15 October 2018

Freight train diversion

Image result for globelink saThis matter raised awareness again during the state election campaign with the elected government promising to fund a study called Globelink that would see both road and rail freight diverted from Murray Bridge to north of Adelaide. The following link has a more detailed story. The project would also include moving freight by air. https://www.saglobelink.com.au/freight_corridor 
The diversion of freight would make the amenity of those living near the line better and allow for a regular passenger train service to Mt Barker.

14 October 2018

Corflutes; do we really need them?

Friday was the first day that corflutes were allowed to be put up in this election campaign. There seems to be a plethora of them advertising for one Mayoral candidate and a few for hopeful ward councillors. While the corflutes do nothing to enhance the character of the city, I wonder if they result in increased votes for the candidates concerned. And what a waste of plastic as they are single use. Unlike state corflutes where they can use younger images (and can recycle),  in local government the photo should be less that 12 months old. I looked carefully at them all and it reinforced my view that they are unnecessary in any campaign. They are worse in state and federal elections even when they might as well be blue, red or green as people generally vote for the party and not the candidate.

13 October 2018

Dads, Lads & Daughters

Dads, Lads & Daughters
Playtime is an excellent way to help your child's development, and research shows that Dads appear to be the key factor in their child's physical activity levels. This program involves a series of games to develop fundamental movement skills (running, jumping, throwing, catching, kicking and striking).

So come along, have some fun, and spend some quality Dad/Lad/Daughter time together. You can attend one, several or all of the sessions. For ages 5 - 9 years.

For more information, please contact deb.agnew@flinders.edu.au.

This program is funded by an Unley City Council Community Grant and run by Flinders University.

FRIDAY 2 NOVEMBER, 5.30 - 6.30PM
Free, bookings essential, book via Facebook or book online

12 October 2018

Double Shot is back on Sunday 4th Nov

The Double Shot Coffee Fiesta will once again be hosted by the City of Unley and presenting partner Milk Lab – suppliers of quality milk and non-dairy products to cafes throughout Australia.

What: Double Shot Coffee Fiesta
When: Sunday, November 4, 10am to 4pm
Where: Soldiers Memorial Gardens, Unley Road, Unley SA

For more information, please visit the event’s Facebook page (facebook.com/doubleshotcoffeefiesta) or the City of Unley website unley.sa.gov.au.

11 October 2018

Glyphosate : time to try new options

Image result for glyphosate

A resident has asked me to put a motion to Council early in the new year if I am re-elected. Her complaint was about the heavy use of glyphosate to kill weeds on council land. This chemical has received some bad press this week and rightly so. It is already banned for use in the USA and may European countries. My undertaking is  that I will ask that Council staff investigate the use of this chemical and report back on alternative methods of killing weeds. I understand that Adelaide Hills Council is currently trialling a program that use steam.

Confidence in recycling slips!

A new report has found that people are increasingly losing confidence in recycling. New research  has uncovered systemic flaws in recycling services across Australia.

Most people, across all states and demographics, believe the recyclables they put out in their council bins are ending up in landfill.

While this is not entirely true there are rising stockpiles and some is ended up in landfill. 

We need to wait 7 years ( until 2025) for a new National Waste Policy that will ensure that all packaging is re-usable, compostable or recyclable. However, green micro factory technology is already available and could be used to convert common waste into re-useable, high value materials

What I do know is that waiting for China to find a solution to our waste is not a long term solution.
 For the full report click here.

10 October 2018

Let the neighbours have a say!

This was not what people wanted on Unley Rd

Following a few articles in this week's paper. My thoughts are as follows

  • Let the state government set the bigger picture for where they want development (because they will anyway) then
  • Let Councils decide individually how that will achieve the desired outcome
  • Let Councils work with their residents to come up with sensible heights, sensible block sizes, reasonable access to sunlight (currently in Unley that's 2 hours of direct sunshine per day on your northern windows in June) and setbacks.
  • When a development application is lodged and it breaks any of the agreed rules then the proposal should run the gamut of the opinion of neighbours (usually the 8 nearest neighbours). The Council Assessment Panel (that now has 5 members, of whom only one is a Councillor) will then listen to what the neighbours have to say and make a decision based on the agreed planning rules
  • Problems will continue to arise as people wish to build on boundaries, build a second storey addition and/or install solar panels and it is these that the CAP makes decisions about
People banded together can be very powerful.  Without such people power heritage as we now know it would have been depleted in the 1980's. Character zones in Black Forest would now be receiving applications for 3 storey town houses (as is happening along Fullarton Rd).

07 October 2018

My response to FOCUS

I have been asked to write 100 words about my views on Unley. However, I will keep this to heritage and connservation matters:

I was instrumental in getting the successful submission for listing (Local Government register) of hundreds of houses in 2010
  • I worked with and supported the classification of neighbourhoods as Heritage Conservation Areas and Character zones
  • I have continued to support the Heritage Conservation scheme that gives grants toward the restoration of heritage listed and heritage zoned houses
  • I have restored 3 dwellings that fall into the above categories
  • I also support the retention of the tree canopy and would support lobbying state government to deliver meaningful ways that it can legislate to achieve an increase to their desired 32%.

