Picket Fences around Unley Oval


Will picket fences be considered under a yet to be commenced Master Plan for Unley Oval or will they sneak in through the back door before the plan starts.

This is effectively what is on the line when Council debates on Monday night (at …. don’t forget….. Goodwood Community Centre) a trial of fencing in isolated locations around the Oval in the coming months.

At their recent meeting the Unley Oval Advisory Group felt it might be a good idea to trial fencing around the oval (in sections only) to gauge how well they may work to address OHSW concerns of Sturt FC.  It was also felt by the group that it would give Council an opportunity to gauge how well received fencing may or may not be by the residents who use the area when organised sporting activities are not being conducted on the ground.

There has been widespread media attention to Sturt’s “need” for picket fencing.

The trial however will be using the fencing that is currently erected each home game and herein lies what I believe, as a member of the Unley Oval Advisory Group, was the real impetus behind considering such a trial.
 Our management responsible for erecting and dismantling the fencing for these home games (yes this is done at our cost, not Sturt’s) are concerned at the age of the fencing and the logistics of conducting this exercise, on weekends. Having enough staff to be available is proving a concern to our management and as we approach the time when we must make a decision to replace this temporary fencing because it is no longer usable we are being faced with a need to consider whether we should continue to use temporary fencing at cost to our ratepayers or come up with another solution.
In accepting these concerns it is not unreasonable for the Advisory Group to make the suggestion they have to Council and I support that right.
I have a serious concern however, as a Councillor that the timing of this is inappropriate in that it should not be done without first having been considered as part of the Master Planning for this facility. It is simply wrong to make decisions about new or changed infrastructure before Master Planning is carried out.
As the Master Planning is not ready yet to commence I will be encouraging Council to not proceed even though I am a member of the group proposing it.

Let’s get into the Master Planning, which will address the needs of ALL the clubs using the Oval and surrounds AND importantly the residents who use it as well.


PS   I will report the decision made on Monday night as soon as I am able so watch this space.

Unley Oval

It was great to see our CEO follow on from comments I made in my post of 3rd July regarding Sturt FC and Unley Oval under the heading community assets review.

His letter to the editor of the Eastern Courier refers. (Sorry but if you want to know what he has to say .. get a copy of this week’s Eastern Courier).

It is good to see also that as a member of both the community assets review committee for council and as a member of the Unley Oval Advisory Group that the press does not know more than I do. I must say I was starting to wonder reading some of the articles in the last few weeks.

As a member of those groups I am keen to see us move forward to creating a workable master plan that works for residents and works also for the clubs (including Sturt) using this and other facilities. This will take time and any preempting of the results will be counter productive in my view.

I note that council last Monday night at the City Strategy & Policy committee meeting agreed to investigate short term leasing options for the building containing Jack’s bar to buy time while the master planning process begins. To do otherwise would have been a mistake.

As we move forward it was great to see Sturt’s CEO Matt Benson in a letter to council indicate that the club is recognising the need to focus on where they want to be in the future, encouraged by Council’s Community Assets Review.

Now onto more important news.

I will be hading off to what used to be called the “Ponderosa” to see the double blues take on the team of the last decade in Centrals to pursue their claim on the top five. Go Blues!

Community Assets Review Update

Following on from posts of the14th and 25th April on this blog site I had cause to respond to a question from an interested ratepayer regarding the possible redevelopment of the Unley Oval. Picket Fences and Grandstand extensions having been in the News lately.

Below is my responce to our ratepayer. I felt it prudent to bring all those who watch this blog in on the answer as soem of you may have similar questions. Whilst the answer is in responce to Unley Oval, it applies also to Goodwood Oval and to Millswood Sporting Complex.


Back in 2006 or 2007 Council commenced a community assets review. The aim of the review was to review all the building assets of council to determine the state of the building and to determine if they were fit for use for the clubs and groups in our communities that use them.
This review stalled until the current council picked it up. I am a member of this committee.
Over the last 12 months we have liaised with the clubs and groups using our buildings and other key stakeholders. We have determined that a master plan will be required not only for the Unley Oval precinct but the Goodwood Oval precinct and the Millswood Sporting complex.
A number of recommendations will be put to Council possibly in August and with their endorsement we will be going out to the wider community to seek their input. I expect this to be in September of this year.
Once this is done we will be moving on to creating master plans for all three areas.
Realistically there can be no action at any of these venues until master plans are done and approved and included in the long term financial plans of Council. I suggest we’re talking a  20 year plan in all cases to see anything come to fruition.
The Sturt Football Club clearly would like things to happen sooner. In my opinion, whilst there are some things they might have on the WishList, they don’t have their own clear strategic plan going forward. Having said that some of those things may come to fruition.

Commmunity Asset Review Update

The Community Asset Review Committee met this week in preparation of  a proposal being put to council ready for public consultation maybe in August of this year.

As a member of  that group I am keen having had input now from the key stakeholders (the clubs and groups using our buildings)  to move the project forward and see what the residents and rate payers believe about how we should utilise our facilities into the future.

I am also a member of both the Unley Oval Advisory Group and the Goodwood Oval Advisory Group. Both these groups have indicated a desire to see what the club’s wish lists are and offer opinion on this.

Both Goodwood Oval and the Millswood complex are likely at the end of this consultation to go down the road of having master plans developed for them.

I expect the report to be put to next months City Strategy & Policy Committee meeting so watch this space.

Community Asset Review Update

The first stage of our Community Assets Review has been completed and the committee is preparing a report for council to consider. This report will advise Council of the results of the primary stakeholder consultation and the committees recommendations for going forward.

All the clubs have been consulted and we believe we know reasonably well how they see their future’s and their plans for the future. The clubs were invited recently to one of two BBQs we organised to thank them for their participation in the consultation. This was valuable exercise as we (and in particular the elected members of the committee, Mayor Clyne, Cr Salaman and myself) got to hear first hand the issues facing the clubs.

There will be a number of recommendations put to council directed at the use of our facilities by these clubs.

We will also be recommending a path forward for consulting the larger community who want and need to access our open spaces, and maybe our buildings. The larger community is you and me. We all need to get a benefit from our parks and gardens. This process will take us through August to October, allowing us to put a proposal to Council in November or December.

At this early stage it looks like we will be heading down the path of preparing master plans for both sites in Goodwood South; Goodwood Oval and the Millswood Sporting Complex. The same will apply in the eastern side of the City at Unley Oval. And yes that is likely to mean we will not see anything physically happening at any of the venues for some time, meaning leases to the various clubs should not be seen as in jeopardy.

Let’s face it, we are looking at how our assets may be employed not next year but 5 years from now, 10 years from now; indeed 20 years from now.