18 August 2018

Council elections: Voting

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Do you remember when you had to go to the polling booth to vote? What were the positives and negatives. From my recollection, as a candidate, each booth had to have someone handing out how to vote cards and the turnout was abysmally low. So we now have Postal voting, you have the convenience of getting a ballot in the mail that you have almost 3 weeks to complete and return. The turnout is still about 20%. On-line voting is the next suggestion to increase the turnout, how easy can we make it? It's simply really, just make it compulsory and any method will get a 95% turnout and you'll get the people that you you really want.  The other issue is that local government in South Australia does not have party endorsed candidates and those who only vote on party lines don't really know who to vote for. The independence of each candidate is Council's strength and not a nuisance. Take the time to read the election material, reflect on what your current members have already achieved and VOTE. One last thing I believe the time lines for postal voting are too long. This year nominations are open from the 4th to the 18th Sept. Then you'll know who the candidates really are. The ballots do not get to your letter box until Oct 22nd or later (depending on how tardy Aust Post are) and you then have almost 3 weeks more before the poll closes on Nov 9th. They counted the next day.

Super Foods for Super Ageing

I'm not as old as I used to be
Gain insight into what are some of the best foods for health and nutrition as we age. In this session you can taste test some delicious and nutritious foods and drinks.
Gold coin on entry, bookings essential, phone 8372 5100 or book online. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

15 August 2018

Queensland Box: have we seen the last of them?

Image result for Queensland Box street treesI read in this week's paper that Norwood, Payneham and St Peters Council was considering getting rid of all Queensland Box trees as street trees. This species is no longer a preferred street tree in Unley and  makes up about 20% of the tree stock. If we are worried about loss of canopy then getting rid of them all at one time would be  disastrous. Nevertheless, Council does recognise that many people don't like them. Under the current Tree Strategy streets that want them removed can ask Council to do so if all residents agree to the change and are prepared to live through the replacement phase. As far as I am aware no street has managed to meet this criteria.

A busy Sunday

 Last Sunday I spent the morning lettterboxing the final newsletter for this Council term. I couldn't help but be impressed by the level of activity by every club as well as lots of kids in the playground. There remains a tension between oval use and residents that needs to be addressed. The Goodwood Oval Residents Group has done it's best to alleviate many potential issues.

12 August 2018

Community grant funding

The next round of community grant funding for the City of Unley closes at 5pm on Friday 28 September 2018.

Funding will not be available to successful applicants until early January 2019 due to the council elections therefore projects and/or programs that commence prior to 1 January 2019 are not eligible and will not be funded. 

For further information contact:
Application forms and guidelines can be found on Council’s web site:  https://www.unley.sa.gov.au/community-services/grants-sponsorships#hash-slide-community-grants-89

Tunnel vision or genius?

Only time will tell. 
Image result for South Rd Adelaide tunnelThe South Rd upgrade that is the bit from Darlington to the Gallipoli underpass has waited in the wings while various governments have discuss a way forward. This is one of two remaining links that remain unchanged,. I have heard many scenarios including a significant increase in the number or lanes and the access of Black Forest residents to and from South Rd. It seems that one of the problems has been the cost to purchase land on either side of South Rd. This even bit some back of the envelope calculations would significantly add to the cost of construction. But today the new government is prepared to cost a tunnel, that would require far less, if any acquisition.
Imagine the possibilities for South Rd if it were just a suburban street when all this was completed. It might regenerate the shops, let the Glandore kids get safely to Black Forest PS and give everyone else a break from traffic noise. This could be the win: win residents have been looking for, it might even make South Rd the sort of place that apartment living starts to look acceptable.

11 August 2018

Happenings in Clarence Park

  • This link will take you to a great little YouTube clip on that includes the new Colour Court at Page Park.


  • The sign was recently erected at the corner of Mills and  East Ave.  Staff were happy to get at the right angles without realising the spelling was wrong.

  • The Beehive art work is being installed near the fig tree at Goodwood Oval.

07 August 2018

Unley set to be brighter

Image result for LED street lightsAs the final planning takes place for the replacement of all street lights with LED lights the city is set to get brighter. While lights will generally be replaced one a one for one basis the new lights will give a better illumination. Some of this is due to better technology and the rest due to the gradual fading of the existing lighting overtime. Some streets will also have their lighting upgraded and additional lighting will be installed in dark spots if the light can be attached to existing infrastructure. The cost saving for electricity alone will be over $365,000 each year. The ghastly orange illumination on Unley main roads will become whiter. Unfortunately, the DPTI owned roads will stay the same. may be until DPTI sees the light?

