28 November 2014

Xmas opening hours at the libraries

Christmas opening hours

Unley Civic Library
Toy Library
Friday 19 Dec
10am - 12pm
10am - 12pm
10.30am - 12pm
Saturday 20 Dec
10am - 4pm
10am - 1pm
10.30am - 3pm
Sunday 21 Dec
2 - 5pm
Monday 22 Dec
1 - 6pm
10.30am - 5pm
Tuesday 23 Dec
10am - 6pm
10am - 6pm
10.30am - 12.30pm, 2 - 5pm
Wednesday 24 Dec
10am - 3pm
10am - 3pm
10.30am - 3pm
Thursday 25 Dec
Friday 26 Dec
Saturday 27 Dec
10am - 4pm
10am - 1pm
Sunday 28 Dec
2 - 5pm
Monday 29 Dec
1 - 5pm
10.30am - 5pm
Tuesday 30 Dec
10am - 5pm
10am- 5pm
Wednesday 31 Dec
10am - 3pm
10am - 3pm
Thursday 1 Jan
Friday 2 Jan
10am - 6pm
10am - 5pm
10.30am - 12.30pm

Fullarton Park Library
Closed 19 December 2014 - 18 January 2015

Family History Collection
Closed 19 December 2014 - 19 January 2015

Unley Museum
Closed 18 December 2014 - 4 January 2015

Out-of-hours returns facilities are available outside both Unley Civic and Goodwood Libraries for your convenience.

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable festive season!

Tech help from the library

Tech help

Do you need a little help with your laptop, iPad, tablet, phone or other mobile device?  
Send photos, email, play with social media, whatever you want to do with your device, we are available to assist you in a half hour one-on-one session where you can ask questions and gain the help you need.

Tuesdays, 1 - 1.30pm, 1.45 - 2.15pm, 2.30 - 3pm
Goodwood Library
Wednesdays, 2.30 - 3pm, 3.15 - 3.45pm, 4 - 4.30pm
Unley Civic Library
Free, bookings essential, ph 8372 5100 or 8372 5166.

25 November 2014

The wonderful Jacarandas

Was great to see the story in today's Advertiser on the jacarandas. They seem to have been flowing for ages and they have been, at least from the start of November. So why are they so good and lasting so well? Evidently the dry and mild spring has done the trick. Enjoy while they last.

Crime Statistics

The  latest crime statistics (2012) via SAPOL are now available. They show some good news for Unley.

All in all it’s a positive report card for Unley, with a 16.3% reduction from the previous year:

Total offences

23 November 2014

East Ave Pedestrian Facilities

Following the Local Area Traffic Management Plan one of the projects needing to be implemented are the pedestrian crossings on East Ave. The proposal is to install pedestrian side islands that will effectively narrow the street and make it safer and easier to cross. The islands will be installed immediately north of Chelmsford Ave and immediately north of Chelmsford Ave. This will leave a crossing distance of just 7 metres.both will see a reduction of only 2 car parks. The final consultation on these has been letterboxed to residents on East Ave for comment. To have your say email pobox1@unley.sa.edu.au.

Full Council meeting; 24th November

It will be interesting to see how the new Council performs, luckily for new members the agenda is short. However, I see the potential for enormous community anxiety regarding the removal of trees in Heywood Park. Hopefully, replantings will occur of trees that also have the potential to be significant.

Agenda items include;

  • Elected Member Allowances and Benefits Policy; Councillor's allowances and the Mayor's allowance are set by the state government and are no longer decided by Council. The Mayor receives 4 x the Councillor allowance, the Deputy Mayor and chairpersons of  committees  1.25 x. additional allowances are also paid to DAP members and to members on the Centennial Park Board. PASSED
  • Heywood Park Tree Risk Management;A recent risk assessment of the trees in the park have identified 40 trees for removal, 9 are classified as regulated or significant. The report is an information only report but given the recent failures of some other trees (Northgate St) the works will be carried out in the near future for those in urgent need of removal or pruning. PASSED but only after the defeat of an amendment. While the removal of these trees will be painful for the community if done soon , if the process was to be dragged out over 3 years the matter may have been even worse for all concerned.
  • Selection Panel for 2015 Australia Day Awards; Councillors usually choose tow people to assist in assessing the applications to choose the most worthy recipients. PASSED
  • Appointment of Deputy Mayor; Council may choose to elect a deputy of not: it would be my preferred position that that this be filled when all other committee positions are filled in January.MY motion PASSED
  • Notice of Motion from Cr Schnell re Sewerage; this motions asks for staff to investigate the concentration of drugs in the recycled water that we use to water our parks and gardens. LOST

