On A Personal Note – my family growing

I take this opportunity to announce that I am a third time round grandfather and proud of it.

Yes I now have three grand daughters. My first granddaughter Zeva is two and a half years old and a joy to play with. The other two are both recent arrivals. One, Caitlin will soon be 4 months old, the other, little Ivy, is just 10 days old today.

If I remember when reporting the birth of Caitlin Ivy now makes the three musketeers.

Life is Good!

Nanna, Zeva & Ivy.

A Win for this Elected Member on Street Cleaning

I received advice yesterday from our Depot’s management team that we will be trialling a new system of advance notification of our intent to clean the gutters of a given street.

I suggested early last year after prompting by a resident in Frederick Street Clarence Park that we consider texting selected residents that we are about to clean their street. This resident envisaged a scheme similar to that used by the CFS on bushfire days. People have the opportunity to volunteer to be included in the texting register.

Since then I have continued to nudge this and it appears other councillors have started doing the same.

The benefits of doing this include:

1    That we, as residents, will know our streets are being cleaned.

2     That we will know when which enables us to

a) Get our street parked cars out of the way so that the whole street can be cleaned.
b) Volunteer to sweep the mess on the footpath into the gutters on streets that we know are not wide enough for our footpath sweeper to access.
c) Allow those who get the message to pass it onto neighbours they know have not provided their mobile phone number to.

When I know more about when this may be rolled out I will advise through this blog

Is this the biggest issue facing 4 Councils this year.

Flood Mitigation in the flood plains of the Brownhill Creek catchment area is back in the news as each of the affected councils  start their new year.

I refer in particular to the article in the Hills & Valley Messenger and refer to the link below.


Unley Council has yet to take a position on the project as we seek to further information to show whether any of the proposals have enough substance to be considered. That includes the plan that has gone out already to public consultation or any of the subsequent 5 (no dam) options being promoted by Mitcham Council at this point in time.

I have already posted re my concerns that any these options do not impact on our tree heritage in a similar vein to the impact claimed in Mitcham by the use of a dam. As an elected member of Unley I need to be convinced “beyond reasonable doubt” about the validity of any of the options before i vote for any particular one to be advanced as the solution.

There is surely a lot of water to flow under the bridge before this one can be solved I suspect.

When the time comes we need to hear the views of the citizens of Unley, both those affected by the flood plains and those who aren’t and we need to take a balanced position so that our Community actually benefits.

iPads are Go!

At last night’s council meeting we approve the use of iPads for elected members. I was impressed at the responsible debate on this topic as there will be issues with introducing this particular piece of technology.

Certainly it has the potential to empower us; to keep us in the timely loop as never before; to allow us to cart around our agenda and supporting documentation, along with all the other paperwork we get landed with in a single small receptacle; to be able to keep and access the mountains of information we receive.

iPads will come with a steep learning curve however and I don’t necessarily mean how to use the technology but in developing the disciplines to use it wisely. I am confident, having heard the debate last night that we are as a collective body, ready to step out of our comfort zones and give this a fair dinkum effort to make it work.

If we do there will be significant savings to our budget and we can lay claim to being green due to the vast reduction in paper we will produce.

Unley Museum Silver Collection Exhibition

Mayor Lachlan Clyne opened the new exhibition at the Unley Museum last week.
Volunteers, Friends, Councillors, Curators, Mayors and members of the museum and history community attended. The afternoon included speeches from Mayor Clyne, Anne Milne (Friends of the Unley Museum President), and Elizabeth Hartnell (current Curator).

The new exhibition is the Silver Selection from Our Collection.

Come stop by the Museum at 80 Edmund Avenue in Unley for your own viewing of the Silver Selection. It is a collection of exhibits found by people invited by the Musuem to peruse their archives for items that mean something to them.

Amongst the many exhibits you can view a picture of England v South Australia at (yes) Unley Oval way back; a doctors ear syringe, a cash register, a morse code machine (the start of technology as we know it today). An original bed pan, complete with instructions for use for maximum comfort of the patient clearly is a classic.

For those who may interested I was one of the invitees and I chose a pew sheet from St Augustine’s Anglican Church from Anzac Day of 1933. As a Warden at St Augustine’s and Anzac Day being very special to me I was delighted to include it in the exhibition.

I am not going to tell you what else is there. You have to see it for yourself.

For those who have (as the add a few years ago said) “been there too1” you will love the stroll down memory lane to an Unley that used to be.

Brownhill & Keswick Creek Stormwater Project

Further to my recent post on the additional options that were presented to the City of Mitcham recently I note that the consultants themselves, Worley Parsons, indicated in the workshop they presented for us that, without conducting any feasibility studies into these 5 options, that the recommended option currently out for public consultation is still the most effective in mitigating the instances of flooding from stormwater events.

Our staff are also busy preparing our response to the current draft plan. We have identified areas that we believe have been omitted and which should be included such as ensuring the culvert under Unley Road is included in the plan. The culvert is a state government responsibility through the newly formed Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI), formerly DTEI.

Once the consultation with stakeholders has concluded a new workshop (in the new year of course) will be scheduled for elected members to shape our response.

Should any of the 5 other options be found to be feasible (and I struggle to see that they are) then the project will have to back out again for further consultation. If this were to happen who knows how much longer it will take to get to a 5 council agreement.

Adelaide Showgrounds Market Christmas schedule

The Adelaide Showgrounds market will be opening as follows over Christmas/New Years

Sunday 18th December – 9am-1pm – last Sunday Market for the year!

Thursday 22nd December – 4pm – 8pm – Christmas Twilight Market

Thursday 29th December – 4pm – 8pm – New Year’s Twilight Market

Sunday 25th December – MARKET CLOSED

Sunday 1st January – MARKET CLOSED

Sunday 8th January – 9am – 1pm – first Sunday Market for 2012

The two twilight markets should be a great atmosphere and a great opportunity to stock up for both your Christmas and you New Years celebrations, noting that both are on Sunday this season.

Join the fun and stock up on those cherries and strawberries etc. Fresh locally grown produce – a South Australian Christmas.

Deputy Mayor

As flagged in June (from memory) by the Mayor a motion was put at the November meeting of Council to appoint a Mayor.

Lachlan’s approach to this is to make the position of Deputy Mayor open to members or each Ward on a rotation over the remaining term of this Council. That means 6 members (one from each ward) has the opportunity to act as his deputy for a period of 6 months.

The duties of a Deputy mayor are such that I believe this is not a bad approach.

With debate lively Councilor Koumi felt it prudent to move a formal motion that the motion (for deputy mayor) lay on the table. My understanding is that had the original motion been put to the vote and lost it could not be bought back for twelve months so I supported Councilor Koumi. The formal motion was passed.

Solar Easy Update

The Solar Shop has now been placed into liquidation.

We have been re-assured that the Solar Shop liquidation has nothing to do with the ongoing sale of the business, or the servicing of Solar Shop customers including our residents. It is a procedural matter. Eastern Regional Alliance (the 7 councils partcipating in this scheme) customers will still receive their panels from the new company of Solar Shop under control of Australian Solar Electric and Premier Solar Group.

As a quick update there are, in ERA, about 60 Solar Easy customers pending, and all have been contacted. Bookings for installs are expected to occur next week, with the new owner still planning to have all installations completed by Christmas. (They are awaiting arrival of a shipment of Suntech panels).