Goodwood Saints kicking goals for the homeless

It was  great to read another good news story about this club. The Goodwood Saints have teamed with the Hutt St Centre to offer placements at the club's canteen for  people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The skills loaned in hospitality and making coffee may well be a starting point for each individual in gaining employment. Well done!

Their application for a new scoreboard, funded through Fund My Neighbourhood, will be shortly consulted as a Category 3 application.

04 August 2018

SALA on Saturday 25th August

The Goodwood Road Business Association is holding a SALA event in August that I am pleased to share below:
Gilbert Street and Goodwood Road
SALA on Saturday will wrap up SALA Month with free kid's arty activities on the footpath, face painting, art and craft, balloon art, community art projects, plus a sausage sizzle.  This event is sponsored through Council’s Economic Development event sponsorship program and is owned and managed by the Goodwood Road Business Association.  Gilbert Street will host “Where Art Meets Food and Wine” as part of this event from 12noon to 4pm
I encourage you to join this fantastic community celebration.

02 August 2018

Would you really save $500?

This is the saving that Minister Knoll estimates that would have been saved on your Council rates if rate capping had been imposed 10 years ago. This sounds good but it assumed a 6% rate rise every year during that time. Unley's rates certainly haven't increased by this amount in a long time. I can find statistics that show that housing prices in Unley (suburb) have increased approx 70% in the last 5 years (725K to 900K) and that rates have incresed 52% in the last 10 years.
The bit that was missed is that even with a capped rate of say 2% your rates could go up more or less than this depending on how much your home increased in value at the same time. If your home increases in value more than the rate increase then your capped rates will still go up by more than 2%!
One last thing, if you actually were paying $500 less what would you want to take out of the budget so that it can still be balanced? I know some would start at the Gourmet Gala (I think it will have run its course next year) but what are you going to cut  to get the other $8,700,000 out of?

31 July 2018


Ever wondered what it might have been like in the trenches in World War I?

For many of us WWI is synonymous with the trenches.  Many Australian soldiers served there. The trenches were the domain of the infantry but also supply lines through which food and medical services were provided.

If you want to get an idea of what it was like, come in and check out our newest exhibit!  We're building an imitation trench so you can see first hand what they were like.

Open from 5th August, free entry.

29 July 2018

Full Council meeting: July 30th 2018

This additional meeting has been scheduled as the LGA wished to get feedback on rate capping from all Councils before the end of this week. The following make be of interest:

  • Strategic Property Committee from July24th: There was some agreemnent about further developing ideas regarding an upgrade of the Civic Centre by the committee. Strategically this may not be the best time to be looking at this.PASSED
  • Parkside Local Area Traffic Management (LATM): The proposes a scope of works including allowing businesses to purchase parking permits in some area. If you are a Parkside resident then a good read of this will be helpful.PASSED
  • Local Government (Rate Oversight) Amendment Bill 2018: Council are likely to rejuect the current legislation in its present form as it is overly cumbersome, creates another layer of government and will continue to allow cost shifting from State Government to Council. It is annoyiing that the government can add 6% onto the NRM Levy but require Council to stick to CPI. PASSED
  • Local Government (Rate Oversight) Amendment Bill 2018(Cr Salaman-Letter to the Minister): This motion asks the Council to write to the Minister and suggest that evidence from Unley is that we are capable of setting our own rate and keeping it at CPI plus growth.PASSED
  • Weller St Bicycle Boulevard (Stay of Works): Cr Salaman wishes that Council make the final decision about the progress of this poroposal. Feedback indicates that almost half of residents that replied were against this proposal. There was some feedback form outside of the zone but Councillors are yet to have access to the replies. PASSED
  • CEO Performance: CONFIDENTIAL

