Why would we provide a subsidy to Business

The question “why would we provide a subsidy to business” is resonating in the media today. This repeats a question asked by elected members at our last meeting. We debated then whether to accept a request for grant funding by the Hyde Park Tavern.

Hyde Park Tavern The Tavern’s application for grant funding was partially successful. Council voted 7-5 in favour of grant funding of $10,000. They had requested funding for half the budgeted cost of $ 70,000 for the project.

Debate on the night was lively. Many elected members I suggest argued that we are not and should not be in business to subsidise business. That is true. I agree.

The project however for which funding was requested and approved was to create an outdoor dining area. An outdoor dining area, not on their land, but on council land.

I believe those who supported the grant recognised that this business was prepared to invest in improving “our” infrastructure”. In other words it is a case not of a subsidy to business but supporting businesses who wish to contribute to improve the amenity of the neighbourhood in which they operate.

Why would we provide a subsidy to Business. I say because they are prepared to invest in their community. Because this will improve the environment in King William Road. And because this will be  a welcome forerunner to the redevelopment of King William Road north of the Tavern.

Council has been looking for some time now to reinvest in King William Road just north of the Tavern. We are currently redeveloping Goodwood Road in similar fashion. Businesses in both strips will benefit from any such redevelopment. In these cases no business will be asked to put their hand in their pocket to assist in funding the redevelopment of our infrastructure.

At Goodwood Road this means that businesses such as Gingers, Boulangerie, Goodwood Bakehouse, Two Sisters, the Capri will potentially benefit from the work we are currently doing. What about the businesses on King William Road north of the Tavern. How many of them will benefit? Should they be asked to contribute to those projects.

We should be thankful that the Hyde Park Tavern is prepared to undertake redevelopment of Council’s infrastructure. Such development makes for a thriving and more vibrant city. A thriving business district is an essential component of a desirable neighbourhood.

King William Road to Keep it’s Pavers

The Legacy of the State Government imposing on Local Government any informal meeting of Council being available to the public is on show this week with the storey about King William Road in the Eastern Courier and the subsequent media explosion.

The legislation requiring this has led to this week’s headlines about King William Road, headlines based on discussions in an informal gathering of Council that have no legal status. Headlines that have left our community believing we have made decisions contrary to our vision for King William Road.

King William Road

King William Road for pedestrians

Councillors and Senior Management discussed how the role out of our King William Road Master Plan is going. Because any informal gathering of council must now be open to the public this discussion was attended by our local press representative.

For those out there who believe the headlines and can’t understand why we would pull those pavers up and put asphalt down in its place don’t panic. We have made no such decision.

Your stress is State Government induced. By making all our meetings subject to public attendance we no longer can simply discuss an issue without people believing that the discussion is tantamount to a decision on our part.

Here is what happened.

Anyone who has frequented King William Road in the last two years would be aware we have trailed the use of parklets in the precinct. The first two have now been replaced with permanent kerb build outs allowing comfortable alfresco dining in two of the side streets.

This shows some receptivity by traders to modifying the King William Road environment between Park/Mitchell Streets and Arthur Street. Enough to suggest moving the master plan forward.

Administration advised during the discussion that with the need to consider repaving the street in the near future, moving the master planning forward was probably a good move. They did compare the cost of doing this by bitumen rather than pavers to assist us elected members understand what we are faced with.

We are likely to see later this year a report from Administration come to a full meeting of council. At that meeting I suggest we are likely to decide whether to pick up the pace of improving the road to make it more pedestrian friendly and therefore more of a destination sooner than our current program is doing.

A far cry from replacing our 30-year-old pavers with asphalt or bitumen.

If you are interested, you can view the 2014 master Plan draft here.

Transforming King William Road- where to from here.

In this blog I hope to answer the question Transforming King William Road- where to from here?


The need to transform King William Road was addressed in my last blog. In this blog I provide some insight into what is planned next. So…..Transforming King William Road- where to from here?

