Your wishes as I remember you asking during the recent Election Campaign

Elections are possibly the best opportunity you have, a community has, of putting your wishes and/or concerns to Council (any Government actually). Those of us who do stand a better than even chance of having their issue addressed.

 

Alert to this, Council’s CEO has asked for the newly elected members to advise what your wishes were/are. He will compile the lists we each provide him into a consolidated list of your wishes. Council will then be in possession of a comprehensive list.

During my many conversations with you and your neighbours I received quite a list of concerns or requests. They range from provision or lack thereof of basic council services, to issues that require lobbying the State Government.

They included differing opinions about some projects.

The list of your issues, concerns and/or simply observations I received were numerous. The list below I am providing our CEO as my contribution on your behalf.

  1. Improvement in rate of removing trip hazards from footpath, noting rate payers are not generally aware of the role they can make in achieving this by reporting the hazard.
  2. Request that trip hazard level of service be improved upon (smaller heights to be included).
  3. Frequency of street sweeping.
  4. Frequency of footpath sweeping.
  5. Absence of (need for) Cat by-laws.
  6. Safety gates at Clarence Park Rail Station.
  7. Lack of response by Council to concerns raised.
  8. More emphasis on pedestrians when considering walking, cycling plan.
  9. Conversely bike riders concerned safety measures for pedestrians (kerb build outs) put cyclists at greater risk.
  10. Wish to see nuisance trees removed or better managed.
  11. Concerns over nuts from Queensland Box trees.
  12. Get on with Goodwood Oval grandstand replacement.
  13. Restrict clubs use of Goodwood Oval facilities.
  14. Parking controls around Goodwood Oval….noting polarised views.
  15. Controlling noise nuisance around Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sporting Reserve.
  16. Removal of waste bin left permanently in carpark at Goodwood Oval.
  17. Turn Page Park into a dog park.
  18. Alternate request at Page Park. Keep dogs away from tennis and gym equipment at Page Park.
  19. Find a way to get Goodwood Saints Tennis Club back on the hard-court courts at Millswood (Goodwood Oval).
  20. Move diesel (cancer causing) freight trains from Belair line.
  21. Get Government to tell us what will happen to South Road through Black Forest.
  22. Get rat runners away from local streets.
  23. Confusion at Cromer/East/Canterbury intersection.
  24. Parking problems in Addison Road (and others) in Black Forest.
  25. In particular cars parking across from residential driveways in narrow Black Forest Roads).
  26. Traffic speed also in Addison Road, particularly at bend in road east of Gordon Road.
  27. Build new clubroom for Millswood Croquet Club (a significant number of their members live in my ward as it turns out).
  28. Concerns with over development, and CAP/SCAP approving “ugly” buildings.
  29. A want to see more green verges.

If I have missed any of your wishes please let me know.

New look for Councils runs deeper than you might think

Most of us recognise that there is a new look for Councils. It runs very much deeper however than is being recognised.

 

Yes. As my last blog post undoubtedly shows, the new City of Unley will consist of 8 women and 5  represents this new look for Councils. We all know this is a gender turnaround of significance. It redresses a historic gender imbalance.

This is a trend across local government. Complimenting this trend we see also many Mayoral positions now occupied by women.

There is no doubt that this will changes the dynamic of Council.

A more significant dynamic, as yet not recognised, is the spread of ages on this new Council. This Council has representatives, by my judgement, in each age decade from under 30’s to over 80’s.

This to me is a much bigger shift than the gender shift. The previous council had but two members under the age I suggest of 50.

The contribution to any debate is going to be much fuller than it has been in the two terms of Council I have been a member of. As my co-councillor has oft said the last Council could be describes as a grey haired, retired, gentleman’s club. That is a far cry from this new Council.

Cross gender input will provide depth to the debate. Cross generational input will provide even greater depth. A clear new look for Councils, at least this one as I predicted in my blog post of October 9.

Further than this the age demographic shows up yet another dynamic.

 

This Council and possibly the next Council history may show as transitional Councils. Councils leading to a generational change.

The final observation I believe with this Council is that those of us remaining from the previous Council/s have a significant obligation. It will be incumbent on us to provide leadership in helping the new members to develop into the Unley Communities next generation of leaders.

