ADELAIDE teenagers have escalated their social media attacks by threatening violence against others on a Facebook "burn book" that was camouflaged in an attempt to avoid anti-bullying campaigners.

The latest burn book, named Adelaide Elvis Book in a bid to avoid detection, was set up a fortnight ago and names and shames boys and girls, many of them in their early teens, by sharing sexually explicit rumours about them.

But the page, which has more than 350 friends, goes a step further. It also contains threatening posts that include gems such as "we will take you for a little boot ride" and "I will stab".

Like previous burn books a term that comes from the she said, warning parents to monitor teenage online use.

"Some teens I’ve seen who’ve been bullied in this way suffer a form of post-traumatic shock.

"They can’t sleep, think about it constantly, are scared to go to school, cry and can become very depressed and anxious." Police are urging anyone who has been threatened on Facebook’s Adelaide Elvis Book 2004 movie Mean Girls, in which girls used a hook to write rumours about fellow students this one urges people to send in anonymous gossip.

The Sunday Mail has previously repoited parents’ concerns that Facebook has not acted swiftly enough to shut down burn books.

Clinical psychologist Kirrilie Smout, who specialises in working with children and teenagers, said burn book pages created intense psychological pressure on young people.

"The people who are named on the page are often instantly identified they are sometimes tagged so that all of their Facebook friends immediately see the gossip, insults, slander, bullying, about that person," or similar sites to repoit them to a police station immediately.

Officers said those issuing online threats could he charged with making unlawful threats or using a carriage service to menace or harass.

A month ago anti-bullying campaigner and stroke survivor William Russell, 19, was targeted by another online page that appropriated and defaced his Facebook profile photo after he posted on the page about the dangers of cyber-bullying.

Mr Russell. who has been nominated by Unley Council for a Young Citizen of the Year Award, nins the Teen Suppoit Network website to help victims of harassment in schools, workplaces or at home.

"As burn books are open to the users of Facebook they do have effects on people, especially teenagers and their families, as rumours are open to the public users," he said.

"I strongly believe that Facebook and the other social networking sites need to improve their reporting procedures and the time span they take to ad on removing these kind of pages." Facebook Australia and New Zealand head of communi-cations Antonia Christie said the company was hying to enact anti-bullying policies globally. She had seen sites shut within minutes of them being repoited.

"Bullying is a violation of our terms and we remove all content that is repoited to us that violates our policies," she said. "Nothing is more impoitant to Facebook than the safety of those who use our site.

"Our statement of rights and responsibilites that users agree to outlines what conduct is permitted and we maintain a robust repoiting infrastructure that leverages over one billion people who use our site to keep an eye out for harmful or potentially dangerous content" FOR CRISIS SUPPORT CONTACT LIFELINE ON 131114

30 December 2013

Community Engagement Consultation extended

If being more active in your community is one of your New Year’s Resolutions, then participating in our community engagement consultation is the perfect opportunity for you.
We are very keen to hear from you on what issues and decisions you would like to be informed, consulted and involved in and what the best way to engage with you is.
There is a community meeting on Wednesday the 8th January at 6.00pm at the Civic Centre, 181 Unley Road, (enter from rear car park).  This will be a casual meeting where you can share your views over a bite to eat.  RSVP to Mandy on 83725127 or msmith@unley.sa.gov.au
Alternatively click here to add your comments on our online discussion forum.   We already have received some great ideas from our community about how Council could improve how we engage with you, let us know if you agree with what others are saying.

The consultation closes on the 17 January 2014.

Some response so far include;

Send information more targeted for my reason for being involved. I seem to get an overload of information that is not relevant to my community activity and so have to read through and spend time trying to sift out what is relevant.
I strongly believe that what council deems as necessary information to provide to ENTIRE neighbourhoods about residential developments / renovations must be addressed. Giving too much power to others has great potential to cause friction, tension and both time and money wastage.
I would like more information regarding footpath and road upgrades. The timing and how they are scheduled.

Happy New Year 2014

To all Unley residents and particularly those in Goodwood South (soon to be renamed Clarence Park) have a great 2014. My wish list for 2014 is as follows;

  • That when DPTI finish their works that the streets, infrastructure and landscaping are are in better condition than when they started and that Unley is compensated for any foreseeable additional costs.
  • That the list I sent to Rod Hook , CEO of DPTI are addressed as part of the above
  • That the waste collection contract to be negotiated in 2014 will be structured to be able to achieve genuine savings for our ratepayers for the reduction in households rubbish going to landfill
  • That the footpath acceleration schedule allows for a greater number of footpath replacements than we have seen so far in Goodwood South
  • That an election for a new state government ( March) and new Council ( November) do not get in the way of good governance of both the state and the city.
  • That the recently consulted works in Black Forest are able to be implemented to the satisfaction of residents
  • That the Millswood complex Masterplan recommends achievable and deliverable change where it is identified and needed
  • That the community spirit continues to thrive.

26 December 2013

Swimming Pool Safety

With the introduction of the new rules regarding pool fencing  attention has been drawn from others regarding pool safety. St John Ambulance CEO is now calling for mandatory CPR training for all pool owners. With the number of swimming pool drownings for under 4's increasing this really can't come soon enough. The organization is asking both sides of parliament to include the proposal as an election commitment in the upcoming march election. This has the potential to save many lives.