22 November 2014

Doggy bag shortage: Goodwood Oval

There seems to have been a shortage of bags available at Goodwood Oval for users to pick up after their dogs.  The dispensers here and at Page Park have been hard fort over the years and are now seen as right  by many users. The bags are intended to be used if and when the dog owner  have forgotten their  own supply or did not bring enough for the journey. However, not only do people expect them to be there and not bring a bag from home they also take up to 10 at time  and rely on Council to be the supplier of bags for all their doggy needs.
 Council are currently liaising with the contractor, SOLO, to have a 3rd dispenser installed at Goodwood Oval and correct the tensions of the dispensers, which we hope will discourage the “scrolling on” of the bags.  Council are also trialling a replacement of bags with no handles, which reduces the usefulness of the bags for purposes other than the intended use.
The Rangers will also now additionally check the dispensers as part of their weekly rounds and have a supply of refill bags at the ready, as needed.  

Community Satisfaction Survey 2014

City of Unley: Community Satisfaction Survey 2014
McGregor Tan Research has been commissioned by the City of Unley to undertake a Community Survey to assist us to understand the needs and satisfaction with the services, facilities and initiatives provided by Council.  
This Community Survey will shed light on the relevance of Council’s existing services, providing an understanding of what the Council does well, helping to streamline services and prioritise areas for improvement.  
The first stage of this initiative is a preliminary survey which is aimed at assisting us to make the telephone survey more relevant to Unley residents.This survey allows residents to submit ideas that may be used in the Community Survey. 
It would be much appreciated if you could take a moment to comment.  For more information and to have your say, please visit the survey page using this link.
This initial forum will be open from Friday 21 November until 5 pm, Friday 28 November 2014.  
We look forward to hearing from you.

18 November 2014

Event Planning Toolkit now available.

Event Planning Toolkit

Are you planning a community event in the City of Unley?
The City of Unley Event Planning Toolkit is available to help you plan fantastic, safe and successful community events.
The Toolkit contains a comprehensive A-Z Event Planning Guide, templates, checklists, examples and supporting material to assist event organisers every step of the way. It also outlines key responsibilities and any permits or legislative requirements that event organisers may need to be aware of and ensures the sustainable management of our parks and reserves.
Click on the image below 
to download the complete Event Planning Toolkit

Event Toolkit

Click on the image below 
to download an Event Permit Application Form

We encourage you to complete this application online and return via email topobox1@unley.sa.gov.au
Event Toolkit Permit Form

Swearing in ceremony

This ceremony was held yesterday evening at the Civic Centre. It was well attended by all newly elected Councillors, supported by friends and family. This begins the term of the 2014-18 Council, These are the people that will be the decision makers about the future of Unley: they will decide on rate changes, development plan amendments, rubbish collection, parks and gardens, trees, footpaths, business and many other things. If you do not think local government is important, it actually makes the decisions about most of the things that directly affect our lifestyle. So please, take an interest, become a regular reader of this blog  and /or the blogs of other Councillors. We all have our own views and our own unique way of seeing the world. They will give you an insight into local government that may surprise you.

16 November 2014


Occasionally, I get comments from people who choose not to give there names. The reality is that I do not know who it is that writes the comments that I get unless you identify yourself with your full name. What I do know is that I have never deliberately been rude to anyone, if I have misspelt a name it is due to my poor typing skills and nothing else. Please let me know if I have an error of fact or omission in what I have written and I'll be only be too happy to make the changes, but I probably won't publish the comment. More comments, with your first name only, would assist me toward better decision making on your behalf.

ICAC Review

Sweeping changes have been  recommended by Bruce Lander, Commissioner, after the first 12 months. I attended a briefing on this last Friday.
Changes recommended include greater protection for whistle blowers from disclosure and victimisation. Of the 923 valid complaints that were made  only 71 of these were thought to be serious enough to warrant further investigation. Of these complaints only 19% related to local government and on the investigations only 13%. Considering that the state government was anxious to see this an ICAC in South Australia due to perceived corruption in local government this seems not to have been the case.

The last footpaths

Staff have released the list of footpaths that still need to be paved and the order in which they are likely to be completed. The list is now relatively short. If you believe that your footpath should be higher up the list then please let me know. As Councillors we have some discretion in these, but the best indicator is the state of the footpath. hopefully, all will be completed in this Council term.
High priority:
Birkdale Ave
Hackett Ave
Kelvin Ave

Medium priority:
Cowper Rd
Argyle Ave
Ellesmere Ave
Gray St
Selkirk Ave

Low  priority:
Hill Crt
Laught Ave
Winifred St
Irwin Ave

14 November 2014

Record vote for women!