The parklets that were located in Opey Avenue and in Bloomsbury Street have been relocated as other businesses have indicated to Council  desire to have them in front of their businesses. Turning the street into a more people friendly environment is being appreciated.

The locations where there were will not revert back to the old days of a year or more ago. Use of the parklets has always been for a time limited period. These street intersections with King William Road however are about to be permanently transformed.

Opey AvenueBoth businesses who requested the original parklets are so impressed they want a permanent solution. In April work will commence on constructing kerb build outs at both Opey and Bloomsbury.



These build outs will benefit all businesses in that they will, we expect, attract people to stop and stay awhile at King William Road. They will be similar to what has already been constructed on the corner of Unley Road. Whilst built for safety reasons it is obvious by casual observation that this is a popular hang out for people shopping in our precinct.

The build outs will still allow two cars to travel through the intersection but it will be more pedestrian friendly in that:

it will be a raised area, at the same height as the adjacent footpaths.

bollards will be strategically located around  the corners

the area will be landscaped

protected seating will be provided

For your reference and knowing Transforming King William Road- where to from here the link below to our website will take you to the KWR document – page 48 describes the Side street intersections under the Curated Street Concept.

Transforming King William Road

Transforming King William Road has been high on Council’s agenda for some time now.


Respective Councils have recognised the need for transforming King William Road, many would argue Adelaide’s premier shopping strip, to make it relevant for the future. Relevancy for the future is ensuring it supports the ageing baby boomers and with that an increase in the number of people with physical disabilities. It requires evolving into the sort of precinct most likely to be adopted by the emerging Gen Ys.

Sorry Gen X but research shows that in 2017 you will have surpassed the boomers as the group with the most buying power. By 2020 you in turn will be surpassed by Gen Y.

Back to the boomers, we will need a shopping environment that will support our mobility concerns. We will need to navigate from one side of the road to the other, have ease of access to the shops. With the car being currently the most important means of moving people and with entrances to the shops being high steps this presents a significant challenge.

Gen Y on the other hand is a group looking for inner city living by preference to enjoy the cosmopolitan lifestyle. Their movement preference hierarchy we are being told is walking first, followed by cycling and then public transport in its varying forms. Cars will be (it is suggested) the least preferred means of moving people.

Meeting these needs and many others is a costly exercise and Council in acknowledging this has recognised that a gradual transportation is a sensible approach.

parkletSo we trialled the parklets with great success. These have proved very popular. They have been well utilised by consumers frequenting the King William Road shopping strip. These people are staying longer as a result and apparently are spending more while there as a result. Any negative from say the reduction in available car parks has been well and truly trumped.

So successful have they been that other traders want them on front of their premises. A far cry from only a few years ago when they would rue the loss of the car park in front of their shop.

So successful has this been that we are about to commence the next step in transforming King William Road. Please look out for my next blog for some detail on this.





First Parklet installed in King William Road precinct

After the successful Parklet trial mid year last year as part of Council’s long term vision for the King William Road Precinct the first of two Parklets has been constructed at the corner of King William Road and Opey avenue.


This Parklet, otherwise known as a temporary public space, has been created within the footprint of two car-parks in Opey Street outside Cotto. It will provide areas for people to meet gather and enjoy the local environment.

A second parklet will be constructed outside Nutrition Republic. Both should be operational within the next week.

parklet under construction in Opey Street

parklet under construction in Opey Street


Focusing more on giving people a reason to visit and stay (a focus on people) rather than were they can park (a focus on cars) these new parklets should help to revitalize Adelaide’s premier retail strip. It will create new life.

Available under licence fr a 12 month period they will provide great opportunity for people to stay in the precinct in a similar manner to shopping centres. After 12 months, new locations to relocate the Parklets will be sought from the local community.

The Cotto Parklet will seek to create a safe and welcoming setting for young families to visit King William Road and for children to spend time within the precinct. The Parklet will provide activities to entertain children as well encourage local music, face painting and food displays throughout the year.

