27 July 2021

Full Council meeting: July 26th 2021

 You might be interested in the following:


  • Dog Waste Bins: This report called for a cost/benefit analysis of changing to compostable bags PASSED
  • Waste Management Resource Recovery: This plan was to be endorsed. It is a comprehensive document that will vastly improve waste management in the city. PASSED
  • Clarence Park Community Centre Management and Partnering Agreement: This agreement is up for review. It seems both parties are relatively happy wit how it is currently working. I asked that further research be done into how to better fund The Shed. PASSED
  • Green Adelaide-Invitation to Support Programs: Green Adelaide replaced the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board. With a shorter name and invigoration they seem to be working wonders already. PASSED
  • Artificial Turf and Nature Strips; Council decided to continue the ban on artificial turf on verges as it adds considerably to the heat-load in the city on hot days. It can be 10 degrees hotter than bitumen. PASSED
  • Elector Representation Review: once again we need to know that after 2 previous tries we would like to stick with what we have. I think that slightly smaller governance would be good. If you don't want this you'll have to let us know again. PASSED

25 July 2021

Le Cornu site: Have your Say

 Renewal SA are asking for your comments about what should be built on the former LeCornu site on Leader St, Wayville. If you have ideas about what you want to see or not want to see then now is the time to let them know. You can make your suggestions until Aug 23rrd at: https://renewalsa.sa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Have-Your-Say_WEB.pdf. If you wish to be informed about what is happening next then you can enrol

18 July 2021

Mills St Drainage and Traffic Upgrade

 



    The City of Unley will soon be carrying out a stormwater drainage upgrade, followed by a traffic upgrade in Mills Street, Clarence Park. 

     Impacted residents will be provided advance notice of works via mail.

    Prior to Council’s stormwater works commencing, SA Water are required to make some alterations to the water services. SA Water’s respective Contractor will notify all residents with specifics around the timing and staging of their works, along with their contact details. At this point in time, the SA Water service alteration works are anticipated to occur between June - July 2021.

    Council’s stormwater upgrade works are scheduled to commence after the completion of the SA Water works (i.e. late June 2021 - early July 2021).

    17 July 2021

    Street sweeping date??

     Recently, I was asked how they can know when their street is scheduled to be swept? Streets are supposed to be swept on a 6 weekly rotation. While playing around on the Council website, which has a search engine that is particularly troublesome, I discovered the following. If you search for the day that your bins will be emptied you will see a screen that will also tell you what day your street will be swept. You need to put Rubbish Collection Date in the space and then your street address. The screen will look like this:

    Just how are decisions made?

     Published in this week's Eastern Herald.


    Councillors are elected because they are people who will act responsibly, have an interest in the Council area, working with people and problem solving.

    We get voted into the job and we vote on every decision that needs to be made at Council.

    I’d like to explore in this article what goes into making that decision.

    Many matters are raised by residents, followed up my questions on notice, a motion on notice and then debated at Council.  But what evidence do we look for in making these decisions? At last month’s Council meeting we had three decisions that were likely to be contentious. The first was to progress a Sensory Garden (to be donated by a well-meaning Rotary club) to consultation and design following this consultation. We received maybe a dozen emails from residents aghast at the  concept and there were 20-25 residents at the meeting when there’s usually only a few. The alternate motion to not proceed was resoundly supported.

    Later in the same evening we considered The Climate and Energy Plan for which there  were quite a  few submissions including one with 70+ signatures. When it came to debating the plan an alternate motion was put to Councillors that we had not had time to consider the implication of bringing forward Carbon neutrality to 2022 from the proposed 2030.  After much debate this motion was passed but not unanimously. I was taken aback that while we had all considered the people present, we had trouble determining the value of double that number when in a written submission.

