30 December 2016

Did you waste Xmas?

I recived this useful information in  a Xmas card from Steph Key, Memeber for Ashford: it was great to get a card and have something to pass on as well.
1. Don't waste food scraps: compost them or place in the green bin.
2. Less is more; give tickets or experiences rather than goods.
3. Bottles and cans in the recycling bin.
4. Keep  recycling stuff clean especially bottles and jars.
5. Hard plasic only in the recycling.
6. Lids off before recycling but still in the bin.
7. Only glass bottles and jars in the recycling: crockery in the blue bin.
8. Buy  rechargeable batteries. Batteries go to a separate location (the depot).
9. E-recycling locations at http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/ewaste scheme
10. What about the real Xmas tree? Recycle in the green bin (cut into small pieces). Artificial ones at end of life go in the blue bin.
11. Polystyrene is not recyclable: it goes in the blue bin.
12. Reuse wrap and ribbon. somepeople even reuse their cards!

23 December 2016

What's happening on the corner of Victoria St and Goodwood Rd?

Concerns have been raised about the changes to traffic as the contractors began their work on the above intersection. I have now inspected the site with Council staff and have drawn the following conclusions:

  • East-west connectivity is crucial in this location
  • The narrowing of the entry from Goodwood Rd has already  been completed and is wide enough to allow access into Victoria St
  • The bump out, to match the southern one, has been marked on the road but will not be constructed until after the work at Goodwood PS has been completed
  • While the width of the exit did not officially allow for cars to make a left and right manouvre at the same time it has been common practice for cars to do so
  • When cars sit in the middle waiting to turn right (a difficult and dangerous manouvre) they generally hold up a number of cars that could have turned left
So what is the solution?
It seems to me that banning right hand turns from Victoria St when the clearway operates on Goodwood Rd might be a solution that should be investigated.
It may well be faster, and definitely safer to turn left, then right into Gilbert St, right into Rushton St, right into Angus St and the left onto Goodwood Rd when wishing to head south.
Happy to have your feedback. I will ask staff to investigate this in the new year.

Goodwood Rd before? Then take a look now

Image result for goodwood rd goodwood
With the power lines. Their absence is impressive.

Merry Christmas

Thanks for following my blog. Enjoy the day with family and friends.
Hope this makes you feel a little cooler?

19 December 2016

Women's Sport leading the upgrade for Goodwood Oval

At the council meeting last week Don, with my support, was successful in getting staff to investigate funding sources for further design work needed to start on an upgrade of the Goodwood Oval faciliities. This is a first step to secure short term funding (for  a cosmetic improvement) and long term funding. The current facilities are awful. With the introduction of women's football and cricket at club level the need for an upgarde has now become urgent. In reality there is a need for 4 separate club spces each with their own showering and toilet facilities. Goodwood is hoping to capture a share of funding made available for women's football.

18 December 2016

Police and Community Engagement forum

 People have the opportunity to raise personal and direct access to their local SAPOl Managers at a forum to raise both personal amd community issues. Sturt Police  will be hosting an online forum on Wed 21st Sept, 2016 between 6:30pm and 7:30pm. This will be at www.facebook.cpm.au/sapolice news. Questions will be taken from the community during the forum and can also be sent earlier to michael.quinton@police.sa.gov.au. Further information is available at 82074820.

11 December 2016

Full Council Meeting: Dec12th 2016

The following items are on the Agenda for consideration:

  • Deputation from the Good Saints Football club and the Goodwood Cricket Club. Don and I met with them a couple of weeks auto look at the existing facilities. I have been to the facility many times but this time was given a look at the boys facilities. They are quite simply, awful. This marries with the motion that Cr Palmer has on the agenda to move funding for design. Work from Millswood Lawns to Goodwood Oval. Hopefully, this will get up and a successful budget bid next year some immedidiate works can commence.
  • Annual Business Plan-Projects requiring further endorsement: these include the work at Goodwood PS and Wood St and installation of battery storage and solar panels at Fullarton Pk Community Centre
  • Buying Local: this calls for a survey of local businesses
  • Audit Committee Members, UBED committee members and selection of chairperson
  • Appointment of Deputy Mayor
  • Council Appointments to the Centennial Park Board
  • Motion about Nairne Tce from Cr Smolucha
  • Centennial Park-Asset Management Plan CONFIDENTIAL

January School Holiday Program

When: Tuesday, 10 January 2017 - 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Where: Unley Libraries at Unley Town Hall
Are you a hero or a villain? Find your team by joining us for some X-Box, WII or strategy games. For younger children we will have board games, puzzles and giant family favourites such as Connect Four and dominoes.
Drop in and stay for an hour or spend your afternoon fighting the battle between good and evil in the air conditioning!
For ages 7+
Tuesday, 10 January 2017, 1-4 pm Drop In session
Unley Town Hall
Oxford Terrace, Unley
When: Thursday, 12 January 2017 - 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Where: Unley Libraries at Unley Town Hall
Learn to draw some cool Mega Fauna creatures with guidance from cartoonist Paul. The workshop includes a take home booklet to continue practicing your illustration skills.
Thursday, 12 January 2017,10.30-12noon
Unley Town Hall
Oxford Terrace, Unley

Final Storytime and Babytime for 2016

Christmas Storytime and morning tea
When: Tuesday, 13 December 2016 - 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where: Unley Town Hall

Join us for some festive stories and craft, followed by a morning tea for the last Storytime of the year!

Please bring a plate of food to share (no nuts).

Free, no bookings required.
Christmas Storytime and morning tea
When: Thursday, 15 December 2016 - 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Where: Goodwood Library Children's Area

Join us for some festive stories, songs and craft, followed by a morning tea for the last Storytime of the year!