Nutrition Republic will provide a social setting for people to pause and relax whilst they are out walking their dog, going for a run or ride, or after a local yoga class. The Parklet will also host a range of community demonstrations around health and wellness and welcome the input of other local businesses.

The Parklets are expected to be open for public use by the 31st of January.

The Parklets will be smoke and alcohol free and will not be solely used for the purpose of outdoor dining. They are to remain public spaces for all to use.”

For further information on the Parklet Program and nomination process, please visit www.unley.sa.gov.au.

Variety back on King William Road

King William Road again plays host to one of Variety’s biggest events of the year, Variety on King William 2014.

The latest spring summer fashion trends from  our exclusive shopping strip will be showcased in a gorgeous fashion show on one of the longest runways in town for Variety on King William 2014. It all happens this coming Friday, 17 October.
Guests will be seated alfresco style on the road and enjoy a sublime four course menu oozing spring flavours and created by some of the road’s favourite restaurants, all matched with fine South Australian Wines. 
Join the event here to be kept up to date  with all the latest information
COST : $140 pp, $1400 for a table of 10.
Corporate Packages available. Email [email protected] for details.
Book your tickets here. Don’t delay – they are selling quickly!
Of course there is plenty of room to witness it for free by wondering up and down this premium shopping strip.Take the opportunity as a guest or spectator. It is a fun and spectacular event.

Parklet Project to Proceed

Two applications have been received for Council’s innovative King William Road Parklet trial.

Nutrician Republic and Cotto have been shortlisted for the 12 month trial.
For the full storey go to Council’s website here.

First important baby steps for King William Road

Last night Council endorsed a long term vision for King William Road based on concepts that have recently been worked up by our administration and an extensive public consultation. They also approved a pilot parklet program.

Council unanimously backed this initiative via a motion put by Cr Koumi (who is the presiding member of the Unley Business and Economic Development committee) and seconded by myself (as a member of that committee).

As I spoke of last night this about Council (who consist mainly of the baby boomer and driver generations) recognising that the future of what once was the premier shopping destination in the wider Adelaide environs must be based on what the gen X and gen Y generation expect from their shopping experience.

The focus on the transaction that typifies the boomers and Drivers must give way to the wish of the Gen X & Y’ers which is based not on the transaction but the experience. This is a necessity where simply transactional shopping can and is predominantly being done on the internet.

And we have not just endorsed the vision we have approved taking the first baby steps via the use of two parklets to be located by collaboration with the businesses of the strip. This project will test the waters of what can be achieved.

I congratulate the design team for working up the concepts that now form part of the vision for this strip. If you would like to check out their report go to this link.

This should lead in my mind to King William Road again being the premier shopping strip of the wider Adelaide environs.

Once Upon A Time – coffee style

Once upon a time, instead of going to the movies or watching TV, people would gather to listen to someone tell a story or recite a poem. This was a custom that celebrated the beauty of the spoken word and engaged the community. The City of Unley has brought the oral storytelling tradition back to life by presenting live poetry performances in local Cafés.

In the lead up to Double Shot Unley Coffee Fiesta, five local cafes will host performance poets working in their spaces for around two hours. Writing, reading, performing and chatting you can meet, listen to and drink with professional poets.

Then, join our poets at Double Shot on Sunday 16 March for more action!.
Full program to be announced. Watch this space.
Participating cafes are:
  • By Blackbird Coffee and Desert Cafe, Shop4, 100 King William Road, Hyde Park
  • Hyde Park Bakery, 1 Mitchell St, Hyde Park
  • Pellegrini Café, 169 Unley Road, Unley
  • Lunch Club, Unley Shopping Centre, Unley Road
  • Carnevale Coffee 114 East Avenue, Clarence Park
This project is an initiative of The City of Unley’s Where Business Meets Art project in conjunction with Friendly Street Poets and SA Writers Centre.
All enquiries please contact Matthew Ives [email protected]  83725134
View the photos from the 2011 Coffee, Tea & Poetry project.