29 March 2020

Council services diminishing

Unley OvalDue to the COVID-19 situation Council services where people usually meet together are gradually being cancelled. As many of you are aware the swimming pool is closed, the library is closed, the Community Centres are closing and the playgrounds will soon be closed as well. Unley is making every possible effort to keep our people safe and  to keep staff safe while maintaining essential services. For the most recent response check the Council website; www.unley.sa.gov.au 

Budget workshop

Council meet on Monday, once again practicing Social Distancing to have our first look at the proposed budget for 2020/21. As usual staff and elected members were asked to provide a wish list of worthwhile projects if money was available. The current CPI  for 2019/20 is anticipated to be 2%, and a  general guide we try to keep any budget increases to within this amount plus .5% for growth (provided by extensions and new development? However, at this time we should also be looking at our nice to have list and the looming unemployment of too many residents and should be considering a lower rate rise or none at all.

22 March 2020

Full Council meeting 23rd March 2020

Should be interesting with social distancing in place. You might find the following items of interest?

  • City Strategy endorsement of the revised Norman Tce rezoning. We will also be listening to a deputation from a resident that still believes additional changes are required
  • Audit Committee: Presiding member's report: 
  • Culross  Ave Living Streets investigation: Residents concerned with the over development of Fullarton Rd have been concerned about reducing traffic and on street parking from the new developments. However, the report recommends that we wait until the projects are complete and then further assess the impact.
  • Proposed Emu Crossing at Concordia College: Concordis are asking for consent to constuct a crossing at their own expense.
  • Draft Tree Strategy (Amended): This amended strategy is a better reflection of what Council wants to achieve
  • Mainstream Association Marketing Funding Requests 2020/21: these are the usual requests that we get. It is interesting to note that King William Rd levees a smaller group of traders that the other streets.
  • Sturt Football Clubs Gift for Sesquicentennial: They are offering a new open gateway between the two grandstands 
  • ERA Report: worth a read at  https://www.unley.sa.gov.au/CityOfUnley/media/CoU-Media-Library/Agendas-Minutes/Committees/23-03-20-AA-council-agenda-PUBLIC-FINAL.pdf?ext=.pdf
  • LGA call for nominations on various committees
  • Cenral Unley Litigation: Condidential
  • Wiberforce Walk: Confidential
  • Transport and Traffic Management Study  for Unley Rd:Additionally there are some questions and answers on notice regarding carbon neutrality, Speed limits and the Fullarton/Cross Rd intersection upgrade.

18 March 2020

Letter to the Editor 18/03/2020 Suburb changing

The following letter was printed in the Advertiser this morning the Advertiser. I was very annoyed at the response from Michael Lennon.

Dear Editor, I wish to correct Michael Lennon’s letter published on 12/02/2020. While some of what he says is correct he states quite clearly that  ‘Black Forest will not be adversely treated’. Of the 930 allotments in this suburb and the 4 that have a Housing Diversity Neighbourhood Zone that leaves 926 that will have the minimum allotment size reduced from 350 sq m to 300 sq m in the proposed zoning. While he might think this will not adversely affect the residents they beg to differ. They do not want the greater housing density that this would achieve. They want their zoning to remain unchanged.


15 March 2020

Cooking Class at CPCC


Trees and block size make difference

This  recent heat map taken at Walkey Heights says it all. The smaller block sizes on the left are hotter than the area on the right with larger block sizes and more trees.

Norman Tce revisited

Image result for Highrise elderly care homes
Another  development (similar height)
Tomorrow Council will debate potential changes to the proposed Development Plan Amendment for Norman Tce. There were a huge number of submissions and people who chose to personally address the Council. Key issues raised were:

  • That 5 storeys is too high
  • Exacerbation of parking and traffic congestion
  • Ross  St and Forth Ave buildings should reflect existing character
  • The area is not suitable as Norman Tce is a local road
  • Increased pressure on existing infrastructure
  • Exacerbation of urban heat heat issues and limited green space
  • Increased annoyance from air conditioners, traffic, rubbish collection and lighting over-spill
  • Potential overshadowing
  • Segregation of elderly people
This has lead to a recommendation to:

  • Reducing the height of the buildings
  • An increase in allotment size for the boundaries
  • An increase in apartment size in the multi =-storey buildings
  • Better design  elements
  • Providing greater garden character
  • Better spacing of buildings
  • Better streetscape to Norman Tce
While these changes will not please everyone they are still open for debate at the City Strategy meeting starting at 6:30 pm on the 16th March. This proposal, or as amended proposal, will be endorsed at the Council meeting on March 23rd.  The e recommendation then must be approved by the state government. Once approved a Development Application will need to be lodged by the owner of the site. This should be in line with what the state government has approved but could vary as long as it was not seen to be seriously at variance to the agreed plan. This application will most likely go to the CAP and not Unley Council's CAP for approval.

09 March 2020

How to increase tree canopy on private land?

Image result for canopy coverUnley is experiencing a loss of tree cover on private land. This tree cover might have been provided by significant trees, in which a Development Approval would have been required, but is more likely caused by the removal of lesser trees that individually appear to be of no consequence (fruit trees, ornamental trees, etc) but in combination have meant massive losses.
Council is grappling with how to increase this cover overtime and will be discussing it at a briefing tomorrow, Tuesday 10th March at the Civic Centre. Feel free to attend.
Are you prepared to pay a rate increase to help achieve this?

Calling for interested mentors


04 March 2020

Ward Briefing update

Image result for significant tree  UnleyThe following might be of interest:

  • The Goodwood Oval grandstand has now been removed and the eucalyptus (to the north) and cork trees (to the south) have now been protected by Tree Protection Zones
  • We raised to parking issues being experienced in Gray, Hartland, Selkirk and Aroha Aves. These will be considered as part of a broader  parking study. Increased capacity exists in Aroha Tce (between East Ave  and  Foster St) by changing to 60 degree angled parking
  • Funding to commence the Clarence Park LATM issues will be in the 20-21 budget
  • Locations have been suggested for drinking fountains at Page Park and the Dora Guild playground
  • The irrigation system upgrade required for Page Park is included in the 20-21 budget
  • The new compliance officer is inspecting unsightly dwellings and recommending change. There are at least 4 in our ward.
  • East Ave will be further inspecting to ascertain why it is failing.
  • As hockey have been delayed in their move their lease continues on the current site.
  • The Millswood Croquet club clubhouse will be commence soon and further money available in the next budget
  • An inspection of all trees on the Significant Tree Register will be undertaken to ascertain if they are still there, are still significant under the current legislation, are in good health, etc. At a later time we might investigate the addition of trees to this register.
  • Safety gates at Clarence Park station: Don and I will work the local member, Jayne Stinson, to get this moved forward.

29 February 2020

Planning consultation is now closed

Image result for homes under construction near me
It has been a mammoth effort from so many of you to ensure that every door on 
Black Forest and Clarence Park (west of East Ave) has been knocked on and conversations held regarding the proposed planning changes. Overall 650 submissions were lodged with DPTI. I know we are hoping that 200 of them were fro this area alone. I had a email from a resident yesterday who had recent email communication from DPTI that stated;

'The application of the General Neighbourhood Zone will be reviewed across the Phase Three Councils (Unley) following the consultation process. The State Planning Commission has acknowledged that there are some instances where the Suburban Neighbourhood Zone may be more appropriate, such as where the current zone specifically seeks to maintain the current character or allotment pattern of an area and where limited infill and regeneration is anticipated. I have reviewed the policy for the Residential B350 Zone and note that it seeks limited infill and the maintenance of the existing character, which suggests that this may be one such zone where the Suburban Neighbourhood Zone is more appropriate.'

This alone is reason to hope that sense will prevail on this aspect of your submissions.

