31 March 2015

Cremorne Plaza: residents unhappy

This matter seems to be the talk on everyone's lips and the media are loving it. But a few things need to be remembered. If you are angry you need to be angry at the current labour government.
  • They forced Council to consider high rise on the mainstreets (Unley Rd and Greenhill Rd, soon to be followed by Fullarton Rd). 
  • Council accepted this or every block could have seen 2 for 1 development, including demolition of all buildings heritage or not.
  • They agreed to 5 storeys as a maximum on Unley Rd
  • They then removed all development power from Council for buildings over $3 mill.
  • They appointed the Development Assessment Commission and it is this group that approved a seven storey building.
Thankfully, for Black Forest highrise is now off the agenda except  on South Rd.

29 March 2015

$8m council stoush!!

Most Councillors think carefully before asking for a legal opinion on an issue and in spending Council money on lawyers (just  line their pockets?). However, there are times when we, as individuals, and Council, as a group, do not have the expertise. Most of Unley's alleged $264,000 was spent representing Council DAP decisions in the ERD Court. Often there is an important principle at stake and not just trying to win a single case. In particular Councils refusal to allow a demolition of a heritage listing building set a precedent for others wishing to do the same. Council thought this was an important principle to win.
In recent times I have requested 2 legal opinions; one was whether or not I had a conflict of interest when matters about Clarence Park Community Centre (I am on the Board) are debated at Council (I do not). The other resulted from my now being a member of the Development Assessment Panel and the fact that my son had already written an article in the Eastern Courier on a development that will come before the DAP (the juries out on this one). Is all of this money well spent?

26 March 2015

Unley business Breakfast

Our goal is to provide information sharing and networking opportunities to the Unley business community whilst hearing from top class speakers. Having this in mind we invite you to be part of this exciting networking breakfast group.
VENUE: Unley Town Hall, 181 Unley Road (cnr of Unley Rd & Oxford Tce) Car parking is available in the Unley Shopping Centre directly opposite the venue (please do not park in the Council offices car park as space is limited and time monitored)
 COST: $25–includes breakfast (incl. GST) DATE: Tuesday 14 April 2015 TIME: 7.00am for a 7.15am start Concludes at 8.30am RSVP: Essential COB Thursday 9 April Due to limited places no late RSVP’s are possible
BOOK NOW http://e.mybookingmanager.com/UBB23

Linger, longer:A public arts project on the streets of Unley 7-11 April

Progress Party 2004 Dario Vacirca
"Progress Party", 2004, Dario Vacirca

Linger, longer is an investigative and experiential temporary public arts project re-examining our place in space which needs your involvement.
Expect installations, expect theatre, expect the unexpected.
Come and be part of the experience! Be an audience, be a participant, document your own experiences and also answer some questions for us either here online or on the day at three separate locations.
Please go to Your Say Unley and visit the Linger, longer questions section to see our questions for you.
The Linger, longer artists will also respond to these questions, the answers given to us before and on the day, the places, the “traffic’ and conditions on the day.
Visual arts, dance, theatre and creative engagement will take us on a shared journey of exploring our common spaces. And every day will be different!
Come and be part of the experience and document your and others experiences using our Instagram account #lingerlongerinunley Take a photo and contribute to our community art gallery!

Rau's planning changes to be legislated

John Rau, the Minister for Planning, has released the Response of the South Australian Government to the planning reforms recommended by their Expert Panel. Not surprisingly, these reforms are described as radical, ans so they are. The problem is that they remove the local input into planning and complex planning developments will be assessed by as so called Independent Panel rather than the current Development Assessment Panel. This new panel will be regional. My issue is that this adds a new layer of government and that really is the last thing an already over governed state needs.
The matters will be legislated within 6 months. Only then will we start to understand just how little say we as Councillors and you as residents will have to say about anything to do with planning. The full report can be found at;  http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/161298/Transforming_our_Planning_System_25_March_2015.pdf

22 March 2015

Full Council meeting:March 23rd 2015

The Agenda this month contains the following items of interest:

  • Future of Reference Groups: The recommendation is to abolish  these groups. It may be that they have served there purpose and are no longer required. However, I have only ever belonged to one that was functional and valuable to the Community, this one being the Goodwood Oval Reference Group. The commitment from current members should see this one continue with the goodwill of the clubs and the community- any recommendations for change to Council will still need to come from the elected members on the group. PASED wit some amendment.
  • LGA Board membership:I have sat down with Lachlan and we have agreed on a list to nominate, Hopefully, our fellow councillors will be happy with our recommendation PASSED
  • Establishment of the CEO performance Review Panel: This may be expanded to have 5 members instead of the current 3. This should allow for more debate and better outcomes. PASED with Cr Koumi, Hughes, Boisvert and 
  • Outdoor Dining Options for cr Maud St and Unley Rd: Many of you will be aware that the cafe at this corner, A Mother's Milk, was recently hit by a vehicle causing damage to the building and that the accident could have been much worse if the cafe was open and patrons sitting outside. Council have now had to review the outdoor dining policy in the light of safety for customers. There are several options suggested with Council needing to select one of them. The cafe will have to bear the full cost of the bump out and protective bollards. PASSED with a lot of debate about the potential designs and who should carry the cost: the least expensive option would be $75,000. If Council were to subsidise this the precedent would be set for other cafes in similar positions to expect the same. The cost would be in the millions in no time!!
  •  Library Service Review: This makes several recommendations that may not be palatable to the Community. This include a closure of the Fullarton Park library service in its current form, the amalgamation of the Toy Libraries  leading to only one service point for all library activities. The latter will only occur after further investigation and hopefully, community input. It also suggests the building of a new purpose built library. Seems we learn little from recent and ongoing state government bungles.
  • Centennial Park: Quarterly Report: financially this authority is travelling well and has managed to increase its share of the market
  • Application of Differential Rates: Cr Schnell has asked that some of the anomalies that occur in the Differential rate are investigated and reviewed by the appropriate committees
  • Appointment of Panel Members to Section 41 Committees: CONFIDENTIAL until all applicants have been informed of the outcomes.

17 March 2015

City of Unley 2015 Good Neighbour Day Project

Because Good Neighbours Make A Great Neighbourhood

Unley residents are invited to collect a specially labelled “Good Neighbour Day” jar and place a gift inside to give to one of their neighbours. These jars will be available for collection from all community centres and libraries within the City of Unley from Monday 23 March 2015.  The aim of the project is to encourage positive interaction and connection between neighbours. 

We will also launch a Neighbour Day social media campaign next week promoting Neighbour Day and the importance of connection.  Residents will be encouraged to take a photo of their jars, or of them gifting the jars, and place this on Instagram #neighbour day #unley or Facebook facebook.com/unleycouncil

Neighbour Day is an annual celebration which reminds us of the value of living within a supportive and welcoming community. 
If you like you can send me some photos to add to a blog, would love to see them.

14 March 2015

No butts about smoking

It was interesting to read in today's Advertiser that smoking rates have dropped to 15.7% for adults and that only 14.8% of young people now choose to smoke. It has been a long road for me from my first teaching position where it seemed like everyone gathered in the staffroom at recess and lunch and everyone smoked even during meetings to where we are today where no smoking is allowed by law on any school grounds.
In my first stint on Council in 1995 I was fobbed off by the CEO when I asked about smoking in the Civic Centre after meetings. Not to be put off I put my first Motion on Notice to Council and gained the support of my colleagues and smoking inside was banned. Later I successfully ensured that no smoking was allowed in the buildings or within 10 m of an entrance of any Council building (2012). More recently we have seen smoking banned in children's playgrounds, and major events due to my initiative. Council now offers 50% discount to restaurants and cafes that choose to be smoke free. Soon all smoking in these areas will be banned by legislation.

Some Events to look forward to

Two community lead events
·         At Fullarton Park Community Centre there is a Sri Lanka Food Festival from 11am – 3pm.  The day will host a variety of Sri Lankan food with cultural entertainment and dance.
·         Goodwood Orphanage Park is hosting Dogapalooza from 10am – 3pm.  A City of Unley supported, Fringe fundraiser event to raise money and awareness for local animal rescue facilities.  There will be acoustic music, discounted dog washing, fundraising & information/educational stalls and animal adoptions.

Ignite Unley Outdoor Cinema event at Howard Florey Reserve, it will be the first time we have hosted an event in this particular park.  Robin Williams film Jumanji will be screened with the event running from 6pm – 9:45pm. There will be live music, food trucks, children’s activities and a sausage sizzle by the Broughton Art Society who reside within the park.

Sturt Football Club Season Launch/Welcome event for International Students, 5.30 - 7.30pm at Unley Oval

Streetscape Review: Ormonde Ave

Residents and landlords in Ormonde Ave have now been letterboxed regarding the necessity to remove some of the dead and dying trees. They have been asked to send back their feedback to Council. A street meeting held on Wednesday was well attended and the issues explained by the Council Sustainable Landscape Specialist. It is important for every household to have their say and I encourage you to do so. You have until the 30th March to make your feelings known.

