28 February 2021

Ward Briefing Update: Feb 2021


You might find the following of interest:

  • Hammond St rekerbing: The recent works have had residents questioning Council's will to green the city with dolomite verges not being replaced with loam as a matter of course. 
  • Mills St: residents are anxious to see the traffic calming works proceed early next financial year. This will require council to endorse a staff bid for this work to be completed. Staff are hoping to get the stormwater works completed by June so that the calming works can start soon after and proceed as one project.
  • Hedges: These remain a vexing issue as it seams that staff views are not inline with Councillors views, or at least Don's and mine. We will now put a motion to Council to develop a policy in line with councillor views. In my opinion it is not OK for hedges to block legal pedestrian access.
  • Bees in Grantly Ave: The bees that have inhabited the cedar trees in this street have been mentioned tome as under threat from residents who would like to see their removal. They have been there for at least 20 tears and probably longer.
  • Millswood Croquet Club-Progress Report: The design has now proceeded to detailed design.
  • Stormwater Capacity: The rain even of Jan 25th this year is now being described at a 1:in 75 event. While there was much ponding of water few homes and/or gardens were flooded. I have asked for a report to come to Council on this  to identify areas that are at risk and improvements that could be done. 
  • Page Park and dogs: This issue has come up again with c continued friction between the dog walkers and the dog exercise group, especially on Sunday mornings. This may need to be resolved by the dog trainer using an alternate site.
  • Commuter parking: I have asked staff , once again, to work with DIT to see if the plaza area under the tram line could be made available for commuter parking.
  • East Ave: repair works on East Ave have begun.

Unley Voices for Climate Action


The  above newly formed group are interested in climate change and Climate Emergencies. they have come together to gain support for and action particularly in the City of Unley.

Meet at Goodwood Community Centre on the 9th March at 7pm to get involved with community action in your community  

Please RSVP to uvforca@ gmail.com

My thoughts on amalgamation as printed by the Eastern Herald


Council Mergers

Once again this is the focus of debate. There are some questions that need to be answered before we go down this path.

 What were the savings delivered to ratepayers after the last round of amalgamations?

2.       What are the savings that are likely to be delivered this time?

3.       Will we lose the local in local government?

4.       Does this open the doors for party politics in Councils?

The last round of amalgamations was now over 20 years ago. You will find many articles on the savings that could be made and absolutely none on those actually delivered. If this was great success why aren’t these figures available?

The savings this time are around less CEOs, less Senior Managers and fewer elected members. No more than twelve for each Council as per pending legislation. In Queensland being elected to Council earns the individual a full time job and pays about $163,000 in base salary and approx. $30,000 for additional committee work. Unley Councillors currently get $17,000 plus up to $5,000 for additional responsibilities. You can have 10 Unley Councillors for the price of one in Brisbane!

People seem to appreciate having a councillor that they know, that they receive regular communication from and who are keen to solve whatever issues they have or new initiatives to share. Unley are currently considering having  3 wards with 3 people representing each ward. This would be some additional work load but not an insurmountable one. Still able to be fitted in with  full-time job! And not paid any more money. How many people need to be in an electorate before each individual just can’t do it as a volunteer and must be paid a salary and probably need electoral assistance as well?

The last answer lies in the involvement of party politics at the local level. Do we really want this? Should it be a stepping stone? How to we get bigger without the candidates being endorsed by Liberal, Labor or The Greens? Who pays for the much more expensive campaign? And will voting be on party lines? Will the outcome of a debate be known even before a motion  has been moved and seconded? This would be a sad day as the independence of our councillors is essential for good governance.

22 February 2021

Full Council meeting: Feb 22nd 2021


You might find the following of interest:

  • Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy: this strategy has been developed by elected members to keep business activity and support integral to Council work
  • Representation Review: Council will now debate the matter with the input from the community having been considered. Options considered will be no wards, 3 wards with 3 or 4 members and 5 wards with 2 members each.
  • Centennial Park- Changes to the Charter: This report recommends  that the Board no longer has any elected members on it. Instead the owners advisory committee would have an elected member, the Mayor and CEO from both Unley and Mitcham.
  • ALGA- Motion from Unley: The motion will ask that Compulsory voting  be introduced for Local Government elections. 
  • Refundable Tree Offset Incentive Program:
  • Safety at Clarence Park Station (pedestrian crossing): 
  • Waste management Contract: CONFIDENTIAL

04 February 2021

Localised flooding Jan 25th


There were many areas in Unley that experienced localised flooding during the downpour last week. The most concerning being that it really wasn't that much rain. I had a picture sent to me of water flowing under a private bridge built over Brown Hill Creek. It only had about 300 mm clearance. There was also flooding in King William Rd and more locally in Homer Rd and Lorraine Ave. Council is investigating these (and others) where flooding  occurred and is  preparing a report for council to consider. It seems sometimes that even with council doing more, infill development and increased surface run off  are  increasing the run off and ever increasing amounts.