The future of Unley’s Village Green is in good hands, those of our community.

The future of Unley’s Village Green is in good hands. Council has accepted a report on the findings of our Civic Precinct Working Group into how our village green may look into the future.


We are blessed to have a community that cherishes the environment in which they live. Accordingly, members of our Civic Precinct Working Group, have provided us with a blueprint for the future of our Village Green. With such as this, the future of the Village Green is in good hands.

Unley Village GreenThey have, without elected member influence, willingly provided Council an insight into how the village green may look going forward. As a result, I have confidence in saying the Village Green is in good hands.


I repeat my thank you (at our recent council meeting) to the Civic Precinct Working Group. They gave their time to prepare the vision we have accepted on behalf of our community. As I indicated to the gallery at our last Council meeting, the people on this committee have experienced what it is like to be on Council, to consider what is good for our community.

They must feel good about their contribution. Well done, each of you.


The committee has provided your elected members a raft of opportunities for further consideration.

They have provided Council with a blueprint that focuses on the following:

1. The Unley Civic Precinct should attract more of the local
community to access and enjoy the precinct, providing greater
flexibility of use during the day and early evenings;

2. The Unley Civic Precinct is defined by the quality of its safer
local streetscapes, built and natural heritage, flexible public
spaces and diversity of community services;

3. The Unley Civic Precinct provides greater co-ordination
between the different stakeholders to provide for the needs of
the local community; and

4. The Unley Civic Precinct is a central community destination,
supported by a program of services, events and activities, in a
range of greener civic settings.

A number of options has been provided to us to achieve these aims. As a result, it is possible that the village green itself could grow in size along with a number of other improvements. Something many may remember I have long promoted as a potential for the future. I particularly was encouraged with a number of considerations were considered that would tidy up the architecture of the rear of the cottages along Edmund Avenue.

They even considered a need to refocus the Civic Centre to integrate better with the green and with Oxford Street. In other words, to have the Civic Centre open up to the surrounding facility rather than  focus inward.

For further detail of their report go to page 29 of the agenda for the July 23 Council meeting.

Save Our Village Green

I have been made aware of a public event that has been organised to Save Our Village Green.

The Friends of the City of Unley Society (FOCUS) has organised the event. They are calling it Appreciation Afternoon at the Historic Unley Village Green. It will be held next Sunday 19th February between 4pm and 6pm. If you are passionate about all things Unley you might want to come along and see what is on offer.

On the back of my earlier blog today the event and claims on their website raises concerns for me. Concerns that Council and our residents appear not to be working together.

The focus of their afternoon appears is to protest to Council.

They claim on the Save Our Village Green website we are demolishing the cottages and building a 8 storey building in their place. This is simply not true as is a previous claim made on the same website until this weekend. That claim indicated we are about to build an 8-storey building ON the village green.

As any responsible leadership body should do, Council is examining whether the expected new planning rules provide an opportunity to redevelop the civic centre site. Council made this known publicly late last year. We invited our community to sit down with us and have a discussion. A discussion to find what possibilities for redevelopment may be possible. Rather than take up our request to talk we have what appears to be a protest against a development that does not exist.

They are calling the green historic implying it has been here since settlement days and not just 30 years old. The photo shows the new Civic Centre building. The cottages back yards are still intact.


Oxford Terrace and the Village Green

On a personal note, if Council and its community were working together, I would like us to have a conversation about the village green in isolation. That conversation would focus on how best could the village green be redeveloped to improve it. Yes. Improve it. Let’s not just Save our Village Green.

Let’s make it more accessible to more people, including those locals who don’t know it exists.

For mine we should consider if it would be better relocated to front Oxford Terrace and take advantage of the potential conversion of Oxford Terrace into a Boulevard.

Why not have this conversation. I ask both Council and the Residents. Do you want to be part of the solution or part of the problem?

If you want to know what our Mayor is thinking check his blog on the same subject here.

What do you think of Unley Council? That is what I was met with this morning by one of our Rate Payers.

She was clearly distressed. They are tearing down the Council Chamber she declared. “We have to stop them” she said repeatedly.


central-squareHer concerns related to Council’s recent announcement about investigating redeveloping the Civic Centre Site. She understood Council was about to demolish the Town Hall and the Library. She believed that Council had sent her a letter confirming this.

Newspaper articles have refrained from identifying the Civic Centre site. They have used words like “towering over Town Hall”.  Words like “radical proposal to cannibalise its own Council Chambers”. Ratepayers and others are also distributing flyers indicating Council WILL be building 8 storeys on the Village Green.

Please, please, please! Pay no attention to this alarmist dialogue. It is untrue. For the truth I invite you read my recent blog post.

And let me stress:

1    The Council is only considering whether or not to redevelop the Civic Centre Site. The Civic Centre site houses Council’s administration.

2   We are not demolishing the Town Hall or the Library. They are State Heritage listed buildings. As anyone who knows, we are very proactive in protecting our heritage.

3   We are not going to build over the Town Hall or Library.

4   We have no intention of building an 8 storey building on the Village Green.

5   We have not sent any letter saying otherwise.

6   We are simply looking into what opportunities a redevelopment of the Civic Centre site will provide to better serve the community of Unley.

7   The investigation will take some 12 months.

8   Our community will be asked to contribute what they believe we can achieve in considering such a redevelopment.

We will soon be asking you to help us determine what would be the best use of the Civic Centre site for our future community.

Can I close by asking you this question. Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?


Village Green Plaza Opened

As part of the multi cultural fair held today by St Augustine’s Anglican Church the Village Green Plaza was opened by Mayor Clyne this morning.