Please bring a plate of food to share (no nuts). Read more

08 December 2016

Public meeting on Unley Central

Re[porting on the City Strategy and Development Commitee that was held earlier this week. The purpose of the meeting was to hear what people had to say about about the proposed changes to the Unley Central Development Plan. In context it should be remembered that almost all of Unley Rd is aleady zoned to allow for 5 storey (could meean 7or 8) development. Unfortunately many of the reponses focussed entirely on the area bounded by Unley/Rugby/ Oxford and Edmund (including the current Civic Centre, the heritage listed buildings and the Village Green.
It was very clear, at least to me,  that there is little support for any deveopment in this area. However, there seemed to be some support for more development on the western side of Unley Rd to, maybe 7 stories. There was some discussion regarding the setbacks from street frontages and a preference for zone changes along streets rather than backyards.
I gave an undertaking to residents that when the Development Plan comes back to this committee that I will seek to ensure that further consultation takes place before the plan is submitted to the minister.
It should be remembered that I was the only memebr of Council that did not suport the Civic Centre site as a catalyst site.

04 December 2016

City Strategy and Development Policy Committee : Meeting Tuesday Dec 6th, 2016

This is a newly convened committee but looks similar to the last one. Some different councilors and a new chairperson, Michael Rabbitt. As you may be aware Council has been consulting on potential changes to the zoning in the Unley central area. The section of Unley Rd between Thomas/Edmund Ave and Mary/ Frederick Ave. This area currently has no height limits but was not included in the initial Unley Rd DPA: the rest on Unley Rd is already zoned to 5 storeys with the first approved building coming in at 9 (the now failed Cremorne Plaza).
The meeting on Tuesday is to listen to the people who made submissions that would like to also be heard to add to their submission. Overall 294 public submissions were recieved, 9 from agencies and 1 from a Member of Parliament. While some are in favour of the overall concept the vast majority appear not to be. There is also much confusion about the staus of the area bounded by Rugby, Unley, edmund and Oxford. Many of the submissions talk only to this rather than the entire precinct. For me it is time to listen, to debate and discuss before making a final decision early next year.

03 December 2016

Transformed Canevale

How good does this look. My initiative, not just for this building, but  for the city.

29 November 2016

27 November 2016

Meeting 26th Nov 2016 with Steph Key

I attended a great community meeting yesterday at Forest Ave Reserve on Forest Ave. The meeting was called by Steph Key, Member for Ashford, in the parliament. The discussion was centred around the poor maintenance of the reserve and the role of Council and the Black Forest School in maintaining the grounds. A Land Management Agreement exists that has been agreed between Council and DECD but has not been reviewed for some time. It is my understanding that the grounds are entirely owned by the school and that council waters and mows the lawns. In exchange the community have access too the open space when children are not using it.
A walk around the edges shows that maintenance of the vegetation has been poor for a number of years. Shrubs are dead and have not been removed and/or replace. Other areas are overgrown; The community asked that;

  • The Land Management Agreement is reviewed and updated and that all parties are aware of their personal responsibility in the maintenance
  • That Step work with the school regarding the current poor state of the award winning veggie gardens
  • Student safety is investigated at the corner of Obam Ave and Forest Ave
  • Student pickups are better policed for offending parents
    This lovely area is now overgrown

Canterbury Tce

As it was!
The state government have now approved and partially funded the rejigging of the Canterbury Tce/ East Ave corner. The new plan will further improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians at the corner when implemented. This should start early next year.

Full Council meeting 28th Nov, 2016

Matters on the Agenda include;
Petition re Timed parking in Essex St, South: A number of residents are concerned at the 4 hour parking limits on both sides of the street
Library Service Review; Their is a 80% satisfaction rate with the existing library hours. The reports details the work of a working party that looked at alternate uses for the front area. The proposal made was not supported by an independent review and it has not proceeded. There is also some discussion about the location of the Toy Library, after review the current  location is still the most suitable.
Community Bus:After a review it is suggested that amore door to door services are offered to tye current Fixed Root users and that the service continues to get residents to the shopping centre. The charter service will continue but with the use of a smaller bus.
Election of Representatives to the LGA Board: I've written my list of prefered individuals, we'll see how it stands up
Community Grants Programme: Grants are recommended for a number of local organisations including the 3rd Goodwood Scout Group,, Good wood PS, Forestville Hockey Club, Goodwood Saints Tennis and Clarence Park Kindergarten
Conservation Grants: These are available twice a year for heritage works on heritage listed and Contributory items.
Corporate Performance Report: An excellent report on progress by the CEO.
Centennial Park Progress Authority:
Tree Prosecution: CONFIDENTIAL
Strategic Property Development: CONFIDENTIAL
Appointment of Independents to the City Strategy and Development Policy: CONFIDENTIAL

20 November 2016

Goodwood Main Street Upgrade - Construction Update Information Session

The City of Unley has completed the detailed design for the Goodwood Road streetscape upgrade and have now engaged local contractor Outside Ideas to undertake the civil and landscape works.

The streetscape upgrade will commence shortly after SA Power Networks complete the undergrounding of the power lines, with work likely to commence in December.

We invite you to attend this information session and construction update:
6-7.30pm, Wednesday 23 November
Goodwood Community Centre
32-34 Rosa Street, Goodwood

Information on the streetscape design is on display at the Goodwood Library and Unley Civic Centre.