    Again, on the same evening we had to again vote on the number of elected members Council would have moving forward. We went out to consultation suggesting 10+1, two less that we now have. In the meantime, the parliament deleted a clause from legislation that would now allow 13 people on Council, so it was now legally possible to keep the status quo. With only a handful of representations (34) we made a decision to stay as we are. With just .12% of the ratepayers having a say we changed our minds even though the majority of these favoured a smaller Council. What would have been the result if the losing side had gathered a few friends to attend the meeting! The research is clear smaller council numbers made better decisions.

    In recent decisions that have gone to consultation Council received 3 responses for The Budget, 21 for the Cultural Plan and 173 for The Living Well Plan. We need to generate more ways to make consultation authentic, informative if we are to make decisions based on the results.

    11 July 2021

    What's happening with the Mike Turtur Bikeway?


    The good news is that the government has at last agreed to fund the bikeway to align with the overpass at Goodwood. After announcing that this would happen quite a while ago and acquiring at least one this project is going to be funded. Last week I caught the train at Goodwood and was reminded one again that the underpass tunnel at the station is woefully inadequate, dangerous and unsafe.

    While I rarely get comments about the good stuff  that happens when things go wrong it is a different matter. As most people are aware the MTB is being upgraded between Goodwood Rd and KWR.  This upgrade was long overdue and many were looking forward to using it. DIT were to upgrade the path and Council will replace  and maintain the landscaping. 

    What could go wrong? 

    When preparing the surface the bull dozers were a little over zealous and additional trees need to be removed  (DIT is not required by law to seek the same approvals for removals others would)

    The path is taking a very long time to complete.

    The  finished work appears to not be flat or even.

    Both Rogers and Almond street surface and signage have been damaged. 

    Access to the tram stop at Wayville has been difficult and somewhat muddy.


    Almond St
    A


    Unley to be a Gig City!

    The City of Unley is officially becoming a “Gig City”. 


    We have been successful in our application to join of the South Australian GigCity Network (gigcity.com.au), the first such network in Australia. Unley will be connected to the broader innovation network that includes high-tech innovation and co-working spaces including Lot Fourteen and the Tonsley Innovation Precinct.

     A high-speed fibre internet connection offering up to 10 Gigabit per second speeds will be installed at the Unley Civic Precinct where it can be extended to adjacent businesses. The network is designed to support high growth industries by expanding their capacity to adopt new technologies, develop leading-edge ideas and improve business operations.

     In the first phase of the rollout we will be connecting the Edmund Cottages Co-working and Business Innovation Hub that is being redeveloped in 2021/22. The new expanded facility is anticipated to host 30-35 different companies across a mix of professional services, creative design, technology and multimedia. By providing high-speed internet services and inter-connection with other innovation precincts we will be strongly positioned to develop and attract new types of high-tech businesses to the City of Unley.

     Providing high-speed broadband to drive economic opportunities is a key outcome of our Digital Strategy and supports future initiatives that will form part of our Smart City Plan.

     

    T

    09 July 2021

    Meeting with the Member for Elder




     I met with Carolyn Power and Vickie Chapman at Rise and Grind on Tuesday morning. Also in attendance were The Mayor and CEO. Items discussed were both Clarence Park centric or would involve the entire city. These included:

    • Safety at Clarence Park Station pedestrian crossings
    • South Rd motorway and its affect on residents and housing acquisitions
    • Cross Rd  and its potential upgrade for bigger trucks. I was assured that the preferred option will still be Portrush Rd. The Liberal party are still very keen to see a diversion from Murray Bridge for heavy vehicles.
    • Secondary school access for Year 7's
    • Funding for additional building works for Millswood Croquet
    • Speeding up the upgrade of Brown Hill Creek ( State government tipping in more money)
    • Funding the LIDAR date that gives an accurate picture of our tree cover.