28 July 2018

Full Council meeting : July 23rd, 2018

You might find the following of interest:French lessons at Highgate School

  • Civic Precinct Working Group-Update: A report from this group (selected from application)was presented to Council. Clearly they have had wide ranging discussions about the possible changes that would enhance the area. As I was the instigator of this committee through collaborative discussion with residents it was good to see that the concept was working so well. PASSED
  • Support for the French Bilingual School in Highgate: It seems that the envisaged program is full and that there are  few, if any, places for local students. This report asked that Council write to the Education Minister to ascertain if the program could be offered to more students. PASSED
  • ERA resilient East Progress  Report:m So far there has been good work in the area of tree canopy cover mapping. PASSED
  • Co-working in the City of Unley: This report explored the way that spaces in the City are currently being used. However, it fell short of a cost benefit analysis. If Council rents a property  on a low lease rate and the created working spaces are let to start up businesses I need to know how much it is costing our ratepayers to do this and what the benefit is to the City.
  • Digital Unley Endorsement: Staff have been busy working in  cyber world that hopefully will make their work and your city much smarter sooner rather than later. PASSED
  • Appointment of Members to the Brown Hill Creek and Keswick Creek Stormwater Subsidiary: the nominations are still confidential but once appointed the group can start to get the job done of protecting the City from flooding. 

Goodwood Oval gets a draining

A very water logged Goodwood Oval was drainedof thousands of litres of water last week in collaboration with Council Staff. They  have been given a big thankyou on Goodwood Saints  Facebook page. It's good to have people thank us for the work that we do and yet it happens far  less often that it could.

20 July 2018

Dog Registrations

Seem to be causing some angst among dogowners as they seek to register their dogs. There have been changes to legislation and to process before the introduction of the new laws on July 1st. Major changes include compulsory desexing of all dogs and cats born after July 1st and compulsory microchopping of all dogs and cats. To register or reregister your dog you need to go to Dogs and Cats Online and use the unique code that you were sent in the post and your surname.
Council have been assisting people who have had trouble engaging in the process and from my experience things are never as simple as those who planned them thought they would be especially when engaging on line.

19 July 2018

Wayville bikeway

Image result for bikepath wayville

A resident brought to my attention several months ago the deteriorating condition of the bikeway that connects King William Rd to Goodwood Rd and runs along the tramline. I raised the matter at two ward briefings. The issue here is that the land that the bikeway is on belongs to DPTI and Council has had an ongoing agreement to maintain the path. However, the agreement has long since expired and DPTI have been unwilling to give consent for Council to repair the path or to fund and repair it themselves. Given the landownership debacle around paid parking on a similar piece of land in the same location it is understandable the Council should not do this work unless it is fully funded and agreed to by DPTI.

13 July 2018

Rate Capping

Capping rates would restore the faith that residnts have in local councils according to Minister Knoll. While I am not at today's Town Hall meeting I have had a keem interest in this. While I personally don't think anything will be achieved by rate capping I have said that it is time to work with the state government on this one. The questions that need to be asked are:
  • What are we trying to achieve?
  • Will cost shifting from state to local be reversed?
  • Will state govenment hold its own fee rises to the same amount?
  • Will Councils be able to continue to borrow for large infrastructure projects additionally to the capping?
  • Will this continue to drive prices down by forcing further collaboration between Councils (eg. bulk buying of rubbish collection)?
  • What have we learned from capping interstate?
  • How long is it anticiapted that the cap will last for?


The original paving works

Following an extensive consultation period over the last 3 months, and an overwhelming response from the local community, traders and visitors, the City Of Unley will now commence draft design plans to transform King William Road, including repaving the much-loved mainstreet.

The concept is based on renewing the iconic paved road surface to preserve the Hyde Park precinct’s distinctive village identity, and provide a more flexible streetscape that increases opportunities for greening, places for people, and regular places to cross the street.

The community was given three road-resurfacing options to choose from and Council gained valuable insights from more than 450 conversations about the transformation of King William Road.

10 July 2018

Time to curfew cats?

Marion Council will this week investigate a potential bylaw to ban cats after  being invited to do so by Environment Minister, David Spiers. At this stage there are no details of the time that cats would be compelled to stay at home. Hopefully, this will reduce the carnage of small native birds and animals and reduce the resident complaints. This is a good one to watch as it may be helpful in Unley in the future.

We're a compliant bunch

I remember when the wearing of seatbelts was made compulsory. After endless whinging and moaning when the day came we simply started wearing them. Same for helmets when bike riding. When I lived in America in the late seventies I was amazed that so many people did not comply with similar laws there. Not part of the culture I was told. I note that they still use their cell phones when driving. So is it any surprise that laws to stop people smoking in bars, playgrounds and coffee shops have needed little policing to get compliance? The same cannot be said for people who choose to park all day in limited hour time zones. There are plenty of complaints from Goodwood people about lack of enforcement of the 4 hour zones. Council are currently doing a cost-benefit analysis to see if and extra compliance officer would cover their wage costs.

