31 August 2014

Conservation grants: apply now.

The City of Unley Conservation Grant assists owners of ‘significant’ trees and local heritage/contributory buildings to preserve them in a ‘safe and aesthetically pleasing condition’.
Grants may be allocated for up to 50 per cent of the total cost of a single conservation treatment with the maximum amounts available per application being:
• $1,000 for pruning significant trees; and
• $5,000 for local heritage buildings and contributory items within Historic Conservation Zone:
Grants are not available for:
• The removal of significant trees; or
• Lopping, pruning or other ‘tree-damaging’ activities as defined by the Development Act 1993.
Please note that the applications approved and the amount allocated per application are at the discretion of Council.
For more details including Applications Forms and to view Council’s Conservation Fund Policyclick here.
For further information phone 8372 5111.
Applications close 26 September 2014.

Garage Sale Trail

Garage Sale Trail
Each and every year one big day of garage sales is held right across the country. It’s called the Garage Sale Trail and it’s a great way to de-clutter, make money and find the treasure in your neighbourhood.
Garage Sale Trail is about sustainability, community, fundraising and having a whole heap of fun.
This year’s event will be held on Saturday 25 October and will be the world’s biggest garage sale!
Garage Sale Trail aims to promote reuse and waste education, reduce waste to landfill, facilitate new neighbourly connections, provide a platform for fundraising, inspire creativity and stimulate local economies.
It’s for everyone! Whether you are sellers, buyers...everyone can get involved.
Visit garagesaletrail.com.au for more information and register today!
Sellers who register before 25 September will receive a free participant pack with posters to promote their sale!

29 August 2014

Police checks for Councillors?

There seems to be an aver increasing need for these checks but as is so often the case it is too late for this election. Police  checks currently take up to 3 months to be completed and the names of people wishing to be elected must be submitted between the 2nd and the 16th of this September. This doesn't worry me personally, as a teacher they are compulsory (as you would expect) and mine is always up to date. However, it raises just a touch of paranoia, as a Councillor I have never been left alone with a child and would never expect to be. I know it is now often also a prerequisite for members of Boards where children are a focus of the Board's work. To this end it may well be the case that all members of the Clarence Park Community Centre  Board should have current police checks?

28 August 2014

Unley's Celebration of the Anzac Centenary

Council will be recognising two events  of the time. These will be the soldiers parade down Unley Rd on May 8th 2015 and the farewell to the same troops on the 12th May 2015. Council is currently trying to contact the descendants of the 27th  battalion so they can be invited to the celebrations. The details of the events are yet to be finalised. Take the time to follow this event on Facebook ( 27th battalion and ANZAC commemorations).

Hazardous waste drop-off day: 1st November 2014

From 9am until 3pm on the 1st November you will be be able to drop off the hazardous waste you may have been accumulating. You will be letterboxed  about this service closer to the date. You may dispose of acids and alkalis, brake fluids, cleaning products, gardening chemicals, paint, pool chemicals, solvents and varnishes and stains. 

27 August 2014

Push for smaller councils to merge!

Salisbury Council to use Local Government Association AGM to push for smaller councils to merge and protect local planning panels.
 SOME Salisbury councillors have rained insults on Adelaide’s smallest councils, urging them to merge with their neighbours to prevent the introduction of regional planning boards.

Salisbury Council will use the Local Government Association’s October AGM to push for the amalgamation of metropolitan councils with fewer than 60,000 residents. (read more).

The above article has appeared in the Northern Messenger. Salisbury Council will be asking the LGA to support Council amalgamations rather than being forced into regional governance for planning. This was also mooted by the recently released report about the future of Local Government as we now know it. While regional governance has no merit as far as I am concerned there are plenty of opportunities for Councils to share resources (Unley shares many of it's services with other Councils). An additional level of governance also has little or no merit.

26 August 2014

Community Passenger Network

 The CPN is an ERA project funded by the State and Commonwealth Governments. It is a central point of contact for people in the eastern region seeking transport options and information. The City of Unley is the auspice for this CPN and the Coordinator has been working hard over the last year setting up the service.  The website went live today and is an excellent resource for people in the eastern region looking for transport options. Please check it out with this link: http://www.easternmetrocpn.com.au/

What happens when the papers go missing?

