06 July 2020
Late in June the What We Heard Report was finally released. A link to it can be found here. To summarise they received 1790 applications of which 1414 were from the general public. It would seem that Black Forest and Clarence Park( west) residents have been heard it that the report acknowledges that the Technical Numeric Variations were not seen to have been applied fairly and that the conversion of many suburbs to General Neighbourhood zones instead of Suburban Neighbourhood zones was not well received in Council areas such as Unley. Also mentioned were an overwhelming desire to retain 1700 mm sill heights and for the increased tree canopy measures. The implementation of changes (hopefully consistent with consultation) will now not be implemented until December, at the earliest. For now we can do little more than wait and hope that common sense will prevail.
28 June 2020
You might find the following of interest:
- Weller St Bicycle route, proposed slow points: In 2018 Council approved the slow points after extensive consultation with the community. However, the improvements were delayed until the completion of the King William Road upgrade. Following a deputation from a resident (against the development) and a resident (for the development) Council unanimously decided to continue with the works. The finished treatments will look like the one's in Wood Street.
- Unley Civic Precinct_Edmund Ave cottages development- Concept design: The Council voted to proceed to detailed design.
- Beehives and native bee hotels: Unfortunately, Council have delayed a decision on this as some councillors did not think that the chosen location of the bee hive, the Unley Community Centre, was appropriate and need further investigation. The hotels will be installed at Soutar Park.
- Initiation of a representation review: This must be done every eight years and is due to be undertaken this year. New legislation before the parliament is likely to call for a maximum of 12 elected members on any one council. Unley currently has 13. There are plenty of alternate options, the easiest would be to elected councilors from the existing ward structure and for them to choose the mayor. We can change the ward structure to have 5 wards with 2 councillors from each ward or even erase the ward structure altogether and elect councillors and the mayor at large. Slightly more innovative would see 3 wards and each ward elect 3 councilors.
Don and I will be meeting with Jayne Stinson, Member for Badcoe within the next couple of weeks to get her support to lobby for safety improvements at the pedestrian crossings. Before the electrification of the train line there was a locked gate at the crossing when a train was near the station. This was removed at that time leaving people, especially children, vulnerable as they cross the line. Hopefully, we can get this back on the state government agenda?
25 June 2020
Last Monday after extensive debate Council agreed to waive rates for twelve months for the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society. This will cause a significant shortfall in rate revenue at they are our largest single ratepayer.. They have contributed millions of dollars to Council revenue over the last few years. Unfortunately due to COVID 19 and the cancelling of the 2020 show and most other events their income has been reduced significantly. I have real concerns that this may impact on the proposed 2020-21 budget or see the cancelling of some Council events or services. I also wonder what Council will do next if this sets a precedent for others to ask for such large discount. As I have previously blogged I supported a 25% rebate for this years rate for all affected businesses but believe this generosity is not in the interest of all ratepayers.
With the demise of The Eastern Courier earlier this year (you can still get an online copy) there is now no real comment on the work of Council that, in my opinion, gave it much of its strength and readability. I looked forward to the reporting of the nuances of debates and discussion that I had been part of and reading about other Councils as well.
The Advertiser has clearly increased its local content but not always in a positive light. Just this evening I received a survey from The Herald (a local newspaper in the Mt Barker area) asking if there was interest in a similar paper in Unley and Mitcham. My answer will be yes please!
09 June 2020
Council are issuing the Winter edition of Unley Life magazine predominantly as a digital publication, which will have a number of benefits for our community and the environment.
The magazine is far more ‘active’. In this issue there are 55 ‘live links’ that take the reader instantly to our programs, key documents and important contacts in one click. There is also a video available, and I urge you to read about Echo’s artistic creator, then watch a short one-minute film of it in Heywood Park, it’s stunning. The digital version of Winter 2020 has two extra pages in it, with added warming recipes for the cold months ahead too!
To support the transition to a digital publication they’ve also set up an easy subscription process so you can register to have Unley Life delivered directly into your inbox and can nominate as many email addresses as you want to have it delivered to.
Print numbers will be cut by about 90%, but Council are still printing over 1,000 copies. To ensure Council looks after our older residents, we are delivering Unley Life to 20 aged care centres or retirement living locations across Unley, and we will also have printed copies available for the public in our Civic Centre, Libraries and Community Centres.