13 November 2016

Council Meeting: Monday 14th November

This is an extra meeting to help cope with the workload of decisions that need to be made and also reflecting on the fact that meetings that go until late at night do not always make the best decisions,
The Agenda includes:

  • City Strategy and Development Policy Committee Establishment: As we have disbanded the former committee and it is a legislated necessity to have one, the composition of this new committee, and who will be on it will be discussed. I favoured a committee of all elected members and still do as it is far less divisive that each committee having to have members elected onto it.  However, it is likely to be a committee with 4 elected members and 2 or 3 independent members.There were 4 committee positions filled last meeting (Property Acquisition Committee) and 8 to be filled this week. That's one  position for everyone, replacing the 3 disbanded committees. Unfortunately some councillors often want more that their share as they have are perceived to have a better skill set or more time; it is my opinion that we are elected as equals and should share the workload while paying some consideration to our personal skillsets. We'll see! Of the 3 this is my preferred option, would love to Chair it but as I am still on the Development Assessment Panel,will not be putting up my hand to do this.
  • Civic Center Redevelopment-Governance and Community Engagement: For those of you who were shocked at the article in a recent Eastern Courier on this topic there is no intention to sell the Civic Centre site nor to bulldoze any heritage listed properties. However, the way forward that is selling the air rights, will be tricky and public communication and support imperative.
  • 2015-16 Financial Statements:
  • Annual report 2015-16:

06 November 2016

Katherine St Reserve opening soon

Some tips to minimise waste

AVOID waste in the first place
Refuse junk mail if you don't want to read it
Share magazines and newspapers or access them free at the library
Store food in reusable containers
REDUCE what you throw away
Buy products in bulk with minimal packaging
Repair before replacing
Use both sides of paper
Minimise food waste and compost any scraps
Use reusable cloth nappies instead of disposable ones
REUSE materials in an innovative way
Reuse glass and plastic containers
Reuse gift wrapping paper and ribbon
Buy refillable containers where possible
RECYCLE products to save natural resources
Buy products made from recycled materials
Turn organics into compost
Recycle suitable containers
Buy products with packaging that can be recycled

01 November 2016

Highrise in Unley

You may have read this week's Messenger. Dan, the journalist, almost got it right. Council is considering selling the development rights for the Civic Centre location to enable it to become a catalyst site for further development in the central area. For every 2 apartments built in central Unley there should be one less two for one development in Clarence Park and Black Forest.  Despite comments online to the article discussing the heritage buildings, they are not at risk for Council development and nor is the Village Green. More information can be found here.

29 October 2016

Unprogressive old men pursuing their own agenda...

...not that of the ratepayers.
A recent email from  a constituent described the Council as such  after observing a meeting.
While sometimes I refer to my colleagues as a retired gentleman's club I do my best to work cohesively with them. However, it is evident to anyone who attends a meeting that we do not reflect our demographic. From what I can tell at least half the people who pay rates in Unley are women, some are immigrants, many are young and some so young they can't yet vote.  I wonder if Unley will ever achieve a 50:50 gender balance and hope to also see younger people putting their names up for election?  It would be great if those who were interested could work together to  learn more about the runnings of council and have the skills to be competitive at the 2018 election. Who is interested??

25 October 2016

If the children are obese, blame the dogs!!

Last night's debate on the Motion to change the dogs off leash exercise time to 4pm in the non-daylight saving months was an absolute farce. The staff consultation and subsequent report had been conducted in a very professional manner. The 127 respondents were almost all in favour of changing the hours in about a dozen parks where the dog off-leash time starts at 5pm. While I spoke in favour of the motion and Don, who seconded the motion, also gave some valid arguments they were not enough to over ride the failed logic of Cr Hughes. He spent time telling fellow Councillors that:
  • Children and dogs can never be in the same park at the same time unless one or the other group is fenced off
  • That 127 respondents was an inconsequential response as Unley has 5,000 dogs (we usually get 3 responses about the rates from 18,000 homes)
  • The parents go picnicking in the parks at 4pm in July
  • This small change would prevent children from exercising and be the cause of obesity in children in Unley
Only one other person spoke against the motion!! Cr Rabbitt, Hewitson and Smolucha spoke in favour of the motion.
Cr Schnell proposed an amendment to reduce the time span so that it would only be for winter months, Cr Sangster seconded this motion. This motion was put and passed 7:5.
This then became the Motion and when put the numbers were 6:6 giving the mayor the casting vote. Despite what he had heard and the officer's recommendation he inexplicably voted against the motion and the entire proposal FAILED.
Cr Hewitson spoke for the motion, voted for the amendment and then against the final motion. Cr Schnell did not vote for his own amendment.
And in the end the people have lost, the people who asked if they could have their dogs off leash a few minutes earlier. These people are Mums and Dads, often with children in tow who take the dog to the park to socialise with other each other and for the dogs to do the same. They mostly walk to the park and the exercise is mostly keeping everyone trim. A pity a few short sighted Councillors have destroyed this initiative without  a second thought.

23 October 2016

Full Council Meeting: October 24th 2016

The agenda is full of things ready for decision. The include:

  • Distribution of the Unley Life: Cr Hughes is concerned that some elderly  residents in apartments or residential care may not have access to this publication PASSED
  • Sunday Road Closures For King William Rd; Cr Koumi is asking staff to investigate some option for this concept. PASSED
  • Delibaerative Polling: what is it and how might it work in Unley's consultation processes? This is a motion from Cr Palmer PASSED
  • Proposed Changes to Dogs Off Leash in Parks (see separate blog) LOST
  • Conservation Grants Policy Review: some minor changes are proposed PASSED
  • Development Assessment Panel  Annual Report 2015/16: some interesting comparisons can be made. Concurrence with officer's recommendations has gone for 89% to 81%. However, fewer appeals have been lodged and none that were have been upheld.PASSED
  • Establishment of a Strategic Property Committee: It is hoped that this committee can identify properties that would be strategic for the UCC to purchase and even more importantly to sell. The report call for Councillor nominations as well as a chairperson.PASSED with Cr Koumi as Chair and Cr Palmer, Cr Smolucha and Cr Hughes as committee members.
  • Review of the Draft 30 Year Plan for Greater Adelaide 2016 update: Staff and councillors fee that the proposed document would see significant and probably unpopular changes to the City of Unley if implemented in its current form. Suggestions have been made to continue to afford the current development planning better protection. PASSED
  • Age Friendly Footpath Implementation Issues: A few changes to design a recommended. PASSED 
  • Brown Hill Keswick Creek Funding: CONFIDENTIAL