As many of you may have noticed I tend to keep the focus of my blog on the western side of the city and am  generally careful about saying too much about Unley Oval. However, the matter was to be debated and for what my comment was worth I reported this in the Council meeting report.
What was shocking about this debate is that the responses (all 400 of them ) were removed from the members room sometime on Sunday before many Councillors had an opportunity to read them. They could only have been taken by someone authorised to enter the building.
Despite all Councillors having full knowledge that this had occurred a motion to defer the debate until the papers had been recovered or reprinted was put and lost. The vote from Councillors was 6 all, the Mayor used his casting vote to allow the debate to proceed. He was fully aware that a number of Councillors had been denied an opportunity to read the papers for themselves and read into them what they will.  If they had been afforded the opportunity the debate would have been much fairer.
Also shocking is the fact that someone amongst us had deliberately removed the papers to deny them this opportunity.

Full Council Meeting: 25th August 2014

This was to have been the last Council meeting before we go into caretaker mode.  However, there will now be a meeting on the 8th of September when the updated report on Brown Hill creek will be received and debated. This means Council will not be able to make any major decisions for the 2 months following and the new Council meets in December.
There are a couple of petitions this month, one regarding Unley Oval and the other the recently consulted Development Plan Amendment. This brings me to consider what the value of petitions is. I wrote a blog on this some time ago. Both are timely as the matters to which they relate are to be debated at the same meeting.
Items to be debated are;

  • The Development Strategy and Policy Committee minutes; these are the minutes that contain information about recommended changes to the proposed DPA. I think it now reflects what most of you told us you wanted. I just have to ensure that it passes. PASSED. The recommended changes will be worked on by staff and then put back to consultation early 2015.
  • Lease of 41 Oxford Tce to Kirinari School; this is  an existing lease to be renewed for one year. I still have concerns about the so called shared use when the gate is always locked!! PASSED. Hopefully the gate will be unlocked sometime soon so the area is available for Community use.
  • Public Lighting Audit: this would give consent to staff to start investigations options to demonstrate possible savings. PASSED
  • Unley Oval Picket Fence: This mater has been a difficult one as there are tightly held views on each side of the debate.

24 August 2014

Age Friendly Strategy

This new Age Friendly Strategy will be focused on supporting and encouraging Positive and Active Ageing, where the City of Unley is accessible for everyone, promotes health and wellbeing, provides opportunities for connection and inclusion including a high sense of belonging, meaning and contribution.

As part of considering Age Friendly initiatives, it’s important to think of ageing as intergenerational, rather than a specific trait of the elderly – after all we are all ageing.  The entire community benefits from Age Friendly Cities:  providing neighbourhoods that are welcoming, safe and sustainable for all generations, footpaths that are free from obstructions, places where people can move around freely and whereby individual contributions are valued and people support each another - all contributing to a high quality of life.

The new Age Friendly Strategy will be aligned to the values, principles and definitions of Age Friendly Cities and Communities as outlined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Additionally, the Strategy will explore the WHO 8 key dimensions of an Age Friendly City and Community being:   Outdoor Spaces and Buildings; Transportation; Housing; Social Participation; Respect and Social Inclusion; Civic Participation; Communication and Information and Community and Health Services.

There are several key stages included in this project.  Stage one (which is where we currently are) includes research and the preparation of a literature review, looking at the local, state, national and global models and trends.

Stage one also includes undertaking an extensive community engagement program, which commences on Monday 25 August and concludes close of business, Monday 15 September 2014.  This initial community engagement initiative is aimed at understanding the positive and negative features of the City of Unley for older people and what can be done to improve our city for people as they age.

Although the initiative is targeted to community members over 50, we are also encouraging participation of those who are passionate about creating a city that supports positive ageing.

There are many ways for people to get involved, including:

22 August 2014

Is Adelaide's transport on the right track?

This is worth putting in your diary!

Community Alliance SA
City planning and development forums for 2014 - 2015
To be held at the Burnside Council Ballroom

‘’Is Adelaide’s transport on the right track?’’