Your Clarence Park Ward Councillors provide this.

City of Unley 2018 Election Results

The provisional results for the City of Unley 2018 Election results are now known.

 

The following is list of the elected candidates for the City of Unley 2018 Election.

Mayor:                                            Cr Michael Hewitson

Ward Councillors:

              Clarence Park                  Cr Don Palmer & Councillor Jennie Boisvert.

              Goodwood                        Emmy Wright & Nicole Sheehan

              Fullarton                           Cr Peter Hughes & Jordan Dodd

              Parkside                            Cr Mike Hudson & Kay Anastassiadis

              Unley                                  Sue Dewing & Jane Russo

              Unley Park                       Cr Michael Rabbitt & Monica Broniecki

The results are provisional as we await a final declaration by the Electoral Commission. This will occur after the expiration of the period allowing challenges. This, in turn, I believe would be unlikely but??

Subject to the declaration this then will be your new Council. The Council you have elected.

This is a brand new council. It has 7 new faces, all female. The council itself has a gender balance in favour of female 8 to 5. This is also a council with a wide age range, with members spread evenly through all decades, 20’s through to 70’s.

Watch out for a subsequent blog about this changed dynamic and the opportunities it presents in the future.

Thank You, thank you, thank you.

Thank you to everyone for indicating your confidence, allowing me to continue providing local leadership and working for you. It is heart-warming to receive your support.

More than this though, it is a great responsibility to represent you in local government.

Yes. Thank you.

Thank YouI thank all those who voted for me and those who chose to vote but did not vote for me. You both exercised your right to vote. You also showed your own leadership by accepting the responsibility to vote.

I received 410 of the 1355 votes cast by Clarence Park ratepayers. This is marginally less than what was required for a quota (429) in its own right on 1st preferences. Clarence Park ratepayers voted slightly more than the state average.

I thank also and especially that small band of volunteers who helped me with my campaign. Those who walked the streets for me delivering election flyers. Those also who scrutineer-ed for me. And to those who encouraged me during the process.

As your re-elected member of Council I will be working for all of you, whether you voted for me or not. I will be working for you whether or not you voted.

It is now time for me to celebrate my re-election. I will do this privately in the comfort of my own home and with my family. It won’t be a big celebration though as I reflect and focus on the responsibility you have bestowed on me.

For me, I am preparing my to do list as we speak in readiness to advance your interests in keeping with my many commitments. The commitments announced to you in this forum that have preceded this blog post.

I will post a blog as soon as I am able to report the makeup of the next Council.

Again. Thank You.

Bees at home in their Beehives at Goodwood Oval.

In the last month or two we have seen the emergence of two beehives at Goodwood Oval. The bees have also arrived at their new Goodwood Oval home.

For those of you who have watched and wondered the third of our “Arts In Your Space” projects has been completed at Goodwood Oval. Arts In Your Space is the Year 4 initiative of our Public Arts Strategy.

The project encourages artists to re-consider highly visible locations in Unley as cultural canvases. It is one of six in the strategy. The Beehives of Goodwood Oval was the inspiration of artist Ellen Schlobohm with the fabrication assistance of Tony Rosella.

Beehives at Goodwood Oval 1

Beehives at Goodwood Oval 1

This art piece was an homage to our local bees and care for the environment. Part of Ellen’s original aim was:

I chose to use the hive and bee motifs in my designs as I believe it is important to recognise the vital role that bees play in our overall ecosystem and the impact modern society has had on their natural environment. We need to encourage our bee populations to grow in a way that is sustainable and healthy for both the bees and the community. The domes encourage people to consider this issue and provides a starting point for conversations between parents and their children about respecting our

environment.

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Bee at Home in Beehive at Goodwood Oval

Bee at Home in Beehive at Goodwood Oval

I encourage you to check it out and take your children to the adjacent playground. When you do, please contemplate the role bees play in our environment.

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Clarence Park Ward is the proud recipient of two of the projects.

Unley-Colour-Court-Detail-Large

Unley-Colour-Court-Detail-Large

The 1st was the painted basketball court at Page Park that I have previously reported on. If you have not been to Page Park for a while you might like to visit. Why not take a basketball and shoot some hoops.

