29 November 2020

Living Well, draft ready for consultation



The community consultation on the draft Living Well Plan.

 The survey can be accessed via the link below and I encourage you to share this with your networks.



 Council are seeking feedback via this survey and I can also receive via email mmudge@unley.sa.gov.au or phone 8372 5120 until 18 December 2020.


19 November 2020

South Road upgrade; Black Forest may not get what it wants.


It was good news to hear that the state government had finally made a decision to upgrade the final sections of South Road. The bad news is that the inclusion of a tunnel for part of the distance dos not include Black Forest and Everard Park. This relatively short stretch is most likely to be a lowered roadway.  The access and egress to the roadway seems to be completely unavailable. So what does this mean for these suburbs?

  • The tram bridge will still be able to be used by bikes and pedestrians
  • The lowered roadway will provide some noise mitigation


  • Students from Glandore could be isolated from  Black Forest Primary School
  • There is unlikely to be access to and from South Rd at Cowper,  Dryden, Addison and Forrest Ave thus pushing even local traffic into East and Leah St
  • There may be property acquisitions
  • There will be enormous disruption during completion.

15 November 2020

Tree cover may not be as bad as thought

 Please take a look at the  highlights of the latest national benchmark study undertaken by Greener Spaces, Better Places – the authors of the original ‘Where have the trees gone?‘ study in 2013 on tree canopy change across Australia.

The Report launched last night reveals Unley have turned a corner and had a 3% increase in green cover (it includes shrubs and trees). Their results are calculated from an i-tree study which uses 1000 sample points per Council area, providing a direct comparison between 2016 and 2020. While i-tree does not to the level of accuracy of the more recently introduced LiDAR, it is still very promising indication that our efforts are making a difference. It is also a great demonstration of the work the City of Unley has been doing, and we are recognised in the report as “best on ground” for the positive change compared to the other Councils in category 5 (urban/compact/low rainfall).


The Report is called “Where will all the trees be?” and a link to full report is here,

 The difference may well be that this study better calculates the canopy as it includes trees less than 3m in height.





01 November 2020

What about the Eureka flag

 When I moved the motion in last month's Agenda  (that the flag be flown for 3 days in December) I assumed that it was a motion that everyone would support. I was surprised and a little taken aback when I heard tales of Chinese persecution, and trade unions. Interestingly, the press found this more newsworthy than the Climate Emergency debate and published comment a day or two later. It would be fair to say the Council has been ridiculed for its decision to not fly such an important symbol of democracy.

Why the Climate Emergency motion lost?

Last Monday Council debated a motion put forward by Cr Russo that Council declare a Climate Emergency followed by some measurable parameters to collect baseline data to reference future changes.

The vote lost 7-5.

After hearing 6 deputations in favour  of the motion  and no one against it as well as their being least another 60 people in the chamber and more waiting outside, the debate began. Jane (Cr Russo) started with a well thought out speech and the motion was then seconded by Cr Bonham. I the debated about the amount of and momentum of feedback and interest that we had all received from our community: this included dozens of emails, some phone calls and plenty of chats over coffee. Then those not in favour raised their arguments, these included:

  • We're doing enough already
  • There could be litigation
  • We would need to spend more money
  • That it was a conspiracy of the Greens
None referred to the passion of the deputees or the valid arguments that they raised. Some remained silent and said nothing. While Cr Dodd had an alternate motion to follow it still fell short of what really needs to happen.

31 October 2020

Nesting boxes working well.


It is most notable that Council wildlife boxes continue to be occupied extensively by our local fauna.

Collectively, we can feel satisfied with our achievements in this innovative space by providing our fauna refuge, protection and a safe environment to grow their young.

Nonetheless, while our boxes remain near capacity, it highlights the void in natural habitat opportunities. Large trees take decades, rather than years, to decay and provide natural hollows. Therefore, we must continue to promote and educate our community with the facts that while we all love trees when they are actively growing, flowering and looking beautiful, some of their best work is done as they become veterans and decline. They lend themselves back to insects, animals, other rising vegetation, soil improvement etc. and have a right to their place in the urban environment, if indeed we want our future generations exposed to tweeting birds, a possum’s night eyes or a marbled gecko running across our living room floor.

