14 June 2019

Gagging Council

I have followed with great surprise and little amusement the saga that seems to be causing issues at Adelaide City Council. The most recent of which is the passing of a motion that will see councillors disallowed from talking directly to the press regarding any ideas that they have for change in Council. Under the new rules they are forbidden (the majority have agreed to forbid) from speaking to the press until the proposed motion is in the publicly available agenda. This looks like a gag order. I hope that Unley councillors feel free to speak their minds to the press while ensuring that they make it clear that the ideas are their own and have not been endorsed by council at anytime they see fit.

12 June 2019

Models for ageing well


Valuer General tries to get values correct

Over the last few months the Valuer General has been busy checking the valuations of every house in Walkerville and Unley. They have been looking for what they describe as the outliers; that is those properties that are valued at much more or much less than their neighbours. In recent years valuations may have been lower than what you would expect to sell your house for;  this will no longer be the case, they will be valued (for Council rating purposes as well as water rates and the Emergency Services Level) as close as possible to market value. Despite this Council is committed to ensuring that the overall rates collected will be 2.1% more that last year. Nevertheless for some residents this may result in a significant change in the amount of rates you may be expected to pay, it may also result in lower rates. Council will write to all property owners whose valuations will rise  by more than 20%. If you are concerned that the new valuation is higher than you believe you can sell your house for, as always, you should write to the Valuer General and outline your case for a lower valuation. If successful your Council rates will be adjusted accordingly.

11 June 2019

Where are Unley's defibrillators?


The image below shows those that are in Council property of were provided with Council funds.



Paying the Price

Image result for rate capping sa


What a misleading heading on the front page of today's paper. It's good to know that rate rises would have been limited (if the state government had been able to introduce rate capping) to 2.9%. Unley's consulted and probable rate rise is only 2.1%. So you would have paid more with rate capping that you will without it! Nevertheless the writer names a few Councils who have  raided their rates by 3% or more  and these are accused of massive rate hikes. So what is the average rate rise across the city and for south Australia? While this data might have given you the actual rate increase it was nowhere to be found. Once again it shows that Councils can be responsible and don't need someone else to tell them how to be responsible.

10 June 2019

GORG holds its last meeting

Image result for goodwood ovalThe Goodwood Oval Reference Group held its first meeting in 2013 being formed after the Council, due to legislative change, was no longer able to provide the support that it had to the Goodwood Oval Advisory Group. The group had met 4 times each year since its first meeting in 1996. The original group was formed  after the consultation regarding parking issues at that time. Council also supported an Unley Oval Advisory Group and a Fullarton Park Advisory Group at that time. Both of these were disbanded quite a few years ago. The purpose of the group was for resident representatives to meet with nominees from each of the four user groups (tennis, hockey, cricket and football) to share information and concerns. I have enjoyed my role as an elected member on this committee. At the meeting last week the group decided that it was no longer serving the intended purpose and held its final meeting. This group was finding it hard to get a united front from resident volunteers and  that new communication via social media  by the clubs directly to residents was now more easily attained. The new clubrooms, as they progress, may engender the need for a new group with a different purpose.

09 June 2019




Image result for page park tennis courtsYou will notice this week the:

  • Installation of the small storage facility under the stairs at the Hockey clubrooms at Unley Oval
  • The erection of a small fence at Page Park that will keep dogs off the tennis courts. The gates will allow people to open and close as required and not be locked.

City Strategy and Policy Committee meeting: June 11th 2019

The new council made a decision that all members of council would be on the committee and that  Cr Dodd would be chair. The three agenda items are around  a privately funded Development Plan amendment for that land owned by Life Care on Norman Tce, Everard Park. While Development Plan amendments have historically been conducted by Council this does not have to be the case. Just a few years ago The Showgrounds did the same. The details of the proposal are in the Agenda although they seem not to have been uploaded to the Council website.

04 June 2019

Should Mayors have more power?

Mayors already have a responsibility to keep a meeting in order. Recent Adelaide City Councillors seem, from the reports, to have been behaving badly in recent weeks when debating on the floor and at workshops. The responsibility to keep all members safe relies in their respect for each other and the role they have been elected to and the effectiveness of the chair. The Eastern Courier recently described me a veteran Councillor, this means I've been on Council during many Mayors: Keenan, Thorne,  Clyne and now Hewitson. Some were better at this function that others. From time to time Richard Thorne's chairmanship left something to be desired, mostly because he wanted to debate every item himself. Clyne's chairmanship improved over time, Keenan ran a tight ship and our present Mayor is on a steep  learning curve. In my opinion Mayors already have the power, they need to use it effectively. They must also be skilled and competent to chair a meeting faultlessly.

02 June 2019

Probe into recycling

Image result for yellow bin recycling


Following the refusal from China to no longer process Australian rubbish an Environment, Resourced and Development committee  will investigate to extent of the situation. The committee will investigate if more money should be made available to councils from the Green Industries Fund. This fund now contains$120 mill. This money was raised from Councils sending rubbish to landfill (the blue bin). Contamination in the yellow bin remains a serious issue as people thoughtlessly put recyclable materials into it. Hopefully, the release of funds will open up better opportunities for Council?