    20 June 2021

    Rising house prices and your rates

    From the week's Eastern Herald:



    Again this week I have read that spiralling house prices will mean that your council rates will spiral as well. Most responsible councils first make a decision about how much money they need to provide the projects that their community wants and then set the rate in the dollar to achieve this. If nearly all house prices have risen 5% in your city in the last 12 months and your council needs a 5% rate rise to achieve the above your rates will go up 5% with no rate in the dollar change. If, however, your council wants to raise the rates by only 2.25% then the rate in the dollar is reduced so that this is the amount you pay. If, however, your valuation has gone up by more than the average you will still pay more and if it has risen less you will pay less. The current dilemma facing Unley is that while house prices have gone up, commercial values have gone down. As a separate rate is set for these properties then achieving an equitable increase for these is not easy. It easy to tell a ratepayer that your rates are up because council must cover even small inflation changes, but a little more difficult to tell a shopkeeper, to whom the landlord has passed on the bill, that the rent is the same (not council’s fault as this will be consistent with the lease agreement) but your rates will increase by way more than the agreed amount. When setting the value of commercial properties the Valuer General relies on income potential by traders sharing this information with them. We hear the argument that why should we worry as it is the landlords that pay when we know they pass the bill directly to their tenants. However, at least one council tells its ratepayers that keeping the rate in the dollar the same is equivalent to there not being a rate rise which as housing prices continue to rise simply isn’t true! Responsible councils lower the rate in the dollar to achieve an agreed rate. These are my personal views and are not necessarily council policy.

    13 June 2021

    Nursing home approval for Victoria St

     




    The development application by Eldercare to replace St Basil's on Victoria Street was approved by the SCAP late last week. It is my understanding that the developer made minor changes consistent with Council's request that would ensure reasonable open space, reduced overlooking opportunities and the saving of the street tree. This somewhat better than the original proposal.



    Southern tunnel as it effects Clarence Park

    This map recently published on the DIT website is the best indicator yet of where the South Road tunnels will be located and how they will be accessed. While much of the drilling seems to have happened in Glandore it is clear on the map that there will be a southern direction off- ramp south of the tram line  constructed in Black Forest and an on-ramp constructed in Everard Park. The fate of the Gallipoli underpass and Emerson Crossing bridge appear uncertain.
     

    09 June 2021

    Do you know a tree worth listing?

     


    Unley is currently reviewing quite an extensive list of  trees that are listed as significant in our previous Development Plan and were transferred into the new code. Staff are currently reviewing this list and recommending for removal those that no longer exist. They also need you to nominate your favourite trees that are not on the list. To be significant the trunk must measure more that 3m at 1 metre above the ground or associated with a significant event. You can check which trees are already on this list here and you can nominate new trees as you identify them here. Why not put a post on Facebook of a picture of the tree you nominate every time you nominate a tree? Listing will add additional reasons for refusal and make removal almost impossible, even if it dies and doesn't present a danger.

    29 May 2021

    Is your street being swept often enough?

     

     

    I have been told many times that streets are not being swept often enough or sometimes not swept at all. This seems to be during heavy leaf fall in autumn and during really hot weather from bark shedding. A recent petition delivered to Council  from residents in Andrew Ave indicated that they were not happy with the level of service even though their street was being swept every 3 weeks. The usual rate of service is 6 weekly which for most streets is adequate most of the time.

    This does not cover footpath sweeping as well. It used to be that home owners swept up these leaves/debris but now see this as Council's role as well. Just sweeping the leaves into the gutter when the street sweeper is due is fairly effective.





    23 May 2021

    Full Council meeting: May 24th 2021

     You might find the following of interest;


    • Trader Association Quarterly Reports: The associations have remained busy of this last financial year as they have strived to get people to enjoy the shopping experience that each main street offers.
    • Community Grants: Allocation of Funds: Money has been allocated to Vishva Hindu Parishad for  a lunch program at CPCC, Clarence Park Kindy will get a new bike track, Forestville Hockey Club for school clinics, Millswood Bowls for new seating, plus others not in CP Ward
    • Living Well Plan: This has been to consultation and few  minor changes were made.
    • Cultural Plan 2021-26:This has been to consultation  but no changes were suggested. There were, however, some good ideas to include in the implementation phase.
    • Review of Conservation Grants Policy: This one has me really annoyed as the report suggests that all contributory items in what were Heritage Conservation Zones should no longer be eligible for conservation works. I also think that the order of application will cause many more projects be put off. Even with Council's pleas to conserve significant trees there no additional funds have been allocated. the suggested $50,000 is, in my opinion totally inadequate.
    • Future Economic Development Growth Strategy: Council will discuss that this committee should be disbanded?
    • Chief Executive Officer Review Panel:

