Now that the dust has settled on the State election it is now time to turn our attention to Local Government

Congratulations to Jayne Stinson on being elected as the member for Badcoe and to David Pisoni on being returned in the seat of Unley. I look forward to working with you both to better our local community.

Councillor, Clarence Park Ward. City of Unley.

Now that the dust has settled on the State election it is now time to turn our attention to Local Government. Yes! Council elections are scheduled for November this year.

It is my intention to put my hand up again. I will be looking to continue as one of your two Clarence Park Ward Councillors.


Why Councillor? Why not Mayor?

Many people have asked me in recent times to run for Mayor, which is certainly flattering. I believe however my true value to council and to its ratepayers is to focus on being a Ward Councillor.

The elections will see a significant turnover of elected members. Two members, one being the Mayor, have already resigned. Two other councillors have announced that they will not be renominating. A fifth is considering his future.

Five of 13 positions on Council will therefore see a change of member.

Two, maybe three, of our current membership are considering running for Mayor. Given anyone losing the Mayoral race will not be on Council this means a turnover of 7 out of the 13 positions. If I were to run for mayor too the change will lift to 8, 9 if an outsider won the Mayoral race.

Change is usually healthy. It is good to see change after each council election. New ideas, new perspective, new energy etc. If the extent of change is excessive however this can be unsettling.

This is because the learning curve when stepping into the elected member role is extreme. New members therefore need time to settle in.

Running for Mayor, with so many others considering it, would increase this risk.

The extended use of the lighting at Goodwood Oval confuses Grandstand consultation

Hopefully a development application for the extended use of the lighting at Goodwood Oval does not hinder the Grandstand Redevelopment.


A development application for extended use of the lighting at Goodwood Oval has been submitted to Council. The timing of this application by the Goodwood Saints Football Club is poor. It will run concurrently with the consultation on the new Goodwood Oval Grandstand.

This is therefore not healthy, and I suggest poor timing by the Goodwood Saints.


First of all, public consultation on the Grandstand is essential to achieving good design. As a result we look to our community to contribute to the design and to take ownership of the design.

Extended use of the lighting is a totally separate project. The Development Regulations deem this as development.

It requires public notification, in this case a category 3 notification. Hence public involvement in this process is not one of contributing to the final design. It is one of representing (positively or negatively) on the suitability of a predetermined design by the applicant. Cat 3 notifications means anyone can submit a representation to the Panel.

Our Council Assessment Panel (CAP) will assess the application. The Regulations require this.

This is not just a social issue. It is an infrastructure issue. Council itself will be providing a submission to the CAP. This will focus on the Oval’s ability to handle any extra use resulting from the extended use of the lighting.


Clashing with the Grandstand Consultation

With the history of opposition to the extended use of the lighting, the application is surely poorly timed.

It has the potential to cause a backlash on the Goodwood Oval Grandstand design. My earlier blog expands on what we are looking to achieve together on the Grandstand. The extended use of the lighting is a what do you think about this.

Hence I implore anyone wanting to have a say to separate the two. My earlier blog focuses on the Grandstand redevelopment.

You can provide a submission on either or both. Therefore, your choice.

Seeking Your Feedback on Goodwood Oval Grandstand

Council is seeking your feedback on draft designs we have recently developed for the new Goodwood Oval Grandstand. After consultation with the footy and cricket clubs to ensure we have captured their needs, we now seek your input.

As everyone knows, we received Government funding late last year. Their contribution added to our own commitment and the contribution of the clubs and the SANFL.

This therefore means the project will proceed. That is a non-negotiable.

What we need now is to develop and refine the concept designs. To ensure the new facility fits in with the local environment we look forward to the contribution from the wider community. Seeking your feedback will assist the final design.

Discussions I have had neighbours have identified a couple of suggestions that I believe will improve the design. Both aesthetically and functionally. A question has also been raised as to the availability of function area to the community. Another whether the change rooms might be available to others who may hire the oval. I like that too.

Please contribute. Your input may prove to be just as helpful. You can help by going to our have your say website.

At the same time, we are seeking further input from the SANFL and the AFL. They have made observations that will positively impact on the size and cost of the project. Such observations as the number of toilets can be reduced and physio space likewise reduced.

Extended Use of Lighting

Hopefully a development application before council for extended use of lighting by the Goodwood Saints Football Club will not detract from helping us achieve the best design.

The lighting use has nothing to do with this consultation. Council, must under the Development Regulations, process this application. Our Council Assessment Panel will assess the application.

Please do not mix the two. We need your feedback to the grandstand design. If you have an interest in the lighting please refer to my separate bog.


Kate Bickford is representing SA Best in the fight for Badcoe.

Representing SA Best, Kate Bickford is the last candidate to be named in the Fight for Badcoe. This just before the Government goes into caretaker mode and the core flutes get erected.

Kate Bickford, SA Best candidate for Badcoe

As I have done with the other three candidates I sat down with Kate Bickford for a coffee and a chat. This I did on behalf of the ratepayers of Council’s Clarence Park Ward, and the neighbouring Goodwood Ward.