I watch  with pleasure a pair of nesting rosellas just outside my office window; they have made their home in a centuries old river red gum that has one foot in a creek and the other in the schoolyard.


29 October 2020

Contributory buildings to be protected


It's good news that the new planning code will be revised to recognise contributory buildings before being released for further consultation in early November. This means that Millswood will be further protected from the demolition of the Californian bungalow that it is renowned for. Thankyou also for the hard work of Warren Jones and Focus for putting continuous pressure on the state government.

24 October 2020

Full Council meeting: October 26th 2020

 You might find the following of interest?

  • Declaration of a Climate Change Emergency: Cr Jane Russo has take the responsibility to get the motion written with the help of others. The full motion can be found here. There has been enormous support from the community to put this motion forward.
  • Millswood Sporting Complex-Millswood Croquet -New Club Rooms: the plans for this have been consulted with the Community and there have been some suggestions for change. However, the location would seem to be the most problematic. This is between the Bowls and Croquet this allowing full view of all 3 greens from the clubrooms and allowing for a larger building footprint. If approved the plans will proceed to detailed design and at this point we we can discuss wall finishes, additional embellishments, etc.
  • Request to fly the Eureka Flag: This request has been made by Spirit of Eureka and will be between Dec1st and Dec3rd. The Eureka Stockade was a defining point in Australian history. It is displayed in the Ballarat Art gallery and is well worth stopping in to see.
  • Section 270 Review: Langdon Ave yellow line: The length of the yellow line in Langdon Ave, Northern side nearest East Ave is under review.
  • Representation Review: Following the motion last month that added additional content to the consultation papers the final report is back to Council . You can review the process and help us make a decision by you participation in the process.
  • Appointment of Deputy Mayor: This position is vacant again and will be decided on the night.
  • Australia Day Event: Some additional funding could be made available for a small street party after the Citizenship ceremony.
  • Council Major Event: CONFIDENTIAL

18 October 2020

Goodwood Oval Grandstand Opening

Today saw the opening of the new Goodwood Oval Grandstand. It was good to have been an integral part of accepting a need existed for a new facility, obtaining funding, design and approval. The new building looks good and sits well in the same location as the old building. The significant trees near the site were respected in the design and location of the building and all seems to have survived the build. Seen here with Don Palmer and Jayne Stinson, Member for Badcoe.

15 October 2020

Are we ready for E-scooters


Council discussed the introduction of E-scooters into Unley at a briefing on Monday evening. This is still in the planning stage and no formal motion is presently before the Council, however, one will be in the Agenda early next year. The hope is that these will:

  • provide an alternate cheap form of transport for short distances
  • provide easy connectivity with Adelaide (this will need the removal of the CBD barrier at South Terrace) and within Unley
  • improved east-west connectivity
  • they could clog up King Willian Rd and other busy areas (they can be programmed to not work in prescribed areas)
So what are the downsides;
  • they could get left all over the place (hopefully, there will be incentives to park in agreed locations)
  • they look untidy ( the above should improve this)
  • they can be trip hazards
  • they don't share the footpath in a safe manner (discussion was held around them not being able to used on narrow footpaths)

Joint Use Agreements: Forest Ave Reserve and other school ovals


Council will soon be updating and ensuring consistency between what Council is responsible for at each site. The current agreements have some similarities but they are not the same. There is often confusion, especially from residents, about the work that Council does at the above site. At the current time this is mowing, aerating, etc the grass and line marking. It does not include the playground (or loss of the playground), trimming the gardens or planting replacement vegetation: all of these are the responsibility of Black Forest Primary School. It seems, on occasion, that it has been convenient for the school to suggest that these are part of the JUT agreement when they are not. Hopefully, greater consistency will reduce this conflict.

Rate capping dropped


The new Planning Minister has removed the clause on rate capping from amended legislation that the parliament was considering. I'm sure they will still have in place auditing to ensure that rates are kept in check.  If they had already been in place the set rate would have been in place for this year (maybe 2%) and it would have been more difficult to waive as Council would be unsure of what would happen next year. This decision makes good sense.

11 October 2020

Tree canopy mapping: you can find your place!


Today the collaborative LiDAR canopy and tree height mapping which 17 Councils in partnership with the State Government funded in 2019, has been made publicly accessible alongside the online Heat Mapping via the Department for Environment and Water Urban Heat and Tree Mapping viewer.


LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology was used to capture high resolution, three-dimensional tree data by flying across the metropolitan Adelaide study area in April 2018 and October - November 2019. The result is an accurate benchmark of canopy cover and tree height at a point in time, which can be replicated in the future to track tree loss or gain trends.


In a first for Adelaide, data captured for every tree greater than three metres in height on public and private land shows tree canopy represents 23% of the metropolitan study area. This is a conservative estimate as trees under three metres in height are not included as part of this analysis, i.e. recent plantings undertaken by local governments are not captured.


Tree canopy mapping on the online viewer can be used alongside heat maps, building footprint, tree health (NDVI) and social vulnerability layers to help the community and governments make better informed decisions for retaining and replacing trees. It is being used by councils to inform tree planting strategies and investments, as well as state government policies, like the Planning and Design Code. 

08 October 2020

People Power Prevails


My comment in today's Herald.

Found here. or you can read below.

 People Power Prevails

As part of a local Area Traffic Management Plan a location was chosen on East Ave, Clarence Park as suitable for a pedestrian refuge. At the time some people supported the proposal and some did not: the reasons given for both were a reduction in safety. However, at the time there was no community outrage and the crossing was included in the Plan and in 2020-21 budget was funded. As is often the case this is when it became an issue for the community.  The owner of the coffee shop, Rise and Grind, did his sums and realized that the loss of parking required to construct the crossing would cause a significant loss to his business that he might not be able to sustain. This is a great little business and much loved and used by the local community. The business owner  then put together a petition that could be presented to Council. At the recent September meeting he presented this  petition with nearly 500 signatures calling for the crossing to not be constructed. Nearly half the signatures were for local people. After strong debate people power won the day and the work will be abandoned?

Council is also beginning to feel the heat from residents regarding the Council declaring a Climate Emergency. At recent meetings we have received many deputations calling for this.  While Unley Council has a strong reputation in  greening the city and reducing our carbon footprint there is much more we can do. One of these is to get the state government to start thinking about what they can do to better enable the work of Council in matters such as planning legislation, tree legislation and rate collection. Council will debt this matter at their October meeting.


03 October 2020

Adelaide East Herald now available


Showing initiative the  Mt Barker herald has consulted with Council and residents and is delivering an Adelaide East Herald just for us. This can be obtained at the above link. The first one was published this week with some interesting news items and political comment.

Le Cornu's site.

 The state government are negotiating to buy the now abandoned Le Cornu's site on Anzac Hwy. The price has not been reveled but the government are hoping to get some exiting building development happening sooner rather than later. There is also some chatter about the Army Barracks but at this point they are not for sale, although it is also my understanding that the army are re-evaluating their needs in South Australia. Much of the Barrack's site is heritage listed and development will be more constrained on that site. They are contemplating building up to 300 homes. Once again this will cause consternation from local residents regarding traffic and urban density.

01 October 2020

Living Young Reference Group


Call for nominations

Girl smiling

We are looking for passionate, community-minded young people who are aged between 12 - 25 years who live, work, study or play in the City of Unley to join the Living Young Reference Group.

The Living Young Reference Group will:

  • Create an opportunity for young people to engage with Council about issues that are important to them.
  • Access a range of training and skill development opportunities.
  • Help to create a good relationship between the young people and Council.

Visit the Living Young Reference Group webpage to find out more and to complete a nomination form.

Nominations close 5pm, Friday 16 October 2020.

29 September 2020

 You might find the following of interest?

Proposed Pedestrian Refuge in East Ave: A substantial petition has been presented to Council calling for the proposed pedestrian crossing near Rise and Grind to not be constructed. This crossing was proposed during the recent Local Area Traffic management Plan and has been endorsed by Council. However, it would seem that the owner and the tenant at Rise and Grind believe that the crossing is unnecessary and too many car parks will be lost that will reduce income for the business. Over 400 people signed the petition and nearly half of these are local residents. There is one person