    12 May 2021

    Budget Spending

     


    I can't help but comment on the recent bag of money being thrown at Boothby  in the most recent budget as we head toward an inevitable  Federal  election. The funding is to further progress and build the tunnel under South Rd and for further safety measures at Goodwood Junction. Hopefully this will be the overpass that was originally planned for Leader St? The genuine consultation and fact sharing would be very much appreciated by residents.

    04 May 2021

    Full Council meeting: April 27th 2021

     You might find the following of interest?


    • Animal Management Plan for Endorsement: this caused some debate as a clause included a trial of on-leash dogs at Unley Oval was suggested. After three deputations and a long debate the controversial clause was excluded from the motion.  
    •  KWR/ Greenhill Rd  Bikeway: The option accepted was the one that best separated cars from bikes.
    • Annual Business Plan for Public Consultation: This suggested a rate rise of 2.25%. Unley balances the increase in your house's value with the desired rate increase. To do this the rate in the dollar is lowered to get the rise desired. Your rate only go up in excess of this if your house value has increased to a greater extent than others. This usually happens after you have renovated or extended your house.
    • Commuter Parking: This motion asked council staff to look for further opportunities to limit commuter parking.
    • Strategic Property Committee Minutes (CONFIDENTIAL)
    • Edmund Ave Cottages Lease (CONFIDENTIAL)
    • Brown Hill Creek Land Acquisition (CONFIDENTIAL)

    Clarence Park Community Centre

     Feedback week is coming!

    Tell us what you think??

    Monday, 10 May—Thursday, 13 May 2021

    10am—1pm

    Join Centre Coordinator Joanna Di Ciocco for a chat on how Clarence Park Community Centre is meeting your needs and wants. Drop in to the House Next Door and share your suggestions, ideas on how we can make our Centre even better.

    CLARENCE PARK COMMUNITY CENTRE—THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR  72-74 East Ave Black Forest

    Not available to pop in but have something to say?

    Complete a feedback form, or contact the Coordinator direct by phoning 8293 8166 or             email: jdiciocco@unley.sa.gov.au

     

     

    As a thank you

    23 April 2021

    When did rubbish become resource recovery?

     



    I was bemused at the title Unley’s new Waste Management and Resource Recovery Plan. It seems that last time we looked at this in was a roadside collection plan. I can remember clearly as a child what we did with our rubbish. My father dug a deep hole just outside the fenced house block and all rubbish went in the hole: we lived in the middle of nowhere. When it was filled he dug a new one. When we had finished eating or drinking anything in the car the waste simply went out the window, being careful that the container was empty and the passenger behind had their window up.  With the introduction of 10c for each container this practice soon stopped. Then followed the single household bin; we had little kids and a big garden needed two and paid for the extra one. We taught the kids how to sort the stuff that could be recycled and they took great pleasure in getting it neatly in the black box supplied by Council. That is until they saw the same pick up truck empty the carefully sorted recyclables  into the same truck as the other rubbish and lost all interest. Then came a separate bin for the green stuff and we were able to manage with one other bin. Then the council provided us with three bins and nothing much has changed except which stuff goes in what bin?  In the early 2000’s the  hard waste that people had was collected by Council on an annual basis but some people thought they could also dump as they pleased whatever they had no use for. Council went all out with Crime Scene tape and letters to residents which has mostly stopped this practice.  With education, free green kitchen caddies and good data collection we now see more food waste going into the green bins. This practice, is however, problematic for people in apartments as they often do not have access to a green bin. The green waste is all recycled to become compost: a resource recovered. The contents of the recycling bin is also recovered. That leaves only the little blue bin that goes to landfill. It is this that Council has to pay to dump at ever increasing prices. We rarely have much in our bin these days and ideas like reducing how often this bin is emptied are tempting as a rate saver. The contractors are currently paid on the number of properties they pass but the new plan suggests they might be paid on the actual number of bins lifted. Given all of this its time to see our waste in a new light; remember the old adage one man’s trash might be Council’s treasure.

