28 June 2015

Threats made over the library petition

I was shocked last week when given a copy of a flier apparently widely distributed in the Goodwood area. This letter claims that those who signed a recent petition were bullied into doing so. It is very unkind to Mary, the chief petitioner, and shows little or no respect for her  view that the Goodwood library needs no changes. What Council has proposed is a review into library facilities, including investigating building a new, central library. (a motion only I did not support). The  author of the flier hid behind failing to put their name to the views that they hold. At the same time they get stuck into Bob Schnell, Les Birch, Mike Hudson, Step Key and myself. From my point of view I have had no public image in Mary's campaign and my understanding is that neither did Bob. The author is clearly a coward who should be ignored. Many local shops and residents have merely reconfirmed their own views and despise the views on the new flier and it's perpetrators. It is my understanding that the matter is now with the police. Unfortunately,  it reeks of other grubby campaigns in the past. All so unnecessary, it is often said that silence can win an argument as well as debate.

Trees in BrownHill Creek, Forestville

Was good to see the article in both the Eastern Courier and Advertiser this week regarding the Brown Hill Creek consultation. This close on the 23rd and the Stormwater Management Authority will collate the results. There seems to have been a plethora of information from opposing sides in the media and in endless meeting. So much of the information was simply untrue. What I hope now will be that the creek owners will be considered as 50% of the debate and everyone else the other 50%. The owners will face a daunting future as works begin in either clearing or widening and deepening. I understand their fear. If  this will be evident in the feedback is yet to be seen. I fear for many of Unley's trees along with the two women in the story. While I have been assured that the trees can be saved are not threatened I am reminded of the same advice given so many times by DPTI during the Goodwood Junction development. Then many more trees were not only threatened but removed after careless contractors were either given poor advice or couldn't have given a dam!

21 June 2015

Ward briefing update :June 2015

Dead plantings have been replaced in Arundel Ave. The screen has been repaired as well.

Arunedel Ave, still waiting for a couple of bis trees to be planted and the graffiti removal by ARTC.

What do you do when this is next door to you?

The dead trees have been removed from Ormonde Ave and  new golden rain trees planted 

Canterbury and Parker Tce

 Look at how much better Parker and Canterbury Tce look. The difference in the planting that Council did rather than DPTI's contractor is amazing(see next blog).

The new street sign on Canterbury Tce

The new street sign at Parker Tce

The climbers and plantings are softening this already
The new trees at the western end of Canterbury Tce

Full Council Meeting; June 22nd 2015

This meeting includes discussion around the following items:

  • Audit and Governance Committee: This is pretty straight forward other than the committee making a direct and unfunded request to Council  for a Service and Organisation Review to be undertaken. While this may be necessary the money to do this needs to be budgeted for. Savings will need to be identified in the first budget review for this to be undertaken.
  • Community and Culture Committee: This merely asks that the work done so far on the Youth Strategy is received and that further work needs to be completed before Council is in a position to make a decision on it.
  • Outdoor Dining Review: This outlines the changes identified to make Outdoor Dining safer following the accident at A Mother's Milk on Unley Rd. In my opinion it is deficient in that it fails to state that Council's preferred position is that all outdoor dining be smoke free.
  • Community Event Sponsorship: This outlines a new strategy of funding that is certainly worth trialling.
  • Community Survey: I was taken aback a little on reading the results in that 75% of what people value about Unley is it's location and closeness to the city. These are two items that are totally outside of Council's control and leaves as little as 25% of things that it can work on! Nevertheless, it seems most people surveyed were pretty happy with the service that they get.
  • Draft Active Ageing Strategy; This will be endorsed for Community Consultation, it has plenty of new and innovated ideas for older people to retain active engagement.
  • Review of Fees and Charges; These are going up between 1% and 3%
  • 2015/16 Annual Business Plan: This has now been to consultation. changes include a recommended rate increase of 3.5% (down for an expected 4.1%)
  • Review of Code of Practice for Procedures at Meetings; It's not the code that causes issues its councillors not knowing what the rules are even after having been on Council for years. I would still like to see the time allowed for Councillors to speak to be a maximum of 5 minutes, there is very little said, after the elapse of this time, that is not either waffling or grandstanding. I have never need and extension of time and have never voted for anyone else to get one. Sometimes this adds 30 minutes to an hour to a meeting and means we are making decisions late at night when it would otherwise have been unnecessary. 
  • Motion on Notice re Goodwood Library; This is an attempt by Cr SmOlucha to appease the recent petitioners regarding Council's attended use of the library.
  • Centennial park Authority Proposal CONFIDENTIAL

15 June 2015

40kph for all?