They are both projects that add some colour and spice to our neighbourhood, projects that show our uniqueness.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Modified Goodwood Oval Grandstand to go before CAP

The Council is to submit a development application for a modified Goodwood Oval Grandstand. We will present it to Council’s Assessment Panel in November.

 

Council receives an information report on Monday to advise the current status of this project. As we are in caretaker mode we can only receive the report.

The report confirms that a modified design is ready to be presented to Council’s Assessment Panel. The Panel of 5 (with but 1 elected member) is an independent panel, created under the Development Act.

They are duty bound to determine if it be approved or refused, based on Planning principles. As it is a cat 3 public notification application they (the panel) will hear representations from the community.

The design has been modified. It takes into account observations earlier this year from the community.

It also takes into account a need to reduce the scope of works to meet tight budgetary constraints. I would venture to suggest too, a more efficient design.

There are two key features of the modifications as I read the drawings. They cover two of the major concerns raised by members of the community.

The first is the building footprint will again be not much different to the existing building. The second is the clubroom area is being reduced back to a seating capacity of (in theory) 120 people. This, down from the 200 last proposed. This is not much more than the seating capacity of the existing clubroom.

Assuming development approval is granted, the new Council will have to determine how to best address the budget pressures. Among their choices will be;

  • reducing the scope of the project even further,
  • seeking additional funding (perhaps this time from the Federal Government), or
  • funding the shortfall ourselves.

With all this, onsite construction of the modified Goodwood Oval grandstand (or other) is unlikely prior to the end of June, 2019.

 

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

People Power Powerful when Planning Principles Promoted via Cr Palmer

This week we saw evidence again of the use of people power and promoting planning principles when representing on developments in your street.

 

Council’s Assessment Panel refused an overly ambitious development proposal for 102 East Avenue last night.

102 East Avenue Clarence ParkThis I am sure was on the back of three things;

  1. The representation of 8 neighbours.
  2. The representors sticking to planning principles.
  3. My support (providing local leadership) by speaking before the panel on behalf of three of the representors.

Refusal of an application is possible notwithstanding a recommendation for approval. This is what happened this week. There is no doubt in my mind. The representations made clearly influenced the Panel. Representations based on pure planning logic.

Kaufland, Anzac HighwayRegular readers of my blogs would be aware of my recent blog that people power only works when applied. The people did not turn out recently to represent against the recent Kaufland Development Application before the SCAP.

The same occurred last night in respect of a separate application before Council’s Assessment Panel.

People Power was present. Presenting on Planning Principles however was absent. In lieu, the argument presented was based on the impact on the value of my property. Whether the respondent was correct in his assertions or not this is not a planning principle and therefore not a consideration for members of the panel.

Approved Development for Culross Avenue and Fullarton Road.

Regular readers also know my thoughts on the developments now being proposed in the east of the City of Unley.

Those developments around Fullarton Road.

Developments of far greater density than what was refused last night.

By providing local leadership my co-councillor (Jennie Boisvert) and I avoided here in the west the sorts of developments being approved over there. Similar more impactful developments intruding way more than the one at 102 East would likely be approved.

The moral of this blog post then is for you (my neighbours) to understand that people power and sticking to planning principles can and does work. The other moral is that (if re-elected) I stand ready to work for you by proving local leadership.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Influencing the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways

While the local government elections proceed and we are in caretaker mode, I am still out there working for you. In particular, I am contributing to Council’s response to the Government’s proposed Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways.

As the Government’s reform package does not wait on Council elections it becomes difficult for elected members to have influence over the debate. That has not stopped me however.

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I am offering opinions in two current planning areas that impact on you.  They are the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways.

Accredited Professionals Scheme

In my opinion, the Accredited Professionals Scheme is sadly lacking and is fraught with danger. The proposed accreditation appears to be quite liberal.

The level of experience for assessment panel members is surprisingly limited. It flies in the face of the previous ministers’ assertions the involvement of Council elected members. He believed elected members largely had an insufficient skillset. The proposed qualifications however for future panel members would curiously allow elected members easy access to the panel.