 making a deputation in support of abandoning the proposal. PASSED

  • Walking and Cycling Plan- KWR and Simpson Pde: A separate bike path has been proposed that will link the end of the Mike Turtur bikeway to Greenhill Rd. These plans will go to the residents for consultation. PASSED
  • Draft Community Land Management Plans for Consultation: This policy lists all of Council owned parks and open spaces and describes level of service that should apply  to each space. PASSED
  • Review of the Footpath Trading Policy: This will allow for minor changes to the existing policy PASSED
  • Alliance Francaise Event Change: The much loved Xmas Markets will not be held but the organisation would like to add to Unley's murals by having a mural painted on their building in Wayville. PASSED
  • Financial Measures to Achieve the Tree Canopy Target: Council asked staff to investigate methods that can be employed to encourage residents to plant and retain trees on their land. It would seem that some methods can be applied that are both legal and effective. However, Council is progressing with caution as ratepayers may lose a  rebate if the canopy cover on their property is diminished over a given period of time. PASSED
  • Representation Review: I have written a earlier blog on this. PASED but with an additional clause to continue with the status quo.
  • Variation of the Mayor's Allowance: This asks for Council to approve the use of a Council owned ipad and an additional 500 business cards per year. In my opinion these are trivial costs that I am surprised that we need Council approval of. I also wonder this in light of the fact that an additional staff member has been employed to assist the current Mayor with his duties. PASSED
  • Vote for LGA President: There a 3 nominations all from good candidates
  • Vote for LGA Membership (GAROC): This one is more difficult as there is an internal nomination. I intend to vote for the persons that have given the best argument for why they should represent me.
  • Single Use Plastics: This is a motion from Cr Dewing calling for investigating options to encourage retailers to reduce the use of these products. PASSED
  • Climate Change Statement: This is a motion form Cr Hughes that askes for Council to better inform our residents of the work that Council is doing and intends to do to mitigate the effects of Climate Change. It does not call for a a Climate Emergency to be declared and may fall well short of what our residents have been asking for. The debate on this will be had at the October meeting. PASSED but the stronger version will be debated in October
  • Dog Waste Bins and Bags supplied by Council: Cr Dewing is also asking that all dog poo bags dispensed by Council be compostable. PASSED.

28 September 2020

Goodwood Grandstand to to be opened Oct 18th


With the new building near completion it seems that it is time to celebrate. The building will be officially opened on Oct 18th at 12pm. This will coincide with an Open Day that is being hosted by Goodwood Saints between 10am and 2pm the same day. This has been completed on time and on budget.

13 September 2020

Pool has reopened

Jennie Boisvert - Councillor for Clarence Park Ward: Unley Pool looking  good for summer

While the facility will re-open, operations will look different to past years, with several considered and balanced controls being put in place for the safety of our customers and staff. These controls ensure the facility is operating efficiently and consider the current economic climate, whilst ensuring we meet all legislative requirements and set a socially responsible example for our community.

While some of these controls may not initially be welcomed by our patrons, we believe them to be necessary, and they offer Council the flexibility to further relax restrictions, or to tighten them, should this become necessary. The controls are like those which are currently in place at indoor swim centres and will be at other outdoor pools when they reopen soon. We have put a clear communications plan in place to ensure our current members and the wider community remain well informed.

Changes to our regular Swimming Centre re-opening include;

• A COVID-Safe Plan is in place, which stipulates our obligations and requirements, including cleaning protocols and contact tracing.

• Resident clubs, community clubs and all user groups will require a COVID-Safe Plan for their activities.

• On days when attendance at the facility is expected to be above 200, a designated COVID Marshal will be in place.

Memberships from the previous season remain valid up to Sunday 15 November 2020, representing the period of lost time resulting from the early closure March 2020.

• The centre will not accept new members until 15 November 2020, however after this date (conditions permitting) season passes will be sold at a reduced rate based on the time left in season. Multi visit pass sales will also resume. Until this time patrons will still be able to access the facility via the casual admission charges set by the 2020/21 Fees and Charges schedule.

• All patrons will be required to pre-book their visit, with time limits in place - one hour for fitness and two hours for recreation. We have sourced and will be using an online booking system that interfaces with Council’s website and social media platforms. Bookings will be taken for pre-assigned session times and categories (e.g. lap swimming, recreation, rehabilitation and programs classes), with capacity limits in place. Staff will assist patrons who need support with making bookings online.

• Swimming lessons will have capacity limits, and the program will be spread out across a greater area within the facility. The major changes to this program will be communicated in late September, closer to the program’s scheduled start on Monday 12 October 2020.