This forum will deal with a number of critical transport planning issues:
·         Development of the North South Corridor. While many cities overseas are dismantling cross town freeways and looking at other ways of dealing with traffic congestion, Adelaide continues to place a significant emphasis on funding major road infrastructure projects to solve our traffic congestion problems. Dr David Bray
·         Rail freight movements around Adelaide. There has been strong criticism of the Federal Government’s study into Adelaide’s rail freight movements which concluded that a bypass rail route around Adelaide would be too expensive. With freight volumes set to rise, there are likely to be impacts on thousands of residents living close to the existing rail line. Mark Ward and Simon Molloy
·         The merits or otherwise of developing an extensive tram network in Adelaide. The Transport Plan proposes the development of an extensive tram network in the city as a way of attracting increased housing density along the city’s arterial roads. This is in the absence of a cost benefit analysis of such a major infrastructure project. Will the Plan deliver the right public transport in the right places? Professor Derek Scrafton

Keynote speakers
Dr David Bray is Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland’s School of Civil Engineering.  He specialises in transport policy, economics and planning and has previously worked as a government employee and as a consultant to governments and international development agencies.
Mark Ward is an elected member of Mitcham Council and Chair of the Rail Freight Task Force.
Simon Molloy is Director of Systems Knowledge Concepts and has been involved for over 10 years in an advocacy role for the rail bypass.
Professor Derek Scrafton was Director-General of Transport for South Australia for 25 years and is now Professor of Transport and Planning at the University of South Australia. He has extensive research interests including on the performance of public transport.

Q and A Panel Members:   In addition to the keynote speakers above:  
Stephen Yarwood, Lord Mayor of Adelaide; Mark Parnell, SA Greens Parliamentary Leader; Kevin O’Leary, Urban Planner (confirmed)
Andy Milazzo, Deputy Chief Executive Dept of Planning, Transport & Infrastructure / Executive Director, Transport Services; Corey Wingard, Shadow Minister for Transport; Mike Canny, former Deputy Chairperson of the Committee for Adelaide Roads; RAA representative (to be confirmed)

Facilitator:  Ian Henschke (tentatively confirmed)

Date and time:    7pm Monday 8th September 2014

SALA on Show 

You’re invited to SALA on Show on Sunday 24 August 10.30am until 5pm
 at Unley Shopping Centre and Soldiers Memorial Garden on Unley Road.

Meet the artists and buy their work - there will be 20 artists working in the 

Garden, street art by Milkcrate Culture and FREE family art workshops 
with START at the Gallery, Art Gallery of SA.

Adding to the festivities will be live South Australian music in the rotunda

 in the Soldiers Memorial Garden including The Timbers 
(11.30am- 12.15pm), Max Savage (1.15pm – 2.00pm) and 
Delia Obst (3.00pm – 3.45pm) plus visual artist Roy Ananda will be house 
DJ for the day.

SALA’s wine sponsor Sidewood Wines will be tempting you with 

their award winning wines throughout the day complemented by the
 Sneaky Pickle food truck’s delicious offerings and supreme coffee 
and sweet treats by Carnevale Coffee.

We look forward to seeing you for a super art filled day in Unley.


21 August 2014

Damming Mitcham

It seems that the groups that would prefer to see Brown Hill Creek dammed are gathering momentum leading up to the local government elections. Just recently a presentation was made to Adelaide City Council that received some support. A car parked in a strategic location seemed to be carrying the message quite well.

20 August 2014

Development over $3,000,000

Soon after we learn that Unley Council will not be allowed to assess any development applications over 4 stories and before Mark Parnell has been able to put his proposed amendment to the parliament the next blow has been laid.

Last Thursday the Development Regulations 2008 was varied by the Government so that any development with a construction cost over $3 million may be assessed and determined by the Development Assessment Commission.

For this to occur, the State Coordinator-General must determine that a development is of economic significance to the State, or where the assessment of the proposal would be best achieved under a scheme established by the Department of the Minister to facilitate the assessment of such developments.

I'm not sure how big a building would be likely to cost more than 3 million but I think it is probably not very big. I can remember at one time thinking John Rau was a reasonable person, but I have long since changed my mind. He seems to have a single plan to destroy any role that Councils have in planning.