Likewise, as a retired building inspector, I am concerned that the Level 4 accreditation for building inspectors requires only 6 months experience. It seems we may be moving to a system which allows what I would consider less competency than now. Surely a backwards step.

Assessment Pathways 

I am pushing that Assessment pathways for any development that has variances to the plan such that they impact on the neighbourhood, even if only “minor” should have a public consultation component to them.

We must continue to fight for this. This is because developments invariably will sit outside the parameters set in a development plan.

Assessment must remain with Council rather than with private certifiers when public notification is a requirement. This is because councils are the only body with the availability of being transparent and accountable.

Private Certifiers will never have the level of accountability that Councils have. Even with the number of elected members sitting on assessment panels reduced to one, accountability is only possible with Councils being responsible.

Two extremes of public notification need to be addressed. I am promoting accordingly.

Obviously larger developments must include public notification and this must extend beyond just the immediate neighbours. Rear of house developments regularly however do not impact on other than the immediate neighbour/s. This includes neighbours who live on the other side of the street and cannot see the development. Those not impacted should not be invited to make representation.

If re-elected, I will remain in a position of working for you and providing local leadership on the Accredited Professionals Scheme and Assessment Pathways and all subsequent planning changes.

 

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Providing Local Leadership: Why should I vote, not Do I have to vote.

Do I have to vote in the upcoming local government elections? This is a question I have heard asked a few times recently.

The question I believe that should be asked is not this one. It should be why should I vote in the upcoming local government elections.

Council Election VotingAre you happy with your local council, the services they are providing you, or not. Either way you have an opportunity to provide local leadership in the upcoming election.

Either way you should vote. With voting not being compulsory however, many of you will not vote. Historically 2 out of 3 of you will not. So why should you vote if you don’t have to.

You may not be happy with what Council has been doing. You may be unhappy with how your representatives, be that your Mayor or your Ward Councillors. Some of you won’t be.

If this is the case then you should surely vote. You cannot change what you don’t like without casting a vote for change. If you don’t you really can’t complain about what may be not right with Council.

With the retirement earlier this year of our previous Mayor, you will have a new Mayor after the elections.

You may on the other hand be happy with what Council is doing. You may be happy with the way your local Ward Councillors have been representing you.

If this is the case, why should I vote. Don’t believe that you don’t need to vote because all is well. By not voting you risk losing someone you believe is looking after your interests.

Many of you have indicated that you believe in my record and have faith in my future contribution. You have thanked me for working for you. Thanked me for providing local leadership. Thanked me for solving your issues for you. I appreciate these sentiments.

That said, over to You!

If you believe in me I need your vote. Please help me to help you by voting for me.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034

Providing Local Leadership: Giving Time and Passion.

As a retired businessman I can offer you something that none of the other candidates can. That is an abundance of time and passion that comes with being free.

 

Time and passionFree from the hassles of holding down a job. Free from having to commit to training for a future occupation.

 

To provide local leadership and to work for you it is important that your representative is giving you time and passion.

In my opinion you need to find 20 hours plus each week to be an effective elected member of council. Balancing family, work, social and play and the demands placed on you as an elected member can be most challenging. Anything less than 20 hours per week will mean you are not getting value from your representative.

Why would an elected member need to devote that much time you may well ask? Isn’t it just one meeting a month?

 

Working for you requires a commitment to the management role as a “board of management” contributor. The Local Government Act requires this of your representative.

This entails attending at least one full council meeting each month, plus at least one briefing. Attending these and (more importantly) preparing properly for these meeting is time consuming.

Then there are committees and we have many. Ideally they should be spread around. It tends not happen however. Some of us may be members of multiple committees while others may choose not to participate. I am one who contributes to multiple committees because I have the time and the passion where others don’t.

Then there is the need to give time to the various community groups who appreciate your support. The local sporting clubs, the community centre, the neighbourhood watch group etc.

The ultimate time commitment though, is the time devoted directly to you. The Local Government Act requires a person elected to council to represent the interests of residents and ratepayers, to provide community leadership and guidance, and to facilitate communication between the community and the council.

Time is something I have previously and still can offer you (more so), and wish to. In abundance. May I ask, can the other candidates?

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034