31 December 2019
I read in yesterday's paper of the outcome from the court case between Unley Council and persons who had removed part of two trees in Commercial Rood, Hyde Park. Council was sure legislation would not allow the removal of a neighbours tree without their consent and without Council approval. Nevertheless, The ERD Court found last week that they could. At any time the removal of up to 30% of a tree canopy is legal if the tree has dead wood, unsafe branches, etc that need to be removed. You can see in the photograph that the trees were cut off at 6 metres above the ground! I find it difficult to conceive that this is not more than 30% of the crown. And yet the judge found that he could not make a Beyond Reasonable Doubt decision that this was the case. This legal decision has cost Council considerable money in the hope of protecting trees in the council area but has now left all trees at risk.
27 December 2019
Not long ago I was at the playground in Forestville Reserve (near the pool) to fill in some time between our train and tram trip on the way to Glenelg. Also at the playground were other grandparents with a child and a young Mum with her young daughter. It wasn't long before the boy had his grandparents sitting under the structure in his train, the boy was driving and they were enjoying the ride. My granddaughter wanted to join in and decided to get on the train and really enjoyed the ride as well. Soon enough she asked if it would be OK if she drove the train for a bit and the boy became the conductor. They had a ball tooting imaginary horns and hanging out of windows. The other little girl joined in in due course. When it was time to leave the children seemed to be firm friends and walked back to the Forestville tram stop holding the grandmothers hands and waved us goodbye. The moment was magical and no doubt happens everyday in every playground.
23 December 2019
19 December 2019
Schiavello Construction SA has been awarded the contract to construct this much needed building. While preliminary works are underway it will only be after 17th January that fencing will be constructed around the building. Demolition will begin soon after this date. The oval will be available for resident and club use during construction. I must thank, once again, Jayne Stinson, Member for Badcoe, for the $2.5 million contribution that she was able to provide during her election campaign. It has been most appreciated by the Community.
18 December 2019
I spoke at length yesterday with planning staff about the effects of the proposed new planning code will have on Black Forest and Clarence Park (west of East Ave). This area has been included as a General Neighbourhood zone with no heritage overlays that most of the rest of Unley will enjoy. A higher level of protection would be afforded if the zone was considered to be Suburban Residential as a Technical Numeric Variation (site area) would be allowed. The current zoning for the entire area is 350 square metres per block, the new zoning would be reduced to 300 in most areas and even allow for row housing with 200 allowable. The other concern, and this is across the city, is that new development will be able to be approved by private certifiers. Despite continued promises that these people could only approve if the development proposal met the Code in every way, we are now told that near enough will be considered good enough and that approvals can be given if they are not considered to be seriously at variance. Given that recent approvals have indicated that 285 is close enough to 350 I wonder what will be close enough to 300?
12 December 2019
This survey has been designed by SGS Economics and Planning on behalf of Public Libraries SA (PLSA), and is being facilitated by six representative libraries across the state. It will produce a quantitative data set describing the costs, benefits and net benefits (or community welfare gains) generated by SA public libraries, and the economic value added and employment generated by public library services in their local economies. This study aligns with work undertaken in NSW and Victoria and will help to benchmark the performance of SA libraries. It is intended that this information will support PLSA in their upcoming negotiations with the State Government for libraries funding.
I would sincerely appreciate promotion of and your own input to the survey, which you can access on a PC in both Unley and Goodwood libraries, in hard copy, or via the following link: https://737.sawtoothsoftware.com/cgi-bin/ciwweb.pl?studyname=737&Fromlink=5&UID=L5
07 December 2019
At the regular council briefing last Monday staff outlined their interpretation of the new planning system in the way that it affects Unley. While most of Unley is likely to be covered by a character overlay that will protect, to some extent, the Heritage Conservation Zones and Landscape Zones it is wanting in any protection from infill development east of Fullaton Rd and west of East Ave. This means that some of Clarence Park and all of Black Forest are again in the firing line for development. My co-councillor and I have asked to meet with staff on this matter as soon as practicable to discuss Council's intended response for the area in Clarence Park Ward. We will then target letterbox drops if necessary to garner community support.
29 November 2019
When is a workshop against the law? It is against the law for Councillors to meet outside of formal council meetings to make decisions on behalf of Council. However, a briefing where information is shared between staff and councillors where no decisions are made is OK. As a Council we meet nearly every Monday evening and yet only one of these gatherings is a meeting: the others are briefings. While the sharing of information is valuable I often wonder where the line in the sand is and if the quality of the debate at meetings has diminished since briefings were first introduced. It seems to me that it has and yet a feel I am better able to make an informed decision.
26 November 2019
This meeting was very operational: even though the agenda was long the number of items to be debated was fewer than usual. These items included:
- General Purpose Financial Statements: These statements have already been to the auditors and the Audit Committee. They found no fault with Council accounting practices or financial position
- Adoption of the Annual Report: This makes for interesting reading and gives a good snap shot of Council for 2018-19
- Community Grants Program_Allocation of Funding: Funding of nearly $38,000 was allocated. Those of interest might be The Unley Gardeners Plant Rescue $2,315, UBUG $3,750 to further develop walking and cycling tours, Millswood Bowling Club $2,010 for equipment, Goodwood Cricket Club $1,375 for pitch covers, Goodwood Saints Football $1375 for a coaching development program, Forestville Hockey Club $2,400 for new hockey nets and to CATS $1500 for a sterilisation program.
- Community Activation; Cr Russo has asked Council to consider activating the Village Gereen when the AFLW match is played at Unley Oval
- Climate Change: The question from Cr Hughes is answered in a thorough manner. Take the time to read this if you want to know just how concerned the council is and what they are doing about it.
The building of this facility is now almost ready to begin. Council is finalising the tender applications. Once a builder has been selected work will be able to commence almost immediately: by the end of December. It is my understanding that the football and cricket clubs have removed their property from within the building and that new temporary change rooms are being set up near the hockey area. We need to thank the former state government and Jayne Stinson for their generous grant of $2.5 million to get this project started.
24 November 2019
Councillors salaries, after a lengthy review process, were set by a tribunal several years ago. That same tribunal decides each year what the appropriate increase should be for remuneration for Councillors. This is the type of review process that The Advertiser said, just last week, would keep CEO salaries in check. And yet the complaint in this week's story was about the rise being above inflation and too much money for too little work. The amount equates to about $10 hour for the work done and much of this is eaten up with expenses. I have no reason to believe that if CEO salaries are administered by a tribunal that they'll also increase beyond community expectations. We need only to look sat the same process as it has been applied to politicians pay.
21 November 2019
8 year old Francis is passionate about climate change! Yes… you saw correctly… 8 years old!
Please join him this Sunday in his mission to bring awareness to the community about this very important issue.
Come along to this special screening of 2040.
A film directed by filmmaker Damon Gameau in search of new approaches and solutions to global warming.
Let’s support our Re-Generation!
Are you a regular user of Goodwood Oval? We would like to know your thoughts on the topic of dog owners’ picking up after their pet/s on this oval and its surrounding grounds. Council staff will be at Goodwood Oval on Monday 25 November between 7.30am and 9am, and Tuesday 26 November between 4.30pm and 6pm – come along and complete a survey to receive a free dog leash bag (limited stocks).
17 November 2019
After much discussion in that last Council term the matter of cats being required to be registered and kept within the bounds of a property is once again on the agenda. This time through legislation. Its taken a long time but cats might soon be equal to dogs.