National Broadband Network

Residents are showing some concern about recent announced changes to the NBN. Not only is the service likely to be inferior to what was originally proposed it will also require the installation of large metal cabinets on Council footpaths. These will present problems for Council as they are likely targets for graffiti (the removal of which is likely to be done by Council), they will be easy targets for theft of the copper wires, will often need repair or upgrading and are a hazard if flooded. On top of this who will volunteer to have one in front of their homes? While the example below is the New Zealand response to the ugly boxes (they are being used as community art sites) a better solution would be to ensure Unley is served by the superior fibre to premises model.

24 December 2013

Wheel Squeal ;Channel Nine

Residents met with Harvey Biggs, reporter Channel Nine, regarding the ongoing problem with noise from the freight trains and Belair  Line. Interestingly, the Seaford Line is not quiet either and rattles away before and after the dive. Residents in Chromer Pde must be hoping for better things when the line is eventually electrified. I was given less than 2 hours notice to get a group of residents together, however, with a few phone calls and door knocking in the Grantley/ Arundel/ Cranbrook area there were enough people there with a story to tell that should make interesting viewing. The reporter particularly wanted to talk to residents in their homes, there were plenty of volunteers to do this. Luckily, a freight train made an appearance during the taping and one of the residents had a great tape of the wheel squeal recorded recently.
This will go to air in tonight's news broadcast at 6pm .

Storm Damage

Following on from the last story, Unley has had close to 300 requests related to the storm. most of these were about trees although there were 8 reports of power lines down and damage to fences and cars. All critical clean ups have now been cleared and the remaining clean up will be completed by the 3rd January.A number of risks have been identified with our aging street and park tree populations. These will be reviewed in the new year.

22 December 2013

Street Tree Fails in the Storm

This street tree dropped at least 2 limbs in the early part of the storm late on Friday. Despite resident's attempts in the past to have the tree removed Council has steadfastly ruled that it was safe and should remain. This may raise questions as to the safety of the nearby trees as well. Hopefully, this tree will now be able to be removed and others will be reviewed.

Evening Under the Starrs

Free Community Concert Unites Unley

The Unley Road Association (URA) has recently announced the return of ‘An Evening Under the Stars’ for February 1, 2014. 
This free community event run by the URA will once again take place in the Unley Memorial Gardens with live entertainment delivered for the enjoyment of the public.  It is the highlight of the ‘Taste of Unley’ two-week promotional campaign epitomising the essence that is Unley Road and presenting the best the street has to offer. Commencing January 24, 2014, competitions, discounts and various other promotional activities will be rolled out in the shopping and business precinct for the benefit of the wider community. 
Stephen Finos, Event Organiser (URA), believes the ‘Taste of Unley Road’ campaign is crucial in reminding South Australians of the importance of supporting our local businesses.
“Our specialty shops and business service providers offer an unparalleled consumer experience and we look forward to once again seeing the traders of Unley Road unite to showcase the magnificent shopping precinct to which they belong,” he said.
Following the success of the inaugural event earlier this year it was undoubtedly a must have to complement next year’s promotional period.
“This year’s concert saw a turnout of over 700 people and it is expected that next year’s will bring even higher figures with plenty of fun and excitement in store for the whole community,” said Mr Finos.
It has been announced that the 2014 line-up will see the return of Adelaide’s own outstanding singing duo Tasso Bouyessis and Annamaria Beni. Several supporting artists will accompany them, providing dazzling entertainment for young and old.
The Salvation Army has proudly been revealed as the major charity for ‘An Evening Under the Stars’ 2014. The URA is delighted to have the opportunity to thank the Salvation Army for their ongoing support as a vital component of the neighbourhood.
Coincidentally, The Salvation Army is celebrating 130 years supporting the Unley community. Attendees will have the opportunity to give back to this wonderful charity through donations and various giveaways. The concert will also be supplemented by a sausage sizzle run by The Salvation Army, raising funds for the Unley sector of the organisation.
The Unley Road Association is working tirelessly to connect local businesses with their community, providing new and exciting mutually beneficial opportunities for all. ‘An Evening Under the Stars’ 2014 is sure to impress and is an event not to be missed.

Dressed for Christmas

Chelmsford Ave, decked for Christmas
Its great to see so many streets trees all dressed up for Christmas, the streets where everyone has made an effort look festive, but even in front of one or two houses I'm sure it will help Santa find his way.

20 December 2013

Extra Pedestrian Crossing for Leader St

A recent safety audit of the Leader St level crossing indicated that there was a need for an additional pedestrian crossing to the south of the intersection. During every Community Advisory Group meeting representatives from DPTI were told by residents that a marked crossing was needed to both the north and south of Leader St at the rail crossing. At every meeting the pleas from residents were ignored. So, it is good to see that, at last, good sense has prevailed. I might also add that residents would still like to see a pedestrian crossing to the north at Victoria St and a safe cycle crossing to the south of the rail line on east ave at Clarence Park. Residents will be notified soon of DPTI's intentions.

18 December 2013

The CEO didn't say it!!

Despite quite a large article and quotes from what appeared to have been an interview with our CEO regarding a congestion tax this has not been the case. In Council's recent submission on the Integrated Transport Plan one of the suggestions, among many , was the idea of the use of congestion taxes, not for Unley Rd in particular, but as a means of encouragement for people to use main roads or public transport. This would then allow better traffic movement for those who carry out their business or day to day lives in areas that could become congested. The report was endorsed by Council. The link to the article is as follows;

Millswood underpass revamp

The following is how the Eastern Courier reported the proposed revamp of the underpass on Goodwood Rd. While this will  be great if it happens we actually want a train line and station that can be used as well as a more attractive underpass.