Mayor Clyne, dressed in his Army fatigues (he apparently is on call this weekend as an Army Reservist), was

The plaza was a joint project between St Augustine’s Anglican Church of Unley and council designed to open up access to the village green from the Memorial Gardens on the other side of Unley Road.. The existence of the green, which sits behind the Council’s Civic Centre and St Augustine’s Church is not obvious to may who frequent the area.

The community in the know have already taken the opportunity to make use of the opportunity to walk through what was once a fenced off and inaccessible area. From the church’s point of view Priest in Charge the Venerable Peter Chilver has always maintained that the Church should be open to the whole community. The Plaza project, as with recent other changes including the removal of the gaol like gates to their courtyard, are showing St Augustine’s is welcoming all who venture into Unley Central.

From a Council point of view this project is a demonstration of what can be achieved to build on and improve community open space infrastructure. The joint Library/Church carpark may be the next stage of a series of opportunities in and around Unley Central to shape the area for the community or the future.

Multicultural Fair – celebrating Unley’s diversity

As an elected member of the City of Unley and a Warden at St Augustine’s Anglican Church I am pleased to see this event take place and trust everyone will take the opportunity to come along and help us celebrate a great initiative to open up the space between St Augustine’s and the council to the community. 

The following is a press release from council.

St Augustine’s Church, in conjunction with the Unley City Council, are holding a Multicultural Fair and Grand Opening of the new Village Green Plaza on Saturday 2 November.

The fair starts at 9am with a recital by a lone piper, followed by performances and food stalls from numerous multi-cultural and charitable organisations.

 Mayor of Unley, Lachlan Clyne, will officially open the Village Green Plaza at 11am. St Augustine’s and The City of Unley have been working together to re-develop the Plaza into an attractive and functioning space. 

Food stalls will be held showcasing the traditional foods of the local Chinese, Hungarian and Indian communities.  The will also be a colourful performance of rational dance by the Armenian Society.
Operations Flinders will be hosting a Quandong (Wild Peach) Pie Stall and an abseiling wall on the bell tower for those with some energy to wear off.

An exciting array of stalls will offer crafts, cakes, coffee, pastries and books to try, taste and buy.
Charities, organisations and cultural groups who participate will retain all proceeds. Community groups who wish to run their own stall can still get involved. Interested stall holders can contact Brenton on 0418 883 550.

A multi-cultural, non-denominational church service will also be held the next day on Sunday 3 November at 5pm with a taste of different cuisines to follow.
Event Details: 
Multicultural Fair

Saturday 2 November, 9am – 2pm

Village Green Plaza (Opposite the Unley Shopping Centre).

Just what is the history of the Village Green Artwork

With the Village Green plaza now being used by people to access the Green through the Church (St Augustine’s) from Unley Road questions are being asked?

The following article is straight off Unley’s web site.

Four Elements Artwork

Do you have stories about the Four Elements artworks on the Village Green, or know those involved in it’s construction?

four elements 
The City of Unley is looking for help from our community with any stories, photos or films people may have about the development, installation and use over many years of these popular artworks on the Village Green.
The Four Elements artworks on the Village Green at the back of the Council offices were commissioned in December 1980.
We would also like any information people have on the whereabouts of any of the people involved in its design and construction.
Please contact Matthew Ives 8372 5134 [email protected]
four elemets plaque

Village Green

Prior to the Extension soon to commence the old fig tree in the Village Green was removed today.

The tree was in relatively poor condition and had a terrible shape which could not be remedied.

From a practical perspective, it offered little if no shade and was in a position that made it awkward for organisers of community events. We have had a number of complaints in the past year about its look and shape.

Then extension to the green previously reported on in this blog will hopefully get under way early next year. As we work up some further concepts for the village green over the next 12 months or so, we will look at planting some additional mature trees in appropriate locations to maintain a balance between open usable space and shade. 
On a positive note, the new benches and table are proving to be popular and well utilised and we will look at installing one or two more on the green.

Punjabi Merla 2012 Festival a Success

Mayor Lachlan Clyne opened the Merla Festival last Sunday and it was a great success.


This was the first event by the Sikh Society of South Australia and another demonstration of the multi-cultural diversity of the City of Unley.


Sikhism is one of the LIVING religions of the world today, along with Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and Zoroastrianism. Sikhism in the youngest of them all.

Sikhism is the ONLY indigenous product of INDIA. Hinduism has all its roots in the Vedic religion of Aryans who migrated to India from outside. The remaining religions above are of SEMITIC origin. Sikhism is not a mere reform of Hinduism. It has certain principles in common with Hinduism as ALL religions have but has fundamental differences which clearly define it as a separate religion.

Council Staff and elected members who attended were all of the belief that this should become a regular event on the Unley Calendar. And the Village Green proved an ideal venue.

Look out for next year’s festival and join in celebrations.

Village Green Extension

A project close to my heart is taking shape.

Council and St Augustine’s Anglican Church are negotiating to make land between the church and the village green accessible to the community at large.

While I keep pushing for projects in Goodwood South this is one outside of Goodwood South I am keen to see happen. This is a project that will provide open space for employees of the council, the library and the various community groups using the cottages along Edmund Street, not to mention the volunteers of Aggies Opp Shoppe next to the church to relax, have a drink, enjoy lunch etc.

I anticpate it will work also for Wedding Photos.

 This is a project that will open the door for improving the Unley Central Area over time. It will open up the area between the shopping centre and the green. It may look similar to the picture below of the successful redevelopment of Vine Street in Prospect

Imagine such a paved, planter box environmnet leading onto the lawned area of the village green at the other end, with a link aroud to the council carpark.

Of course when the time comes to vote on a final time I am going to have to declare a conflict of interest both in Council and with the church’s parish council. I trust my colleagues will see the benefit and vote to allow it to happen.