08 July 2018

A night of chocolate

Learn from a Bracegirdle's chocolatier
Bracegirdle's is Australia's most awarded chocolate maker. Their products are completely hand made, by an exceptional team of talented chocolatiers who can custom design chocolates depending on the occasion.

Journey into the iconic brand's history at this special event and watch
a demonstration as delicious handmade chocolates are made right in
front of you. If you have a sweet tooth this is the event for you!

THURSDAY 12 JULY, 7 - 8.30PM

01 July 2018

Dog Therapy: dogs needed

The City of Unley is looking for volunteers and their well-behaved dogs to visit people one-on-one and in groups in local aged care homes.

Council will provide you and your dog with paid-for dog therapy training and the opportunity for your dog to be recognised with a Canine Good Citizen Award. This training will be provided over four, one-hour sessions on Sunday mornings in July and August, by local expert dog trainer Sharon Crichton of Positive Dog Training.
The volunteering role requires you to visit the resident you are matched with at least 10 times before the end of the year. This is a flexible position and can be undertaken at a time convenient to the resident and you.                 

Once your dog is recognised as a Canine Good Citizen, they will really be a community resource, able to visit people in hospital, community facilities and others in need of some animal love.

Applications to the program can be made online by filling out the dog questionnaire found at our Volunteer Opportunities page by COB Friday 15 June. If you and your dog are selected to be part of the program, in addition to the dog training, a police screening, council induction and site induction are also required before you commence visiting independently.

For more information, contact Council’s Active Ageing Project Officer, Alyssa Hill on 8372 5111 or email ahill@unley.sa.gov.au

When you think the amenity is not what it used to be

Following complaints from residents about speeds on Addison Rd, staff Have provided the following traffic counts. The data shows that the amount of traffic is relatively low and decreasing while the speed that the cars travel is lower than  trending downwards.

The recent traffic and speed collection data was undertaken the week of the 18th of June on Addison Road, Black Forest between Gordon Road and Coulter Avenue is as follow

                     Average Speed – 37km/hr
                     85th Percentile – 44.2km/hr
                     Total Vehicles per Day – 628

The data collected in 2015 on Addison Road, Black Forest was as follows:

                     Average Speed – 38.5km/hr
                     85th Percentile – 46.8km/hr
                     Total Vehicles per Day – 720

As a comparison, the data collected in 2012 on Addison Road, Black Forest was as follows:

                     Average Speed – 43.2km/hr
                     85th Percentile – 51.5km/hr
                     Total Vehicles per Day – 668

Unley:An age friendly city

Folow the link below to read a great article about the City of Unley. The strategies descibed are making a difference to the quality of life for our residents. The most poignant points are;
  • Additional cost is minimal
  • What we do for aging people will assist many other groups including the disabled, children and parents using a stroller. In fact it will be safer for everyone.

28 June 2018

Umbrella in Unley

Have you enrolled to vote?

Most of you are already on the voters roll for the council elections later this year. This is because you are Australian citizens and enrolled to vote for  state and fedreral elections.
However, Council elections have a wider group of people who are eligible to vote. These include landlords of both residential and business properties and any person leasing a property from these people. This won't get you two votes for any Mayoral election or any ward that you are in but it may give you a vote in more than one ward. This includes those who are not citizens who own or are renting  property. It is time to register to be on the Supplementary Roll. You have until early August. 4 years ago Clarence Park had just 25 people register to be on this roll when hundreds of people would have been eligible. If you don't intend to vote then don't boither to enrol but why wouldn't you want to vote? For mor information clik here

Full Council meeting: June 25th 2018

You may find the following of interest;