23 February 2020

Full Council meeting Feb 24th, 2020

Image result for capri theatre mural

You might find the following of interest:

  • Capri Theatre Loan Request; The theatre are requesting a $ 72,000 loan with a one year payback time and no interest to complete the ongoing renovation of the theatre. While I am sympathetic to their cause I have concerns that organisations may see Council as a place to seek additional funds when in reality that is what banks are for.
  • Draft Tree Strategy; This is the overarching document for the updated tree strategy that includes the history and philosophy behind the need for such a strategy as well as a way forward.
  • Application for a Weekly Green Waste Trial: at last a trial of what so may have been asking for. Goodwood has been chosen as the test suburb. While blue bins will be collected weekly during the trial so will the green bins. It is hoped that if this work the diversion of food waste to  recycling instead of landfill could save the city over $500,000 in any one year.
  • Report from the  Brown Hill Keswick Creek Stormwater Board; this discusses completed (Ridge Park retention dam and the Goodwood diversion culvert)and current projects (Hawthorn Reserve, South Parklands, Everard Park (connecting Wilberforce Walk to Anzac Hwy)and Glenside)
  • Beehives on Council Facilities (Nicole Sheehan); More beehives would support an increased bee population in the city.
  • Investigating the Feasibility of Introducing  eScooters in Unley (Sue Dewing): Council may be able to get the best of both worlds if we can have a fleet of scooters that can link to the city or other inner city councils and encourage more people to leave their cars at home. They would need to have fixed locations for me to say yes
  • Increasing Tree Canopy on Private Land (Michael Rabbitt): this motion would see Council direct the question about increasing canopy cover on private land back to the state government.

Pedestrian Crossings in Clarence Park and Millswood



Image result for Clarence Park railway crossingsThe crossing at Clarence Park is perceived to be dangerous to pedestrians as it does not have the additional safety features that the Victoria St or Fairfax Ave crossings have; that is automatic closing gates. Before the Goodwood Junction upgrade the East Ave crossing was the safest. There is increasing interest from residents to see this crossing upgraded as well as the crossing a little to the west and Gordon Rd. I am aware that some people do not support this and are wary of the potential additional noise if the crossings are also noise activated. Nevertheless it is time to seek government support to get this investigated.

19 February 2020

Help stop the planning nightmare!

Image result for new townhouse developments adelaide
Submissions to DPTI close Feb 28th
We have had a wonderful response so far from residents regarding writing submissions to DPTI concerning proposed planning changes for Black Forest and Clarence Park (west of East Ave). This has been a great examples or residents working with each other to get the zoning they want for their neighbourhood. Following the public meeting late in January residents have designed templates, met with neighbours, knocked on doors, collected written submissions and have obtained an amazing result. Nevertheless, there is time for more people to get mobilized. you need to write about.

  • Sites changed  350m² to 300m² (or down to 200m² for row housing) 
  • Setbacks have been drastically reduced
  • The changes that the draft indicates would allow for most sites a 3 for 1 redevelopment opportunity.  In many cases, particularly corner sites, this grows to 4 for 1 or more
  • Loss of parking
  • That the current RB350 zone be transitioned into the Suburban Neighbourhood Zone that will enable block sizes to remain unchanged .

You might also find this link useful?  crussell5.wordpress.com 

š Email to DPTI.PlanningReformSubmissions@sa.gov.au   


15 February 2020

Harmony Day celebrations

Image result for harmony day 2020
Unley Libraries will be celebrating Harmony Week 2020 on Thursday March 12, from 7-8.30pm in the Unley Town Hall.  This year we are presenting a talk with local author Victoria Purman, and a panel discussion led by City of Unley’s Cultural Development Coordinator, Matthew Ives.

The Last of the Bonegilla Girls’ is set in 1950s country Victoria and central to the story is the migrant camp Bonegilla. Matthew will discuss Victoria’s book and then invite Catherine Manning from the Migration Museum, along with two contemporary arrivals to Australia, to discuss the differences and similarities faced by 1950s migrants and today’s new Australian’s. We would love to see you there, if you would like to be part of the audience please let me know and I will secure your seat.

In addition to this our Literacy and Learning Team will be hosting special Storytime sessions on the 10th and 12th March at Unley Civic and Goodwood Libraries for our community with the theme of friendship.  Over the past few years we have also worked with ActNow Theatre to bring two special presentations aimed at school aged children.  Due to the success and high demand from schools, we will be building on the past few years and again invite local schools from years 2-4 and years 8-10 to participate in our special performance of Like Me, Like You and Generations of Change Congress run by ActNow Theatre.