New York's High Line linear park inspiration for 

New York's High Line linear park is the inspiration for the redevelopment of the Millswood underpass. Source: News Limited
INSPIRATION may be drawn from New York's High Line linear park in a plan to revitalise the Millswood underpass precinct.
Ashford Labor MP Steph Key and Backyard Studies Institute research director Mark Thomson, who works at Ms Key's electoral office, presented ideas to spruce up the run down area to Unley Council last week.
Creating High Line park turned a dilapidated stretch of elevated railway in Manhattan into a popular tourist attraction by planting gardens, installing benches, lighting and pathways and opening cafes and restaurants.
How do you feel about the plan? Tell us below.
Mr Thomson told the council there was a chance to do something similar around the closed Millswood railway station and the 1915-built Goodwood Rd underpass.
"It's basically completely unchanged since it was built," Mr Thomson said.

New York's High Line linear park in ...
New York’s High Line linear park in June 2008. Source: News Limited

"There are all sorts of interesting opportunities.
"The New York High Line was abandoned but has become an incredibly popular tourist attraction (and there are) parallels with Millswood's old infrastructure."
MORE: Transport Department to investigate the reopening of Millswood Station
Ms Key and Mr Thomson were seeking support from the council for a public art project at the precinct to tie in the with 100-year anniversary of the underpass being built.
Mr Thomson said the underpass could be done up to provide an entry statement to Unley.
"You're going through a special place that says that says you are now entering the inner south," Mr Thomson said.
Ms Key first put forward the idea in 2008 but it has struggled to get off the ground.
"I think we needed to have a more developed concept plan," Ms Key said.
"Things have changed so I started again and people still think it's a good idea."
Elected members voted to support the concept and help Ms Key consult the community on ideas for the precinct.
Councillor Bob Schnell said the underpass was a "magnificent structure".
"It was an engineering feat back in those days," Cr Schnell said.
"It's time we tarted up the old structure."
A report said there would be no cost to the council at this stage.
Residents are pushing for the Millswood railway station to be reopened.
How do you feel about the plan? Tell us below.

16 December 2013

Consultation Review

Too many times Council has been criticised for not getting Community Engagement correct, it seems we both over consult and under consult depending on the issue. Many of you would be aware of the recent discussions with staff about the extent of the Canterbury Tce consultation.

Consultation Review
To ensure Council offers you better opportunities to have your say about issues that matter to you, Council are currently reviewing the  community engagement policy, processes and practices. To assist us to improve your engagement experience, Council would like to hear your thoughts on when and how you would like to be informed, consulted and involved in issues important to you.

You can share your view by:
  • Sharing your views on the online discussion forum by clicking  here 
  • Attending the community engagement public forum on Wednesday 8 January 2014, at 6-730pm, at the Unley Civic Centre 181 Unley Road, Unley
  • Emailing or calling Pam Hocking on 83725111 phocking@unley.sa.gov.au for a hard copy of the policy and feedback sheet
  • This consultation commences on 9 December 2013 until close of business 9 January 2014.

Merry Christmas 2013

Please enjoy time with your family and friends during the Xmas season. Thank you for your support during the year. May 2014 be DPTI free!!

14 December 2013

December Update 2013

The following items should be of interest;
  • More press about the freight train diversion, I keep hoping this may eventuate and keep working with the committee on it but it seems like so much money has been spent that it becomes increasingly difficult to get any traction with politicians. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/mitcham-councils-fresh-call-to-have-freight-trains-diverted-away-from-the-hills/story-fni9lkyu-1226781261487 
  • The community meeting on the Canterbury Tce solutions was well attended. Please take the time to respond to this if you have an opinion  either way. You can find the documents at;  http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/site/page.aspx?c=28518 .
  • The Goodwood Oval Advisory Group met last Wednesday. the minutes can be found at  http://goodwoodoval.org/index.php/gorg-minutes. The group need at least two more resident nominees. If you are interested please let me know.
  • Black Forest Primary School crossing; I attended a meeting this morning with interested residents and both Vicki Chapman and Terina Monteagle (candidate for the Liberals for  Ashford in March). Fears are that this crossing could be eliminated in future South Rd upgrades and that alternatives need to be included in the plans for this upgrade to include an overpass in the general area that the crossing is now. This would require land acquisition that could be started as suitable sites become available. The safety camera in this location raises over a million dollars each year for he state government, the $6,000,000 cost could easily be covered from money raised.
  • The Reopen Millswood Station group met with Tom Koutsantonis last week with promising results in that he did not say no, but rather that the current investigations are incomplete.
  • Westbourne Park Primary School centenary is approaching, they would love to hear from old scholars who still live in the area. If you are interested you can subscribe directly to the committee at www.wppps100.com.au or call Rachel on mobile 0438 872 483
  • It is great to see the kerb and water table repairs being done in William St in preparation for the paving of the footpaths.

10 December 2013

Are You a Good Neighbour?

A had a conversation with a work colleague this week regarding kids in classes. While the following isn't related to the kids it is about how we so often think and behave.
The new owner  moved in and asked the next door neighbour what the people were like around here.
He answered, "What were they like where you used to live?"
"Oh", he said, "They were a pretty good bunch , we got on well, helped each other and enjoyed each others company."
The reply was, "Well I reckon that's how you will find them around here".
On the other hand if he had answered that he had not got along with them and that they rude and unhelpful, the reply would have been exactly the same!