  • Living Young Action Plan: This valuable plans works through what Council will continue to do when developing programs for people aged 5 to 25 years. There was some discussion about the end age with at least one Councillor thinking that 25 was too old. My concerns are that the plan did not have a program to help support teenagers in overcoming addictions, especially to online gaming. CARRIED
  • 2018-19 Business Plan: Most of what is in this I have already blogged about. While we asked for the Community to get involved in the Budget Consultation process not one suggestion for funding was accepted by Council. While some ideas will be funded at key budget review time others will go unfunded. Some rate payers are wondering why the bothered! CARRIED
  • Discretionary Rate Rebate Applications; Some organisations believe that they should get a rate cut due to the benefit they offer the community. In this round it was Tabor College (75%),Uniting Church (50%), Kirinari School (25%) and the Chinese Assoc (25%). CARRIED
  • CEO Key Performance Indicators 2018-19 and Assessment of 2017-18 Performance: This is a public document and I urge you to read just exactly what we expect from the CEO and how we think he is performing in his role. CARRIED
  • Millswood Area-On Street parking Review: Following consultation about all day parking by commuters in the Millswood area Council decided to introduce 3 hour parking zones in the are bounded by Aroha Tc, Newman St, Northgate St, Chelmsford Ave, Argyle Ave, Fairfax Ave, Graham Ave, Meredyth Ave and East Ave. This area is a little larger than the area proposed by staff but in line with resent communication with Don and I.
  • Unley Central Precinct CONFIDENTIAL

27 June 2018

How you can make a difference as an Elected Member

Are you thinking about nominating as a candidate for the local government
Find out all you need to know about life as an Elected Member at Unley at
 this free information session.

Becoming a councillor is one of the most direct ways you can influenc
decisions affecting your local community. The role is flexible,
challenging, exciting and rewarding.

Come along to this free information session and find out all you
 need to know about life as an Elected Member at Unley.

Tuesday 10 July 2018
6.30 – 7.30pm
Council Chambers, Oxford Terrace, Unley

No booking required. Light refreshments provided.
Enquiries please phone 8372 5111.

How you can make a difference as an Elected Member

The best way to ensure a broad range of views are considered is for
people of different ages, genders, cultures and backgrounds to step
up and make themselves heard on council.

As long as you are an Australian citizen and have lived in your council
 area for more than one month, you are eligible to nominate to become
 an Elected Member. Local business representatives and people who
own property in a council area are also eligible.

Here are 10 great reasons you may want to consider nominating for
  1. You care about what’s happening in your local community
  2. It’s a great way to develop your knowledge
  3. You want to contribute to your community
  4. You want to provide a voice for your age group/cultural group/gender
  5. You’re sick of watching from the sidelines
  6. You’ve got great ideas to contribute
  7. It’s a nice addition to your CV
  8. You’ll meet interesting people
  9. It’s a way of making a meaningful and lasting contribution
  10. Your chance to make a difference
Visit our Council Elections page for information on the nomination process.

23 June 2018

Clarence Park Ward Briefing Update

I could name the locations, but will show restraint.

Every second month the staff brief us on the happenings in our ward and we get to add things to the list that we would like to see discussed. Works well except that the one two months ago was cancelled rather than being postponed.
The following might be of interest;
  • The poor state of the pavers on the bike path from KWR to Goodwood has been examined by staff and they agreed it is need of repair. Unfortunately the path is on DPTI land and we can let them know it needs fixing. Don't hold your breath.
  • Staff agree to two additional 'flexible guide posts" in the road way (as well as those on the raised area). Hopefully, this will keep turning cars out of the bike lane.
  • Millswood bowls will be asked to forewarn residents when they intend to have fireworks or a nosier than usual event. Lack of doing this has caused some concern for residents nearby.
  • Staff  are presently preparing a business case for the CEO and Council for the employment of an additional parking inspector. This should enable better patrolling near Goodwood Oval during games and training, and illegal parking near Clarence Park Station.
  • A yellow line will be painted  to prevent parking of the first 50 metre of Dryden Rd at the intersection with South Rd. This decision follows observation by staff of a safety issue with cars parked on both sides of the road.
  • Some traffic hazards still exist near Black Forest Primary School on the Forest Ave intersection with Oban Ave. Minor works would see this intersection safer. However, the school has failed to apply for additional funding. Consultation with residents should occur soon.
  • Survey results for the Chelmsford Ave/ Victoria St parking issues will bring a recommendation to Council this month for 3 hour parking restrictions in part of Victoria St, Chelmsford Ave, Allenby Ave, Curzon Ave and Fairfax Ave. I believe that Meredyth Ave should be included in this as displaced cars are sure to look further afield to  still be able to commute and catch the tram