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.