Art Exhibition; Hughes Gallery

If you are an art expert this might not be the one for you: but if you like supporting people who have discovered something that makes them feel worthwhile and are interested in art then it might be. The Broughton Art Society have their 2016 exhibition starting the 4th of November.
Free Range
Broughton Art Society
48th Annual Exhibition

4 November – 26 November 2016
EXHIBITION OPEN: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm
Sat 19, Sun 20 & Sat 26 November, 10am-1pm

7pm Friday 4 November  2016


Dogs 4pm v 5pm

This week will see the culmination of the initiative and hard work of a group of people who use Page Park to allow their dogs off leash exercise in the evening. They realised that the time available for their dogs to socialise during the winter months was significantly less than that available in the summer months, due to daylight saving. After an initial deputation to Council and a Motion on Notice  from me, amply supported by my co-councillor, Don, the matter passed for public consultation, not only for Page Park but for a raft of other like parks. The response from the public saw nearly 200 responses, most of which were in favour of moving the start time back from 5pm to 4pm from the 1st April to the 1st October. This matter will debated again by Council this week.
There will, however, be  opposition from some Councillors as it will reduce the time that small children can play in the park if they are unwilling to share their space with dogs. In Page Park's case there is no playground, there are 2 dog free parks within a very short distance, and few small children use the park in the early evening.  It may well be an outcome that this will be approved in some of the recommended parks and not others.

It's not easy being green.

If you have passed the Civic Center this week you should have noticed the new green wall that now surrounds the sign on the front wall.

The garden is 3.2m high and 6.8m wide comprising of 480 plants. It has a rain sensor at the top of the wall so that the irrigation switches off on rainy days. The plants will continue to grow and cover the supporting structure.

 Outcomes of the project include;
•Create a welcoming entry statement to the Civic Centre Building
•Cooling of building façade in summer afternoons (Research and observations in Australia show that green walls reduce wall surface temperature by 10ºC )
•Demonstrate ways to find more green space in non-traditional places.
•Air quality improvement

21 October 2016

Great letter from Cr Michael Rabbitt

I hope you all took the time to read this letter in the most recent Eastern Courier. He has summed up the circumstances of the recent flood (which is now believed to be a 1 in 35 event) extremely well.

Flooding talks

DISTRESSED residents in my ward who experienced flooding during the recent storm events believe that, had councils adopted the Stormwater Management Plan to build a dam in the upper reaches of Brownhill Creek, their homes would not have been flooded, yet again, because of the rural run-off.

They also asked, "How many more times do we have to go through this trauma before something is done?" Regrettably, I was not able to provide a satisfactory response, as (1) councils rejected the proposal for a dam, and (2) we are still waiting on a suitable funding arrangement with the State Government.

16 October 2016

What about E-voting?

The Local Government Association meets this week to discuss the above matter as a motion put to them from a Council. They must decide if the LGA should pursue a study into this and bear the cost. It is my opinion, following the debacle that was the Census, to leave well enough alone. If we want to make a change lets make voting compulsory and give it the same status at the other levels of government!

And again!!

Rather than make a comment on my original blog to what I wrote last week to the  Property Council's idea I am writing this. Nevertheless, I would love to see some comments on way or the other. Today's Sunday Mail has Hussein Abiad's  (Dept Mayor for Adelaide) response. This  draws a line along Gepps Cross Rd, Portrush Rd, Fullarton Rd, Cross Rd and South Rd as a suggested boundary for what I assume he would be calling Adelaide City Council.  My thoughts on this are the following:

  • How many Councillors? We're always being told that 12 on Council is too many. This would leave the entire City of Unley, as we know it, with one representative
  • How do businesses get the representation they're always trying to get on the current ACC? They would have far less say
  • How would we get people to vote when they will be even less likely to know the candidate?
  • How do we stop Council from being a breeding ground for would be politicians?
  • How much would we need to pay the Councilors given that the workload would render the position a fulltime job?
  • How do we ensure that the representation reflects the demographic of the people?

14 October 2016

Museum:some new exhibitions

Terrible Tales of Unley: Exhibition Launch Wed 26th Oct, 5pm to 7pm Free, no bookings required. Unley's dark side exposed! A semi-permanent display.
The Tintin Exhibition: open from 4th October to 24th November; Launch event is on the 17th October at 10;30am.
is at 80 Edmund Ave, Unley

Page Park: dead trees

A resident brought to my attention the two dead trees in Page Park. The arborist team has assessed the trees and are waiting for the land to dry out sufficiently so they can bring in their truck. Both present no danger to people at this time but will be removed in the next couple of weeks.

12 October 2016

Amalgamations: here we go again!!

Once again Council amalgamations seem to be on the agenda in South Australia. The Property Council's  report in Monday's paper was not off to a good start when it quoted projected savings after the voluntary amalgamations that occurred over 20 years ago. The projections looked good at the time  but a report as never been written into what the actual savings were. If the comments in today's paper are any indication they certainly did not leave happy ratepayers behind them. According to the report the monies saved were in less CEO's, fewer Councillors and shared services. Well, Council's already share services where cost savings can be achieved and are always looking for new opportunities to do so. While many would argue that the CEO is well paid and we, as Councillors, don't do it for nothing, in the general scheme of things this, at least in Unley, would save less than $400,000. This amounts to  $200 per  property. If we were to compare to new South Wales or Queensland the new CEO of an amalgamated Burnside and Unley (as a hypothetical notion) would want  double and the Councillors would be paid as if they were doing a full time job. Even with half the Councillors the savings would be negated very quickly, in fact the costs would increase.
If the state government actually believes fewer Councils would be more cost effective then they need to have the courage to realign boundaries on communities of interest and pay little or no heed to existing boundaries. In the end it won't be cheaper and your rates will continue to go up and you  will also have lost the local in Local Government. You will be voting for your Councillors on Party lines and you'll get the same type of people as you see in our current politicians and not the type of people you have now. We might argue and debate but everyone of us has your best interests at heart and not our own.