Rail diversion; Burnside on board

After the recent horrific crash at the corner of the free-way and Cross Rd the Mayor of Burnside, David Parkin, has called for another look at rail freight diversion. The more freight on trains the less there should be on roads. The rail freight diversion committee will discuss this at Thursday's meeting. So far Councils involved in this committee have only been represented from those that the train passes through. The committee is seeking a meeting with Geoff Brock in the hope that he may be able to help get the studies required completed to clearly demonstrate that there is a strong economic benefit in moving the line and not just an amenity benefit.

19 August 2014

Burnside considering tackling cat regulations

A recent consultation in Burnside has had over 2,000 comments about a proposed by-law to ensure all cats are registered and micro-chipped. Some time ago Unley put this in the too hard basket while waiting for the outcome from Burnside. It seems that the majority of respondents are happy with the recommended changes, in fact 82% of them were happy to see cat ownership limited to two per household. While Burnside will make their decision next week, Unley's will be quite some time away. What do you think?

Just sheds and fences!

It is clear the contempt that Minister Rau has for Council's ability to assess development when reading the article in this mornings's paper. Surely if only .5% of applications are appealed and most appeals are lost then whatever is happening now is working quite well? The data is quite clear in this, in fact at the meeting on Planning Reform I attended is last night is anything to go by then most  people attending were not pleased with the recommendations. The so called reforms do have some merit is some applications but are they worth creating another level of planning assessment for? Also of concern is the proposed treatment of contributory buildings in heritage areas. There would seem to be little support for the retention of these zones. This would leave huge tracts of Unley vulnerable to redevelopment when currently building retention is paramount.
Just to make it clear, fences and garages are almost always dealt with under delegated authority by staff and rarely go to Development Assessment Panels.

18 August 2014

When 350 means 320

I took the time to look at a couple of blocks of land yesterday on the corner or Homer Rd and Lorraine Ave. I looked twice and then again; on the real estate agents board in front of the properties it states that both are just 320 square metres. Given the recent consultation in Clarence Park about potentially reducing the minimum site area of properties this makes a bit of a mockery of the process. If 350 means 320 then how small could a block be if the zoning was reduced to 300? Thankfully, I believe we will be successful in retaining the 350 minimum site area. This will go to consultation in the new year.
On the same  subject it seems that the now zoned 3-5 stories on Unley Rd is likely to be also ignored by developers as they take their proposals directly to the Development Assessment Commission (if over 4 stories). It makes a mockery of the time and effort made by Council and the community to try to 'get it right'.
I'll be attending a forum this evening that explains the proposed new planning reforms, from what I have read so far the above examples could well just be the beginning.

17 August 2014

Millswood Station Update

The official opening day for the new service is likely to be Sunday 16th November. The working party for the group is finalising an activity to mark the start of the much awaited service as well as inviting guests to celebrate this event with the community. Students from local schools and kindergartens will be asked to decorate discs that will be incorporated into a display on the day, hopefully, the family of the young artists will also be there to enjoy the day. Unley Council will support this event as much as it is able. I am still working on getting the pathway between the bridge and Millswood Cres ungraded from the poor state it is currently in as part of the project.

16 August 2014

Barking dogs, what do you do?

This, of-course, means if you are the dog owner  and if you are the one being driven crazy by the barking dog next door or across the road. As the dog owner you can be blissfully unaware that your dog is driving your neighbours crazy unless they tell you. After all the dog doesn't bark when you are home.
The first then is to have the conversation with the dog owner and see if they are prepared to take steps to reduce the barking, most will be and Council have plenty of strategies to support you. These can be found at; http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/page.aspxu=1217&t=uList&ulistId=0&c=4933
Other steps can follow if the disturbance continues including keeping a diary and letting Council know of the issue. They have more power than any one individual to get change.
I've dealt with a few complex ones of this nature since I've been on Council.
The recent article in the Eastern Courier discusses effective mediation and also that fines are rarely needed to start the change. Unley received 77 complaints last year about barking dogs.

Landscaping work begins

Work has at last begun on the landscaping on Canterbury Tce. Hopefully, this will soon be planted. To follow soon  is the landscaping of Parker Tc (this will include some fence cover as well), Cromer Pde and Arundel Ave. I have also seen the preliminary sketches for Devon St south.
The lines are now being repainted on East Ave and the minor works to allow safer passage for bikes across East Ave at the railway line is being undertaken.
I watched at this corner last week cyclists travelling north, all used the gap in the central medium intended for south travelling cyclists and none the extended area in the medium strip. I'm still wondering if the now being implemented solution is the best one?