• The cafĂ© service will be limited to takeaway and packaged items only for customers and there will be no sit-down services offered initially

During the recent closure period we have completed several key capital works projects, which include;

• Installation of a new shade structure spanning the width of the main pool’s shallow end and covering the northern walkway (see picture attached).

10 September 2020

Council likely to reduce number of Councillors

 At a briefing this week we discussed a response for our representation review in line with the intended legislation that will limit the maximum number of Councillors to 12, including the mayor. We have so far discussed reducing to 11+1, 10+1 and 9 +1 arranged as a single electorate,  5 wards with 2 each, 4 wards with 3 or 4 each (or a combination) and 3 wards with 3 each. This matter will be consulted with the public and the results brought back to Council for determination. At  this point I'm favouring 3x3, but can see some benefit in the first option or second options as well.

Parkside Bi-election result

Parkside Ward – Vote 1: Jennifer Bonham for Resilient Neighbourhoods

Jennifer Bonham is Council's newest member as she was elected yesterday. She will fill the vacancy created when Mike Hudson retired a few months ago. Jennifer will be sworn it at the September Council meeting. I wish her all the best and look forward to working with her again. We were both on the Unley DAP  for some time a quite a while ago.

How to save $20million?

In a recent article in the paper they calculated the cost of people not using the correct bins for the weekly pickup. It is estimated and 40% of the contents of the blue is food scraps (much of which was still edible on the day of disposal). These scraps should be placed in the green bin as they are compatible. The contents of this bin goes directly to Jeffries to be composted thus removing the waste from the red bin that Council has to send to landfill at a significant cost to ratepayers. All households in Unleywill soon receive a green caddy and a years supply of compostible bags to further progress process.

03 September 2020

Green Verges: apply now

Greening Verges are back for 2020! Unley residents and organisations are now eligible to apply for a Greening Verges Incentive to assist in greening their verge (nature strip).
For a limited number of successful applicants, Council will remove existing dolomite and replace with 100mm depth of soil at no cost, leaving the verges ready for planting.
Verge gardening


 Applications are available online or hardcopies at the Council Civic Centre. Applications close on Monday 28 September, but don't delay as spots will be allocated on a ‘first qualified in, first served’ basis. 

Please note that applicants must agree to source and pay costs associated with plants, planting the verge and ongoing maintenance.

 Council encourages residents to take ownership of their verge areas as this enhances our streetscapes and the kerb appeal of residences throughout the City. 

In addition to extra greenery, landscaping a verge contributes in many positive ways by:

  • providing a healthier environment for street trees
  • softening the effect of hard surfaces such as roads and footpaths
  • improving air quality
  • working at natural air conditioners through moisture in leaves
  • reducing stormwater run-off, and
  • providing habitat for small creatures like bees and butterflies.

Need Some Verge Garden Inspiration?

Our display verges at Edmund Avenue showcase a variety of plants and treatments that you could use to transform your verge into an attractive garden feature.
Take a stroll down Edmund Avenue, Unley and be inspired by contemporary, cottage, natural and formal layout examples, including different path ideas. All meet the guidelines of safe plant choices and low plant heights to ensure good sight lines for road users. A matching planting guide with suggested plant species is also available.

26 August 2020

Full Council meeting: August 24th, 2020

 You might find the following of interest?

and as it could be
Add caption

  • Mike Turtur Bikeway Consultation Summary: There were over 300 responses to this consultation, most from local residents. Most people are in favour of the resurfacing of the path and also the widening. This will make it faster and safer for both cyclists and walkers. The contentious issue was the removal or trees. Council will be renewing and replacing the vegetation and DIT the pathway. At this stage only 4 trees are likely to be removed. PASSED
  • Unley Civic Precinct-Edmund Ave Cottages-Community Consultation: There were very few community responses but most were in favour and further design work will be completed this year. PASSED
  • Active Aging Document Update: PASSED
  • Recruitment for Council Assessment Panel: While the panel is not due for renewal until next year accreditation changes have meant that at least one existing panel member may not be available when the new code is introduced. A panel was selected and the positions will be advertised soon. PASSED
  • Food Organics Incentives: This is an exciting program that will see Unley subsidized to provide green organics caddy and a year's worth of liners to every house in Unley. The filled bags are compostable and should go in the green bin. PASSED
  • Rent Relief  for Sturt Football Club: This was passed after considerable debate. PASSED
  • Nominations for the Local Government Association; Council have nominated Mayor Keenan to be a member of the group. PASSED but not with the support of all members.
  • Beautification of the Goodwood Rd Underpass: At some point in time someone in government will see this as a priority. Why not now? PASSED