10 October 2016

Unley Library Festival; 5th Nov

The 5th November is the day Unley Library will celebrate its 50th Birthday.
It starts with  a 3D astronomy experience  session at 4pm on the 4th with 'Earth's Wild Ride' and then vintage cartoons and Disney's original Jungle Book.
On the 5th Oxford Tce will be closed for a Vintage Fair.
Sounds like a little bit of fun for everyone.

06 October 2016

They imagined all the money that could be saved.

Trip hazards in the footpaths
How long is too long to get then fixed?
From this
How big does the trip hazard have to be before it is worth fixing?
These are the vexing questions that Council is facing as we near the end of the paving of footpaths. This programme has a mere 18 months to run until all footpaths in Unley are paved. This program was to have taken 25 years and it has taken 35 years. Original reports indicate that the Councillors at the time were told that once the footpaths were paved they would not need replaced for at least 50 years.
They imagined all the money that could be saved.
At the current time Council spends $1.3million on paving footpaths each year and $500,000 repairing them. By 18/19 that should free up the $1.3 million to do something else?
It will as long as you, the ratepayer, will tolerate 20mm trip hazards in streets that have low levels of foot traffic. Many Councillors have indicated that this is too high and that anything over 10mm should be fixed in a reasonable time frame (say less than 6o days), and then the price for maintenance starts to escalate.
To this!

04 October 2016

Should we all just get along?

There seems to be some disquiet recently after Council meetings that we appear to be a little dysfunctional. The tone of a meeting is the direct responsibility of the Mayor and he must take some responsibility for this. Then there is the rest of us, what is our responsibility?
I would argue that my responsibility is to;

  • Keep my self informed of Council business
  • To read all the material supplied to me by Council diligently
  • To form opinion based on fact
  • To listen and learn to what the community has to say
  • Not interfere in the work of staff
  • Give my opinion and support to Motions based on the above
I am often the only one who votes against a motion, sometimes I have a few more supporters, but I will not vote with the majority if what they want is, in my opinion, not in the best interest of Council.
It seems to me that there are elected members that do not always do  all of the above, it is these that are causing the problems that Lachlan perceives so clearly from the chair. The problem is that it is these very members that can not see the failings in themselves that cause the issue. It is time for some tough talk, one to one to let the offenders know what the issue is and what needs to change.
At the last Council meeting one member had a direct, an unfounded, shot at me as I was on Council when the Unley Shopping Centre was sold. We were debating the finish time of meetings. Relevance to the topic; nil. To set the record straight we sold the Shopping Centre because running such a facility is not the core business of Council and  we needed to retire debt. 

Roadside Memorials; Is Council Overreacting?

Hope you read the article in the Sunday Mail yesterday? While I would have thought that the writer's article pretty well summed up the sentiment of the meeting it has caused quite a stir in the media. While the article was not sympathetic to Council's adopted policy the letters to the Editor published today are. While I would have left well enough alone Council has been recalled to debate the matter again. I am yet to see the new motion that has been proposed but will debate on its merits when I do. For those who are interested the meeting is at 6:45pm tonight.

02 October 2016

Unley Central Precinct Development Plan Amendment

We’re seeking your feedback on proposed amendments to the Unley (City) Development Plan.
The Unley Central Precinct is the heart of our City. Even if you do not live or own property in the affected area, your views are an integral part of this amendment process.
Feedback will be received until 5pm, 18 November 2016. (here)

Events Season Update

If you are looking for something to do over the summer why not write a few of these events into your diary?

  • Guitar Festival (sorry this one has gone but you would have had to be in  residential care facility to enjoy it.
  • First Light Morning Dance Party: Sat 14th January  2017
  • Every Generation Festival
  • Ignite  Unley:Nov 11th Page park (Zootopia), Dec 9th Gilbert St, Goodwood (street party), Feb 14th, 2017 Ridge park (local musicians and food trucks)
  • Meraki Festival: Sat 26th Feb at the Soldiers Memorial Garden (health and well-being activities all day)
  • Unley  Gourmet Gala: Monday 16th Jan 2017

28 September 2016

What did the Mayor do in France?

This week's agenda had a detailed account of the Mayor's trip to France and the values and insights he gained from it. The report can be found  here.  (Mayor's Report).This would seem to have been of benefit to both himself and the city. However, I would still argue that if he had chosen to use the trip as a tax deduction rather than a grant from Council the cost burden to ratepayers could have been much less.

Today's Storm Event: 28th September 2016

Useful information if contacted by concerned residents

Residents can contact Council at the depot on ph. 8372 5111 to request sand bags, or report damage, or debris.

Council will deliver up to 20 sand bags per household.

Additional sand bags are available from the SES
 at 5 Glen Street, Burnside. The SES will have people available to show residents how to fill & lay sand bags if required.

The SES should also be the point of call if residents have damage to their property. Contact phone no. 132 500.

If a resident rings to advise of a power line down get them to contact SAPN on 13 13 66, and advise them to assume that the fallen lines are still live

The SES website is www.ses.sa.gov.au; twitter either
ES Twitter @SA_SES  or
SES Facebook @ SAStateEmergencyService

25 September 2016

Full Council meeting: Mon 26th Sept 2016

Items on the Agenda include:
  • Local Heritage Reform Discussion Paper: I have written a separate blog on this. Council will discuss the content of Unley's response and how the proposed changes will affect the protection of heritage in the City of Unley. While some recommendations should be commended others  are pretty scary especially for heritage areas rather than individual items.
  • SRF Licensing and Immunisation: This calls for Unley to take over the role of  SRF (Supported Residential Facilities) inspections that are currently outsourced but to retain the current structure for immunisation.
  • Memorials policy: This policy hopes to clarify what is and is not appropriate memeorials for people who are deceased. The Council supports putting names on seats, etc in parks but, while not wishing to offend people, don't wish to see for any extended period of time flowers at the scene of a tragic death on our streets.
  • Rescission Motion regarding Millswood Lawns: This is to clarify the position of the motion  passed two years ago to proceed with a particular plan. I'm not sure I will support this as going back on our word, and decision making, puts everyone in a  poor light and makes others feel that, despite a decision, they can always continue to try to undermine the decision. .
  • Buying Local: Cr Schnell is calling for a report on the impact to Council of Buying Local for both the Council and the Community.
  • Centennial Park Cemetery Authority-Business Case:CONFIDENTIAL
  • Brown Hill Keswick Creek Update : CONFIDENTIAL