A sobering thought!

I saw these last week in Rundle Street, a very sobering idea from the Motor Accident Commission.

Some Things Are Finally Getting Done

While DPTI still steadfastly refuses to discuss outstanding issues with residents it seems that some of the things they did promise are now being done. These include the Cranbrook Ave gate and lattice work (even higher than  it was to cover the appalling besser block shed), the high corrugated fence between Victoria St and Chelmsford Ave and the beginnings of the sound mitigation walls in Lyons Pde (yet to be seen in Devon St and between Victoria St and Cranbrook Ave). I've even seen landscaping in places that I was told would need to wait for autumn.
However, the graffiti is still visible all over the place, while some fences have been replaced not all that need to be have been, Arundel Ave still needs both visual and noise screening and  the gantries should be painted at Clarence Park station.
Graffiti  near  SASMEE Park
Graffiti on the Greenways

The fence near Victoria St

Throw screens at Devon St
The Cranbrook Ave gate (behind the 33)

Full Council; Dec 9th 2013

This meeting is always held at this time, Council will not meet now until late January. Items on the Agenda this month include;
  • A presentation from Steph Key, MP for Ashford, regarding the Millswood Underpass (Goodwood Rd) and then a debate on this item; The revitalization of  the underpass and the area in the vicinity of it is long overdue, including tidying up and reopening Millswood station. This initiative,while welcome, has had no input from the elected members for the Goodwood South. However, this will result in further conversations and residents will be asked for input and feedback. However, it will only be completed if grant funding is available. I hope this is supported by both parties going into the March election or in the end nothing will happen.PASSED
  • Temporary Rd Closures for the Tour Down Under events; PASSED
  • Conservation Grants; These grants are available to assist residents with the appropriate maintenance of heritage properties; both those listed and those contributory items in Conservation Zones. Our current $50,000 budget is inadequate  to fund the works applied for, all of which were supported by the staff. In previous years despite applications being approved it has been the case that many applicants who win these grants do not proceed with the work. Staff have asked that Council consider a higher amount of funding.The higher amount was approved.PASSED
  • Ministers Proposals for Approval of the Heritage Development Plan Amendment; At last after 7 years this is almost there.It was at my instigation that this was 'hurried along' and discussed in my last term on Council. It is, however, disappointing that the Minister did not wish to support the listing of all nominated properties.PASSED, although with some debate and disappointment at the refusal of the Minister to list some properties particularly on Unley Rd. It would seem that the government wishes to allow for maximum corridor growth at the expense of some heritage buildings!
  • Development Plan Amendments Public Consultation; this is the DPA that affects Goodwood South; it is anticipated that consultation will commence in May 2014. PASSED. There was a last minute attempt to exclude tenants from the consultation process, I found this discriminatory and offensive.
  • Nomination to Development Assessment Commission Sub-committee for assessment in Urban Corridor Zones; I've written a separate blog on Council's loss of planning powers in this matter. To have one person representing Unley's interest is better than no one.PASSED
  • Amendments to Residential Parking Permit Policy; This is an interim report before a full investigation and recommendation into an improved Policy.PASSED
  • Encroachment Policy; At the current time Council does not have a policy on this matter and encroachments exist that no approval exists for. in recent times this has including building in the road reserve and even half a tennis court. While I have some empathy for those for whom the encroachment was pre-existing when they purchased their property I have little empathy for those who choose to encroach on Council property or those who knowingly use Council land  and wait to be caught.PASSED
  • Volunteer Graffiti Removal Programme Update; What a success, people love to be involved and to make a difference, as well it saves rate payers money that can be spent on other things.PASSED
  • Elector Representation  Certification Review; PASSED
  • Australia Day Awards (Confidential); PASSED
The Local Area Traffic Management Plan (Black Forest) will not be debated until January. The Agenda can be found at;  http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Council%20Agenda%20Dec%202013%20iPad.pdf

08 December 2013

Princess Margaret Melaleuca Update

You may have noticed that on the edge (near the Greenway) there is a tree too close to the light post (actually the tree is wrapped around it). This is not a story about haw the tree manage to do this but about the complete lack of common sense of the contractor that installed the light. Didn't it occur to them even for a minute that the light post could be installed a little to the left or right and not only been more functional but also not been in the tree? If I was paying the contractor he would be waiting for his money, but DPTI is the paymaster and for them this was OK as Council could always remove the tree! At Council's expense of course!  Nevertheless, I have been told that a Development Assessment Process will now commence to remove the tree. My suggestion is to ask DPTI to move the light and if the tree fails sometime in the future it could then be removed.

04 December 2013

Unley’s vow to battle on

What follows is The Eastern Courier's view of the last Council meeting; text by John Stokes

UNLEY streets must be quarantined in any plan to floodproof Brownhill Creek, councillors say.
In front of a packed public gallery, Unley councillors last week voted to look for a way to protect more than 7000 homes from floods.
Councillor Jennie Boisvert told the council that vocal opponents of a dam in Brownhill Creek Recreation Park had dominated the debate during the saga and it was time for that to change.
"Mitcham must listen to what it is that Unley wants," Cr Boisvert said.
"If Mitcham won’t it may be time for the (Stormwater Management Authority) to tell them how it should be." Cr Michael Saies said the project should explore working with landowners to increase the capacity of Brownhill Creek before digging up Unley streets.
Residents group Save Our Streets is keen to fight what it describes as the potentially devastating impact of the culverts.
Group spokesman Tony McGuinness said the outcome of the council meeting was a positive step.