The statistics from the recent election show that of 702 positions available on Councils that 205 were won by women. Councils now have a collective 29% female members. This is better than the state parliament's 24.6%. Given that all incumbent members of Council were re-elected  I wonder if getting more nominations from women is the answer or better training for those that are prepared to give it ago. There were excellent candidates that were not elected, both men  and women. As the only woman elected in 2014 to Unley I feel an enormous sense of responsibility  as we move forward: a responsibility to all residents and in particular those who reside or own property in Clarence Park and a  responsibility to ensure a female view is considered, listened to and acted upon.

13 November 2014

What to do with the corellas?

Not quite Unley!
I have noticed, just recently an influx of these birds. I look out of my classroom window and it looks like the lawn has burst into flower, the school oval and the heritage trees on the western side also have the same look about them. Unfortunately , they may well be
eating themselves out of house and home. Despite being a native they are also becoming a pest. In 2015 the Local Government Association will host workshops with Councils to discuss methods of control. Hopefully, there will be better understanding of the corella and management solutions available in the future.

12 November 2014

I'm with John Trainer

Interesting priorities that some mayor's have? Two have expressed their visions in the press this week. While wanting to see Unley Oval and Goodwood Oval spruced up a bit at someone else's expense is an honourable vision it pales into insignificance to getting funding for, and contributing Unley Council's 22%, to getting the flooding issues around Brown Hill Creek resolved. For our residents the latter is to me far more important.

Urban spawl

After hearing John Rau, Planning Minister, discuss this issue what must have been at least 4 years ago it seems that nothing much has happened. While he has spruiked higher density, high rise and reduced Council's development approval process to better enable his dream he has actually done nothing to curb the urban sprawl.  I helped a student with a class exercise just last week, the exercise was to calculate the area of various cities and compare to the population of that city. Adelaide was something like  4 times bigger with half the population of many European cities. These are cities that many of us have visited and thought were wonderful.  Recently released figures indicate that Adelaide residents are already shunning the fringe for inner city with 69% of development occurring within Adelaide's 2010 limit (double what had been expected). It will be interesting to see the already approved development zones (Unley Rd and Greenhill Rd) as they are developed before any more rezoning is to occur in Unley; this will still allow for considerably more residents and protect the urban fringe especially in similarly zoned areas in other inner fringe Councils are also developed at the same time.

09 November 2014

Final result for the election

Following my blog yesterday the results are now in for each ward.
Parkside  saw Michael Hudson and John Koumi elected.
Fullarton saw Anthony Lapidge and Peter Hughes elected
Unley saw Michael Hewitson and Rufus Salaman elected
Unley Park saw Robin Sangster and Michael Rabbitt elected.
Goodwood saw Bob Schnell and Luke Smolucha elected
Clarence Park saw Don Palmer and Jennie Boisvert elected

Only 2 new members and only one woman, it would have been nice to see more women  elected but clearly that was not to be.

Museum News

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Unley Museum will be held on Wed 19th November at 5pm in the Civic centre.If you are interested in local history then this might be for you.
Their newest exhibition, At Home During the War, will be opened by the former Governor, Kevin Scarce, at 2:00pm on the 23rd November and then open to the public at the normal opening times after that.

08 November 2014

A great day for incumbency

The provisional results for the vote counting today indisctes that all incumbents have been re- elected for a further term on  Council. I do not have the exact vote count for each ward at this time. Luke Smolucha  was elected to Goodwood Ward . Unley Park is yet to be counted. The results for this will be known later on Sunday. So much for the 5 new members so eagerly predicted by Councillor Schnell. There may still be as many as 3 new members. The reality is the old Council worked well together and we recognised early each others strengths and weaknesses, so this should stand us all in good stead for the future.