13 August 2014

Goodwood Oval and Millswood Complex improvement plan.

 As promised the above is the link to the detailed plan. Further consultation 
on this to finalise detail will not occur until February.  Your comments are 
welcome. I certainly think there are a couple of things that people won't like 
and should be changed.

Development Plan Amendment Update

This was debated, literally line by line, at last night's Development Strategy meeting. Although not a member of this committee I did have an opportunity to work with the committee members while standing orders were suspended. In the end the recommendation to Council was that;

  • Clarence Park (west of East Ave) remain 350 square metres, the area near Emerson crossing would retain its potential status as Residential Rejuvenation
  • Black Forest would see Dryden Rd changed to match the adjoining landscape zone and a max of 2 stories in Emerson Rd, all areas north of Forest Ave to return to 350 square metres excepting the South Rd/tram area that would retain a recommendation to a max. of 4 stories but have a small buffer zone next to the residential zones
These recommendations will need to be ratified by the Full Council on the 25th August
The process after that will mean that staff will have to go back to the recommendation and prepare documents for further consultation in February. This amazing outcome has been achieved because so may of you took the time to tell Council (acting on behalf of the state government) that these areas were not suitable as regeneration zones. It was also noted that until the state government is able to run a tram service that is able to service this area effectively then the population density in the area is nearing capacity.

12 August 2014

What Matters to Women Report

Sometime ago I encourage you to participate in this survey. The results are now available at; http://yoursay.sa.gov.au/yoursay/what-matters-to-women-in-sa-survey-report
They make interesting reading. I've copied the following from the report. Would love to see your thoughts as comments after you have read the report.

What actions could have a positive impact on key issues?

Five key points were identified from the responses to the survey:
1.  There is a need for greater public/community awareness and education about negative attitudes 
and behaviours towards women. 
2.  A holistic approach is needed to address gender inequality and all issues listed in the survey are 
interconnected. In particular the linkages between, child care, employment, education, and 
addressing violence against women were highlighted. 
3.  Bipartisan support across all levels of government is essential for addressing fundamental issues 
that underpin persistent gender inequality. 
4.  Government has a pivotal role to play in enabling cultural change through policy or legislative 
mechanisms – such as legislation restricting gendered advertising in media, addressing gender pay 
inequity, quotas/targets to promote gender diversity, etc.

Full Council:August 11th 2014

The following matters were debated;

  • Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sporting Complex Improvement Plan; We discussed a way forward with the concept. The reports asks that the report be endorsed, that a staged implementation plan be designed (including further community consultation) and that staff continue to work with the Forestville Hockey Club to identify a suitable site for a synthetic pitch. This was a long debate, not because it wasn't supported but in an attempt to ensure staff investigated funding options in the implementation phase. The report is no longer confidential , I will add the link to it as soon as it is available. PASSED
  • Aged Care Reform Update and Assessment Service Opportunity; Changes in the way programmes are funded (currently 83% Commonwealth and 17% state) will result in a name change for the Home and Community Care programme, a nationally consistent fee policy, an increased focus on wellness and reablement. The Eastern Regional Alliance of Councils will tender as providers on the new service.PASSED
  • Animal Management Plan 2012-16 Annual Report; Council statistics show that in the last year  74% of registered dogs are now micro-chipped, there were 339 complaints about dogsno prosecutions, 19 dog attacks and 58 dogs were impounded and of these 43 were reclaimed or rehomed. Interestingly there are many animal management signs in poor condition and the 'dog on leash' signs at Orphanage Park need additional signage.PASSED
  • Living Well Regional Public Health Plan; Ideas gathered during the consultation phase have been added to the final report.PASSED
  • Unley Central Precinct Plan;This report details  proposed changes in the shopping centre area. The council now wish to seek support from the Minister to undertake changes to the Development Plan. This will also need changes in traffic flow to work. However, the concepts are exiting and developers will carry the bulk of the cost of these changes. High rise development centrally was one of the desires from people in Black Forest and Clarence Park in fighting recent proposed development changes in their areas.PASSED
  • Election Signs Policy and Guidelines; This proposes to adopt the policy developed by the LGA. Thankfully not many local government candidates choose to blight the street scape with these.PASSED
  • Privacy Policy; this discusses what Council can and can't do with the information that it collects from you. PASSED
  • Section 270 Internal Review Requests; there was only one and not surprisingly the decision made by staff was upheld.PASSED
  • Unley Central Precinct Property Development Options; CONFIDENTIAL

11 August 2014

Issues for Inner Suburban Trains

 This article in the  Indaily newspaper makes an interesting read. The comments are also worthy  of some thought;
Think bout more trains more often in both directions and wonder how long you will wait at a level crossing?
When will it actually be quicker to take public transport and leave the car at home?