Planning Powers Gone

In the interest of transparency recent changes to delegations in the Planning Act have now resulted in Unley (and other inner ring Councils) losing their powers to assess any proposed new buildings at 5 storeys or more. This is a very poor decision on the behalf of the government in that it will  change the assessing authority from Unley's  Development Assessment Panel to the Development Assessment Commission, along with this will go a reduced (if any ) opportunity for residents to object to each individual proposal. Tell me why would any one propose to build a 4 storey building on Unley Road that will be scrutinized by Council and residents when they might propose 6 storeys and it have less  scrutiny?

Speed Cameras Saving Lives

I read the small article on Page 5 of the Advertiser this morning and was shocked. The Black Forest pedestrian crossing near the Black Forest School is the second highest revenue raising Safety Camera. Between January and Sept this year 3779 people have been prepared to put children's lives at risk by failing to stop when the pedestrian light is operating. How safe does this make it for the children to use the crossing? It also highlights the vigilance still required even when it should be safe to cross. Is this revenue raising? I don't think so.

03 December 2013

How's Leader St Coping?

I watched tonight's news with interest. When the newsreader described the bottle neck at Oaklands Rd I thought the story would be on Leader St. The intersection has exactly the same number of trains from Seaford as Goodwood, the story showed the cars idling as the boom gates went down every 41/2 minutes. The difference is Leader St also has the Belair Line and the freight line. So, is the traffic diverting to Victoria St or Mills St or staying on South Rd or Goodwood Rd?

02 December 2013

Ignite Unley

I stopped in to have a look at this event on Saturday. The music was good and the crowd seemed to be enjoying it, especially the young children as there was plenty for them to do. This will be on again in two weeks time.

Public Art Strategy

‘art for
Unley Civic Centre
11th December
6.30 to 8.00PM
Do you think public art can deliver new ideas, culture,
community and diversity in Unley?
The City of Unley is exploring how public art can transform your City...as an experience or destination, for
entertainment, as a celebration, for community engagement, interpretation or as a way to commemorate the
values, stories and history of Unley.
To start this exploration, Council has invited Warwick Keates of WAX Design and Trish Hansen from Arts SA to talk about the role of public art and the potential of art in the City of Unley.
Unley Civic Centre | Oxford Terrace | 11th December | 6.30 to 8.00PM |
RSVP: Matthew Ives 8372 5134 or mives@unley.sa.gov.au

01 December 2013

Trains Operating from Monday

Regular scheduled trains will operate from Monday 2nd December, on weekdays at least. The trains running will be the old diesels and not the new electric trains. These will not operate until February and even then there will be insufficient new trains to run them alone, the diesels will be with you for  a while yet. Given that it will be even longer before anyone will be able to tell if they are quieter. There still is much work to be done on the site.
Council are in talks with DPTI about the final payment to Council to repair the short term and long term damage to the streets, kerbs, trees, signs, and other amenity. I suggested to staff than anything short of $2 million would be a ripoff of to our ratepayers. From his response I don't think they're discussing this type of number. The final agreement must come back to Council or it to be able to be signed off.
I was a little dismayed the see Chloe Fox's statement that  "Fox says the views are amazing and she thinks the line was planned long before her seat became marginal. Fox says some of these stops are going into safe Labor seats. Fox says when you build a piece of infrastructure like this it gets to the stage where it bypasses politics". The reality is that this was all about politics right from the start especially the funding and desired outcomes. The view from the trains through Goodwood, Millswood, Black  Forest and Clarence Park must be truly amazing indeed, maybe this explained the need to elevate the track? I would have thought that looking over  dilapidated fences covered in graffiti into people back yards might really have been the last thing commuters wished to see!
I don't usually promote other people's websites but if you are interested in the documentation of one person and the development of Goodwood Junction this is an excellent pictorial revue.

Cyclists Dismount

There has been some dismay among the cycling community about the appearance of  "Cyclists Dismount" sign on Rogers Tce, Goodwood. This was  erected after a child was hit by a cyclist; the  ensuing investigation discovered that this section of the Mike Turtur bikeway did not meet current standards near the pedestrian crossing  in the same location across the tram line. Some tree pruning may be required and realignment of the bikeway before the sign can be removed. Council are still working a way forward that will allow the sign to be removed.

Options for Canterbury Tce

The alternate one way options

Two way option.
The above are the final options for Canterbury Tce . Most households will already have received their letter from Council. If you did not and you want to have your say on this matter I can email you the form or you will be able to get it from the Council website. Please take the time to read the alternate options and rank them in order of preference. You then need to return the form to Council. There are several options that allow for the replanting  of trees, residents are now expressing a wish for the trees to be evergreen. Residents of Canterbury Tce will be asked to choose a species after this consultation if they are to be replanted. If you wish to discuss the options  with staff there will be an opportunity to do this at Clarence Park Community Centre from 4pm-6pm on the 11th December.

29 November 2013

What Next for Page Park?

An example only
You may remember that Don and I secured some $50,000 to spend on fitness equipment in Page Park this financial year. Many years ago fitness equipment was installed in Page Park and it was the most up to date available at the time. Since then as various bits have rotted and/or become unsafe they have been removed by staff. One of the long term issues for Council is that every new asset created adds to the total maintenance bill for the city if the asset is to be kept in good repair. All the equipment has now been removed. Many options have been discussed in recent months including making the park a 'dog park', not just one that they can run around in but one where they have their own dedicated play equipment (Council decided to partially fund one in the South Parklands). In the near future residents will be invited to say what type of equipment they would like to see in the park and where it would best be located. My preference would be equipment with fewer moving parts that you would find at Forestville. I've been told that even since that equipment was installed the design of the equipment has changes so as to have a longer life.What do you think? Fencing will also be replaced soon.