Interesting to see in this morning's paper the call by the Bicycle Institute of SA call for 40kph in all residential streets and 50kph on main roads. Statistics are showing the number of bicycle crashes have increased in the inner northern suburbs in the last 5 years (doubled). Unley's initiative, that is now over 20 years old, must surely then have paid off many times in providing a safer environment for all of it's residents?

10 June 2015

Bird boxes

Work has recently been completed at Heywood Park and some new techniques employed to save the structure and nesting sites in the trees that might otherwise have been felled.  You can see in the upper picture work being done on the canopy and in the lower picture the development of nesting sites within the tree structure itself (rather than as an add on) It is interesting to see that the birds have already starting to claim their own spaces in the new nesting sites. Other logs that were felled are being used as seating or landscaping.

08 June 2015

What's a tree worth?

A recent ERD Court decision regarding the illegal felling of  lemon scented gum on Millswood tells us a about $6000. And yet it could have been $120,000. The problem with the result is that it sends a strong message to developers that asking for forgiveness and getting a teeny fine is better than asking for permission.
Not the tree in question but a similar one

Brown Hill Creek Consultation

With a Dam nothing will change here!
Time is running out on having your say on the issue of a dam or no dam in Brown Hill Creek. Members of the public have until the 23rd June to make their submission. There seems to be lot of no dam information circulated in the community, much of it relies on the myth that the creek in the Brown Hill Creek Conservation Park will be damaged in some way be the construction of a dam. For most users they will never go enough distance into the Park for it to be visible, if constructed. Nor will it alter the day to day flow or ambience of the creek. However, not building a dam will destroy the creek scape for most of it's journey through Unley and will result in the removal of 100's of trees. I quote from a recent email I received
With No Dam there will be more of this

"we have four generations living locally, interstate and oversea who stretched their legs and imagination..." if you don't live locally why would you expect to have a voice?
"to hear the gurgling creek and chattering birdlife....You'll still be able to!
If you feel, as I do, that a dam is the best, and almost certainly, will be the cheapest then take the time to click on the link below to get a feedback form.
The outcomes of the community consultation process will be reported to the five catchment councils. Each council will then determine its position and a final recommendation on Part B works will be made to the State Government’s Stormwater Management Authority.
For more information about the project click here or request a feedback form or call 1800 468 835.

Rates: now proposed at 3.5%

Following community consultation on the rates for 2015/16 the proposed rate has been reduced to 3.5%. For many this will be a pleasing amount. The change in the Valuer General's valuations for residential properties has been an average of the following;

  • Black Forest 3.3%
  • Clarence Park 4.09%
  • Millswood 2%
If you are not happy with you valuation you can always appeal to the VG; many of these appeals are successful. However, if you think you could sell your house for more than he has valued it then you may not be successful.

07 June 2015

1300 signatures regarding Goodwood Library

After hearing that Council had plans to investigate changes to the services that Goodwood Library has to offer one resident has single handedly let Unley Council know what the users think. In just 4 weeks Mary Kolusnieski managed to get a petition she wrote signed by 1300 people. While she has been reassured that Council has no intention of closing Goodwood Library she is still to be given the same commitment about the use of the rooms facing Goodwood Rd. She is still asking why then is
Council considering a new purpose built library
and where do they intend to put it?

03 June 2015

Community Workshop: can you crochet?

Wednesday, 24 June 1-3pm
Skilled or  unskilled  (learn  at  the  workshop ! ) volunteers to make colourful crocheted  or  knitted   triangles.  These  will  be  joined  to  create
bunting to decorate our Centre’s Childcare verandah and garden.This is a great way to use up scraps of yarn and be involved in a fun  community  project.   Donations  of  yarn  would  be  happily