21 September 2016

Australia Day Awards

Can you think of an inspiring person that deserves recognition for the work that they are doing or have done in our community? If so, why not take the time to nominate them for and Australia Day award. Unley Council is inviting nominations for;

  • Australia Day Citizen Award
  • Australia Day Young Citizen Award
  • Community Event of the Year
  • Active Aging Initiative of the Year
Nomination forms are available from www.unley.sa.gov.au. Closing date is the 18th November, 2016

18 September 2016

Honk if your council is acting like a goose

Great heading and I'm sure we've all had some great ideas that have ended nowhere.  This doesn't mean that the views should not be aired and debated. The reason the Council exits (The mayor and 12 councillors) is to have a look at the ideas and dismiss or endorse them as we see fit, from each other and the staff. That way we can sort out the good ones from the bad ones. In 1996, I had such an idea, the CEO told me that I'd be the goose; nevertheless I put my motion on notice, listened and participated in the debate, and the majority of Councillors agreed with me. What was the idea? To stop Councillors smoking inside the Council Chamber after each and every meeting! This started the ball rolling and now Council is smoke free. David Penberthy used his column this week to try to make us all look stupid, once again, instead of encouraging ideas and change.

Flooding; it will be worse

Last Wednesdays extreme weather event left me scrambling to out of the car park at work, in hindsight this was a minor inconvenience.
When debating and reading expert opinion on the causes and solutions to flooding in the Brown Hill Creek catchment we were always told that a dam would only be useful if the rain fell in the hills and not on the plains or just in the hills. Given that very little has been done so far in the catchment and the last flood of this consequence was in 2005 it is more than likely a 1:10 event and a far cry from what a 1:100 event might look like. As I watch the news footage of Brown Hill Creek it was flooding in the caravan park and at Mitcham reserve. Was it flooding because the channel was too narrow or the amount of water coming from the hills was simply overwhelming? In my opinion, it is time for the state government to overturn the Council's agreement and do what needs to be done, and that is to build a dam. Until this is completed and the creek bed cleared resident's home will continue to be flooded. I read the transcripts of what Mayor Clyne and Spears had to say; they were trying hard to justify what in my opinion is indefensible.

Full Council Meeting; Sept 12th 2016

The following items should be of interest;

This plan is unlikely to proceed.
  • Petition re Road closures, Goodwood: This was presented by the residents in Owen St and Angus street asking for Council not to proceed to the trial road closures
  • Millswood Sporting Complex Detailed Design; After well over an hour of debate this matter was Laid on the Table ( a difficult and tedious mechanism that should not have been supported; roughly translated as it all too hard, nobody can agree so we'll do nothing; but in this case it would mean that Council would proceed with the already agreed plan unless the matter is brought back to Council). There are 3 views on this matter;Bowls, now want to keep their existing greens (they had agreed to reduce their need to one), Croquet want to have a 4th lawn, Residents do not want to lose access to Millswood Park or the railway pedestrian crossing. And while we debate and consult the clubrooms of both clubs are substandard and there seems to be little desire to compromise on planning for a joint facility. This matter is unlikely, now, to be resolved quickly.  LAID ON THE TABLE
  • Hire of the Town Hall: This is an attempt to increase the use of the Town Hall by reducing the hiring costs for local and community groups to use.PASSED
  • Goodwood, Wayville and Unley Local Area Traffic Plan: The proposed plan included long overdue road closures in Hardy and Weller St (they were first proposed over 20 years ago, with closures in Fox and Boffa Sts as well). With over 4,000 letters being sent to residents and owners and less than 150 responses to not trial the closures, Council voted to abandon the trial. This short sightedness means we're likely to be back in 20 years time as the real problem won't have been dealt with (traffic not originating or finishing their journey in Goodwood). Without the closures most of the rest, in Goodwood, is merely window dressing.PASSED
  • Property Development Project : CONFIDENTIAL
  • Acquisition of Land; CONFIDENTIAL

07 September 2016

Princess Margaret Playground: Fruit tree planting

The 16/17 annual budget includes planting Fruit Trees in a Council reserve.  The west corner of Princess Margaret Playground has been selected.
A range of oranges, lemon, lime, mandarin and red cherry guava will be planted to form the fruit tree orchard.  

A Year 4/5 class of students from Black Forest Primary School will be planting the trees with staff assistance at 2pm on Wednesday 21 September.

04 September 2016

Millswood Lawns :where are we up to?

The Council meeting on the 12th September will be shown the most recent plan for the arrangement of the Bowling Greens and Croquet Lawns. You might remember that quite some time ago Council agreed to proceed to detailed design with a configuration of 4 lawns and 1.5 greens, both of the clubs were happy for Council to proceed on this basis. Then the Bowling Club came under new management and they decided they could not work with less than 2 greens! Council has been trying to meet their concerns and it seems there is nothing, at this time, that will keep both clubs happy at the same time. The latest configuration does achieve, to some extent, a compromise by moving the greens east and extending into the Millswood park area. The clubs will both make delegations next week to the meeting. Hopefully, we can proceed to full public consultation again with a choice of designs that the public can give their opinions on.