While the decision represents a significant saving in print and delivery costs to council, the other added benefit is to the environment, with less old copies going into hard waste or recycling.
Please enjoy the first fully-digital Unley Life magazine, which is via this link https://www.unley.sa.gov.au/Page/Unley-Life-Magazine
07 June 2020
The Daily Moves Project (funded through AusSports) was very quick to respond during March 2020 by moving their presence to an online one, promoting many topics of interest to older people via webinars, YouTube videos and recorded presentations. This has attracted more than 2,000 views/120 hours view time over the period.
The team has also been very busy distributing exercise packs to older people who requested additional information, support and personal exercise equipment. Over 200 exercise packs have been delivered, which has included an assortment of reading materials, including fact sheets, all abilities exercise program book and they have even created their own recipe book, which includes some great immune-boosting recipes based on participants feedback. The packs have also included a range of various small pieces of exercise equipment, with each pack individualised based on participants needs, while ensuring safety for the participant when they exercise. The equipment supplied has ranged from small dumbbells, resistance bands of various strengths, massage balls and ankle weights etc. all the equipment provided has come with comprehensive instructions on how to use each piece. The promotional campaign embarked on over this period has seen over 250 new participants join the program which has been a very pleasing and unexpected response.
You can watch the Daily Moves YouTube Channel here and you can access their weekly e-newsletters here
The Wellbeing Program has recently sent out to over 500 of our most vulnerable older residents, a client care package in a reusable calico shopping bag, with contents including a biodegradable pot, seedlings to plant in the garden, a puzzle book and pen, individual serves of tea, coffee, sweet biscuits, cup of soup, honey, porridge, tissues and hand sanitiser, (all provided through donations or grant funding). Along with the Daily Moves recipe book and other useful handouts and information.
Fullarton Park, Clarence Park and Unley community centres will reopen on Tuesday 9 June. This is great news for our community, noting there are restrictions in place that will limit total numbers at each Centre and require Council to take precautionary measures such as maintain attendance records, implement additional hiring terms and conditions related to the COVID Safe Plans, additional cleans and not taking after hours bookings for a while.
In relation to libraries, they continue to be open, with restricted hours of Monday – Friday 10 – 4 pm, currently limited to pick up and drop off of collection borrowings and online programs. Council are working towards transitioning to our regular hours, with extended service options of PC bookings, photocopy use, Toy Library returns and browsing.
02 June 2020
Please use the link above to give your opinion on the upgrade between Musgrave St and King William Rd. While this is long overdue it seems that it may be poorly planned as 11 trees that are significant or regulated have been identified for removal. please have your say and tell DPTI this is wrong and unnecessary!
Cr Michael Hudson tendered his resignation from Council yesterday. After 35 years on Council he has been an institution on Council. His unique contribution will be missed by all members and well remembered by colleagues from Council's past. His seat will need to be filled in a by-election at a date to be determined.
30 May 2020
The paper reviewed 581 applications asking for tree removal in 2018/19. Of these only 31 were refused the other 550 were approved. Legislation states that trees are regulated if their girth is 2 metres and significant if it is 3 metres or more. Anyone wishing to remove or prune such a tree must apply for removal. One third of the applications were for significant trees. Unley had the second highest refusal rate with 5 refusals but still allowed nearly 80% of applications to be successful. Many of these do not come to the Council Assessment Panel for approval.
Recommendations for change include:
Recommendations for change include:
- Changing planning laws to encourage retention
- Redefining what the terms mean and at what point they kick in. As an example significance used to be reached at 2.5 m
- Requiring replacement of trees removed on the same site
- Ensuring all new developments have at least one tree planted before handover. And that this tree be maintained
- Incentives to retain trees
- Valuing trees at their real value and insisting that this value is paid to Council when approval is given.
- Unley has just completed its new Tree Strategy, it worth a read. https://www.unley.sa.gov.au/files/assets/public/council/about-the-council/city-of-unley-tree-strategy-2020.pdf
This week East Waste have called for wine bottles to be included on the container deposit refund scheme. The LGA has held this view for some time as well and its not that long since Council supported such an initiative. Households dispose of, on average, 21 kgs of glass each year most of which finds its way into the recycle bins. However, the bottles are prone to breakage either in the bin or when being processed by the pick up truck and the shattered glass contaminates the remainder of the waste. Community consultation is likely to happen later in the year.