28 November 2013

Forestville Reserve Funding Gone

$91,000 promised by the Labor federal government to upgrade Forestville Reserve  will now not be forth coming. This is disappointing as this money was to be used to make good the mess made by DPTI and improve the amenity after they moved out after completion of the creek works. There has been no news from Council on this only what I have read in the press.

27 November 2013

An update on the development of the Unley Oval precinct

We are aware that there is a high level of community interest about the future of the Unley Oval Precinct and there has been a variety of ideas put forward over the last few years. To ensure that Unley Oval continues to meet the future needs of the community and the sporting clubs, the Council has decided to prepare a redevelopment plan of the precinct. This plan will guide any future redevelopment to ensure that any present decisions do not compromise future opportunities.This update is to advise the community of decisions taken by Council concerning the redevelopment of the Unley Oval precinct.
The Precinct is bounded by Trimmer Terrace (west), Frederick Street (north), Langham Terrace (east) and Edmund Avenue (south). It is approximately 4 hectares in size and is a significant area for both structured sport (including football, cricket, tennis and bowls) as well as unstructured recreation (personal exercise, informal ball sports, dog exercise). It includes playgrounds and public toilets and is used to host events such as the finish of the ‘Ride like Crazy’ cycling event.
Unley Oval is one of 3 sporting hubs within the City of Unley and is considered to be a regional sporting facility. The Precinct also consists of six grass tennis courts, two bowling greens, associated clubroom facilities and two grandstands which have substandard change facilities, storage and training rooms.
After extensive consultation with user groups earlier this year, Council has begun detailed investigations into possible redevelopment options. This includes potential refurbishment of the existing facilities and resurfacing of the oval.
At its meeting on 28 October 2013, Council resolved that:
“1. The Administration proceed without delay in:
a) investigating opportunities to create additional public open space on the Unley Oval precinct.
b) investigating and preparing concept designs to improve the current substandard facilities on Unley Oval, to bring them up to SANFL compliant standards.
2. The Administration report back to Council in January 2014, seeking further direction.”
At this stage, Council has not made any decisions about what any potential redevelopment will include.
The January 2014 report referred to in the October 2013 resolution will address some of the issues raised during the information gathering process: in particular, better facilities for sport, and improved open space for general community and recreation purposes.
Once this report is presented, Council can determine the next steps in delivering an upgrade of this significant community asset.
It is, of course, the intention of Council to continue to engage with the whole community in relation to the redevelopment of the Unley Oval Precinct.  Community consultation will be carried out on any and all proposed redevelopment concepts.
Further updates will be provided via letterbox drops to selected areas and will be accessible on the City of Unley website. We anticipate the next update will be in February following the Council meeting in January.

Peter Tsokas

Regular updates will now be posted on the City of Unley website.
The Eastern Courier has described this as stalled.
I would describe it as having trouble getting off the ground.

26 November 2013

Full Council: 25th November 2013

This month's meeting had some interesting matters to debate. We will listened to two deputations from  Tom Hester (Save Our Streets) in opposition to potential culverts in Unley streets  and David Hudson and Graham Davies on Brown Hill Creek flood modelling.
  • Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sporting Complex Improvement Plan-Project Brief ; This item discussed the project brief prior to hiring a consultant to do the main works. They will be using information collected during the Community Assets Review and re-engaging with the community. PASSED
  • Community Engagement and Public Consultation Policy Review; As a result of often perceived poor consultation with our community the policy has been reviewed. The policy itself will now go through a consultation phase. I like the new concept that consultation can inform, consult and/or involve the community. One of the difficulties Council often has is weighting the value of a petition. I think they're great if a group of people think there is an issue that they want to tell us about, however, instead of a representation to an issue I believe they muddy the waters and their value can be confused. Council also has difficulty in reconciling the value of input from the silent majority. If 100 people are consulted about change and 10 reply positively for the change and 15 negatively is the vote 10:15 against or 85: 15 for?PASSED
  • Free Fridays at the Pool;This will continue this arrangement for 2014 from Feb 7th- PASSED.
  • General Development plan Amendment; This will ask the Minister to allow Unley to further develop policy regarding laneway housing, public notification, complying development, off street parking, and heritage building adaptability. It does not address on site detention of water (an issue that has the potential to reduce flooding)and I will ask if this can be included. I was told this has already been included in the recent DPA3 amendment. PASSED
  • Review of Access Requirements for Heavy Vehicles into and out of King William Rd at Arthur St; This matter arose again in the process of trying to get pedestrian refuges installed in King William Rd  near Arthur St to allow for safer pedestrian crossing of KWR at that location. Woolworths truck using the Arthur St, KWR intersection often add to the danger for pedestrians at that location. The report suggests that only allowing the truck to make a right hand turn out of Authur Street at KWR would improve the situation; all other truck movements would be via Unley Rd. It seems sensible to trial this and will allow for the construction of the approved refuges. APPROVED as a trial.
  • Brown Hill Keswick Creek Project Update; An interim report is now available in the Agenda. To me it seems to still speak of many options whereas I would prefer if it was starting to eliminate options. However, for the fist time there is discussion around channel clearance especially north of Malcolm St. Take a look at the creek channel when on the Malcolm St bridge  looking south; this gives a pretty good indication of the problem. Take time to read it.  http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Att%201%20Item%20972%20FCM%20Nov%202013-1.pdf  This passed after much debate and a motion that included support for progress that does not involve culverts in Unley. It was good to have the gallery full of concerned residents.
  • Confidential  Item-Land Encroachment;
Additionally  to this my questions on Brown Hill Creek have been answered. 
My questions on 2 for 1 tree replacements resulting from Development Applications is yet to be answered. I
have met with staff on this one but still the question goes unanswered.
The full agenda can be found at;

These Events Worth Going To!