I found her to be quite a genuine person with strong links to the local community. She has lived around 20 years in Forestville.


Kate is a lawyer and has worked on behalf of our indigenous Australians and for small and big business. This has seen her interact at all levels with Government.

What kate Bickford stands for.

I gleaned from her a concern many of you know I share about the future of South Road. What will be the redesigned South Road through Black Forest when the Government finally gets around to our section of the non-stop carriage way.

She is also keen to ensure balanced improvement to planning laws. Again, something that readers of this website know I share.

Kate indicated also that she is keen to see more work done in the ageing arena, including providing ways of bringing the aged and the young together. Sounds like she would really like the City of Unley Active Ageing project.

Another passion she has, which a number of you have indicated to me is a concern. That is to bring back safety gates to the pedestrian accesses and to improved DDA compliant ramps at the many rail stations we have in the City of Unley. Something my wife and I put to the liberals some time back.

This completes my initial interactions with all the candidates. If you wish to remember my initial observations of the other three you can check at here for Jayne Stinson (Labor), Lachlan Clyne (Liberal) and John Woodward (Independent).

You can contact Kate Bickford via email at [email protected] or call her on 0434 673 794 and arrange to meet with her to discuss any issue that concerns you in Badcoe. To view Kate’s electorate page, click here.

Council is seen in a good light according to a new survey.

Council is seen in a good light according to a recent survey we conducted. Or at least our collective Community centres.

The results of our 2017 Community Centre Customer Satisfaction Survey, undertaken in October, have been collated. 143 respondents, which is 102 more than 2016.  With the results of the survey below Council is seen in a good light:
– 87% said our customer service and support is either good or very good.
– 90% said our price/affordability is either good or very good.
– 80% said our range of programs was either good or very good.
– 87% said our range of information available was either good or very good.
– 89% said our facilities are either good or very good for what they need.
I don’t know how many of the responses came for the Clarence Park Community Centre, around the corner from me. I am sure they rate as highly, if not more highly, than the other three Community Centres. 
Some achievements from 2017 include
  • Our school holiday programs were extremely popular again across 2017 with most activities booking out across FPCC and CPCC.
  • Unley Community Centre was host to the 2017 ‘Zest Fest’ and saw 96 participants attend its High Tea celebration.
  • Clarence Park Community Centre was again ‘host’ the Premier’s Cabinet meeting in 2017.  This has proven to be a great opportunity to showcase local community programs and services available at the Centre.
  • Continued delivery of free or subsidised programs supported by State Government (DCSI) funding to run the very popular Aquacise and ‘Cooking 101’ at Unley Community Centre, the youth drop-in service and parenting seminars attended by hundreds of local families at Fullarton Park, and the very busy Playgroup at Clarence Park.
We are looking forward to another busy year ahead with a range of diverse activities and programs to engage our local community. Please refer to the 2018 Community Centres program available on our website for more detail.

Just Retired and Inspired by those who Precede me

Just Retired and Inspired by those who Precede me is my take on this morning. Just retired I am grateful that I am part of a Council that supports older people.


Regular readers of this blog website know I have recently retired.

With the development of an Active Ageing Strategy in 2014, we (the City of Unley) has been leading the charge in celebrating ageing and implementing initiatives that support people as they get older.

The latest initiative in Partnership with Resthaven, Unley Legends, is an absolute winner. It was launched at another Unley Legend, the Capri Theatre today.

Unley Legends is a video series celebrating ageing.

The series of short videos showcases seven inspiring legends of the Unley community who are still young at heart, including 99-year-old Millswood resident Harold Sammells who still travels overseas. He could not attend because he is cruising in Canada.

I was inspired too with the Legends in the west. Two contributors of and one participant at the Clarence Park Community Centre out here in the west of the City were featured among the seven. They include:

  1. 72 year old Peter Moors who contributes to the centres TOYS program.
  2. 73 year old Evaristo Barrera who conducts Yoga lessons at the Centre
  3. 90 year old June Harris who participates in line dancing at the centre

These guys have provided me and you if you care to hear what they have to say some great mentorship. I heard all of them tell me that it is important to stay active. Physically,mentally, socially and spiritually. The other message is take your eyes off yourself and do for others.

So yes! I am just Retired and Inspired by those who Precede me. How could you not be.

Check out for yourself what the Unley Legends video series, visit

Unley Mayor endorsed by Liberals as Badcoe battle lines have been drawn.

The Badcoe battle lines have been drawn with an announcement today. Unley Mayor Lachlan Clyne has been endorsed as the Liberal candidate for next year’s State Elections.

It has been a long time coming, with Lachlan having announced his candidacy early last year.

With this announcment the Badcoe battle lines have been drawn in what may prove to be a litmus test in the March 2018 State Election.

While the Xenophon team, the Greens, and possibly Pauline Hanson and/or others are yet to announce candidates the battle lines have been drawn. One would expect the winner to be from either Lachlan or from Labor endorsed candidate, Jayne Stinson. Jayne was endorsed last month by the Labor Party.