Please don't be the 29%!

The left hand column gives the best comparison.

'The people have spoken' according to the Sunday Mail and  have made some observations about local government. These include:

  • 60% saying that they vote in Council elections and yet only 31% voted in 2014 (in Unley it was even lower than this) . So please don't be that 29% that intend to vote but don't. Vote for those people who have dropped a flier in your letter box, have knocked on your door (even if you were not home), have a record of achievement and are community minded.
  • 66% agree that voting in Local Government elections should not be compulsory
  • 66% are in favour of council mergers. Check out the rate in the dollar in other areas as well as the average rate and see if it is cheaper to live in larger Councils. You'll find it's much dearer to live in Playford that Unley.
  • 40% think we should get rid of it all together and another 20% would rather get rid of state government
  • 75% are in support of rate capping. I'm in support of minimising rate increases but not with an additional layer of bureaucracy that the current state government proposes that will add to costs for no additional benefit.

05 October 2018


If you're a tea enthusiast get Tea Inspired
In November we will be launching an exhibition about all things tea!  There will be tea related activities, tea inspired artwork by Tristan Louth-Robins and Ray Harris, a special Unley Museum tea blend to taste and much more.   
Join us for the launch. Local expert Stu Hay will be hosting an introduction to tea tasting and we'll throw a tea party to celebrate!
Sunday, 25th November, 3-5pm
Unley Museum
80 Edmund Avenue, Unley

04 October 2018

Dying trees in Aroha Tce

This might help?
Many of you will have noticed that the iron bark trees on Aroha Tce, near the corner of East Ave, appear to be dying. It is evident that they have most likely been poisoned. Staff have been assessing the trees and the loss of amenity to the area if they do not survive. At this point it is likely to be a police matter and staff are monitoring the health of the trees.

02 October 2018

My promise to you: 2018

  • Improved traffic  management in Clarence Park and all areas East of East Ave: following the results of the recently completed survey of residents Councillors will be able to look at the recommendations and decide on an implementation order. After door knocking all of this area I've got a much better idea of what people want.
  • Advocating with Department of Planning and Infrastructure as the South Rd upgrade comes closer; the manner in which this upgrade takes place is a matter for concern for most residents. I hope that their will be an advocacy role for your elected members in tweaking the plan and ensuring, as best we can, the traffic diversion into local streets is minimised
  • Good governance practises: equity, communication, effectiveness, accountability,efficiency, transparency, responsiveness and the rule of law need to drive council to deliver concensus driven, free from corruption in a democratic manner.
  • Completion of the facilities at Goodwood Oval, including the club rooms and a score board: there remains some concern regarding the building of this facility especially from residents that live closest. This is still being worked on by architects who need to produce a plan that is within budget. Once completed, the plan will go to Council, then residents for comment, then the Council Assessment Panel. Liquor licensing and hours of use will be dealt with later when lease agrees and drawn up with the clubs.
  • Consultation with all interested parties regarding the future use of the hockey field: This will be consulted with residents well before the hockey moves to its new facilities. Ideas will be sort from residents and clubs.
  • The building of new club rooms for Millswood Croquet; this needs to be kept simmering so the the good work already done can be developed into a functional plan that is deliverable. Clubs, such as this one fit well into Council's Active Aging Policy and need to be ready to attract external funding if and when it becomes available.
  •  Landscaping upgrades in streets including identifying more places for street trees: this is self evident and yet there are hundreds of spots where additional plantings could occur.
  • Identifying sites where trees that have the potential to become significant  can be planted: on my walk this morning I noted how healthy the 3 trees, that have the potential to become significant, are that were planted on the walkway, Cranbrook to Victoria. It shows what can be done. There are many other sites that could grow such trees and have better landscaping. I note that the landscaping along the Cromer Pde is in need of more suitable plantings in may places.
  • Continuing to protect Black Forest and Clarence Park from smaller block sizes and higher building intensity: The state governments Better Development planning, many of the details that are currently unknown or being developed may pose a future threat to block sizes and allow greater infill development.
  • Continuing support of the graffiti removal program: I noted how well volunteers are keeping up with the painting out of graffiti. However, areas inside the train corridor must be done by government workers, hence are much slower in their response times. The area next to the freight trains must be done by ARTC and have been painted out a few times in the last 20 years or so. I will meet with Nicole Flint, member for Badcoe, soon to get an undertaking for this work to be done.
  • Implementing LED lighting upgrades in all streets; This is fully funded in the current budget and will result in brighter street. Council will also identify ares that  need additional lighting
  •  Identifying more sites suitable for murals:  have had a great discussion regarding the Sugar and Spice wall but there are many others that would add to the vibrancy  of Clarence Park
  • Improving consultation processes: Closing the loop when complaints are made is imperative but still too often does not occur. This still needs to be 
  • Activation activities for everyone; young and old need to get out more and do stuff. it is heartening to see the use of the fitness equipment at Page Park and the parks for children's play, exercise  and dog walking. We still need to address the fact that the start time  start for off-leash walking needs to start earlier in the winter.