08 August 2014

DPA 2 Update

The awaited report from staff regarding the outcome of the consultation into increased density of housing is now available on the Council's website. The public meting will be held on Tuesday 12th August at 7pm. This is committee of Council,the matter will then be debated again at full Council on the 25th August. I have not, as yet, not had time to read the full report but it recommends that areas west of east Ave go back to the drawing board and are consultation occurs again in in 2015. The agenda report and attachments can be found at;
 and the full report at;

07 August 2014

Men's Shed gets to keep co-ordinator

For those of us on the board at Clarence Park Community Centre this has been a long, highly emotional and tedious process. Members still are unable to breathe a sigh of relief as the Management agreement that exists with Unley Council expired at the end of June and is yet to be signed for an agreed term into the future. I have the curious position of being both on the Board and a sitting member of Council; however, I do not have a conflict of interest as the Board is a not for profit organisation.

06 August 2014

Forestville/Everard Park Local Area Traffic Management Plan

If you live in the precinct or may be affected by changes to traffic management in these suburbs, which include Leah St, it is time to tell Council what you think.

Forestville / Everard Park Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) Study Community Consultation

Council invites you to contribute to the Forestville / Everard Park LATM Study. 
The aim of the study is to develop a strategic approach to identifying and addressing key issues taking into account previous treatments undertaken and any additional measures that may be required.
The Council, at its meeting held on 28 April 2014 resolved to undertake a Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) study for the areas of Forestville / Everard Park bounded by Leader Street, Anzac Highway, South Road, the tram line and the train line. This was in response to a number of submissions received from members of the Community expressing concern at traffic issues in the area.

Unpaid rates increase

Received your rates notice this week? I hope it wan't too much of a shock? I remember when Councils moved to quarterly billing to reduce the shock and improve people's ability to pay. Now it starting to seem like a good idea to have monthly billing,if requested by individuals: although that is my thoughts and not one I've discussed more widely. According to the paper Unley has seen an increase in rate debt over the last 3 years. Council can, if the debt is large enough, force the sale of a property, in my time on Council I can only remember doing this once although it has been discussed a number of times for individual sites it rarely happens.

Planning Reforms; are they what you want?

According to this morning's paper the new planning reforms are just what everyone wants; more consistent and faster planning approvals that will deliver better outcomes for everyone. I will be attending a forum on these on the 18th August  and will be better informed at that time. But after a quick read of the paper this morning I wasn't feeling comfortable that this is what you will want. There are 27 planned reforms and these will be subject to further public consultation over the next few months. These reforms include:
  • regional Development Assessment panels-not Council (taking the local out of local government is never really a good idea), 
  • creating a charter of citizen participation (whatever that means in plain English), 
  • reinforcing precinct based urban renewal (read, you will get higher density in Black Forest)
Some of the ideas are logical and worth pursuing. These are:
  • placing heritage on renewed foundations (if the foundations are wobbly this might read bull doze). I'm giving this one the benefit of the doubt
  • improved consultation
  • more accessible appeals process
The full story can be found at ; http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/expert-panel-on-planning-reform-to-release-review-of-planning-and-development-reforms/story-fni6uo1m-1227014686377

05 August 2014

What's next for street lighting?

Would you keep using and paying  for something that:

  • was owned by a foreign entity
  • had outdated infrastructure
  • used twice as much electricity as it could
  • no longer meets Australian safety standards
  • and relied on others to tell you when it failed?
Probably not, and yet that is the status of our current street light network. Council explored options to achieve savings  at a briefing yesterday. Unley Council currently has 46,000 street lights, that is one for early 8 people. The total cost to mange these and provide light is approx $600,000 each year , about 2% of rate revenue.