Both are well known to the local community. Lachlan misses out narrowly on his house being within the seat’s boundaries. Not so Jayne, who is a Forestville resident. That said Lachlan grew up in Council’s Clarence Park Ward. Only a stones throw from Goodwood Oval (or a stone and halfs throw.

Let the battle begin.              Stinson v Clyne

Both candidates are high quality and are well known to the residents of Badcoe.

While the personality Badcoe battle lines have been drawn I am keen to ensure that the election is a winner for us. I will be looking to what the residents of both the Clarence Park (and Goodwood Wards) of the City of Unley gain from the ensuing battle. In other words I am looking to redraw the battle lines by lobbying both candidates on key local issues.

I have already spoken with Jayne, having a coffee with her earlier this week. In Lachlan and my dual roles as representatives for the City of Unley we obviously have had conversations too.

During the election period I will identify the major initiatives I am lobbying for. I will be asking you to join the campaign so that both candidates know what we are after in considering which one to vote for. To do this please watch this blog for more news.


Libs strike the first blow in the Seat of Badcoe

On my first official day as Deputy Mayor of the City of Unley I witnessed the Leader of the Opposition, Steven Marshall, strike the first blow in the Seat of Badcoe.

The man wanting to be Premier announced what he calls a generational upgrade to South Australia’s rail and road network. The plan is called GlobeLink.

It is an ambitious plan, touted to be of major economic benefit to the State of South Australia. It is a plan that from a purely selfish point of view will have a huge benefit to me and my neighbourhood.

Badcoe is the State seat that our Mayor Lachlan Clyne is hoping to get Liberal pre-selection for. Given this, he asked me to represent Council as we have vested interest in the announcement.

For the Seat of Badcoe this means the freight trains would no longer run through the suburbs of Millswood, Kings Park, Goodwood, Forestville & Wayvlle. A bonus for the residents of the western side of the City of Unley

No longer would residents have to live in fear of a derailment. No longer will they have to be concerned about breathing in carcinogenic diesel fumes. No longer will they have to put up with excessive noise at all hours of the day. No more long waits in traffic at Cross road, Victoria Street and Leader Street.

It also impacts in what may happen at the Emerson Crossing when current Government plans to run the B-Doubles down Cross Road and turn right into South Australia’s major traffic corridor happens. It will reduce what I see as major demolition of houses and business premises along Cross Road at Clarence Park and South Road at Black Forest.

Residents in Unley’s western suburbs which form part of the Seat of Badcoe stand to benefit from the fight for this seat. I can’t wait now for what Labor may have to offer.

Dora Guild Playground upgrade

As part of our ongoing asset renewal/restoration program we are looking to replace the small children’s play house and provide additional shade around the sand pit area.


Cubby House at Dora Guild

Cubby House at Dora Guild

We think the existing play house is well loved and we could replace it with something similar in the same location, but would appreciate your views to help finalise the plans.

We also want to upgrade the soft fall and provide additional shade around the sand pit area and can provide either a shade sail (similar to the existing structure) or a colorbond steel ‘all-weather’ structure over a seat/table area.

Our Sport & Recreation Planner letterbox dropped local residents yesterday and will also have placed a poster at the playground. Just in case you did not receive it or have not been to the playground recently and you have an interest in how this playground evolves this blog is designed to alert you.

It’s only a small project, but we appreciate getting your feedback. Details and a feedback form are available on our website. Please return the form via the website, posting to PO Box 1 Unley SA 5061, or hand delivering it to our Civic Centre 181 Unley Road.


Millswood Station remains open but Dog Track closed.

Great news last week from the State Government. Patronage of the Belair train using Millswood Station to alight and embark has been beyond their expectations. As a result the station will remain open with the trial now complete.

The Federal Government however through it’s rail department ARTC will be closing the dog track which provides access to the station from the west side of Goodwood Road.



ARTC sign. closed until further notice

I have held the view that patronage of the Belair train using Millswood Station would, in the main, be from residents of Clarence Park and Millswood west of Goodwood Road. Ensuring the safety of these people was an important ingredient behind the repair to the footbridge we at Unley did early last year.  We spent good money to make sure the footbridge was safe to use.

Since the track was closed late last week I have already received three calls from residents concerned about the closure. Unfortunately there is not much Jennie and I can do about this as the track belongs to ARTC and the Federal Government.

We were given advanced warning of the pending closure and told it would be a permanent closure in response to our asking our management to push ARTC to make the dog track safe. Their response spend as little as possible and remove access to the threat rather than modify the environment to make it safe.

There is not much Jennie & I can do about this as it is  a federal government issue not a local government issue. That is short of us supporting any effort on your part to lobby our local member Kate Ellis for the track to remain open and be made safe. If you are reading this blog and feel the same as the three residents who have contacted me already I suggest you door knock your neighbours and get up a petition.

Jennie and I can back you with this but be assured you will need Kate on your side if you wish the track to remain open.

In the meantime what I have done is ask our management to seek confirmation from ARTC of their intentions because the sign does not say permanent, it infers temporary. And as the picture below shows their efforts to prevent access are timid at best.

Not stopping many from accessing.

Not stopping many from accessing.