    15 April 2021

    THE SHED @ CLARENCE PARK COMMUNITY CENTRE

     THE SHED @ CLARENCE PARK


    THE SHED @ CLARENCE PARK COMMUNITY CENTRE

     

    Support your Community!

    Support your Local Shed!

     

    We are Open

    Tuesdays 9am-12noon & Thursdays 9am-3pm

     

    • New volunteers welcome (women & men)
    • An interest in woodworking is preferable but not essential
    • Membership $20/quarter
    • Items are  lovingly made or repaired using re-cycled timbers
    • Items for sale (some up-cycled)
    • New wooden toys and other items are made and sold (including cutting boards, cheese boards & rolling pins)
    • Bird nesting boxes can be made to order
    • Made to order items can be discussed

    12 April 2021

    Waste Management and Resource Recovery Plan Consultation


     


    Consultation has just commenced and will be open until 10th May 2021 on our Your Say Unley website for our two environmental plans:

     

    Two ‘drop-in’ sessions have been scheduled and will be held on Earth Day where we will welcome people to come and speak to staff in person.

    Thursday 22 April at either Goodwood Library (10am-1pm) or Unley Library (5-8pm).

     

    Electronic copies of both Draft Plans are on the Your Say pages, but also available directly here:

    Draft Waste Management and Resource Recovery Plan

    Draft Climate and Energy Plan

     

    We are seeking comments to ascertain support for the proposed key directions and to provide our community with an opportunity to make improvements for consideration in Council’s adoption of Final Plans.  

     

    02 April 2021

    Cultural Plan ready for your comment


     


    The new Cultural Plan can be found here. It is ready for your comment. What do you love or hate about it?



    29 March 2021

    Australia Day: published in the East Adelaide Herald last week.





    It has been said that the date of this event/celebration should be changed to a more suitable date. Also that it isn’t the business of Council and that it should be left to other levels of government to do the research, to consult widely and make the final decision.

    Nevertheless, l asked my Year 10 History class, as part of their studies on Human Rights what they thought as an assessment task. Everyone of them was able to articulate that the current day of Jan 26th was no longer suitable. They were then asked to research and then choose another date. So what did they choose?

    Jan 1st : Federation: the day that Australia became a nation.

    Feb 13th Kevin Rudd’s Apology for past government policy that allowed discriminative policy.

    March 2nd: The Australia Act was passed that dropped all legal ties with the UK.

    March 12th: Canberra named as Australia’s capital city.

    April 11th: Abolishment of the White Australia Act.

    May 26th : Sorry Day, an acknowledgment of mistreatment of Aboriginal people.

    May 8th : Mates day with no other significant event.

    June 3rd: Abolition of Terra Nullius through a High Court decision (Mabo v Queensland).

    June 11th Racial Discrimination Act passed.

    It is fair to say that each person was passionate about their choice and that there was no consensus from the group. They were also able to explain that we need a date that is inclusive of all Australians: not just Aboriginal people and those descended from Europeans but also immigrants of other races and different faiths. And hence the date chosen reflects this.

    I agree, this isn’t the business of Local Government, but it is the business of everyone of us to work toward a suitable alternate date that celebrates the Australian nation we have become. A date that offends no-one and celebrates a turning point in our history whatever that may be?