One slip from death!

We all know that the best way to stop graffiti from occurring is to paint it out immediately it occurs!! Well you might think we all know but apparently this is not the case. The new rail infrastructure at Goodwood is now covered in graffiti works that grow by the day: the 'artists' are emboldens by DPTI inaction and the pieces grow as the locations become more challenging. This work can be seen from the Victoria St bridge looking south. The high powered wires are less than a metre below this and then a void to the train. If the person who did this were to slip they'd either be electrocuted or hit by a train (maybe both). And yet despite numerous pleas from residents and promises made  during construction, they do nothing. Does someone have to die before something happens to get rid of this unsightly menace?

03 August 2014

It's just a meeting once a month?

While I rarely listen to radio people talk to me about what they hear and how they reacted to what they heard. It seems to be a common misunderstanding that being on Council involves going to a meeting for a few hours once a month, in Unley every 4th Monday of the month.  This came up following the outcome of the recent Councillors remuneration tribunal that announced how much Councillors would get paid for their services in 2014/15; in Unley a pay rise of just 2.6%.
This is what really happens, I attend:

  • a meeting every Monday night at Council, some of these are Full Council Meetings, others briefings from staff
  • most committee meetings that I do not chair: Development and Strategy, community and Culture and the Unley Business and Economic Development
  • and chair the Infrastructure and Capital Projects Committee
  • the Clarence Park Community Centre Board meetings each moth
  • the Goodwood Oval Reference group meetings
  • receive and reply to 30+email per day from staff and residents as well as initiated about half that number.
  • update my blog each day
  • answer the phone and respond to enquiries
  • meet with residents on site or in their homes
  • read agendas the size of telephone books
  • keep up to date on state issues that affect local government
  • Attend other forums if and when I have time 
I enjoy every minute of this work. I love hearing from you either by phone or email and get enormous satisfaction from being able to resolve problems. I love reading a complex agenda or document and finding something in that paper (although most of it is now electronic) that lights the fire inside me that loves what has been written or just believes there are better ways. I love working with staff on developing new ideas. I don't believe that people don't like change: I believe that that change, when well managed, gives us the opportunity to look at new ways and ideas and be inspired by them.

This all takes a minimum of 15 hours each week and sometimes double that.

02 August 2014

Dog Registrations due August 31st

Please remember to register your dog, if you have not already received your renewal notice you should do so shortly.  All the information on the Council website can be found at the link below.  

What do dog registration fees pay for?

  • Registration disc
  • Effective enforcement of dog control legislation, controlling and reducing dog problems in our community
  • After hours call out service
  • Fully maintained dog parks
  • Conducting events, eg microchipping days
  • Council promoted Dog Obedience Training
  • Information booklets and expert advice available from Council officers
  • Effective communications to dog owners and the wider community
  • Resources to support the Dog & Cat Management Act and develop dog management programs
  • Education programs for the community and schools
  • Notification and education of legislation changes

01 August 2014

Carbon tax !

You may have read in this morning' paper that Unley Council has budgeted $140,000 for the carbon tax for 204/15? You may have even had a think about what else could be done with the money or how it might reduce your rates as the tax has been rescinded. Not so, in fact Council budgeted just $12,000 in anticipation of this being the case. There will be few savings with this amount!

Councillor's Remuneration Determined

Adelaide -$24,000
Group 1A - $21,500
Group 1B - $19,000
Group 2 -  $15,900 (Unley)
Group 3 - $12,800
Group 4 - $9,100
Group 5 - $5,700
The independent body that decides the amount that Councillors and Mayors should receive for the work that they do was released yesterday. Unley Councillors (Group 2) will get 2.6% , which is less than the CPI increase. Councillors in Adelaide will get a significant rise that is already being criticised, as is the timing of the rise. However, the government determined 4 years ago that candidates for election need to know exactly how much remuneration they will receive, if elected. There is a fine balance between volunteering and getting paid professional rates. I think I calculated 4 years ago when I wrote a submission that I was getting less than a $1 per hour. The amount now equates  to approx $20 per hour, which is about the same as the base adult wage. Councillors are also paid additional money for chairing committees, sitting on Boards and the Development Assessment Panel. Our mayor is paid four times that of a Councillor, plus a car.