French Christmas Market

The French Christmas Market was brought to the City of Unley through our place activation (event attraction) program. The event features a robust entertainment program and a large market with an astounding number of stall holders which looks sure to bring the Soldiers Memorial Garden to life. Visit their website for full details  http://www.af.org.au/french-christmas-marketsat-dec-7th/. The event will be held from 5-10 pm Friday 6 December and from 10am – 8pm on Saturday 7 December.

Goodwood Groove

With the success from 2012, the Goodwood Groove is back! Hosted by the Goodwood Traders Association, the picnic festival includes gypsie swing, acoustic music, food/drink stalls, and children’s entertainment. From listening to an array of fantastic live music, to enjoying tantalising food and wine from local traders, the Goodwood Grove provides the ideal opportunity to relax and unwind with family and friends. The event will be held from 4-10.30pm Friday 6 December at the Green Lawn Space and Goodwood Community Centre, Florence Street, Goodwood

24 November 2013

Small Sponsorship and Donations Scheme

The Small Sponsorship and Donations Scheme assists eligible organisations and individuals with projects, programs or activities that benefit the residents of the City of Unley.
Donations of up to $250 are available to residents of Unley to participate in specific cultural, sporting, or recreational activities and events. Only one application will be considered each financial year.
Sponsorships of up to $500 per financial year are available for activities or purposes that:
  • Clearly demonstrate direct benefits to the residents of Unley; and
  • Meet a social, environmental or economic development need of some urgency.
Applications will be accepted throughout the year and processed as they are received.
Click here for an application form.
Click here for the guidelines.
For further information please phone 8372 5108.

23 November 2013

Westbourne Park Primary School Centenary

1914 - 2014

Westbourne Park Primary School is calling out to all old scholars and the local community to contact the school in preparation for some exciting centenary events planned for 2014.
Subscribe to email updates via the website or phone the school.
Ph. 8271 7430

November Update 3013

Sorry this is a little late

  • The arbor in the Princess Margaret Playground is now fully repaired and ready for use.
  • The promised bird boxes have now been attached to trees in the train corridor, they are evident along Chromer Pde in particular.
  • New line marking is evident in most areas. There should be no new lines only going over the existing
  • More fences have now been replaced along the Greenways path, this has taken an exceptional amount of work by some people.
  • 54 trees need to be replaced by DPTI as replacement for those removed along the corridor during the grade separation and electrification. The location of these trees is yet to be decided and all should have the potential to become significant if possible.
  • The final version of the Black Forest Local Area Traffic Management Plan will go to Council for endorsement on December 10th. I will send it on to those I have email addresses for and put a link in my blog. I have been told that there has not been any changes of significance made.
  • Residents will be letter boxed next week regarding the options for treatment in Canterbury Tce. I will upload these when I get an electronic copy. There are 4 proposals, only one of which is one way, residents will be asked to preference the options.
  • Don and I will be briefed on Monday on the options for consultation regarding some work in Page Park, this should include fitness equipment.

Government May Have To Take Over Stormwater Management Plan

Ian Hunter, the Minister for the Environment has indicated that the state government may have to take over the proposed stormwater management plan if the 5 Councils (Unley, Burnside, Mitcham, Adelaide and West Torrens) can't come to an agreement in the near future. Unley will discuss an interim report at this Monday's Full Council Meeting. While the CEO reminded me the other day that we didn't want to rush our decision making I did remind him that it had the potential to be well and truly finished by now if it were not for Mitcham's reluctance (some others would use stronger words) to consider a dam in Brown Hill Creek. Seems that the government has committed $4million a year for the next 30 years to get the works done. This was welcome news to me! (information from ABC radio)


20 November 2013

Council and Credit Cards

Given that none of the elected members in Unley have a Council funded credit card their spending should be of little concern to ratepayers. It also seems Unley has far less approved approved credit cards given to staff than other Councils (5 presumably for the CEO and 4 General Managers). At this time I have never had any concerns about the use of these or any complaints made to me for investigation. However, the following makes interesting reading. The LGA report should also be interesting when it is available.

Silence on card usage
Eastern Courier Messenger, Adelaide  by John Stokes Meagan Dillon

RATEPAYERS remain in the dark on council credit card use as Unley, Burnside and Norwood, Payneham & St Peters refuse to release their spending statements.

The State Government began publishing credit card statements, travel summaries and other office expenses for ministers and department chief executives last month. Councils, however, will not be following suit.

"At this stage there are no plans to introduce credit card reporting, largely due to the administrative burden in compiling reports," an Unley Council spokeswoman said.

None of Unley’s 13 elected members have council credit cards. Five staff have cards with $10,000 limits, including the chief executive and two high-level managers. Unley Council has a corporate credit card procedure which all staff with cards are expected to abide by.