20 August 2020

Delay in planning changes

 The long awaited changes to the planning rules have now, sensibly, been delayed until sometime next year. While these were to be ready to be introduced in July this date was never achievable. Unfortunately, this means that the acknowledgement of the wrong zone for Clarence Park and Back Forest might not be known for quite a while. I remain cautiously optimistic.

Community Grants available


Community grants


Community groups and organisations are invited to apply for grant funding of up to $4,000* through the City of Unley’s Community Grant COVID-19 Response Program.

The purpose of the program is to encourage and support community initiatives that respond to local needs, enhance community wellbeing and quality of life and are of benefit to our residents. 

In the September 2020 round, emphasis will be placed on supporting initiatives that assist the community to respond and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 situation. Applicants will need to demonstrate how their project will address the impact of COVID-19 by contributing to positive physical, social and mental wellbeing outcomes. 

If you have any questions regarding the program, eligibility of your project or how to apply, please contact the City of Unley on 8372 5111 and ask to speak with the Cultural Development Coordinator.

The closing date for the current round is Wednesday 30 September 2020. Late applications will not be accepted. 

*Individuals must be working on a project in collaboration with an auspice (either a local community group or organisation) to handle any funding received from the grant. Projects and/or programs that commence prior to 1 December 2020 are not eligible and will not be funded.

16 August 2020

Pedestrian crossing on East Avenue

 The Council approved  a pedestrian crossing (not signalised) in front of  Rise and Grind as part of the desired outcome of last year's Local Area Traffic Management Plan. However, this crossing will cause the loss of several car parks and there is increasing pressure for this crossing not to be constructed. If you have recently had a coffee at Rise and Grind you may have been asked to sign a petition to this effect. I encourage you do do so. If you would like the extra protection that such a crossing will provide then I encourage you to let me know?

06 August 2020

Six to contest Parkside by-election


At the close of nominations, for Parkside Ward, at 12 noon on Thursday 6 August 2020, a total of six nominations were received and accepted for the supplementary election. In accordance with the Local Government (Elections) Act 1999, a draw was held after the close of nominations to determine the order in which names of candidates would appear on the ballot paper and the result of the draw was as follows:






BONHAM, Jennifer 

Fewer elected members at the 2022 election!

Pending legislation will require there to be 12 or less elected members to sit on any council. As Unley currently has 13 members there will need to be change. The role of Mayor will continue as an elected at large position which  leaves space for 11 or less councillors. We  as councillors will make  a recommendation to be consulted with residents later in the year. Current theory on boards is that they work best with 7-9 members. So decisions will need to be made  about reducing the number of wards, the number of people needed in each ward or if we need wards at all. Suggestions range from 5 wards with 2 members each to 3 wards with 3 members each. 


28 July 2020

Your Say: Animal Management Plan

The  Animal Management Plan 2021-2025 is currently under development and will include your greater involvement and endorsement over the coming months.

As a prelude to that involvement, Council has already started collecting information from our community in the form of a Survey.  The aim of this Survey is to review the existing provisions for dogs within the City of Unley’s parks, reserves, and sporting ovals, including on-leash, off-leash and dog prohibited areas.

 The Survey focuses on dog provisions in the following types of public open space:

Public open space

Existing dog provisions

Sporting ovals

Off-leash at all times, except during sporting activities

Parks with time-share arrangements

On-leash between 10 am - 5 pm, daily

Parks with different zones in the same park

Parks with a combination of off-leash,
on-leash or dogs prohibited areas

Local parks/reserves

Dogs on-leash at all times

Fenced/unfenced children’s playgrounds

Dogs prohibited at all times – fenced

Dogs prohibited within 3 metres - unfenced


The Survey will be open until the 18 August 2020 and will be promoted through social media and through signage which is to be placed at parks, reserves and sporting ovals.