07 March 2015

Unley Remembers 1915 - 2015

Unley Remembers 1915-2015

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli
and the centenary of formation of Unley’s 27th Battalion.
Our program of events provides the community opportunities to reflect on and honour the service and sacrifice of all those who have worn our nation’s uniform, and to also acknowledge the support and sacrifice made by families and friends on the home front.

Falling In Love With Your Soil Saturday 21 March, 2pm

Sustainable Communities garden talk with Sophie Thomson.
If you want to grow lots of vegetables and herbs this year, getting your soil right
is the place to start.
Cost: gold coin donation
Bookings essential, email peter.croft@mmc.com.au  or phone Peter on 0401 122 547.
Fullarton Park Community Centre, 411 Fullarton Road, Fullarton. (Enter from southern entrance)

04 March 2015

Garage Sale Trail feedback from 2014

Unley was one of the 130 councils nationally that represented over 50% of the Australian population and made Garage Sale Trail available to their communities.
 Garage Sale Trail is a council-driven day of garage sales that happens nationally. It’s about promoting reuse, and enabling local solutions to waste reduction, community building and delivering waste education in a fun and engaging way.

 In South Australia it was the first time that the program was made available to councils in earnest and the first time that councils, together with Zero Waste, partnered with their communities to make Garage Sale Trail happen.
The number of registered events (Garage Sales) was over 400, involving an estimated 30,000 – 45,000 people and creating over 20,000 new community connections. Almost 160,000 items were reused or listed for sale and sellers made on average a whopping $300 per Garage Sale held. 
Not bad for a morning’s work reducing waste and meeting the community!




01 March 2015

Seeking nominations to the Unley Business and Economic Development Committee

Are you passionate about creating exciting and vibrant shopping precincts and maximising the City of Unley’s economic development potential?
Do you have ideas and solutions to strengthen the City’s local economy and position?
Council is seeking nominations to the Unley Business and Economic Development Committee for 5 positions of independent member. Nominees must have experience in one or more of the following fields; Digital and Information Technology, Use of Social Media, Place Activation, Public Relations and Media, Planning Policy and Commercial Leasing.
A sitting fee will be paid to the independent member positions.
The appointment is for a 2 year period commencing early 2015, with the possibility of reappointment.
Meetings of the Unley Business and Economic Development Committee are generally held bi-monthly on the first Wednesday of the month (every second month).

Call for Expressions of Interest: Audit and Governance Committee

The Council has established a five-member Audit and Governance Committee, which includes three members external to Council (“independent members”), and two Elected Members.
Council is seeking expressions of interest from members of the public who would like to become an independent member of the Council’s Audit and Governance Committee (the Committee). The positions to be filled are:
• Presiding Member (independent)
• Independent Members (two positions)
Interested members of the public should have recent and relevant experience in audit, governance, risk management, accounting or financial management. The Presiding Member should have experience in chairing formal meetings with an audit function.

Hard Waste

It is disappointing to still see dumped household good in the streets of Unley. Each household is allowed to book one pick up each year. You book a time with the Council, they send you a green sticker and the day before it is due to be picked up you neatly stack your unwanted goods on the footpath in front of your house. Pretty easy really!
It seems that there is still a commonly held belief that what someone thinks of as rubbish will be a treasure to someone else. This might include you old sofa that is still serviceable but not the wardrobe that has fallen to bits or other unidentifiable junk. While technically it is stealing to take the stuff other people have put out it seems to be generally accepted that it is OK. So that old sofa goes into the booked hard waste collection and if someone wants it they take it. It doesn't go out on the footpath unless a waste collection has been booked. Council is pretty vigilant about illegally dumped rubbish and it certainly appears less frequently. If you put stuff out on the footpath the you run the risk of a heavy fine. If you want the details of the Hard Waste service click here.

The Trees of Unley: March 10th, 7:30pm at the Unley Citizens Centre

FOCUS have organised this event, with guest speaker Lee Anderson. Lee is the Unley Council's arborist. You will hear  how the COU manages trees in both the public and private realm.
After listening to the talk you should have gained a better understanding of:

  • Council's Vegetation Policy
  • The tree management plan including the management of significant and regulated trees
  • when intervention is necessary
  • Habitat retention and biodiversity
  • The role of the community in the greening of Unley
A  light supper will be served after the talk followed by the FOCUS general meeting if you wish to stay.