07 November 2014

Don't vote-it only encourages them

What an insult to the hard work that we, as Councillors, do in our Community. They might be small and local but they do matter. I'm referring to the Opinion on Page 13 of the The Advertiser this morning from David Penberthy.  This is in response to voter turn out predicted to be just above 20% in the concluding Council elections. The count is tomorrow. There seems to have been a flurry of interest in Unley over the election but the turnout more than likely is damaged by there not being a campaign for mayor.
Is it too arduous to have to vote twice in one year? It takes about 30 seconds to fill in the ballot.
Is it because people only know how to vote if the candidate is Liberal or Labor? In local government you vote for the person. this is just another call to politicise local government. We don't need it and it will not lead to better outcomes.
Can what we do be done better by others? Maybe, but if we don't need a level of government it would be the state government whose work is duplicated increasingly often by federal government. The question would then be; can councils perform some of the business of state government better?
The truth is that if you haven't voted you will get the candidate that others wanted and  you will have no reason to complain if the decisions your council make are not to your taste.
I remember soon after the last election being a a gathering at Goodwood Oval where one resident was quite vocal. He commented loudly that I should be working hard for him, even reminded me that I had knocked on his door and made some promises. To this I answered "Yes, I remember, you're the person who told me that you wouldn't vote for me." Silence ensued.

Share the path

Some interesting suggestions have come out of the Citizen's Jury convened by the Premier. These include;
  • Allowing adults to use the footpath when it is unsafe to ride on the road
  • Testing people on road rules when they renew their driver's license
  • Leaving a one metre gap when passing a cyclist
  • Connecting existing bike lanes throughout the city
  • Building bike storage cages at major train stations
  • Improving the way cycle lanes are marked
  • Installing green boxes at all major intersections  (wait zone for cyclists in front of cars)
Most of these have been suggested before and some are already used in other states and all over Adelaide.  Hopefully, these will be further debated and those deemed to have further merit implemented. Most would seem to be low cost options that would improve safety for everyone using the roads, not just cyclists.

05 November 2014

Cr Schnell gets a laugh

It is not unusual for Cr Bob Schnell to have a few passing shots  at other Councillors at the final Council meeting. This year he out did himself with an attempt to put two motions without notice on matters he was concerned about. The first was the state of letter boxes; it seems that a bit of letter boxing for his election campaign saw some sore fingers and plenty of annoyance. The other was regarding the effects of residual drugs in the recycled water Council uses to water trees, ovals and gardens. While Bob was serious the rest of the Council enjoyed the humour. There was, however, one senior member of staff that did not enjoy the delay.

No to public holiday

The recent resolution of Unley Council to try to convince the members of the Local Government Association to endorse their motion has been soundly beaten at the recent Annual General Meeting held at Adelaide Oval. Despite Council support (not mine) members at the meeting were not inclined to give the motion any more air. The motion asked the meeting to consider making Remembrance Day an additional public holiday. While there may be some valid arguments for this the meeting was not convinced.

04 November 2014

Votes to be counted on Saturday

Yes, this Saturday. It seems like forever since the call for nominations from September the 2nd and nearly as long from the close of nominations on September 16th. While I was relieved to be elected
( with Don) unopposed  it has left a lot of relatively unproductive time for Council. The time span is much longer than would be tolerated in either of the other two levels of government. As of this morning only just over 20% of people had voted across the city and despite extensive campaigns to encourageele to vote the turnout is likely to be lowere than ever. So, if you have a ballot , you don't live in Claremce Park ward, the you have only 2 days to get your vote back to Council.
What will the new Council be like?
Will there be a better representation from women or minority groups?
One member of Council predicted as many as five new Councllors, he may well be right.

Volunteer Graffiti removalists wanted

The following letter has been sent to residents who live near the railway lines. If you are interested can you please let Karen know. This service is a great asset to the city. It is my understanding that this would still not include graffiti within the rail corridors.

Dear Resident

I am writing to advise you of Council’s Volunteer Graffiti Removal Program in light of the recent increase of graffiti in your area on or surrounding near the newly completed train line upgrade.

The City of Unley Graffiti Volunteer Removal Program was launched in 2012 and is having a significant impact on reducing unwanted ‘tagging’ throughout the City. Council currently has 18 active Volunteers managing graffiti around the City of Unley.

The program’s aim is to allow volunteers to assist Council by removing easily accessible graffiti from around their local area.  The impost on volunteers is as demanding as each person wishes to make it. Indeed, most volunteers report they remove graffiti whilst going about their normal daily activities and  the impact on their lives is minimal.

01 November 2014

Significant tree fails

This once magnificent tree is on the corner  of Wood Street and Northgate St. Sometime ago when the tree was looking poorly there was remedial action taken to save the trees life and it seemed to have survived and flourished. Unfortunately, on the 25th October the tree dropped the limb shown in the right hand picture. After  assessment by an arborist it was decided to remove the large limb that overhung  Northgate St. The result is shown in the picture. It should be noted that Council is doing all it can to save the tree (it pre-dates European settlement), to make it safe and to enable it to flourish once again.