A Burnside Council spokeswoman said that $203,047.78 was charged to 14 credit cards during the 2012- 13 financial year. Councillors do not have council cards, but some employees have access to credit cards with limits up to $15,000 to fund travel, cater for functions and register councilowned cars.

Burnside Council said the Local Government Association was developing a policy in relation to the public release of credit card details.

"Once the information is received from the LGA a report will be presented to council to adopt our approach," the spokeswoman said. NP&SP Council said it had three credit cards but did not provide any more information.

News from the Unley Library

Unley Libraries were all a buzz on the weekend of 2 – 4 November 2013 with our second festival –
Cook it. Grow it. Make it. involving all things gardening, cooking and creating happening in every
corner of the library.
Quick Facts; A two‐day Festival held at Unley Library during library opening hours.
 Total of 3,088 people visited the Unley Library during this time.
o This is an increase of over 2,350 people compared to the previous weekend.
o This is also an increase of nearly 900 people compared to the previous Festival in
 A total of 1,344 people registered and participated in specific festival events and activities,
530 more than the 2012 Festival.
Why a Library Festival?
 The libraries in Unley have become powerful places for enabling an informed society where
individuals have opportunities to learn new knowledge and skills throughout life to enable
them to lead healthy and productive lives.
 The library festival is creating opportunities for social connectedness and engagement and is
contributing directly to the wellbeing of the Unley communities.
 It provides plenty of opportunities for people to connect, learn, participate and grow their
skills and knowledge while having fun and enjoying a true community event.
Special guest presenters, Poh Ling Yeow (Poh’s Kitchen), ABC Radio personalities, Malcolm
Campbell and Rose Squire, and returning master of ceremonies, Cosi (Andrew Costello, Channel 9
series host South Aussie with Cosi) kept our community entertained and enthralled.
We introduced our very own Creatorspace, and
hosted a range of activities for community members
to come and try something completely unexpected in
the library. From cake decorating, learning how to
spin a pottery wheel with Adelaide Potters Club,
creating wall decals with Walls That Talk, learning to
play the guitar with Cal Williams Jr from local band,
The Hushes.
Activities also included planting vegetables and
making true homemade pizzas, and children learning
how to make pasta at home – there was something for everyone.
Unley’s Men’s Shed group showcased how to make beautifully‐crafted wooden toys. A special
Babytime under the ‘Dad’s Read’ initiative, and special guest storytellers Janeen Brian and Amanda
Graham, had families getting crafty on Saturday.
Cook it. Grow it. Make it. ended with Stig Weymss who entertained children from local schools and
the public. Stig’s work will be familiar to fans of Andy Griffiths’ books as he is the infamous voice on
many audiobooks.
I’m sure you will agree this year’s event was a great success.
Libraries provide for the independent learning needs of people of all
ages – making us an essential component of the learning ecosystem.

16 November 2013

Sugar Gums Pruned

 You may have noticed that the sugar gums in Chromer Pde are being pruned today and tomorrow. As usual DPTI were late in notifying people, letter boxing occurred late yesterday when the contractors had already been booked for this morning. Residents were upset and found the personnel difficult to communicate with. It seems there was a stand off between the arborist (who had to be present) and DPTI over the size of the exclusion zone. Eventually a new arborist was found and the exclusion zone agreed at 3.5 m, unfortunately, this has now been measured form the poles and not the wires!! when I checked this afternoon the mulcher seemed busier than any thing else; let's hope the trees survive and flourish. DPTI also intended to remove a tree from the Princess Margaret playground even though it was at least 7 m from wires or gantry. this tree has been saved for the time being.If you are looking for it, it is the one someone placed the light post in!! 

Mitcham is getting annoyed

Please take the time to click on the above link to see just how close the Save Our Streets group are becoming to be an annoyance to the No Dam debate. It is worth reading because in the paper  disruption in Unley is diminished and the disruption to Mitcham maximized. You wouldn't call it a balanced argument! There are currently 3 proposals that have been developed that allow for adequate flood protection and No Dam. All of the current options have culverts in Unley Streets. While the size of the culvert in Malcolm St varies in each option the size of the culverts in Arundel Ave get larger. Putting the culvert in the rail reserve is a proposed but unpriced option.
While the Worley Parson's report at.
http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/WP%20report%20-%20Bypass%20Culvert%20Assessment%2026-4-12%20(no%20appendices).pdf  says that there may be little tree damage; the evidence that we have all seen in Devon St suggests otherwise. The other bit left out is that the hole that needs to be dug to put in a culvert needs to be 2m wider than the culvert and over 1m deeper. So if the culvert in Arundel Ave is 3.3m wide the hole dug would need to be 5.3 m x 3m. The residents in Unley have already had trucks running through their streets for almost a year with the railworks, they have had enough and should not be subjected to unnecessary and expensive works if the Ellison's Gully dam is viable. At this time there is no option on the table that has a do dam and no culvert option.

14 November 2013

Meeting Procedures; How to get the vote right?

This system doesn't work
Many times I have complained at Council about the method we use to elect our fellow members to various committees when more than the allocated number have nominated. In most recent times I personally was not elected to the Development Assessment Panel even though 8 Councillors had expressed publicly their desire to see change in the people on the committee. Despite this the same 3 members were reappointed after a vote. How did this happen? It happened because we use a flawed voting system, one where you simply tick a box next to all preferred candidates, 3 in the above case. Using the Council's current internal voting system it would have been possible for me to have lost the last election with one vote short of 50% plus 1 of the vote!! Hopefully, change will happen.