    23 March 2021

    Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021-25

     

    Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021-2025

     Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedinEmail this link

    The City of Unley has developed a Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021-25(External link) to help guide our economic direction and growth over the next 5 years. Economic Prosperity is a key priority for the City of Unley and is a dedicated theme of Council's Community Plan 2033(External link).

    The Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021-25 focuses on a holistic approach to Economic Development through 5 key objectives; Civic Leadership, People & Places, Destination & Investment, Business Sustainability, and Connected & Activated Precincts.

    How to have your say

    At the Council meeting held 22 February 2021, Council endorsed the Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021-25 for public consultation. We invite you to make a written submission expressing your views on the Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021-25(External link) by following these steps:

    1. Review the Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021-25
    2. Provide your feedback

    Submissions will be accepted from 12 March 2021 until 5pm 9 April 2021.

    Next steps

    Your feedback will contribute to the finalisation of the Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021-25 which will be presented to Council for consideration.

    Full Council meeting: March 22nd 2020

     You might find the following of interest?


    • Design and installation of a sensory garden: this was well received, the project will be funded by Rotary and Council will make available a piece of land and assist with maintanance. PASSED
    • Cultural Plan 2021-26: A new plan to determine priorities for funding. PASSED
    • Draft climate and energy plan-for consultation: This plan is a step in the right direction and oud see the Council Carbon Neutral. However, for the city to be Carbon neutral will take much longer. PASSED
    • Draft management and resource recovery plan-2021-25: fancy calling rubbish resource recovery. Almost everything can now be recycled, just be careful to make sure it goes in the right bin, PASSED
    • Elector representation review: preferred option: we have now agreed that at the next election there will be 5 wards in Unley with 2 Councilors from each ward plus a Mayor, elected at large. PASSED
    • Volunteer graffiti removal policy: This is updated and will, hopefully, see removal of graffiti by an expanded crew of volunteers in a more organised and expedient manner. PASSED
    • Mainstreet funding requests: We agreed to fund at the same level as last year although the vote was close, PASSED
    • Planning reform delegations:
    • Establishment of a Building Fire Safety Committee:
    • Review of Volunteer Management Policy:
    • Review of the Community Grants and Sponsorship Policy:
    • Maison de France establishment: CONFIDENTIAL


    14 March 2021

    Economic Development Strategy

     We are pleased to launch the consultation for the Draft Economic Development Growth Strategy 2021- 25 on YourSay Unley. Feedback from the consultation will be considered and incorporated into the finalisation of the strategy to ensure it is aligned to community priorities.

     

    You can access the survey via the link below.

     

    Draft Economic Development Strategy 2021-25 | YourSay Unley

     


    08 March 2021

    FISH TANK 2021 – APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW

     FISH TANK 2021 – APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW


    WE ARE FISHING FOR FUTURE ENTREPRENEURS

     

    Applications are now open for the opportunity to pitch your business idea to the Fish Tank. If you’re 12 - 25 years of age and live, study, work or play in the City of Unley, you could win a prize package that will help grow your business. Applications close 19 April 2021.

    Visit www.unley.sa.gov.au/fish-tank to submit your business idea.

     

    FREE ENTREPRENURSHIP WORKSHOP

    Monday 12 April 2021, 6pm – 8pm, Fullarton Park Community Centre. 

    Learn from business leaders and young entrepreneurs, and develop your own business idea. Open to all young people 12 – 25 years of age who live, work, study or play in the City of Unley.

    Registration essential, visit www.unley.sa.gov.au/fish-tank by 7 April 2021.

     

    FISH TANK PITCH NIGHT

    The Pitch Night will take place in the Unley Town Hall on Thursday 6 May 2021, 5:45pm for a 6:00pm start – 8:00pm with the winners announced on the night. (Top 10 finalists will be advised prior to event)

     

    Visit www.unley.sa.gov.au/fish-tank for terms & conditions, prize package details and further information. Alternatively please contact Laura De Bono, Community Development Project Officer- Youth at ldebono@unley.sa.gov.au or (08) 8372 5111

    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.