Heritage at Risk

Under threat!!
Suggested new changes to the how heritage is protected have been put out to consultation in the last couple of weeks. I have read the National Trust response and it makes some very interesting observations about heritage protection in this state. It seems that the Minister for Planning will stop at nothing to undo years of hard work by Councils and organisations like the National Trust. With little or no evidence to support the government view it seems they will push on until they get their way. As an example heritage listed properties will have to be rare or unique to be listed. So what happens to Millswood's heritage protection that has kept the western side largely in original condition? None of the buildings are unique, all are contributory and will have no protection. All the work of Council to protect these areas will be gone.

15 August 2016

What's the Fuss about King William Rd?

The paved surface of KWR has almost certainly been wearing out since it was installed in the early eighties. For the last 10 years we, as Councillors, have been told that the end of the surface is near and that we must consider budgeting for replacement and what bits of it should be replaced with what surface? But it keeps on  being repaired and to all intents and purposes look OK. Yet it made the press again this week  because somehow this was news. Council is considering options for KWR but mostly in the hope that grant funding could be gained to pay for the work. Nevertheless, I doubt that the entire length would be replaced with bricks and that if it were to repaved the distance would morely be between Arthur
and Mitchell Sts.

Tax Help is now available

Both Unley libraries will be offering help with your taxes between the 13th August and the 29th October. You are eligible for tax help if your income is less than $50,000 and you did not:

  • work as a contractor
  • run a business
  • have partnership or trust matters
  • sell shares or an investment property
  • own a rental property
  • have Capital Gains Tax
  • receive royalties
  • receive foreign income
  • receive distributions from a trust
This service is free but you need to make a booking on 83725100.

Have Your Say – Proposed Changes to Dog Off-Leash Hours

We’d like to hear your thoughts on extending dog off-leash hours from April to September in selected Unley parks and reserves.

To view the list of parks and provide your feedback on the options available, visit Your Say Unley.
You can also provide feedback by:
  • emailing pobox1@unley.sa.gov.au or
  • sending a written submission to  “Proposed changes of dog off-leash hours in parks, The City of Unley, PO Box 1, Unley SA 5061”.
Feedback will be received until 5pm, Wednesday 31 August.

A report will be drafted and presented to Council in late 2016 for consideration.

07 August 2016

GAP water now at Millswood Lawns Tennis Club

 A big thankyou this week from Millswood
Lawns Tennis Club as they have finally connected to GAP water. Don and I have assisted them with this project over the last couple of years. Hopefully, the water will enable considerable savings in the cost of water to the club.

Conflict of interests

The recent Local Government Amendment bill has left City Councillors unable to vote for items that specifically relate to only their ward. It seems recent changes, meant to make things better, have actually left some things even worse. It's interesting how the state government continues to think that Local Government is irresponsible and sets much higher standards for Councils than it does for themselves. At the most recent Council meeting I had to declare a conflict of interest when the Development Assessment Panel members had their term extended (the future of this panel is winding up to another state government ending). However, I can only assume that these recent changes mean that I may no longer be able to vote for, or advocate for Clarence Park Ward with the currents rules. I will seek clarification from staff.

02 August 2016

When things aren't ready?

At last week's Council meeting staff had identified that the Cycling and Walking Plan had a significant number of errors or suggestions that could never be accomplished. To this end the staff suggested that the plan should be considered aspiration rather than endorsed. However, one member concocted a motion that leaves the plan in limbo. While it did enable the works proposed and funded in this financial year all subsequent years that the plan recommends for will need to be further refined and adopted by Council as each year progresses. This risks continue funding and a plan that is poorly implemented. Yet, despite this the majority of Councillors supported the new motion. Never, in my time at Council, have I seen this done: usually we err on the side of caution and send the plan back for staff to further fine tune. This holds up the plan for a month or two but allows staff to implement in a well ordered manner. 

24 July 2016

Full Council meeting: July 25th 2016

Topics to be debated this week include;

  • Parkside-On Street Parking;This report calls for increased parking bays to be created on Greenhill Rd (east of George St) and for an investigation into Smart Parking technology. The purpose of the latter is to allow potential parkers to know where the spare car parks are, however, they will also be able to be used for issuing parking fines.
  • Walking and Cycling Plan Review: it seems that Community feedback was well received and identified a number of areas that need further review.
  • Update-Pay for Use Parking Trial: this picks up on resident concerns that have been expressed to me but says that overall people are happy with what is being trialed. Ongoing concerns remain around the poles that can be used to hold the 4 hour parking signs, many of which are unused and unnecessary. Concerns also exist from residents who need to use the parking area for longer than 4 hours but are currently not entitled to a permit. 
  • Appointment of Development Assessment Panel; this report calls for the extension of tenure for existing members until the DAP is disbanded and replaced by what the state government would prefer as a model (only one Council member on the panel).
  • Traffic Concerns in Mills St: Don and I have worked on motion that would allow for consultation with residents regarding the potential need to replace the existing traffic calming measures.
  • Brown Hill Creek: Auditor Generals Examination (CONFIDENTIAL)

18 July 2016

Byron Rd: What next?

Those of you who live on Byron Rd were asked for feedback regarding the replacement of (replacing with Watts Profile speed humps) or enhancement (addition cushions on the existing slow points) of  the speed limitation devices currently installed in the street. This matter, as many of you know, has been a point of contention among residents for quite some time. The alternate option was to make no changes to the existing arrangements. Just over half of you took the time to have your say. Unfortunately, there was no decisive  vote for any one of the above options. However, the additional feedback from residents has made it quite clear that additional work needed to be done near the Princess Margaret Playground to further slow traffic in this area. Staff has recommended that some road narrowing occur  and the bitumen to be treated to look as though it is paved. Hopefully, this will enhance safety for the families who use the playground. Residents who responded to the consultation will be informed of the outcome directly by staff.

17 July 2016

Cats and Dogs

Recent amendments to legislation have made the following changes to dog and cat ownership;

  • Microchipping for all cats and dogs
  • Desexing of all new generations of dogs and cats
  • All breeders to be registered
  • Council to have greater powers in administration
  • Changes to accreditation for assistance dogs
The detailed regulations that will sit behind this are still being developed so no changes are likely to happen before 2017.

Development Strategy and Policy Committee Agenda: July 17th at 7pm

This meeting will be held tomorrow. On the Agenda is the draft for the Unley Central Precinct DPA. This is the document that shows how, after consultation, the staff and Councillors think the area (that close to the corner of Arthur St and Unley Rd should look. This will still need to be consulted, as a document rather than  a concept, and will no doubt be further refined. The Plan allows for up to 11 storey development near the shopping Centre.

05 July 2016

PLEC Project upadate

The Goodwood Road Streetscape Upgrade project will deliver a range of improvements
for the Goodwood precinct between the tram line and Victoria Street, including a new
streetscape look, underground power lines, new street lights and a road reseal.
The first part of the project, undergrounding of power lines (PLEC), is well underway.
These works are being carried out by SA Power Networks and their contractor
SEM Civil.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) are available on Council’s website.
Visit unley.sa.gov.au/GWR-PLEC
For more information or to join the project mailing list call 8372 5111 or email

29 June 2016

No Smoking :its been a long time

Friday marks the first day of no smoking in all outdoor dining facilities in South Australia. it will be interesting to see how this one goes? What I do know is that I should never have to share my cappuccino  with side stream smoke or angry people who think their right to smoke outweighs my  to fresh, clean air. From arguing in staff rooms in the mid 70's, when over 50% of people smoked, just to be able to attend a smoke free meeting, to arguing that Unley Council should be a smoke free venue (1996) and then now has been a 40 year a journey. Smoking rates are now less than 20% and dropping.

Full Council Meeting; 27th June 2016

Items of interest this week included:
Rugby/ Porter St Bikeway-Design and Community Engagement: this motion called for community engagement with detailed designs for the intersections. However,it involves the change of preference in Malvern for East -West to North South along the entire length of Rugby St. I have significant concerns about these changes and did not support the motion.
Future Grandstand Upgrade-Sturt Football Club Proposal: The new proposal suits Sturt and will cost at least $4.6 million of which Sturt might  be asked to contribute as little as $700,000. This is not what Council agreed to when we decided to consult and to get more detailed design. It was understood by all parties that the funding would be split in thirds: Council, Sturt and grants. My motion to try to ensure this would remain the case was defeated.
Greening Opportunities- Leader St:This would provide additional money for rain gardens when Leader St is upgraded in the next calendar year.
2016-17 Annual Business Plan and Budget Adoption: This motion also was well debated. Bob Schnell and I drove an attempt to raise additional  funds to be spent on projects that Council staff had considered should be funding through borrowings when, infact, they should, in my opinion, be funded through recurrent funding. Despite heated debate this motion lost; the rate rise will be 2.2% and borrowings will spiral to $17 million (double what it was 6 years ago). Despite the feel good feeling of lower rates residents will be paying for some things long after the asset has needed to be replaced.
Motion regarding Page Park and Dog use: This motion, moved by me, was a response to residents request to move back the dog off leash time at Page Park (and other similar parks) form 5pm to 4pm in the winter months. This passed but only after significant debate. The matter will
now be consulted.
Centennial Park Authority-Operating Budget: CONFIDENTIAL

19 June 2016

Special Council meeting: 20th June 2016

Monday the CEO performance review will be debated. Despite protocol that all confidential material is presented to Councillors on green paper this has not been the case. So just as I was about to tell you what it was all about I spotted the confidentiality motion on one single piece of white paper in with all the others. Hopefully, what is debated will soon be available to everyone.

Suicide Prevention network

You might be interesting in an upcoming meeting to establish a suicide prevention network in Unley. The event will be held at Fullarton Park Community Centre (411 Fullarton Rd) from 6pm to 8pm on the 28th June, 2016. If you wish to attend you will need to book by calling 0427982026 or emailing lifeforceworks@wesleymission.org.au.

13 June 2016

Major Development Greenhill Rd and George St, Parkside

Developers of the above site, formerly Carramar Clinic, have written to neighbours inviting them to view plans and discuss with them the upgrading on the site. The old building on the site is heritage listed (State) as as such will be retained. The consultation is on Sat June 18th between 10am and 2pm. The building application will, in due course, be assessed by the Development Assessment Commission and Unley Council  will be able to comment only on the proposal.

Swimming Centre wrap up

During the most recent season the centre welcomed  nearly 90,000 patrons. This is an increase of nearly 2,000 patrons and despite competition from the newly refurbished Burnside Pool. Swimming lesson participation increased by 15%, thus enabling an increasing amount of young people to be safe in the water. The Free Friday initiative morphed into Friday for a Cause and enabled the centre to donate nearly $2000 to Alzheimer's SA. During the winter break the kiosk and administration area will will be getting upgraded to improve customer service. The centre's water pumps will also be re-conditioned during the break. Once again this facility is providing an excellent service to our community.

12 June 2016

Library hours review

Are our opening hours working for you?
The City of Unley Libraries are important and critical community resources and are 
considered to be the backbone for community information, literacy and lifelong learning. 
When we are open is therefore an important facet of our service to you, and we are now
 seeking your feedback on the current opening times of the Unley and Goodwood Libraries.
Please note: there is no intention to reduce or increase the total opening hours of the
 Libraries, and any changes must occur within existing budgets. We are simply seeking
 feedback on a possible redistribution of our existing opening hours to provide a better
 service to you.
There are a number of options that could be considered. However, in the first instance
 we would like to seek open feedback from library users as well as non-users. This 
approach will ensure our community is not limited by a predetermined outcome.
Please complete the following survey, and tell us your thoughts.
This consultation will be open from Wednesday 1 June 2016 until close of business, 
Wednesday 30 August 2016, and will include a range of opportunities for participation, 
including surveys and workshops.
This website will be frequently updated with the latest news and dates of meetings and workshops
, or alternatively you can subscribe to the Libraries' eNewsletter by clicking here(External link).